Palm Springs is a small city in the Coachella Valley of California, surrounded by Joshua Tree National Park to the north and southeast. It has long been known as one of America’s top-10 most sought after destinations for its natural beauty, abundant cultural offerings and laid back ambiance. These are some of our picks for what you can do while visiting Palm Springs!

Palm Springs is a city in California. It is the perfect place to visit when you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. There are plenty of things to do in Palm Springs, including hiking, golfing, shopping, and more! Read more in detail here: things to do in palm springs 2021.

30+ Perfect Things to Do in Palm Springs, California!

Palm Springs is the ideal desert hideaway, situated in the California Sonoran Desert. If you’re thinking about coming here for a vacation, know that you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do in Palm Springs and the surrounding area.

Palm Springs is worth visiting for its stylish mid-century modern architecture, museums and public art, shopping, cuisine, and a variety of sports possibilities, from golf to hiking, that have long been cherished by Hollywood celebrities as a location to unwind and recharge. Of course, you may come merely to relax by the pool!

30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaPalm Springs is an oasis in the desert.

While you may easily spend a weekend (or perhaps a longer vacation) in downtown Palm Springs, you can also go to one or more of the surrounding communities. Day tours from Palm Springs to the desert and beyond are also available.

Are you planning a trip to this desert playground? Continue reading to learn about the greatest things to do in Palm Springs, as well as around, as well as our recommendations for where to stay and dine.

CONTENTS TABLE OF CONTENTS Palm Springs Attractions Attractions in the Palm Springs Area In Palm Springs, there are a variety of places to stay. When Is the Best Time to Go to Palm Springs?

Palm Springs Attractions

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is a fun way to see the city.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, the world’s biggest rotating tram vehicle, takes you on a magnificent journey from Valley Station, at 2,643 feet above sea level, to Mountain Station, at 8,516 feet above sea level, on Mount San Jacinto. One of the most popular things to do in Palm Springs is ride the aerial tramway.

1641130290_441_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaChino Canyon is hugged by the tram vehicle.

The 2.5-mile ride takes around 10 minutes each way and takes you along the walls of Chino Canyon, providing breathtaking vistas of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. You may take glass-free shots on the journey while the windows are open!

Hike almost 50 miles of trails at Mount San Jacinto State Park, take in the vistas from observation decks, and visit the gift store and tiny natural history museum at the summit. Peaks, a fine dining restaurant with spectacular views, and the informal Pines Café are two eating alternatives.

1641130291_206_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaThe Palm Springs Aerial Tramway offers a panoramic view of the city.

Layers are essential since the temperature at the summit is generally 30-40 degrees colder than on the desert plain. Snowfall at the higher station occurs at different times and in different amounts depending on the year.

Trams normally operate every day of the year. The tram and Mount San Jacinto State Park are both pet-free zones. The Valley Station has a parking fee, alternatively you may take a cab or a rideshare.

The Palm Springs Art Museum is a must-see.

If you appreciate modern art, the Palm Springs Art Museum is a must-see. The museum has a lot to see and do, with over two dozen galleries, two sculpture gardens, a performing arts theater, and more.

Over 12,000 pieces of modern and contemporary art, including sculptures, paintings, prints, and photos, are housed at the art museum. On any given day, there are generally many exhibits to choose from.

1641130291_716_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaThe modern museum structure PC:bonandbon/depositphotos

The Annenberg Theater, which hosts performing arts events, is also located inside the campus. This is where the Coachella Valley Symphony performs. Persimmon Bistro is a terrific spot to get a bite to eat or a glass of California wine.

Aluminaire House, a modernist architectural marvel, is also part of the complex. In 1931, A. Lawrence Kocher and famed Palm Springs architect Albert Frey created the three-story, all-metal tower, which was completed in only ten days.

Frey House II, which is situated on the slope above the museum, is also owned by the museum. The Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, situated in a mid-century contemporary that was previously the home of Santa Fe Federal Savings & Loan, is well worth a visit for architecture and design students and lovers.

If you’re in Palm Desert, don’t miss a visit to the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Faye Sarkowsky Sculpture Garden. The outdoor collection, which includes 14 sculptures and a variety of desert flora, is open to the public and is free to see.

In downtown Palm Springs, take a stroll along Palm Canyon Drive.

Palm Canyon Drive, the primary commercial route in downtown Palm Springs, is lined with a variety of stores, galleries, cafés, pubs, and restaurants. Palm Canyon Drive is a busy promenade with lovely palm trees on each side (bedecked with lights at night!) and colorful building facades.

