Palm Springs is a winter paradise for anyone who enjoys the outdoors – including dogs!
With 354 days of sunshine each year and daytime temps in January reaching the 70s, Palm Springs is one of our favorite places to chill out while the rest of the country contends with winter’s icy grip. If you’re looking for fun things to do with your dogs while on vacation in the Coachella Valley, we’ve gathered some of our favorite places – so grab your shades, apply some sunscreen, and enjoy this beautiful desert oasis!
There are loads of great coffee shops with pet friendly patios around Palm Springs, but we fell in love with the view from the patio at Koffi (1700 S Camino Real). The friendly atmosphere, great selection of baked goods and snacks, free WiFi, and fantastic coffee made this a fun place to hang out. With the constant stream of traffic, the people- and dog-watching is to die for, and the dog friendly patio is laid out in several areas so you can find a sunny spot or a comfortable place in the shade, depending on your preference and the time of day.
Once you’ve gotten your daily dose of caffeine, it’s time for a hike! The South Lykken Trail Head can be found at the western end of Mesquite Avenue (500 W. Mesquite). This is a 3.5-mile, out-and-back trail has a 900-foot change in elevation, but you don’t have to hike the entire way to be rewarded with spectacular views of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley.
Getting around town couldn’t be easier when the Buzz is running! From 11am to 1am, Thursday through Sunday, these colorful trolley cars transport people and their pets around Palm Springs on a 30-stop loop. The ride is free, and a trolley rolls by every 15 minutes.
Pack a picnic and take a short drive south on Pines to Palms Highway (Hwy 74). The road twists and turns its way to a scenic overlook where the entire Coachella Valley spreads out beneath you. From here you can see all the way to the Salton Sea! It’s a great place to spread out your picnic blanket, unpack your lunch, and enjoy the afternoon.
Whether you’re into some serious hiking, or just want to say you’ve walked part of this famous trail, continue up Pines to Palms Highway (Hwy 74) to the trailhead of the Pacific Crest Trail. This 2,600 mile trail stretches from Mexico to Canada, and it takes hikers four to six months to compete the whole trek!
Friends recommended El Mirasol (140 E Palm Canyon Drive) to us, and what a treat it was! The food was fantastic, the margaritas were superb, and the partially covered, dog friendly sidewalk patio was cozy and beautiful. It’s located several blocks away from the more congested downtown shopping area, but still easy to get to, either on foot or on the Buzz.
No visit to Palm Springs would be complete with out a stop at the dog park (222 Civic Drive North)! At 1.6 acres, it’s divided into separate areas for large and small dogs, and while it’s not huge, there’s plenty of room for some doggy socializing or a game of fetch. The most spectacular part of this dog park is the fence. Sacramento sculptor Phill Evans formed hot-rolled steel bar into cacti and trees, dogs, and a cat to enclose the area.
The Araby Trail is 3-miles out-and-back path that can be accessed from either end, but hikers with dogs are best served by using the parking area at the corner of E Palm Canyon Drive and Rim Road. You’ll find the trailhead a short walk up the hill from the parking area, and it winds around in a residential area before climbing up for some nice views of the valley. This trail brings you as close as you’ll be able to get to Bob Hope’s unique home, and then climbs into an area where bighorn sheep are protected, and dogs aren’t allowed to go. The dog friendly portion of the trail is about 1.5 miles and offers no shade, so plan to hike it in the morning or evening when the temperatures are cool.
One of the most popular attractions in the area is Joshua Tree National Park, and for good reason! Spreading over nearly 800,000 acres, where the Mojave and Colorado Deserts meet, Joshua Tree’s scenery is unlike any other we’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, pets are prohibited from all the trails, but they can join you for a walk on the many dirt roads as long as they’re on a leash at all times. It’s well worth the drive to see this stunning landscape!
Sherman’s Deli (401 E Tahquitz Canyon Way) is famous for it’s generous portions, friendly service, and delicious food. The covered, dog friendly outdoor patio is spacious, and their sign and dog bowls at the entrance make it clear that they welcome furry guests – as long as they keep their paws on the ground. This is a great place to get a bite to eat if you’re strolling around the downtown shopping area.
So there you have it – our ten favorite things to do in Palm Springs with our dogs. We hope that you enjoy your visit as much as we did!
Looking for a fun, pet friendly day trip from Palm Springs? Check out our post on Borrego Springs!