There are a number of easy ways to get around Palm Springs, whether you’re heading downtown for some shopping, to the Renaissance Hotel for White Party, or to the famed Purple Room for a drink and a show. Greater Palm Springs (not to mention the entire Coachella Valley) is pretty compact, so between shuttles, taxis, mobile app-based car services, public transportation, and bike rentals, you’ve got plenty of options for getting from A to B in PS.
If you’re a Fitbit enthusiast, grab a Palm Springs Official Visitors Guide and a bottle of water, slip on some comfortable shoes (and a hat, if it’s the middle of the day in the heart of summer), and hit the ground walking. Downtown Palm Springs is easy to navigate, especially along Palm Canyon Drive, where you’ll find plenty of options for dining and shopping. You’ll enjoy the scenery (the nature variety as well as the human one) so much more if you leave your vehicle behind and cruise the streets on foot. (Just don’t forget the water!)
During cooler months, the primarily flat layout of Palm Springs makes for good cycling — and many of the streets have bike lanes. There are a number of bicycle rental facilities around town, like Bike Palm Springs and Palm Springs Cyclery.
If you want to explore other parts of the Coachella Valley, you’ll need some wheels. Palm Canyon Drive runs north and south through Palm Springs and will take you through the heart of the city’s bustling uptown and downtown areas. Keep heading south, and you’ll find yourself on Highway 111, which goes east and west along the mountain side and will take you to Cathedral City, Palm Desert, and the other desert communities.
The Palm Springs BUZZ is a free trolley that operates Thursdays to Sundays from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Traveling in a loop along Palm Canyon and Indian Canyon (from Via Escuela to Smoketree), BUZZ reaches one of its 30 stops every 15 minutes, providing a fast, easy, hassle-free way for visitors and locals to get around. Visit www.buzzps.com for more information.
During the weekends, hailing a taxi in downtown Palm Springs is easy to do. But not so much during the week or in other parts of the city. In these cases, you’ll have to call one. There are several reliable cab companies operating in the Coachella Valley, such as American Cab (760-300-0000) and Yellow Cab (760-340-8294).
Mobile App-Based Car Services
Have an Uber or Lyft account? Both companies service the greater Palm Springs area and there are usually plenty of drivers nearby to come get you, especially during peak hours.
The SunLine bus system has an extensive network and can get you almost anywhere in the Coachella Valley via their 14 routes and one commuter link. Going through downtown? Hop on the green line (No. 24). For routes, fares, and hours of operation, check out their website or call 760-343-3456. Adults aged 18-59 ride for $1.00, and transfers are only 25¢. (Be sure to have exact change and request your transfer upon boarding.) Just be aware that the buses don’t run 24-7, so if you’re planning on staying out late, check the schedule to make sure you’ll get a return trip or plan a backup ride. People with disabilities can often get door-to-door service via the SunLine’s SunDial program. Call 800-347-8628 at least 24 hours prior for more information.
Regardless of how you get around Palm Springs or the Coachella Valley, you’re sure to appreciate the desert’s beauty and unique charm.