1641130292_647_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaSunset on Palm Canyon Drive

Antiquing is a good idea. Gifts and memorabilia are available for purchase. Look through art galleries. Sip a drink while people-watching at an outside table. Taste dishes from a variety of cuisines. Admire the various historical structures and public art installations. Take a picture with the Palm Springs Welcome Sign in the background. Palm Canyon Drive has a lot to offer!

The Palm Springs Walk of Stars runs along Palm Canyon Drive, Tahquitz Canyon Way, and Museum Drive. Hundreds of luminaries have been honored with stars here, from Elvis Presley and Elizabeth Taylor to Presidents Reagan and Ford.

1641130293_157_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaTake a look at the Palm Springs Walk of Fame!

Visit the Palm Springs Visitor Center for more information.

On North Palm Canyon Drive, you’ll find the Palm Springs Visitor Center. It’s housed in a National Register of Historic Places-listed structure. As you approach, the building’s triangular roof makes a strong statement against the beautiful Mount San Jacinto.

1641130293_547_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaWith its spectacular roof, the Visitor Center is a must-see.

The 1965 building, which was formerly the Enco Tramway Gas Station, is one of the city’s most outstanding instances of mid-century modern architecture. There are many books, trip booklets, and souvenirs inside. There are also restrooms here.

Get answers to your questions from the Visitor Center personnel, as well as up-to-date information on things to do, activities taking place during your stay, and special closures. Pick up maps and brochures: a map showing mid-century modern architecture in and around town was one of the most valuable items we obtained here.

Palm Springs VillageFest is a fun event to attend (Thursday Nights)

Thursday nights in downtown Palm Springs are particularly enjoyable since Palm Canyon Drive is closed to automobile traffic for the monthly Palm Springs Street Fair, dubbed VillageFest. It’s a terrific spot to spend an hour or two if you chance to be in town on a Thursday evening!

Vendor stalls line both sides of the street, selling arts and crafts, gifts, fruit, cooked cuisines, and fresh flowers. While you explore and buy, listen to live music. Palm Canyon Drive’s shops, galleries, and restaurants remain open late, contributing to the vibrant atmosphere.

VillageFest is open from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. during the summer, and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. throughout the rest of the year.


Palm Canyon Drive and adjoining Indian Canyon Drive include a plethora of one-of-a-kind businesses, art galleries, and antique stores whether you prefer shopping or window shopping. There’s a lot to look at here, from mid-century modern collectibles to presents and apparel!

Some of our favorite places to visit include:

  • The Shops at 1345 is a group of thirteen fantastic shops situated in a vintage mid-century modern edifice constructed by E. Stewart Williams. Check out Double M Pottery for Mary McDonald’s handmade mugs, pots, and tumblers, Talini for linens made from Italian textiles, The Garage Collective for California-inspired décor, and more.
  • Home and kitchen products, presents, Palm Springs shirts and other clothes, and jewelry may all be found at Thick as Thieves. Stoneware bowls and plates, as well as marble coasters, are among their most beautiful home accessories. They also sell Joshua Tree Coffee Co.’s small-batch hand-roasted coffee.
  • Antique Galleries of Palm Springs is a huge business a little way off the main strip with tons of rare antique jewelry, watches, collectibles, vintage apparel, home and kitchen things, and other miscellaneous stuff.
  • Caftans, jumpsuits, and dresses in free flowing 70s and 80s fashions are available at The Frippery, great for lounging by the pool. From amethyst and orange to hot pink and cold blue, the hues are vivid and joyful, and you won’t be able to choose just one!
  • Elena Bulatova Fine Art is a wonderful place to look around. Paintings, sculptures, photography, and collages are among the works on display at the gallery.

1641130294_623_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaAlong Palm Canyon Drive, there are a number of art galleries to visit.

Take a look around the Palm Springs Air Museum.

A tour of the Palm Springs Air Museum, where you can view aircraft from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, most of which are in flyable condition, is one of the greatest things to do in Palm Springs. There are also additional relics and exhibitions on display that illustrate US history.

The museum has around a half-dozen aircraft on display, as well as moving displays and visiting aircraft on occasion. Explore the numerous displays, learn more about our country’s history military aircraft, and browse for interesting artifacts in the gift shop.

Many of the museum’s docents are war veterans and former pilots with a wealth of tales and knowledge to share. If you have the chance to take a guided tour, we strongly advise you to do so.

Are you a plane enthusiast? For a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, you may ride in one of six antique warbirds. Some of the rides are quite expensive, but a brief trip on a C-47 Skytrain is now $99.00.

Moorten Botanical Garden is worth a visit.

Hiking in the desert surrounding Palm Springs is a great opportunity to get up close to the region’s flora and wildlife, but the Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium is a great place to view succulents from all over the globe right in town.

