Tuesday, April 16, 2024

25 Finest Issues to Do in Palm Springs


This publish might comprise affiliate hyperlinks.

Right here’s a useful journey information plus a wonderful record of enjoyable issues to do in Palm Springs CA.

Why Go to Palm Springs?

What’s to not like about Palm Springs? This tempting desert getaway about two hours from LA has sunshine, modern structure and a retro Hollywood vibe.

Better of all, there’s something for everybody, from energy-filled festivals and nice sights to hipster motels and luxurious retreats.

Palm Springs in purple twilight

What is Palm Springs?

Palm Springs is a stereotype. Solely there are such a lot of stereotypes they’re exploding in my head like fireworks over the Colorado Desert.

Is it an outside playground? A celeb hangout? A homosexual mecca? A haven for retirees? Is it stylish, outdoorsy, retro, cheesy, refined, earthy, agricultural, dripping in wealth or all the above?

All people has a unique thought of what Palm Springs is. The nice factor is that it may be no matter you need it to be.

What’s Palm Springs Well-known For?

Palm Springs is thought for its blue skies, virtually limitless sunshine and mid-century fashionable structure that lies low and attractive within the panorama like Dean Martin in a deck chair.

Well-known as the Rat Pack hangout of the 50s and 60s, Palm Springs’ celeb lustre lingers.

You’ll discover ghosts of stars like Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Junior, Marilyn Monroe and Bob Hope dancing on by way of the motels and grand estates.

What’s Nice About Palm Springs CA?

With a newly-revitalized downtown core, Palm Springs gives a laidback way of life with a unusual Vegas edge and an inviting attraction that makes a customer (which means me), instantly need to take a look at actual property costs.

It additionally provides wonderful pool time.

Maybe most significantly, Palm Springs has no parking metres so downtown parking is free.

Palm Springs desert view with palm trees
Quintessential Palm Springs

About Larger Palm Springs

The very first thing you should perceive is that Palm Springs isn’t simply Palm Springs metropolis. Larger Palm Springs is made up of 9 small cities altogether.

For this reason the primary time I vacationed right here with my mom I assumed I was in Palm Springs and stored getting confused when individuals informed me I wasn’t. Thank goodness for GPS. It seems we had been in Desert Sizzling Springs. Who knew?

What Are the Cities of Palm Springs?

  • Palm Springs
  • Desert Sizzling Springs
  • Cathedral Metropolis
  • Rancho Mirage
  • Palm Desert
  • Indian Wells
  • La Quinta
  • Indio
  • Coachella

25 Finest Issues to Do in Palm Springs

That can assist you plan your journey, right here’s a rundown on among the high actions in Palm Springs in addition to some enjoyable and quirky concepts  – as a result of quirky is what this desert trip spot does greatest.

Journey Tip: Should you’re on the lookout for issues to do in Palm Springs this weekend, take a look at this programme of present occasions.

palm springs aerial tramway
Aerial Tramway Picture credit score: Larger Palm Springs CVB

1) Journey the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

That is most likely the highest attraction in Palm Springs. And no surprise; it’s the most important rotating tramway on this planet.

This one-of-a-kind cable automobile takes you on a mind-blowing trip into the San Jacinto Mountains, the place you’ll swap palm timber for pines and want this wasn’t the at some point of your journey you forgot to carry a jacket.

For one thing romantic, trip up at night time. The final tram doesn’t go down till 9:45 p.m.

Hovering down the steep rock face of Chino Canyon within the velvety night time, the glittery lights of Palm Springs swirling under is a 10-minute trippy expertise you received’t quickly neglect.

E book Your Palm Springs Aerial Tramway in Advance right here.

2) Cruise Palm Canyon Drive

Should you’re on the lookout for issues to do in downtown Palm Springs, begin on Palm Canyon Drive. It’s the primary drag of Palm Springs metropolis and also you’ll discover all of the eating places, sights, and retailers you’ll be able to deal with.

What to do on Palm Canyon Drive:

  • Take a look at the pool-perfect gear on the Wil Stiles boutique at 875 North.
  • Go classic at Revivals Resale Mart at 611 South.
  • Seize an natural espresso at Koffi positioned at 515 North.
  • Step again into the 30s at Ruddy’s Common Retailer at 221 South.
joshua tree national park
Joshua Tree Nationwide Park – Picture credit score: Larger Palm Springs CVB

3) Take a Day Journey to Joshua Tree Nationwide Park

The picture of a lonely Joshua tree amidst the scrub of the Mojave Desert is without doubt one of the most iconic scenes of the California panorama.

