Palm Springs is one of Southern California’s most popular getaway destinations and a frequent hangout to celebrities and other notable names. If you’re planning a vacation to this trendy, desert hot spot, here’s a list of all the best things to do in Palm Springs.
Art & Culture
505 E Industrial Place, Palm Springs, CA 92264
Known as the most interesting store in the valley, you’ll find over 12,000 square feet of all things vintage, retro, and antique.
N. Indian Canyon Drive and E. Tahquitz Canyon Way
The Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza features the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, The Spa at Sec-he with hot mineral springs, a gathering plaza, gardens, and an Oasis Trail.
67616 E. Desert View Ave., Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
The Cabot Museum is a 35-room historic Hopi-style pueblo home and museum showcasing a variety of Native American art and artifacts.
43-700 San Pascual Avenue, Palm Desert, CA 92260
The Desert Holocaust Memorial is a bronze sculpture garden featuring interpretive signage dedicated to commemorating victims of the holocaust.
745 North Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs, CA 92262
The Palm Springs Air Museum is a living history museum the focuses on military aircraft and its role in preserving American freedoms. Guests can see aircraft, artifacts, artwork, library sources, and permanent and temporary exhibits.
More Palm Springs Area Museums
- Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture & Design Center | 300 S Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
- Palm Springs Art Museum | 101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
- Museum of Ancient Wonders | 69028 B East Palm Canyon Drive, Cathedral City, CA 92234
- La Quinta Museum | 77885 Avenida Montezuma, La Quinta, CA 92253
- National Museum of Golf Cars | 78525 Highway 111 Suite 200, La Quinta, CA 92253
Statues/Sculptures In Palm Springs Area
- The Dreamer | 43900 San Pablo Ave., Palm Desert, CA 92260
- Forever Marilyn | Corner of Museum Way & Belardo Road, Palm Springs, CA 92262
- Fountain of Life | 68701 Avenida Lalo Guerrero, Cathedral City, CA 92234
- Isabelle | 100 W Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262
- Lucille Ball Statue | 100 N Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
- Messenger of the Puul | 43900 San Pablo Ave., Palm Desert, CA 92260
- Sonny Bono Statue | 155 S palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Entertainment & Nightlife
El Paseo Shopping District
El Paseo, Palm Desert, CA 92260
The El Paseo Shopping District features a collection of shopping, dining, and services, as well as hotels and art galleries. Destinations here include The Shops on El Paseo and The Gardens on El Paseo, making a retail experience over a mile long.
1350 Ladera Circle, Palm Springs, CA
Once occupied by Elvis and Priscilla, the Honeymoon Hideaway, also known as the House Of Tomorrow, is a one of a kind home built by Robert Alexander. The house is a tourist hot spot for Elvis fans, and tours are available.
Downtown Palm Springs
On the Legends & Icons Tour, you’ll visit more than 50 homes of movie stars while you ride in a luxury mini coach or Mercedes-Benz sprinter. You’ll see Little Hollywood and the Movie Colony with a narrated tour by insightful guides on this 1.5 – 2 hour tour.
73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert, CA 92260
A performing arts theater and concert venue near College of the Desert. Guests can enjoy a variety of performances like Les Miserables, Chicago, ballets and holiday performances.
The Movie Colony Neighborhood
The Movie Colony neighborhood was a sought after area for the stars with glamorous hotels and dining, plus open spaces to explore and enjoy the outdoors. The neighborhood was developed in the 1930s and 40s, and has been home to people like Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant. The Movie Colony is located in central Palm Springs just off N Palm Canyon drive. Ruth Hardy park is located within the area and the surrounding streets are N Indian Canyon Dr, E Tacheva Dr, N Avenida Caballeros, E Alejo Rd.
62975 Blair Lane, Joshua Tree, CA 92252
Just a short drive away from the Palm Springs area is this unique and eclectic outdoor museum in Joshua Tree. Here you can explore a collection of interesting sculptures made from a variety of mediums.