The family-owned Moorten Botanical Garden, located on South Palm Canyon Drive, is just one acre in size but has thousands of species from deserts around the United States, Mexico, South Africa, and South America.

A very tall pachypodium, as well as several stunning aloes and agaves, may be seen in the outdoor collections. The collections are connected by a nature walk. Several types of cacti and succulents, including some rare specimens, are housed at the cactarium.

You may even purchase cacti and succulents to take home from the onsite nursery! The garden is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursdays through Tuesdays, and closed on Wednesdays and significant holidays. There is a charge for entrance.

Hike the Tahquitz Canyon Trail (there’s a Seasonal Waterfall!)

Tahquitz Canyon is one of the top treks in Palm Springs, located in a picturesque portion of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Reservation and home to a spectacular seasonal 60-foot waterfall. Hikes conducted by rangers are also available.

1641130295_971_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaPC: Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Tahquitz Canyon Waterfall

Tahquitz Canyon is not an easy trip, but it is worthwhile if you are willing to climb a lot of steep granite steps, particularly when the waterfall is in full flow or wildflowers are blooming. The trek is around 1.8 miles long and features a 350-foot elevation rise.

Tahquitz Canyon has rock art, the ruins of historic irrigation systems, and chances to explore native flora and animals in addition to the famous trek. You may see a video called The Legend of Tahquitz Canyon and explore exhibits in the visitor center.

Between October and the beginning of July, Tahquitz Canyon is accessible everyday from 7.30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and from Fridays through Sundays the rest of the year. There is a charge for entrance.

At Palm Canyon, see the California Fan Palm (indian Canyons)

If you like desert exploration, the Indian Canyons, which are near to downtown Palm Springs, are a must-see. The Indian Canyons, which are also part of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Reservation, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

1641130295_102_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaPalm Canyon Oasis wildflowers PC: Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians

One of the Indian Canyons is Palm Canyon. The canyon stretches for 15 miles and is home to the world’s biggest oasis of California fan palms (Washingtonia filifera). The canyon’s desert views are breathtaking, with granite gorges and sandy stretches.

Enjoy the stream, view the beautiful stands of palms and other native vegetation, and search for birds and animals as you go down Palm Canyon Trail into the canyon (wear shoes with excellent grip!). Lizards, desert bighorn sheep, foxes, snakes, and mule deer are all possible sightings. Enjoy wildflowers while they are in bloom. Beautiful rock formations may be seen along the road.

You may return the same way you came or take the Victor Trail for a longer circle. The Victor Trail is exposed and more difficult, but it offers beautiful views down into the canyon from the ridge above, as well as panoramas of distant mountains. Be on the lookout for bighorn sheep.

The Indian Canyons are open to the public for a charge. All of the canyons in this area are covered by a single cost.

Andreas Canyon is a great place to go bird watching.

Andreas Canyon is one of our favorite Palm Springs canyons. The moderate yet gorgeous hiking circle is slightly over a mile long and travels through the lush canyon, providing up-close views of mature fan palms and a wide variety of other flora, as well as stunning rock formations and Andreas Creek, which runs year-round.

1641130296_542_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaAgua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians landscape near Andreas Canyon PC

Look for relics of ancient bedrock mortars used for food preparation along the journey. Bring your binoculars since the walk is also famous for birding. Along the walk, you’ll hear a lot of birdsong! While walking, keep an eye out for bighorn sheep, reptiles, and other animals. Also, keep an eye out for snakes!

From October through June, ranger-led informative walks may be offered, and are included with paid entrance to the Indian Canyons. If one is available when you arrive, take advantage of it! Hiking through the lovely canyon will teach you a lot.

Spring is a fantastic season to explore Indian Canyons (or any of the trails in the Palm Springs area!). In excellent bloom years, there will be a plethora of beautiful wildflowers, as well as cactus and succulents flowering along the route in the spring.

Do you want to have a more active experience? This well-reviewed walk and bike tour of Palm Springs takes you on a bike ride through some of the city’s most famous neighborhoods before travelling to the canyons for a one-mile oasis stroll before returning for a sweet treat. Now is the time to book this tour!

Murray Canyon is a great place to hike (or horseback ride).

You may trek in Murray Canyon, which is one of the Indian Canyons. It is accessible to both hikers and horseback riders (be prepared to witness horse excrement!).

1641130297_388_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaPC: Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Murray Canyon

The route to Seven Sisters Falls is about 3.7 kilometers long, with some climbing at the finish to view the falls. However, you may trek as long as you want: a shady canyon with palms and other vegetation appears after approximately 0.6 mile.

Keep an eye out for endangered peninsular desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, bunnies, foxes, and other animals, as well as rattlesnakes. Bring your binoculars or zoom lens since there are a lot of birds to see.

