PALM SPRINGS CITY GUIDE
"I'm all about wanderlust and desert dust."
Opportunities to play tennis are vast in this city of swaying palms. Here's a breakdown of public options for every corner of Palm Springs.
Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Home to the BNP Paribas Open, offers a variety of memberships, clinics, lessons for adults, juniors, and wheelchair play.
Fritz Burns Park offers six public courts available from dawn-10pm with lights.
Civic Center Park offers six lit tennis courts.
Woodhaven Country Club has eight courts open to public play, non-resident guests can reserve courts using their online portal.
Ruth Hardy Park has eight courts for day and night play.
Demuth Park is the cities largest park, and has two courts from dawn till dusk.
Palm Springs Tennis Club has eleven courts and a great pro shop.
Watch the pros!
BNP Paribas Open The annual Masters event is typically held in March, and was last played in March 2019. It was the first time I'd visited the tournament and it was so much fun! We had tickets to the day session and saw Garbine Muguruza, Sloan Stephens, Felix Auger-Aiassime, Taylor Fritz, and Steve Johnson. When we realized the night match would be Serena Williams vs. Victoria Azarenka, we splurged for tickets! It was actually a really chilly night, we bought blankets and snuggled up to watch amazing tennis!
I was looking forward to attending in 2020, but it was one of the first tennis events to be cancelled. It was cancelled again in March 2021, furthering the disappointment of tennis fans. At long last it will be held for the first time in October and I for one am so excited!
This was the first time I had ever seen Serena play live! I was so excited to watch her and Vika (Victoria Azarenka) battle it out. It was a great match and a bucket list item!
Where to Stay?
Hotel accommodations are abundant in Palm Springs, and many of them cater to tennis lovers like us!
The Collection at Indian Wells is a group of four resort properties minutes from the Tennis Garden and within walking distance of one another.
Renaissance Esmerelda Resort and Spa, Indian Wells offers two courts for daytime play and lit for night.
Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa Indian Wells has three hard courts available.
Indian Wells Resort Hotel has two hard courts.
La Quinta Resort and Club is a historic tennis resort with a backdrop of the Santa Rosa Mountains. It boasts 23 hard and clay courts with 10 lit for nighttime play, a full schedule of classes and lessons and certified staff.
JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa This beautiful resort offers 15 hard courts, 3 clay, and 2 grass plus a full schedule of clinics for all ages and levels.
Shadow Mountain Resort and Club Home of award winning Desert Tennis Academy, it offers 16 courts including 3 clay.
Parker Palm Springs showcases very posh red clay courts with lessons available from the resort professional.
Westin Mission Hills Gold Resort & Spa has seven courts, clinics and full service pro shop.
When I visited the tournament in 2019, I stayed in Palm Springs. It's about a 25 minute drive to the tennis venue. I loved being downtown, close to shopping, restaurants, and the PS Art Museum!
Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel
This modern hotel is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Palm Springs. Its super close to shopping, and dining options, and the rooftop terrace is a wonderful way to wrap up a day of watching tennis. On the weekend there was a farmers market with art, and fresh produce. The rooms have large floor to ceiling windows with views of the San Jancinto Mountains.
Revel Public House This great American Bar is a short walk from the Rowan and where we spent the evenings watching the night matches. It has a great lively atmosphere and great food and drinks!
High Bar at The Rowan The first rooftop bar in Palm Springs with incredible views and even better cocktails.
Workshop Kitchen Housed inside a 90 year old former movie theater, this farm to table restaurant has a mouthwatering menu and a chic atmosphere
Wilma & Fridas voted the best breakfast three years running!
Melvyn's An old Hollywood history, live music and great people watching, great spot for a night cap or late night shenanigans.
Birba Woodfired pizza, fresh insalata, and vino... need I say more?
Farm Inspired by a trip to the south of France, the owners promise an experience that transports you there. Dinner is prix fixe that begins with an amuse bouche (i recently learned what that is). I love a good prix fixe menu, curated by the chef and my only job is to enjoy!
Cheekys Breakfast and brunch are so popular here, especially the weekends, but definitely worth the wait.
El Jefe Located at the Saguaro Palm Springs. Fresh fruit margaritas and tacos, what else do you need?
Las Casuelas Four generations of traditional, authentic Mexican food
Rooster and the Pig Vietnamese-American restaurant with a delicious menu.
Palm Canyon Drive & The Shops at Thirteen Forty Five
Great clothing boutiques, home design and vintage shops.
The Gardens on El Paseo Everything you need to quench your luxury shopping desires. Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., plus an Apple store if you forgot a charger.
Cabazon Outlets & Desert Hills Premium Outlets Some of the best outlet shopping I've ever experience, they literally have a ginormous list of great shops.
TENNIS PRO SHOPS
Pete Carlson's Golf & Tennis Shop
CC Tennis Club (Cathedral Canyon Tennis Club)
JW Marriott Desert Springs Lawn & Tennis Club
Palm Springs Art Museum Full of architecture and design inspiration. When we were last there in 2019, there was in installation of large crawling babies adjacent to the museum. We could see them from our hotel room window. (see the picture below)
The Modern Tour Palm Springs is filled with the most incredible mid-century and modern architecture. The Modern Tour is a guided tour that takes you inside some of the most impresive private residences. The three hour tours are in groups limited to six people, and sell out quickly. The tour starts at $200 per person. You can also download the Palm Springs Modernism Tour app for a self guided version.
Day Trip to Joshua Tree Only 45 minutes from Palm Springs, there's an activity for everyone at Joshua Tree National Park. Wether you're into hiking, biking, birding, photography, camping or just exploring Joshua Tree National Park is something everyone should experience at least once in their lives. I'll be going for the first time on my trip next month.
The Classic Club If you're one of those annoying people who are great at tennis AND golf, or traveling with a golfer, book a tee time at The Classic Club in Palm Desert.