Regardless that it’s about an hour away, it’s one of many high Palm Springs vacationer sights.

Robust prickly leaves, branches clawing into the sky – the Joshua tree is a beloved yucca plant stated to be named after the biblical Joshua by Mormon settlers. They imagined its outstretched arms had been beckoning them westward.

At the moment, Joshua timber beckon guests who come to this fashionable nationwide park to hike, climb, study concerning the park on the Customer’s Centre, and feast their eyes on the huge desert vista.

The northwest entrance is the closest to Palm Springs. Take Freeway 10 west to Freeway 62 to Joshua Tree.

Feeling adventurous? Take a look at a Joshua Tree Nationwide Park Offroad Tour right here.

4) Go to the Palm Springs Artwork Museum

The primary artwork cease within the space, the modern and fabulous Palm Springs Artwork Museum is correct downtown and simple to stroll to.

This high Palm Springs attraction hosts thought-provoking exhibitions and a everlasting assortment that features works by Warhol and Chihuly. It’s additionally an awesome place to get a grounding in mid-century fashionable artwork.

Funds tip: The downtown Palm Springs Artwork Museum is free each Thursday from 4 to eight p.m. and all day each second Sunday of the month.

Cliff at Indian Canyons in Palm Springs
Indian Canyons

5) Hike at Indian Canyons

The outside is Palm Springs’ center identify. (No, it’s not. That’s simply silly.) The purpose is, Palm Springs is a mountaineering paradise with miles of trails.

For sheer pure affect, Indian Canyons gives an eyeful of eerie rock formations, Jurassic-sized fan palms, streams and cliffs.

It is a sacred place for the Cahuilla individuals, and you’ll virtually really feel the power radiating off the traditional rock partitions.

Situated at  38520 S Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264, Indian Canyons is about 5 miles south of Palm Springs metropolis.

Take a look at a Palm Springs Indian Canyons Bike and Hike Tour right here.

6) Go to the Dwelling Desert Zoo and Gardens

One of the crucial fashionable issues to do in Palm Springs with children is to go to the non-profit Dwelling Desert Zoo and Gardens.

With a give attention to habitat conservation and training, the Dwelling Desert Zoo and Gardens is a component botanical backyard, half desert habitat and half zoo.

There are extra 500 animals right here and the park showcases an incredible array of desert wildlife.

It’s a big park, however the park shuttle might help you get round, and strollers can be found for lease.

A high exercise on the Dwelling Desert Zoo is the giraffe feeding.

Or, discover one in every of their three Loop Trails that vary from simple to difficult in a different setting of smoketree, palo verde, and desert willow.

The Dwelling Desert Zoo and Gardens is simply 10 minutes from Palm Springs at 47900 Portola Avenue, Palm Desert, CA 92260, and it’s one of many high issues to do in Palm Desert.

7) Go Window Purchasing on El Paseo in Palm Desert

For a splash of high-end Palm Springs sightseeing, hit up El Paseo. This swanky buying district in Palm Desert is Southern California’s reply to Rodeo Drive.

With greater than 300 retailers, walkable palm-lined streets and Mediterranean-style fountains, that is an upscale buying expertise that may put on holes proper by way of your caviar-coloured Chanel pockets.

In case your toes get worn out too, dine with the ladies-who-lunch crowd at Pacifica Seafood, the place a Sugar-Spiced Salmon or Pan Seared Chilean Seabass may have you up and again to the boutiques very quickly.

Coachella Wall Walks Street Art
Coachella Wall Walks – Hungry Canine of the Desert by Ricardo Angeles Mendoza

8) Tour the Avenue Artwork in Coachella

Uninterested in ritzy designer shops? Head to the town of Coachella.

(By the way in which, we’re speaking concerning the metropolis of Coachella right here, not the pageant, and the 2 are worlds aside. Extra on that under.)

Coachella metropolis exhibits a unique facet of the area. Right here the roots of agriculture run deep, the artwork scene is booming and a road mural tour will smack you within the face with its color, power and message.

For a self-guided Coachella Partitions Strolling Tour of the murals, obtain a map right here.

