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Things to do in Palm Springs

Things to do in  Palm Springs

Welcome to Palm Springs

Palm Springs' reputation as LA’s desert playground began in the 1920s when it became the destination du jour for Hollywood’s brightest stars. A century later, Los Angelenos and SoCal locals still flock to the Sonoran Desert city. Mid-century modern architecture, chic hotels, and pool parties are still top of the list for any Palm Springs trip, with hikes into the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains and Indian Canyon becoming increasingly popular.

Top 10 attractions in Palm Springs

#1
Mojave Desert

Mojave Desert

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The driest desert in North America, the Mojave is home to Death Valley National Park, which is best known for its Badwater Basin, the lowest point on the continent at 282 feet (86 meters) below sea level. The Mojave’s 25,000 square miles (65,000 square kilometers) also encompass Las Vegas, Lake Mead, Mojave National Preserve, and more.More
#2
Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

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Joshua Tree National Park lies at the crux of the Colorado and Mojave deserts and spans 429,690 acres (173,889 hectares) of wind-swept Southern California plains. Famous for its starlit night skies and surreal geological features, the park’s rich landscape and signature flora draws day-trippers, rock climbers, and backpackers alike.More
#3
San Andreas Fault

San Andreas Fault

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Running down the state of California, from Cape Mendocino to the Mexican border, the San Andreas Fault forms a continuous, narrow break in the Earth's crust between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. Seismologists predict that the fault will eventually cause the "big one": a 7.0+ magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale.More
#4
Indian Canyons

Indian Canyons

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Some of the best hiking near Palm Springs—and in the deserts of California—can be found at Indian Canyons, which is located at the western edge of Palm Springs. The land is owned and protected by the Agua Caliente Cahuilla Indians, who settled in the Palm Springs area centuries ago. Today, these people diligently care for the trails and invite visitors from near and far to experience the stunning desert scenery.There are three primary hikes in the Indian Canyons: Palm Canyon, Andreas Canyon and Murray Canyon. All three are thought to be easy to moderate trips, but more advanced hikers can combine different hikes and take small paths with greater elevation gains up the mountains. Some of the features of the hikes include waterfalls, panoramic views and of course, the sprawling desert landscapes. All of the trails are clearly marked.More
#5
Palm Springs Air Museum

Palm Springs Air Museum

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One of the world’s largest collections of vintage airplanes from World War II fill the hangars at the Palm Springs Air Museum.Wartime memorabilia, combat photography, murals, uniforms and documentaries provide educational insights into aviation and combat history.Planes in the museum’s three hangars focus on Army and Navy aircraft, and the mighty B17.If you visit on a Saturday you might catch demonstration flights and World War II audio-visual displays.There are flight simulator games for kids, and a children’s calendar of events and activities.More
#6
Coachella Valley Preserve

Coachella Valley Preserve

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The endangered fringe-toed lizard is given room to roam at the Coachella Valley Preserve, which was specifically designed to protect these desert creatures.Guided hikes through the preserves’ sand dunes and rocky escarpments are led by knowledgeable naturalists who can share their insights into the life cycle of this threatened reptile.The preserve has more than 25 miles (40 km) of hiking trails. While you walk, look out for eagles, California fan palms, bobcats, horned owls, cottontail bunnies, kestrels and lizards.More
#7
Mt. San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness

Mt. San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness

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Mt. San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness covers 14,000 acres (5,665 hectares) west of Palm Springs, including the second-highest mountain in Southern California. It is home to subalpine forest, hiking trails—including a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail—and cross-country skiing tracks that draw visitors throughout the year.More
#8
Colorado Desert

Colorado Desert

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Sprawling from the Mexico border in the south to the Mohave Desert in the north, the Colorado Desert encompasses 7 million acres of land. The two most well-known destinations within the area are Coachella Valley, famous for its annual music and arts festival, and Joshua Tree National Park, which occupies 800,000 acres of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts. There are also the Imperial Valleys. The Coachella Valley houses seven towns, including sunny Palm Springs.The Colorado Desert is generally considered a lower elevation area, with few points reaching above 3,000 feet. There’s no better way to describe the climate other than with the use of the word hot. This desert has higher summertime day temperatures than others at higher elevation, and it also receives more rain than the typical desert. There are many indigenous flora and fauna, including regional variations of cacti and brush scrub. Some of the unique desert wildlife roaming this part of the country includes bobcats, cactus mice, Yuma antelope and red-diamond rattlesnakes.More
#9
Mission Creek Preserve

Mission Creek Preserve

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Protected by the Wildlands Conservancy, Mission Creek Preserve spans more than 4,700 acres between the Sonoran and Mojave deserts. Endemic flora and fauna of both deserts can be found in the preserve, which also includes wetlands and a picturesque stream running through. Many species of wildlife call the preserve home, including deer, bears, big horn sheep and mountain lions.The majority of people who visit Mission Creek Preserve do so for its incredible hiking. Views of eroded painted hills and Mount San Gorgonio are offered up as a reward for a hiker's efforts. The main trail leads to the Pacific Coast Trail and to the Whitewater Preserve, another area protected by the Wetlands Conservancy. Veering off the Mission Creek Preserve trail up to the top of the Whitewater Preserve offers spectacular views of the Whitewater Valley below.More
#10
Oasis Date Gardens