Hike in the cooler months of the year, early or late in the day, wear sunscreen, and pack plenty of water to remain hydrated, just as you would on other desert trails.

Visit a Wind Farm and Take a Tour

As you approach Palm Springs on I-10, you’ll see a slew of massive windmills on both sides of the highway. San Gorgonio Pass is a natural wind tunnel, and the wind farm here, built in 1982, was the first of its kind in Southern California.

1641130298_836_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaPalm Springs has a lot of wind turbines.

A tour of the windmills is one of the most distinctive things to do in Palm Springs. You’ll learn a lot about renewable energy on this highly rated self-guided vehicle tour, plus you’ll get out of your car to photograph the ancient windmills. They seem considerably larger up close than they do from the highway!

The audio tour lasts around one hour and includes instructions and commentary. We did this tour on our last visit to Palm Springs after many times merely passing by the wind farms and found it to be quite enlightening.

A wonderful date milkshake awaits you at the tour’s last stop. Wear closed-toed shoes and pack a windcheater since the pass is one of the windiest spots in the United States. Now is the time to book this tour!

Admire the architecture of the mid-century modern era.

Palm Springs is known for its contemporary architecture from the 1950s and 1960s. Many well-known architects, like as Albert Frey and E. Stewart Williams, designed many elegant mid-century modern residences and structures here between 1945 and 1975, all of which were specifically tailored to the desert climate.

1641130298_901_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaSonia Sonia Sonia Sonia Sonia Sonia Sonia Sonia Sonia Sonia Sonia Sonia Sonia Sonia Sonia S

As you go about your business in Palm Springs, you’ll see a lot of mid-century moderns. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Valley Station and the Palm Springs Visitor Center are both notable mid-century modern constructions. Another magnificent mid-century modern architecture may be seen in Sunnylands (more on that later in this post!).

Allow time for a specialized self-driving tour to see more of Palm Springs’ architectural wonders if you appreciate architecture. The Visitor Center sells a map that details many of these structures in and around town.

If you don’t want to take a complete tour, City Hall is worth a visit for its stunning entry, which has three towering palm trees growing through a hole in the portico’s top. Other fast yet photo-worthy visits are Parker Palm Springs and the Bank of America headquarters on South Palm Canyon Drive.

This well-reviewed guided bike tour is another enjoyable and educational way to see Palm Springs’ mid-century modern architecture. The trip lasts around 2 to 2.5 hours and is flat. It features Indian Canyons, one of our favorite places to look at architecture. It’s worth noting that bike rentals aren’t included. Now is the time to book this tour!


Eating (and drinking!) is unquestionably one of the finest things to do in Greater Palm Springs. You won’t run out of options when it comes to eating in Palm Springs, with countless cafes serving cuisines from across the globe and new ones opening all the time.

Workshop Kitchen + Bar in Palm Springs’ downtown area is noted for bringing California farm-to-table cuisine to the desert. While the menu offers duck fat frites and truffle burgers, there are plenty of vegetable-centric dishes to choose from, including salads and scarlet runner beans, as well as a main course including farmers’ market vegetables.

Tac/Quila, located in downtown Palm Springs, is a must-see not just for its contemporary Mexican cuisine but also for its inventive drinks. Prickly Pear, made with prickly pear puree and hibiscus agave, or Mezcalita, made with mezcal and fresh-squeezed orange juice. Their jicama-papaya salad is delicious, as are their street tacos (we’ve had both the vegetable and the verde).

Birba’s pizza is to die for! A trip isn’t complete without a pizza lunch, and Birba is the greatest in Greater Palm Springs. The margharita is delicious, and we really like the braised greens pizza. Other items on the menu, such as the pastas and meatballs, seem to be delicious. Birba may be found on Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs.

1641130299_433_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaOne of our favorite Palm Springs lunches! Birba (PC)

Another of our favorite restaurants in Greater Palm Springs is Ristorante Mamma Gina in downtown Palm Desert. It works well for both happy hour and supper. Our go-to appetizers are zucchini fries and calamari, and we normally choose spaghetti for our main dishes.

Take use of your pool time.

Few things are more soothing than swimming in a pool under the desert sky or lounging poolside with an ice cold drink in hand. Many Greater Palm Springs resorts take pools to new heights, elevating the experience!

There are 41 pools to choose from at La Quinta Resort & Club! There are little casita pools dispersed around the property, a lap pool for fitness, and suites with private pools and hot tubs in addition to the main pool and the adult-only pool.

The Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa is nestled at the foot of the Santa Rosa Mountains, and the main pool offers amazing views. Make a reservation for a poolside cabana! A secluded pool with a sun terrace and hot whirlpool is also available.

