We know, we know: A trip to Palm Springs in the summer seems like a terrible idea. But the desert playground (about a two-hour drive from L.A.) empties post–Memorial Day, which makes hotels super affordable, buzzy restaurants easy to book and the local attractions crowd-free.
On the drive in, the canyon-hugging gondola ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway has the benefit of stunning scenery and a 30° temperature drop.
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Don Graham
Seek relief from the sun at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club. It may be a hipster hot spot, but any insufferableness should be offset by June rates as low as $259. The gorgeous pool is the perfect place to while away a sweltering afternoon.
Movie theaters are a welcome respite from the heat, so consider booking your trip during the Palm Springs International ShortFest (June 19–25). More than 100 short films presented at the annual bash have gone on to receive Oscar nominations or awards.
Photograph: Courtesy Palm Springs Art Museum
Museums are another air-conditioned oasis, including the Palm Springs Art Museum. While you’re there, check out a showcase of photos from road trips across the desert (through July 29).
Finally, what better way to cool off than with an ice-cold horchata? Taqueria Tlaquepaque serves all the expected Mexican favorites, but we’re partial to the egg breakfasts.