78100 Main Street, La Quinta, CA 92253
In Old Town La Quinta, you’ll find Renaissance inspired architecture with a collection of boutiques, restaurants, salons, and events in this charming shopping district at the foot of the Santa Rosa Mountains.
N Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Palm Canyon Drive is one of the hottest spots in Palm Springs. This is the areas downtown shopping district with shops, salons, boutiques, services, galleries, and plenty of dining and nightlife. There are also several events to enjoy here.
Hop onto a social cycle for a tour of the Palm Springs Area and enjoy a drink or two along the way. This is the areas #1 rated party bike and they offer some of the city’s best nightlife along Palm Canyon Drive.
128 S Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
The Plaza is a historic theater on Palm Canyon Drive that opened in 1936. It has served as a movie theater and a venue for nationally broadcast radio programs. It is currently in the planning stages of renovation.
1900 E Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264
This old-school venue is the go to spot for dinner and a show. Guests can see live music and comedy shows and enjoy dinner from a menu featuring small plates, steak and seafood, pasta, specialty cocktails, and much more.
1077 E Granvia Valmonte, Palm Springs, CA 92262
If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, visit this landmark home with a yard that features unique sculptures and light displays. Art on this 2-acre yard is created by Kenny Irwin.
1345 N Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
The Shops at 1345 is a luxury shopping mall destination along Palm Canyon Drive in a historic building designed by E Stewart Williams. Shops here include vintage and modern furniture and décor, jewelry and apparel, and more.
10 N Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
The deserts version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, here in downtown Palm Springs you can view Golden Palm Stars honoring people who have lived here including over 140 celebrities like Elvis Presley and Sonny Bono.
Palm Springs boasts a perpetually warm climate and abundant sunshine, creating an ideal setting for year-round pool parties. Embracing this vibrant trend, numerous hotels in the area now provide a fun selection of pools and exciting pool party experiences.
Golfing In Palm Springs
Here are some of the Palm Springs areas best golf courses.
- Cimarron Golf Resort | 67603 30th Ave., Cathedral City, CA 92234
- Classic Club | 75-200 Classic Club Blvd., Palm Desert, CA 92211
- Desert Dunes Golf Club | 19300 Palm Desert Drive, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
- Desert Willow Golf Resort | 38-995 Desert Willow Drive, Palm Desert, CA 92260
- Escena Golf Club | 1100 Clubhouse View Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
- The Golf Club at Terra Lago | 84000 Terra Lago Parkway, Indio, CA 92203
- Indian Canyons Golf Resort | 1097 E Murray Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264
- Indian Wells Golf Resort | 44-500 Indian Wells Lane, Indian Wells, CA 92210
- La Quinta Resort & Club at PGA West | 55-955 PGA Boulevard, La Quinta, CA 92253
- Marriott’s Shadow Ridge Golf Club | 9002 Shadow Ridge Road, Palm Desert, CA 92211
- Mission Hills Country Club | 34600 Mission Hills Drive, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
- SilverRock Golf Resort | 79179 Ahmanson Lane, La Quinta, CA 92253
- Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort | 1885 Golf Club Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264
- The Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa | 71333 Dinah Shore Dr., Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
Outdoors, Hiking & Nature
1 Tram Way Road, Palm Springs, CA 92262
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is the world’s largest rotating tram car. Hop in for a two and a half mile ride along the cliffs from the valley floor, up to Mountain Station at an elevation of 8,516 feet. Here you’ll find Mount San Jacinto State Park, restaurants, observation decks, a museum, shops, and theaters.
The world’s second largest California Fan Palm oasis with ancient rock mortars. Hiking area includes views of Andreas Creek, rock formations, sycamores and willows. Take and easy 1.2 mile hike here with minimal elevation gain.