The pool of the Saguaro Hotel & Spa is one of the most popular in Palm Springs, and it is surrounded by the hotel’s trademark vividly colored façade, as well as poolside chairs and cabanas.

The HyTides water park at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort and Spa has water slides, a lazy river, and a splash pad. It’s enjoyable for the whole family! You also have access to seven conventional pools.

Another wonderful family choice is the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, which has a water park with enormous slides, a lazy river, and a cliffside hot tub. There are several pools on the site, including one for adults only and another with underwater music.

Relax and rejuvenate in a Palm Springs spa.

A visit to a spa is one of our favorite things to do in Palm Springs. On some occasions, we spend on a half-day or full-day of pampering pleasure, while on others, we just enjoy massages after a day of desert trekking.

Palm Springs does spas so well, just as it does pools, that treatments are well worth the money and effort, even if just for a short stay!

1641130300_239_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaThe spas in Palm Springs are well-known!

Massages, facials, scrubs, and wraps are among the luxurious treatments available at the Estrella Spa at the Avalon Hotel in Palm Springs. The Turquoise Sage Mud Wrap is a great way to unwind.

Organic botanicals are used in treatments at the Feel Good Spa at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. The almond oil and rosemary essential oil scalp massage that they provide as an add-on is both pleasant and energizing!

When they have special deals for all-day admission to the steam rooms and resort pools, we love to spend a few hours at the Well Spa at Miramonte in Indian Wells. It’s a fantastic experience to have a couples massage here!

Parker Palm Springs Yacht Club Spa offers a magnificent spa experience in the heart of downtown Palm Springs. A full day here is bliss, with its soothing blue and white design and a variety of extremely relaxing therapies.

Attractions in the Palm Springs Area

Oasis of Thousand Palms Preserve is a must-see.

There are many preserves in the Coachella Valley Preserve system. The Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve, which is part of the system, has some of our favorite trails in the region. It’s within a few kilometers from Palm Springs or Palm Desert’s downtown areas.

1641130300_498_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaThousand Palms Oasis

Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve, located at the foot of the Indio hills, provides spectacular views of the Little San Bernadino Mountains. There is a rustic visitor center as well as a short and picturesque boardwalk walkway among the palms.

Thousand Palms Preserve’s McCallum Trail is quite popular. The trek from the visitor center to the McCallum Oasis, which contains a pool rimmed by palms, is roughly 2 miles round way and takes you over the boardwalk and over the open sandy desert. Many different types of birds and fauna have been sighted here.

Other paths in Thousand Palms Preserve, as well as the rest of the Coachella Valley Preserve, may be explored. The preserve is open to the public for free, however contributions are welcome and assist with its care.

Tour the San Andreas Fault in a Jeep.

Many sections of California, including the Greater Palm Springs area, are home to the notorious San Andreas fault, which was responsible for the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. A common approach to go close to the fault is to take a jeep excursion from Palm Desert.

1641130301_267_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaIn the spring, the cacti are in full bloom.

This highly rated tour is conducted by a naturalist, so you’ll learn a lot about everything from the region’s geology to the Cahuilla people’s adaptations to the hard climate. There are places where you may get off and go about.

The scenery during the journey is magnificent, with canyons, ridges, and rock formations, if you appreciate desert views. Cacti and other succulents, as well as wildflowers, blossom in the spring. You could spot some animals and birds, and your guide will tell you about the local vegetation.

Take a trip to Joshua Tree National Park.

The most popular day excursion from Palm Springs is to Joshua Tree National Park, one of two California national parks where you can get up up and personal with the Southern California desert.

1641130302_939_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaJoshua Tree National Park’s boulders

Joshua Tree National Park is located on the border of two deserts: the Mojave and the Colorado. It’s known for its huge rock formations and the Seussian Joshua trees that may be seen in the park’s Mojave Desert section. On a short boardwalk route, you may also explore an area of cholla cacti.

The journey through the park is breathtaking, and Joshua Tree National Park offers a range of trails to suit hikers of all levels. Two of the most popular activities in Joshua Tree are hiking and rock climbing.

You may also take a tour of the park’s historic landmarks, such as Keys Ranch, and see the ruins of ancient mines. The journey up to Keys View is popular around sunset: from the vantage point, you can see all the way to the Salton Sea on clear days, as well as the Coachella Valley and neighboring mountains.

Consider this half-day guided trek in Joshua Tree for a trip that is both entertaining and educational. Your tour will be tailored to your specific requirements and interests, and you’ll learn a lot about the park’s geography and flora and animals. Now is the time to book this tour!

Take a tour of the Sunnylands Center and Gardens.

