Palm Springs is a desert-lover’s dream, which is exactly why I was drawn to the area in the first place. And why I chose to go there in summer, too. Less crowds and more heat (a daily average of 40°C+ to be exact)? That’s my idea of heaven.
It just so happens to be a goldmine for amazing Instagram photos as well. Here’s my guide to Palm Springs’ most Instagrammable places.
The best places for Instagram pics in Palm Springs
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
If you go to Palm Springs and at least one Uber driver doesn’t mention paying a visit to the top of the San Jacinto Mountains when you ask for recommendations on stuff to do in the area, I’ll be damned. If you get sick of the desert heat (unlikely, for me) and feel like a trip to USA’s Pacific Northwest (likely, considering my love of Twin Peaks, which is based in that area), a trip up the San Jacinto Mountains for the day will be just what the doctor ordered.
What’s it like? After a quick (and steep) 10-minute tram ride up the side of the mountains on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, you’ll step out of the tram to be greeted by a 20°C drop in temperature and the awe-inspiring view of Palm Springs down below. Venture further around the top of the mountain and you’ll see that there are plenty of gorgeous pine and fir trees that will make any David Lynch fan feel like they’ve been welcomed into the motherland.
To get the perfect Instagram pic, try one of the vantage points at the top of the mountains, which is easily accessible by footpath. From there, enjoy the spectacular view and get a shot amongst the rocks looking out to the forest below.
For more of a Snow White vibe, you can actually walk down into the forest and do a spot of hiking while you get the perfect pic for the ‘gram – just watch out for rattlesnakes (yep, apparently they’re still found up that high).
Ace Hotel & Swim Club
If you can swing it, Ace Hotel & Swim Club needs to be at the top of your priority list in terms of places to stay in Palm Springs. This boutique hotel is located at the foot of the San Jacintos and is an absolute dream. Think hazy summer days followed by steamy nights by the pool, cocktail from The Amigo Room in hand (or a Date Shake from their in-house diner, King’s Highway). Does it actually get any better in this life? I think not.
That bliss aside, the Ace is buzzing with Insta-worthy locations. From the moment you check in, you’ll see what I mean. Even the styled-to-perfection lobby looks like it was born ready for its close-up.
If you want views of the Swim Club pool and the mountains, hit up the Stargazing Deck or the second floor of the Clubhouse for an epic view. Other great spots for photos include the Ace sign at the front of the hotel and the sign between the Swim Club Pool and the Commune Pool (the words on this change – I was lucky enough to have “cheers” spelled out on the sign when I took a photo).
Hot tip when you’re staying at the Ace: book a Patio with Garden room so you get your own little patio area, which is great for having drinks in the privacy of your own space, or holding your own mini Insta photoshoot. Note: I booked through Booking.com to get the best price – you can too.
That Pink Door
You didn’t think I was going to write a post about where to take Instagram photos in Palm Springs without a mention of That Pink Door, did you? This spot seems to be the creme de la creme of Insta locations in Palm Springs, and lovers of quirky mid-century architecture will be like a kid in a candy shop on a trip to this city. The streets are full of beautiful desert houses, but That Pink Door seems to have a bit of a reputation (it even has it’s own Instagram, run by its owners), so like I query on my own ‘gram of this famed location: is it even a trip to Palm Springs if you don’t pay a visit?
You’ll find it at 1100 Sierra Way, Palm Springs. Just down the road from the Ace.
It’s a well-known fact that Australians get excited by big things (excuse the double entendre) – the Big Prawn, the Big Banana and the Big Pineapple are a few that come to mind. So the sheer novelty of seeing the “World’s Biggest Dinosaurs” makes this a sight not to be missed for any self-respecting Aussie.
While they aren’t technically in the town of Palm Springs, the Cabazon Dinosaurs are a vintage attraction that are only a 20-minute drive out of town. So if you’ve got a car, it might be worth it to “do it for the ‘gram”, as it were. It was for me! On your visit, you’ll see an Apatosaurus and a Tyrannosaurus rex. The T-Rex cuts a shapely figure and has a better angle for photos, so he’s your safest bet for a pic that will get the likes rolling in.
Anything I missed? Comment your fave places in Palm Springs below!