Beautifully reclaimed desert and awesome mountains surround this charmingly retro little town.

Why go?

Head inland from Los Angeles or San Diego to beautifully reclaimed desert around and beyond the charmingly retro little town of Palm Springs, all with awesome mountains as the backdrop.

Palm Springs is all about the great outdoors, so this is a spot for older children; eight and overs. 

Activities

Hit the Aerial Tramway, which brings visitors above 8,000 ft to 54 miles of hiking trails in Mount San Jacinto Wilderness Park - it’s one of the steepest and most thrilling climbs in the world.

See desert fauna and flora in The Living Desert park, then relieve the dry heat with a trip to Knott’s Soak City Water Park, packed with great water rides and slides and featuring a giant wave pool for body surfing.

The lowdown

Travel time: Fly from London to either Los Angeles or San Diego (11 hours); Palm Springs is 2 hours from both.

How to get there: British Airways flies from London Heathrow to San Diego; from £621 return and to LAX; from £564 return. Virgin Atlantic flies from London Heathrow to LAX; from £563 return. 

Best time to visit: Peak season is between January and May when the weather is warm and sunny during the day, and cool and crisp at night, this does mean bigger crowds. It's less busy from September to November and still warm, while July and August are very hot. 

More information: www.visitpalmsprings.com