Sunnylands Center & Gardens is part of Walter and Leonore Annenberg’s old home in Rancho Mirage. They are accessible to the general public. From October until the first part of June, the Historic House, the Annenbergs’ old winter residence, is open to the public on a paid guided tour.

1641130302_215_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaA trip through the desert gardens is a joy!

The desert gardens, which span around nine acres, provide a pleasant and easy walk. The collection has around 53,000 plants that are set out in a visually beautiful style. When the wildflower meadow is in bloom, it is breathtaking. Audio guides are available to assist you in learning while walking.

The glass exterior of the Sunnylands Visitor Center, a gorgeous mid-century modern, provides stunning vistas. The Annenberg Center hosts a rotating art exhibition as well as displays about the Annenbergs and the estate’s history. There is a gift store as well as a café for lunch.

1641130303_294_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaSunnylands Center provides a beautiful view from the rear terrace!

Bring your binoculars if you love birding! Many species have been seen on the site, and you may see some when you visit the gardens and grounds. Between November and April, you may also join a paid guided birding walk around the estate.

Pro Tip: Historic House tour tickets sell out fast, so if it’s on your list of things to do in Palm Springs, get yours as soon as they’re available!

The Cabazon Dinosaurs are a must-see.

Do you like visiting roadside attractions? The legendary Cabazon Dinosaurs, situated near Cabazon, approximately a 20-minute drive from downtown Palm Springs, are a must-see. Because they are positioned along Interstate 10, you will see them if you are taking the interstate from Los Angeles to Palm Springs.

The concrete and steel dinosaurs, which have appeared in films such as The Wizard and Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure, are said to be the world’s biggest. Pose for photographs with Mr. Rex and Dinny the Dinosaur, and eat ice cream from the Wafflesaurus Truck featuring dinosaurs.

You may walk into T-Rex and buy for dinosaur-themed souvenirs at Mr. Dinny’s gift store, which is located within the massive brontosaurus. On significant holidays, the dinos are dressed up in festive garb. The odd attraction is a fun visit for all ages, and children will like the park, which charges an entry fee.

The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens is a must-see attraction.

Palm Springs’ Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is one of the city’s most popular attractions. The organization is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is involved in desert conservation and habitat preservation.

At the zoo, you may see a wide range of animals from all over the globe, including big cats, hyenas, and zebras. A dozen African species live on the four-acre Rhino Savanna. Many Australian desert species, such as wallabies and kookaburras, may be found at the Australian Adventures exhibit.

The Living Desert’s gardens offer a diverse range of local flora as well as desert species from across the world. If you come during the summer, don’t forget to photograph the beautiful Red Bird of Paradise in bloom. In the spring, the garden is full with blooming cacti and succulents, making it an especially pleasant time to come.

Take a look around the El Paseo Shopping District.

Visitors seeking retail therapy should pay a visit to the upmarket El Paseo shopping area in downtown Palm Desert, where the Shops on El Paseo and the Gardens on El Paseo offer a variety of brand names and boutiques. There’s also food here, as well as a relaxing atmosphere with art, water features, and native flora.

At The Fine Jewelry Bar, you may find one-of-a-kind artisan-crafted gold or diamond jewelry. Elegant paintings, sculptures, and antiquities, as well as one-of-a-kind furniture, are available at Desert Wolff. Trina Turk offers stylish clothing for both men and women. Savory Spice Shop has a huge selection of spices, including some of the most unusual mixes.

Café Des Beaux-Arts, with its France-inspired bistro cuisine, and Wilma and Frieda, with its comfort food menu, are both excellent options for a leisurely breakfast to break up your shopping!

Take a stroll around the main streets of other desert cities.

Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio, and Coachella are among the nine gorgeous desert communities that make up the Greater Palm Springs region. Explore some of the other cities surrounding Palm Springs if you have the time!

1641130304_993_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaCathedral City (Downtown)

The colorful buildings of Cathedral City Town Square are complemented with a flourishing arts and entertainment sector in downtown Cathedral City. While strolling, you’ll see public art installations and be able to attend performing arts events such as theater, cinema, and outdoor concerts.

In a magnificent desert architectural setting, Old Town La Quinta offers a Main Street dotted with boutique businesses, cafés, artisan studios, and restaurants. Here you may go to art festivals, farmers’ markets, and other activities.

Take in the scenery from the Vista Point in Coachella Valley.

Take Highway 74 up into the mountains for approximately five miles to reach the Coachella Valley Vista Point from Palm Desert. The vast viewing gallery provides amazing views of the desert floor and adjacent mountains on a clear day.

1641130304_760_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaFrom the vista point, a zoomed-in perspective

The Palm Desert, as well as the communities of Indian Wells and La Quinta, and the San Jacinto and San Gorgonio mountains, will be seen below you. On a clear day, you may even be able to glimpse the Salton Sea’s glittering tip!