Oasis Date Gardens

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Driving from Palm Springs through the nearby small desert towns with cacti and scrub brush on both sides and the heat of summer pressing down on you, a cold treat awaits: the famous date shake at Oasis Date Gardens. This 175-acre date ranch and its accompanying store are situated at the epicenter of California’s vast date production area. This spot features a small gift shop, an educational theater that plays a movie on the history of dates in California, a window through which date processing can be observed and a luncheonette counter that serves food incorporating the region’s fresh dates.This industry in California makes up 95 percent of the entire U.S. output of the crop. The majority of California’s dates are grown in the Coachella Valley, which produces more dates annually than almost any other region in the world; farmers produce more than 35 million pounds of the date fruit every year. Oasis Date Gardens’ medjool dates have been certified organic since 2000, and the business has been in operation for over 100 years.More

Trip ideas

Recent reviews from experiences in Palm Springs

star-5
Definitely a good value.
Katherine_G, Jul 2021
Joshua Tree National Park Self-Driving Audio Tour
Wish there driving tours of Palm Springs.
star-5
Great Tour!
Andrea_G, Jun 2021
Modern & More Bike Tours Palm Springs
He was generous, thoughtful and clearly enthusiastic about the history of Palm Springs architecture.
star-5
Fantastic Experience
Carolyn_C, Jun 2021
Private French-Inspired Cooking Class with a Fun Local
I would recommend this to anyone whether local or travel through Palm Springs!
star-4
Morning ride
Amy, Jun 2021
Modern & More Bike Tours Palm Springs
Enjoyed biking with a small group and seeing the types of homes built in Palm Springs.
star-5
Great Moderate Hike
Linette_A, Apr 2021
Guided Hike in Palm Springs with Amazing Views
Most memorable part about hiking tour was Carlos our tour guide knowledge and history of the Palm Springs dessert area.
star-5
Carlos is an absolute...
Susan_B, Apr 2021
Guided Hike in Palm Springs with Amazing Views
So pleasant and extremely knowledgable about the Palm Springs area.
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Windmill Education
Sabree_H, Mar 2021
Palm Springs Windmill Tours
We have driven to Palm Springs every year for so many years and talked about the many windmills.
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A must do for MCM enthusiasts and novices alike!
Kristin_T, Jun 2021
Modern & More Bike Tours Palm Springs
Best morning in Palm Springs.
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Great Experience!
Janice_H, Mar 2021
The Legends & Icons Tour of Palm Springs
As seniors visiting in Palm Springs without transportation and being totally unfamiliar with our surroundings, this was a great opportunity.
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A great way to explore and support your small and local businesses
Cindy_J, Feb 2021
San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour
I’ve been visiting Palm Springs for over 20 years and decided to something touristy to support small businesses...
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Great Tour!!!
Jared_K, Sep 2020
San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour
I highly recommend this tour if you're visiting Palm Springs.
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Great pictures
Dawn_A, Jul 2020
Private Photo Session with a Local Photographer in Palm Springs
Localgrapher did an excellent job our pictures were amazing we booked a session in Palm Springs where we were staying to celebrate our 30th Wedding anniversary.
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Highly Recommended
Joseph_G, Apr 2021
Modern & More Bike Tours Palm Springs
He is knowledgable and passionate about the architecture and history of Palm Springs.
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Family Fun
Paul_T, Mar 2020
Palm Springs Indian Canyons Bike and Hike
I have been going to Palm Springs for 40 yrs and never knew this area of the desert exist.
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Even our teens loved it!
eliotcolon, Feb 2020
Indian Canyons Walking Tour by Jeep from Palm Springs
My sons, ages 16 and 15, said it was the highlight of our Palm Springs trip!
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Peggy_L, Feb 2020
Joshua Tree National Park Jeep Tour
Not only that he got permission to drop us in Palm Springs where we were staying instead of going back to Palm desert.
star-5
Challenging and Great Fun!
Deborah_G, Oct 2019
Vampire's Lair Escape Room Game for Private Group
I highly recommend the Escape Rooms in Palm Springs.
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Memorable & Wonderful Hike!
John_H, Mar 2019
Joshua Tree National Park Driving Tour
Our Guide Ron made this trip the highlight of our week in Palm Springs.
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This is a NOT TO BE MISSED tour...
JulieT_C, Jan 2018
San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour from Palm Desert
She also provided interesting and informative information about the Palm Springs area history.
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This tour was truly the highlight of...
Susan G, Jan 2017
Indian Canyons Walking Tour by Jeep from Palm Springs
We hiked along the beautiful Palm Trees that follow the mountain steam, and then a short hike to see the waterfall.

All about Palm Springs

When to visit

Every mid-century modern abode in Palm Springs seems to come with its own pool, and for good reason: this desert oasis sees soaring temperatures in the summer. The dry heat and cooler nights make it possible to enjoy Palm Springs in the height of the season, but travelers who favor more moderate weather might consider an autumn or spring visit.

Frequently Asked Questions
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