29200 Thousand Palms Canyon Road, Thousand Palms, CA 92276
A National Wildlife Refuge offering thousands of acres of land protecting native plant and animal species. Several popular hiking areas are located here including Thousand Palm Oasis, Hidden Horseshoe, and Indian Palms. Perfect for hiking, photography, and wildlife viewing.
4365 Mesquite Ave., Palm Springs, CA
DeMuth is the city’s largest park at 61 acres and features a community center, fitness facility, community gardens, sports courts and fields, paths for walking and biking, playground, and more. Perfect spot to enjoy the outdoors and open space.
6554 Park Boulevard, Joshua Tree, CA 92252
Visit Joshua Tree National Park to enjoy spectacular rock formations and desert landscapes, the always beautiful Joshua Trees, and explore miles of hiking trails. This is a great spot for rock climbing, camping, and exploring historic abandoned mines.
1701 S Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264
A 1-acre family-owned botanical garden featuring cacti and desert plants, over 3000 varieties of plants! Explore the arboretum, gardens, and nursery, and see the special exhibition featuring rare plants only seen here.
Enter via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Mount San Jacinto State Park has miles of trails for hiking, several peaks for climbing, and wildlife for viewing. Great for backpacking and camping.
2019 E Murray Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264
Murray Canyon has trails for hiking and equestrian use, with many palm trees and recreation areas. You might spot a big horn sheep or other wild animals here. You can hike out to Seven Sisters Waterfall if you’re up for a long, moderately challenging hike.
The Palm Canyon trail is one of the most scenic trails in the Palm Springs area. If you’re up for a long and challenging hike, you can take a 15 mile walk on the trail to the world’s largest California Fan Palm oasis and travel along Palm Canyon Creek. There are many other trails of varying levels of difficulty here as well.
62950 20th Ave., Palm Springs, CA 92262
Take a bus tour to learn about wind energy and how turbines work, or sign up for a guided golf cart tour to explore a private wind farm. You can also start at the Tour Center for information then take your own self driving tour.
80-225 CA-111, Indio, CA 92201
Learn about the date culture of the Southern California desert. Find more date products than you ever dreamed of, and sip a date shake at the original 1960s shake counter, then take a walk through the 17-acre date grove and botanical garden.
37977 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
Take a tour of this historic 200 acre estate of the Annenbergs, who once welcomed prominent public figures to promote world peace. Explore the gardens, view the art exhibits, learn about the history of the site with informational multi-media kiosks, and grab a bite at the café.
500 W Mesquite Ave., Palm Springs, CA 92264
Visit Tahquitz Canyon to view a 60-foot waterfall, rock art, ancient irrigation systems, native wildlife, and more. Stop at the Visitors Center to learn about the area and view exhibits and artifacts, then head out for a hike.
Departs from Metate Ranch
Hop into a jeep for this signature Red Jeep experience. You’ll explore the San Andreas Fault Zone and learn about the areas plants, animals, and geology, and seismology of the desert. You’ll also visit the Palm Oasis. Public and private tours available.
For The Kids
50770 Seminole Drive, Cabazon, CA 92230
No trip to Palm Springs is complete without stopping at the Cabazon Dinosaurs. These giant dinosaurs have long been a favorite roadside attraction. Visitors can also explore the dinosaur park for a fee.
Children’s Discovery Museum
71701 Gerald Ford Drive, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
This popular children’s museum has exciting and educational interactive exhibits for children to enjoy. The museum is currently closed for a re-design and reimagination, but it’s worth a visit once it is open.
47900 Portola Ave., Palm Desert, CA 92260
There are more than 500 animals at the Living Desert Zoo and gardens, including a black rhino, amur leopard, giraffe, big horn sheep, and jaguar. Guests can enjoy hiking and nature trails, a variety of tours and encounters, a carousel, discovery center, and more.
American Heat – Motorcycle and Hot Rod Weekend
The American Heat Motorcycle and Hot Road weekend rumbles into Palm Springs every year in mid-October.
