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Day trip to Palm Springs/tram from LA?

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Brisbane, Australia
posts: 12
reviews: 1
Day trip to Palm Springs/tram from LA?

We have 6 nights in the general LA area. Is a day trip to Palm Springs feasible to do the aerial tram and a look around or what would you recommend? We have not booked any accommodation and we are traveling in May. Are there tours or is a hire car the best way to go for 4 adults?

Encinitas...
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
posts: 12,197
reviews: 7
1. Re: Day trip to Palm Springs/tram from LA?

Best thing to do is rent a car and drive yourself.Be on your own schedule.

LA to PS is about two hours.

edmonton
posts: 2,033
reviews: 43
2. Re: Day trip to Palm Springs/tram from LA?

i like palm springs and not a big fan of la so my recommendation would be to rent a car and spend a night there. rental cars are pretty inexpensive and the drive is easy (just watch rush hour times). pick a hotel with a nice pool. nothing better then being around a pool and enjoying the beautiful views.

Manhattan Beach...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
posts: 14,562
reviews: 3
3. Re: Day trip to Palm Springs/tram from LA?

Go for it! Rent a car and drive out in two hours. I'd spend the night, to enjoy Palm Springs the most.

We leave the LAX area at 9:30 am to avoid all the work commute traffic.

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 47,602
reviews: 42
4. Re: Day trip to Palm Springs/tram from LA?

I'd stay longer on PS and also visit Joshua Tree NP and/or make some scenic drives in the PS area.

Anaheim, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
posts: 23,686
reviews: 13
5. Re: Day trip to Palm Springs/tram from LA?

Yes, go for it.

A few stops along the way...

Ontario Mills at the connection of the I-10 and I-15

The Cabazon area off the I-10... the Cabazon and Desert Hills malls, The Cabazon Dinosaurs, Hadley Fruit Orchids and the Morongo Casino.

Besides the Palm Springs Tramway, check out the Living Desert, and Knott's Soak City.

Glendale, California
posts: 36
reviews: 263
6. Re: Day trip to Palm Springs/tram from LA?

Yes. I live in Los Angeles and have done a day trip to Palm Springs many times. It probably would be nicer to spend one night, but if you don't have the time, you can easily do the arial tram and see other sights in a single day.

If you have enough time to squeeze in a night stop, I would recommend adding Big Bear/Lake arrowhead to your trip. My boyfriend's parents visited from the UK and we did a night in Lake Arrowhead, a quick stop at Big Bear and then drove down to Palm Springs. It was a big hit!

Brisbane, Australia
posts: 12
reviews: 1
7. Re: Day trip to Palm Springs/tram from LA?

Thanks for all your comments and help. Can you give an idea of drive times and how long we should allow at each place? How long would we need to allow for the aerial tram round trip? Are there recommended things to do at the top? Thanks again!

california
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Palm Desert
posts: 11,184
reviews: 136
8. Re: Day trip to Palm Springs/tram from LA?

It it about 2 hours in non-rush hour. There is not a whole lot at the top other than hiking. Might still be a bit of snow up there in May, but probably not much. There is a restaurant (not recommended) and a bar.

You can see a bit of Palm Spring downtown, or Palm Desert's El Paseo (which isn't far from the Living Desert).

If you want to do outlet shopping I would do that as a separate trip, or spend a night and do it on the way back to LA. You can often get some really good rates on Sunday-Monday nights.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
posts: 34,328
reviews: 738
9. Re: Day trip to Palm Springs/tram from LA?

You might also be interested in a tour of the windmills.

Manhattan Beach...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
posts: 14,562
reviews: 3
10. Re: Day trip to Palm Springs/tram from LA?

We allow 2-3 hours for the tram trip. Depends if you want to walk the short loop around the top of the mountain, or just look around for a bit, and get in line for the next car down, to major hiking up top.

http://www.pstramway.com/index.html

Going to the Living Desert can take a couple hours as well.

http://www.livingdesert.org/

Same for walking around Palm Canyon Drive, stopping to get something to eat, looking in the stores, people watching, is a couple hours.