Sunsets and vistas after dark, when the lights of the city below turn on, may be spectacular from the point. We’ve only gone up during the day since the route is twisty and tight.

The Palms to Pines Scenic Byway is a great place to visit if you want to get away from it all.

If you have the time, the short day journey from Palm Desert to Idyllwild via Highway 74 is breathtaking. In only one hour, you’ll be leaving the desert palms for the mountains’ pines. Idyllwild is a cute small town with a few stores and restaurants, as well as hiking trails.

1641130305_896_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaIn February, a misty vista along the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway.

Return to Palm Desert the same way you came, or continue on Highway 243 to Interstate 10 in Banning to complete the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway circle.

The Palms to Pines Scenic Byway is one of our favorite day excursions from Palm Springs, with its diverse habitats, gorgeous vistas, wildflowers in the spring, and chances to observe birds and animals. We’ve drove it every time we’ve visited Palm Springs thus far!

Visit the National Monuments of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains.

The Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, which spans over 280,000 acres, begins at the desert floor and rises to nearly 10,000 feet in elevation. The monument is a must-see for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, with beautiful palm oasis, snow-capped mountains, and plenty of birds and fauna.

1641130306_585_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaOn horseback, exploring a desert route

The Visitor Center, which is situated on Highway 74, is an excellent site to begin your journey. You may see interpretive exhibitions and videos, buy books and maps, and talk to staff about recreational possibilities that are appropriate for you (and your travel companions).

The Visitor Center has a few of small paths that begin there. The 0.2-mile Ed Hastey Garden Trail offers a glimpse of the flora and animals present in the monument’s lower altitudes. The 2.5-mile Randall Henderson Loop Trail is a fantastic place to start if you’re new to desert hiking. When the cholla cactus and other succulents along the route are in bloom, it’s extremely lovely.

There are other more paths in the monument, all of differing lengths and difficulty levels, with trailheads accessible across the valley and at Idyllwild. You may explore by foot, by mountain bike, or on horseback. The monument is available for camping. On most paths, dogs are not allowed.

Hike the Painted Canyon and the Ladder Canyon trails.

If you like desert trekking, the Mecca Hills Wilderness, which includes the Ladder Canyon and Painted Canyon hikes, is a good place to go. About 40 miles southeast of Palm Springs lies Mecca Hills.

1641130307_349_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaThe Painted Canyon is just stunning!

The 4.4-mile circle path has multiple ladders, slots, and sandy terrain. To keep sand out and provide adequate grip, choose hiking shoes or boots. Climbing up the more difficult ladders is possible if you do the loop clockwise.

Although we saw children on the climb, we would grade it as fairly difficult due to the terrain, rock scrambling, and ladders. Before driving out to Mecca, check the state of the access road and the path (the ladders aren’t always in excellent repair).

The climb provides up-close views of the canyons’ multicolored walls and spectacular rock formations. In the spring, look for wildflowers and views into the canyon from the top of the ridge. The slot trek in Anza Borrego Desert State Park is lovely, as is the slot hike in this park.

Painted Canyon Road, the gravel road that leads to the trailhead, is best traveled with all-wheel drive. This trip, like other desert hikes, is best done during the colder months when the weather is nice.

Shields Date Garden is a must-see.

There are several spots in Coachella Valley where you may have date shakes, but the Shields Date Garden in Indio is a particular treat.

1641130307_126_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaDate palms and a sunset!

You may stroll along the Shields Date Garden’s garden path, which runs between the date trees, and see the sculptures depicting scenes from Christ’s life. In the on-site theater, see a film about date farming.

Then pay a visit to the café, where you can have a date milkshake as well as breakfast or lunch. The date shake is a delicious and creamy delicacy created with house-made blonde date paste and low-fat vanilla ice cream. There are several date-related things available for purchase.

What are any more fantastic locations to get a date milkshake? Try a date shake or a date and walnut shake at Great Shakes in downtown Palm Springs, which may be topped with whipped cream if desired. A vegan date smoothie with banana is available at Nature’s Health Food & Cafe in Palm Springs.

Take a Bath in a Hot Spring

Do you want to relax in some mineral waters? Visit Desert Hot Springs, where you’ll discover a plethora of pools, jacuzzis, and baths constructed around the city’s hot and cold spring aquifers. The hot water aquifer is on the east side of the San Andreas Fault, while the cold water aquifer is on the west.

The waters from these two springs are used to fill pools at local residences. While the waters are said to have medicinal characteristics, we can attest to the fact that soaking in one of the pools is quite calming!