The Cathedral City Hot Air Balloon Festival and Food Truck Fiesta has been voted one of the best balloon festivals in the world. The 3-day festival includes fun family activities with a kids zone, balloon tether rides, nighttime balloon glows, live entertainment and musical performances, gourmet food, vendors, an art show and much more.
71560 San Jacinto Drive, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
Held annually in November at the Rancho Mirage Community Park and Amphitheater, this event includes museum quality artwork, crafters, music, food, art demonstrations, and more.
This annual event comes to Palm Springs every year in May to showcase an eclectic selection of Classic film noir B movies.
The annual golf cart parade comes to Palm Desert every October! This fun and unique event features decorated golf carts and floats with marching bands and more, all along the famous El Paseo. The day includes other activities including a pancake breakfast, car show, kids zone, and vendors.
Named one of the nation’s top art shows, this annual event features award winning and up and coming artists, vendors, special exhibits, demonstrations, live musical entertainment, food and drinks.
Produced by the Film Society, this annual event held every January and June features some of the best international short cinema productions.
An annual multi-day event in Indio at Miles Avenue Park, dedicated to the celebration of tamales, plus many live musical performances and activities like a night market, dancing, roller skating, car show, and the worlds biggest bounce house.
The La Quinta Art Celebration is held every spring and fall and has been voted the #1 fine art & craft fair event in the nation. Features world class artists, experiences, live music, food and drinks.
The multi-day festival is held annually in February at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio. The event pays homage to the areas beloved Dates and features all the events and attractions expected from a county fair, plus all things dates.
Held annually in November, the Palm Springs Pride celebration features a festival and parade dedicated to celebrating inclusivity, diversity, drag, and more.
This weekly street fair event happens every Thursday night and features arts, crafts, food, and entertainment. Come out and enjoy strolling along Palm Canyon Drive.
Splash house is a series of the three-day poolside music festivals for fans of dance and electronic music DJ performances while splashing in floatie filled pools.
Hotels & Relaxation
701 E Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264
Centrally located along Palm Canyon Drive, the Ace Hotel is your desert oasis with an organic spa, award winning dining, two pools, and comfortable accommodations.
32-250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
Agua Caliente Resort Casino and Spa is a sophisticated resort with easy access to entertainment and relaxation. Features include luxury rooms, delicious dining options, two pools, lounges with live entertainment, 24-hour casino, and a relaxing spa.
44600 Indian Wells Lane, Indian Wells, CA 92210
One of the best destinations in the desert, Hyatt Regency Indian Wells has world class accommodations, full service spa, and an amazing waterpark with lazy river, dueling waterslides, pools, splash pads, and more!
49-4999 Eisenhower Drive, La Quinta, CA 92253
Part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, La Quinta Resort & Club offers exceptional views, luxury accommodations, multiple championship golf courses, full service salon and spa, exquisite dining, and 41 resort pools!
45000 Indian Wells Lane, Indian Wells, CA 92210
This luxury resort in Indian Wells offers elegant accommodations, an award winning spa, easy access to exceptional golf courses, and delicious dining options.
41000 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
At Omni Rancho Las Palmas, you’ll find a world class full service spa, exceptional dining options, championship golf, a waterpark with two 100-foot waterslides and a lazy river, and luxurious accommodations.
1800 E Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264
Saguaro is a colorful and trendy boutique hotel in Palm Springs with comfortable modern rooms, a soothing day spa, 24-hour fitness center, and a vibrant pool area. All rooms have indoor and outdoor seating areas so you can enjoy the views from your balcony.
Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, and other nearby cities are pretty well known for the abundant hot springs in the area. Check out our list of California Hot Springs to find some of the options in and around Palm Springs.
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Heidi Deal is the author of the Newcomers Handbook to Living In Los Angeles & Orange County, and a children’s book author specializing in history and human rights.