Coachella journey tip: No, the well-known Coachella Valley Music and Arts Competition is not within the metropolis of Coachella. It’s in Indio, about 25 minutes away.

And sure, all of those locations are in Palm Springs.

And all of Palm Springs is within the Coachella Valley. And the Coachella Valley is within the Colorado Desert. And the Colorado Desert is within the Sonoran Desert.

Don’t fear, I’m confused, too. Now let’s get again to the most effective issues to do in Palm Springs, California.

Sunnylands Rancho Mirage California
Sunnylands Heart and Gardens

9) Take a look at Sunnylands Heart and Gardens

The Sunnylands Property in Rancho Mirage was constructed by the rich Annenburg household in 1966.

Often called the ‘Camp David of the West Coast,’ it’s so particular you’ll be able to’t tour the precise dwelling except you ebook months prematurely.

I imply, Obama might most likely stroll in unannounced and, the truth is, has stayed right here greater than as soon as.

Nixon, Reagan and Bush frolicked right here and so has almost each different president who ever wanted a elaborate desert property to carry high secret conferences and get slightly pool time.

(I do know what you’re considering and no, Trump didn’t grace Sunnylands so far as I do know. No phrase but on if Biden will cease in.)

However you can go to Sunnylands Centre and Gardens

Even in the event you don’t rating a Historic Home Tour ticket you’ll be able to nonetheless tour the Sunnylands Heart and Gardens and get a really feel for this mid-century fashionable dream property with its attractive (and free to go to) manicured grounds.

What are you able to do on the Sunnylands Heart?

  • Watch a documentary about all of the fabulous New 12 months’s Eve events you weren’t invited to.
  • Stroll a labyrinth.
  • Wander backyard trails with their sun-kissed cacti and smokebush.
  • Take a birding tour.
  • See the free artwork reveals within the Centre.
  • Seize a chew on the café.

Tackle: Sunnylands Heart and Gardens, 37977 Bob Hope Dr, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270

10) Comply with the Footsteps of Frank Sinatra

Palm Springs was the playground of the Rat Pack, and Frank Sinatra was the most important ‘rat’ of all of them.

For greater than 50 years he referred to as Palm Springs dwelling, and there are nonetheless many locations to see in Palm Springs which have a tie to the nice crooner. 

Cruise up Frank Sinatra Drive to Wolfson Park, the place you’ll be able to hear his voice on a recorded welcome speech, then drive by The Compound, his former palatial property at 70-588 Frank Sinatra Drive in Rancho Mirage. (Sorry, it’s now privately owned so no guests.)

Consistent with the Frank Sinatra theme, dine at Melvyn’s the place the well-known singer was identified to drink a Jack Daniels (or many).

Finish your Frank Sinatra tour with a go to to his memorial on the Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral Metropolis.

Need Extra Movie star Tales? This Legends & Icons Tour of Palm Springs is fashionable.

11) Discover the Stroll of Stars

Should you nonetheless can’t bear to drop the Frank Sinatra theme, hunt down his star on Palm Canyon Drive on the Stroll of Stars in downtown Palm Springs. 

Along with Palm Canyon Drive, the Stroll of Stars additionally spreads out on Tahquitz Canyon Method and Museum Drive.

Different stars you’ll be able to search for embody Shirley Temple, Clark Gable, Bob Hope, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe.

Blissful star gazing.

Kimpton rooftop pool in downtown Palm Springs
Stylish vibes on the Kimpton rooftop pool – Picture credit score: Larger Palm Springs CVB

12) Take a Pool Day with a Resort Day Move

Questioning what to do in Palm Springs when it’s too scorching to deal with?

If all that sightseeing has worn you out and your lodging doesn’t include a pool (heaven forbid!), don’t fear.

You possibly can nonetheless get some high quality pool time with a day go at a variety of motels and resorts.

13) See the Cactarium at Moorten Botanical Gardens

Admit it. You’ve at all times needed to see a uncommon welwitschia or a cresting cactus up shut. You possibly can on the cactarium on the Moorten Botanical Gardens.

Began by Chester ‘Cactus Slim’ Moorten, one of many unique Keystone Cops, the Moorten Botanical Gardens opened in 1938. It’s not one of many greater Palm Springs sights however it makes a unusual facet journey.

