Palm Springs is a popular vacation destination in California. The many cities of Coachella Valley, including Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, La Quinta, and Indio, each have family-friendly resorts, golf courses, shopping districts and fine restaurants. Nearby are excellent outdoor opportunities in Joshua Tree National Park and the San Jacinto Mountains (consider taking the tram to the top!). While visitors to Palm Springs might have access to a large swimming pool, and maybe even a “lazy river” to float in, sometimes it’s nice to take a day or two and head to the coast for a dip in the ocean.
The Salton Sea is less than an hour away and it has salty (very salty) water and even sandy some beaches, but there’s nothing like the sounds and smells of the Pacific Ocean. Southern California has some of the finest beaches around so consider booking a SoCal beach hotel and stay on the coast for a night to make the drive worth it.
Because of the inland location and nearby mountain ranges, it is about the same distance to the shores of San Diego and Orange County. The nearest cities by driving time are Newport Beach, Dana Point, Carlsbad and Oceanside. They are all about a two-hour drive from the Palm Springs area (without traffic) depending on where you are staying in the valley. Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, San Clemente, Del Mar, and even La Jolla aren’t that much farther. So pick your destination city and head toward the sea!
Below are some popular beaches in each of these cities mentioned above. Consider reviewing the beach lists on each city page to find the right beach for you. Some have more solitude and fine beachside restaurants for romance, while others have lifeguards and attractions for families.
Also, don’t forget about the Wet ‘n’ Wild Palm Springs waterpark if it is your kids that demand a water day away from the resort. This park is easy access from just about anywhere in the Coachella Valley, and it’s big enough for a full day of fun for the entire family.