With just 13 rooms, the award-winning Spring Property & Spa is an adults-only resort. They have an outdoor pool, an indoor pool, and a jacuzzi, all of which are filled with warm mineral spring water. Book the Desert View Villa for a memorable vacation with increased seclusion and spectacular views of Mount San Gorgonio. Make a reservation here!

A volcanically heated mineral water hot tub and a big mineral-water outdoor pool are available at Tuscan Springs Hotel & Spa. The setting is calm and secluded, ideal for a romantic break. Make a reservation here!

El Morocco Inn & Spa has beautiful Moroccan decor in vibrant hues that make for fantastic photographs! There are just 13 rooms in the resort, which are situated around a mineral pool and jacuzzi with both hot and cold water. Make a reservation here!

Take a Self-Guided Tour of Public Art

Sculptures and mosaics, as well as water features and paintings, may be seen throughout the Greater Palm Springs region. While you can’t help but see art as you drive or stroll about the neighborhood, art aficionados may want to schedule a specific public art tour.

Each of the nine communities that make up the Greater Palm Springs region has art to enjoy. Request a map from the Greater Palm Springs Visitor Bureau in Rancho Mirage to help you pick which installations to see.

Lucille Ball and Sonny Bono monuments may be seen in Palm Springs. In addition, the massive Forever Marilyn monument has returned to the city. Another must-see piece of public art in Palm Springs is the Rainmaker fountain.

Fountain of Life is a stunning piece of public art in Cathedral City. The fountain, which is made of stone and embellished with mosaics and glass, depicts natural animals. Messenger of the Puul celebrates the Cahuilla people in Palm Desert.

Don’t miss El Mac’s Anonymous Farm Worker painting at Coachella. The translucent Etherea is also a must-see during Coachella. Indio is home to a number of vibrant murals, including: Rebirth is a lovely garden with vividly colored flowers and hummingbirds.

In Palm Springs, there are a variety of places to stay.

Palm Springs hotels

We’ve already mentioned a few resorts and hotels in Palm Springs, but there are a few more to consider!

On East Palm Canyon Drive, Sparrows Lodge is an adults-only resort. The hotel has an outdoor pool and hot tub, as well as tennis courts and free bicycles for your stay. Modern furniture are used in the rooms, and the mattresses are considered as quite comfortable. Make a reservation here!

The Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel is in the midst of downtown Palm Springs’ excitement. It includes a beautiful rooftop pool, bar, and sun deck with mountain views. The rooms are large and well-equipped. Bicycles are provided free of charge. Make a reservation here!

1641130308_597_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaPalm Springs has a golf course.

Palm Springs Vacation Rentals

This two-bedroom, three-bathroom mid-century modern ranch house has a pool, fire pit, covered outdoor eating area, and barbeque grill. There are attractively appointed living and sleeping areas, a complete kitchen, and a washing and dryer on the inside. For maximum solitude, the property is walled and gated. Make a reservation here!

The Club Condominium complex’s one-bedroom bungalow boasts a private patio and beautiful private pool, as well as spectacular mountain views. A bright and open great room with floor to ceiling windows and a state-of-the-art kitchen await you inside. This is a fantastic escape for couples! Make a reservation here!

1641130308_515_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaPalm Springs has some of the most beautiful landscaping in the world!

When Is the Best Time to Go to Palm Springs?

Although you may visit Palm Springs in the summer to relax by a pool and participate in indoor activities, we suggest going in the late autumn or early spring to explore the desert and appreciate the outdoors.

Early autumn is still hot, but by late October and November, daily highs have dropped to the mid 80s and high 70s, giving it ideal weather for a visit. With daytime temps in the 70s and nightly lows in the 40s, Palm Springs is an ideal winter destination. It’s a great time to go on a desert trip or unwind by the pool.

1641130309_284_30-Perfect-Things-to-Do-in-Palm-Springs-CaliforniaA late winter morning at the Palm Springs resort

Daytime highs in the 80s and nightly lows in the 50s characterize March and April, making it ideal for outdoor activities during the day, however we recommend hiking early in the day. Colorful wildflowers bloom in the spring, and many cacti and succulents bloom during this time of year.

Throughout the year, the Greater Palm Springs region holds a variety of events and festivals. Modernism Week, which takes place every February, is a must-see for architecture enthusiasts. Excursions of houses, bus and walking/biking tours, and numerous interesting speeches are all part of the multi-day event.

The Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and the Stagecoach Country Music Festival, both held in April each year, are popular among music aficionados. Palm Springs is one of the greatest destinations in California to visit in April because of the great weather and entertaining activities.


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Palm Springs is a city in the Coachella Valley of the southernmost part of California, United States. Palm Springs has been a resort since shortly after it was founded by John S. “Jack” Robinson and oth… Reference: free things to do in palm springs.

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