Now run by his son Clark, this pleasantly prickly spot has a kitschy aptitude that provides a way of enjoyable to some severe cacti specimens. Simply watch the place you sit. ($5)

Tackle: Moorten Botanical Gardens, 1701 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264

Visit Moorten Botanical Gardens Palm Springs
Moorten Botanical Gardens

14) Hike the Palm Springs Museum Path

Should you don’t need to enterprise removed from the Palm Springs core, the Museum Path begins on the north nook of the museum parking zone downtown.

Hike up for superb views of Palm Springs and the San Gorgonio Mountains past. Additionally, as a result of it’s proper subsequent to the museum, you’ll be able to really feel cultured when you climb.

Take water. It’s longer than it seems.

15) Hit Up a Sizzling Springs Spa

My mom and I relaxed with a 5-day spa trip on the dreamy Two Bunch Palms in Desert Springs.

This luxurious spa resort has a vibrant historical past, and it’s stated that gangster Al Capone had it constructed within the Twenties.

The massive attracts for my mom and I had been the highest notch spa remedies and the out of doors scorching springs swimming pools the place we soaked daily.

Since one of many minerals within the water is lithium, nature’s personal blissful valium, my mom and I had been utterly content material.

(Kidding! The jury is out on whether or not there are any actual results in lithium springs, however I let you know we didn’t go away depressed.)

Regardless, the delicacies and the massages at this barely oddball however very deluxe resort had been wonderful.

Simply FYI, nowadays Two Bunch Palms likes to minimize the Al Capone theme and push the swanky wellness angle. Personally, I want a mixture of each.

Different Sizzling Springs Accommodations in Palm Springs

Two Bunch Palms is on the luxurious degree, however there are some cheaper alternate options in the event you’re on the lookout for scorching springs resorts.

Each the Aqua Soleil Resort & Mineral Water Spa and the Miracle Springs Resort & Spa are in Desert Sizzling Springs.

Simply desire a day go to the mineral swimming pools? Attempt the 2-star Desert Sizzling Springs Spa Resort.

And don’t fear in the event you’ve by no means been to a spa. My easy methods to spa article explains what to do.

Indian Wells golf course in Palm Springs california
{Golfing} in Palm Springs – Picture credit score: Larger Palm Springs CVB

16) Go {Golfing}

There are greater than 100 golf programs within the space, so the game is clearly a well-liked exercise in Palm Springs. A couple of to take a look at are:

  • The highly-rated Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Desert. It’s two programs embody the difficult Firecliff – not for the weak of coronary heart.
  • The PGA West Golf Membership in La Quinta. It was voted one of many high 100 programs within the USA.
  • Indian Canyons Golf Resort. Referred to as the Canyon Nation Membership when it opened in 1961, it’s stated to have been Frank Sinatra’s favorite.

17) Slurp a Date Shake at Oasis Date Gardens

Date shakes are a factor in Palm Springs and naturally I needed to attempt one. However I don’t cozy as much as any previous wizened fruit so I went to the supply.

A forty five-minute drive from downtown Palm Springs, Oasis Date Gardens is a 175-acre natural date farm within the Coachella Valley.

Cease in for a shake so thick you want a spoon, do a date tasting and watch a date-based video – it could be the most effective first date you’ll ever have.

18) Drink within the Confessional at The Parker Palm Springs

The Parker is without doubt one of the most iconic resorts in Palm Springs.

As soon as owned by Merv Griffin, and notorious because the resort the place Robert Downey Jr was arrested for medicine (don’t fear, he’s reformed now and we love him very a lot), this celebrity-studded resort nonetheless retains a way of posh funkiness and enjoyable.

On the resort’s Counter Reformation Wine Bar, you’ll be able to order a mouth-watering charred beef carpaccio, decide and select glasses of wine from the eclectic menu.

For a spot of sinful enjoyable, pop into the wood-carved confessional for some alcohol-fuelled redemption.

19) Dine Communally at Sparrows Lodge

It could be the hippest communal meal on the town. It could be the solely communal meal on the town.

Set within the intimate courtyard of Sparrows Lodge – a 50s-era retro retreat that now gleams with fashionable artwork and oozes rustic coziness – this twice-weekly dinner provides Hen Wednesdays and Steak Saturdays for $45.

I can personally endorse my recent greens with pomegranate, roasted rooster, potatoes with citrus, and thigh-expanding brownie.

If something is conducive to being sociable with strangers, this family-style feast is it.

Tip: Make dinner reservations prematurely. It’s fashionable with locals.

People star gazing at the Ritz Carlton in Rancho Mirage
Wanting on the night time sky on the Ritz Carlton – Picture credit score: Larger Palm Springs CVB

20) Attempt Desert Stargazing

Should you’re questioning what to do in Palm Springs at night time, I’ve received you lined.

The hillside Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage is without doubt one of the greatest – and definitely probably the most elegant – locations for stargazing in Palm Springs. It’s additionally a wonderful place to remain.

On Saturday nights, visitors can gaze by way of a telescope whereas snacking on interstellar treats like Milky Methods and listening to Elton John’s Rocket Man or David Bowie’s House Oddity.

For me, the true star of the night was the Ale-Braised Quick Ribs on the resort’s State Fare Bar & Grill, a casually-posh eatery the place locally-sourced elements and artisanal additions create a robust gravitational pull.

21) Get Foolish on a Social Cycle

Should you’re right here with a gaggle, you would possibly need to get loopy with a social cycle. To do that distinctive exercise it’s a must to be snug with being stared at, working your thighs and laughing hysterically.

A information will regale you with native lore (and steer) as you and your besties group-pedal a non-motorized car that appears like a lit-up trolley automobile.

My recommendation? Follow your regal wave earlier than you go, as a result of this trip will get you observed.

Monday Night Bingo at Ace Hotel
Strange bingo night time on the Ace Resort and Swim Membership

22) Don’t Miss Monday Bingo and Trivia Evening on the Ace Resort

Haven’t you at all times needed an evening of bingo with a wacky bewigged host?

Should you’re in Palm Springs on weekly bingo night time, you’re in luck. Really, this is without doubt one of the most original issues to do in Palm Springs.

Count on tune, dance, community-minded drag queens and a risqué O-69 bingo name … something can occur at this bonkers exercise within the landmark Ace Resort and Swim Membership.

Plus, you would possibly win a drink.

23) Go to the Allan Pitchko Artwork Galleries

Is it a museum? An artwork gallery? An antiques store? The Allan Pitchko Artwork Galleries is all of those. This huge array of collectibles is showcased at a chic warehouse-sized area in swishy Rancho Mirage.

Clearly, Canadian-born proprietor Allan Pitchko takes a delight within the buying course of, combing property gross sales in LA and curating collections of classic furnishings and high quality artwork.

The place else can you purchase lamps as soon as owned by Larry Hagman or a show case of native artifacts as soon as owned by Carroll O’Connor?

24) Go to the Palm Springs Air Museum

The Palm Springs Air Museum has a powerful assortment of plane from World Struggle Two, Korea, and the Vietnam Wars, and is devoted to training concerning the position air energy has performed in American historical past.

25) Have Brunch at Spencer’s Restaurant

I hope that offers you some concepts for enjoyable issues to do in Palm Springs, however it’s solely the tip of the iceberg.

Although now that I consider it, the closest factor you’ll get to an iceberg on this scorching desert area is an Iceberg Wedge Salad at legendary Spencer’s Restaurant, yet one more neatest thing to do in Palm Springs.

Spenser’s was voted the most effective Sunday brunch spot in Palm Springs, so hold that in thoughts.

Tackle: Spencer’s Restaurant, 701 West Baristo Highway, Palm Springs, CA, USA +1 76 0327 3446

Journey Ideas

Finest locations to remain in Palm Springs: Take a look at my publish on the place to remain in Palm Springs for a rundown of a few of my favorite motels within the space

Do you want a automobile in Palm Springs? Sure. There are a whole lot of enjoyable issues to do round Palm Springs and to benefit from it, you just about want a automobile.

You might do it with out a automobile however you’d most likely need to keep in downtown Palm Springs and take taxis, Uber or excursions. Uber may be very fashionable right here.

Climate in Palm Springs The common temperatures are: Jan 43-69 F; April 59-91 F; July 76 -108 F; Oct 63-93 F. For extra info on planning your journey go to Larger Palm Springs Customer Info.

Mountain climbing Ideas: Don’t underestimate the desert. Use frequent sense. Ensure your telephone is charged, know the place you’re going and convey loads of water. Use sunscreen.

Don’t method wildlife and let somebody know the place you’re going. Verify right here for extra info on mountaineering trails in Palm Springs.

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