Official Visitor Center for Palm Springs, California

Unveiling the Best Experiences: Top Things to Do in Greater Palm Springs


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Nestled in the picturesque Coachella Valley, Greater Palm Springs is a desert oasis that offers a treasure trove of exciting activities and attractions. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences and luxurious indulgences, this vibrant destination beckons travelers from all walks of life. In this article, we will explore the top things to do in Greater Palm Springs, ensuring you make the most of your visit to this remarkable desert paradise.

1. Outdoor Adventures

2. Wellness and Relaxation

3. Wildlife and Nature

4. Shopping and Dining

5. Art and Culture

6. Sports and Recreation

Outdoor Adventures

Palm Springs is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, making it the perfect destination for outdoor adventures. Here are some of the top outdoor activities to enjoy in Palm Springs:

1. Joshua Tree National Park:

Joshua Tree National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

Just a short drive from Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts. Explore the unique desert ecosystem, hike through Joshua Tree forests, and marvel at the iconic rock formations. The park offers a variety of trails for all skill levels, as well as opportunities for camping, stargazing, and rock climbing.

2. Indian Canyons:

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Located within the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Reservation, the Indian Canyons are a series of beautiful canyons with hiking trails that showcase the area’s natural beauty. Palm Canyon, Andreas Canyon, and Murray Canyon are popular choices, offering scenic views, waterfalls, and opportunities to spot wildlife.

3. Palm Springs Bike Trails:

Palm Springs offers a variety of bike trails, both on-road and off-road, for cyclists of all levels. From scenic rides along the city streets to challenging mountain biking trails in the surrounding hills, there’s something for everyone.

4. Whitewater Preserve:

No Rapids in This Whitewater | Weekend Sherpa

Located east of Palm Springs, the Whitewater Preserve is a nature reserve with hiking trails, picnic areas, and a year-round stream. Explore the diverse plant and animal life, and take a refreshing dip in the natural pools.

5. Hot Air Balloon Rides:

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Experience the beauty of the desert from above with a hot air balloon ride. Float over the Coachella Valley and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and landscapes.
With its diverse range of outdoor activities, Palm Springs is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Whether you’re hiking in Joshua Tree National Park, exploring the Indian Canyons, or enjoying a hot air balloon ride, there’s no shortage of outdoor adventures to be had in this desert oasis.

Wellness and Relaxation

Palm Springs is a popular destination for wellness and relaxation, offering a variety of activities and amenities to rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul. Here are some options for wellness and relaxation in Palm Springs:

1. Spa Resorts:

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Palm Springs is home to numerous luxurious spa resorts that offer a wide range of treatments, from massages and facials to body wraps and hydrotherapy. Some popular spa resorts include The Parker Palm Springs, Two Bunch Palms, and The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage.

2. Hot Springs:

The area surrounding Palm Springs is known for its natural hot springs, which are believed to have healing properties. Places like Desert Hot Springs and Miracle Springs Resort & Spa offer hot mineral water pools and spa treatments that utilize these natural springs.

Wildlife and Nature:

Palm Springs is not only known for its luxurious resorts and spas but also for its diverse wildlife and natural beauty. Here are some ways to experience wildlife and nature in Palm Springs:

1. Indian Canyons:

Palm Springs is surrounded by the Indian Canyons, which are home to several beautiful hiking trails and lush palm oases. The canyons offer a chance to see native plants, wildlife, and even ancient Native American rock art. Tahquitz Canyon and Palm Canyon are the most popular canyons to explore.

2. Living Desert Zoo and Gardens:

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Located in nearby Palm Desert, the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is a must-visit for animal lovers. This unique zoo combines a traditional zoo experience with a botanical garden, showcasing desert flora and fauna. You can see animals like giraffes, cheetahs, and meerkats, as well as native desert plants.

3. Coachella Valley Preserve:

Welcome To Coachella Valley Preserve - Coachella Valley Preserve | Cheapest places to fly, Palm springs, Cool places to visit

This nature preserve is located in Thousand Palms, just a short drive from Palm Springs. It is home to the endangered Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard and offers several hiking trails that meander through palm oases and desert landscapes.

4. Bird Watching:

Palm Springs is a haven for bird watchers, with over 300 species of birds recorded in the area. The Salton Sea, a large saline lake located southeast of Palm Springs, is particularly known for its diverse bird population. You can visit the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge or join a guided bird-watching tour to see a variety of migratory and resident birds.  Palm Springs and its surrounding areas offer plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in nature and experience the diverse wildlife of the region.

Shopping and Dining:

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Palm Springs is a popular destination for shopping and dining, offering a variety of options for visitors. Here are some of the top places to shop and dine in Palm Springs:


1. Palm Springs Art Museum Store:

This museum store offers a unique shopping experience with a wide selection of art books, jewelry, and home décor items inspired by the museum’s exhibitions.

2. El Paseo Shopping District:

Located in nearby Palm Desert, El Paseo is known as the “Rodeo Drive of the Desert” and offers a variety of high-end shops and boutiques, including Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany & Co.

3. Palm Springs VillageFest:

This weekly street fair takes place every Thursday evening in downtown Palm Springs and features over 200 vendors selling everything from jewelry and clothing to art and crafts.

4. Desert Hills Premium Outlets:

Located in nearby Cabazon, Desert Hills Premium Outlets offers over 180 designer and brand-name stores, including Coach, Prada, and Michael Kors.

5. Antique Galleries of Palm Springs:

This antique mall features over 12,000 square feet of space filled with unique finds, including vintage clothing, furniture, and collectibles.


Workshop Kitchen + Bar: This farm-to-table restaurant offers a modern take on classic American cuisine, with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients.

1. Cheeky’s:

Known for its creative brunch menu and fresh-squeezed juices, Cheeky’s is a must-visit for foodies.

2. Trio Restaurant:

This popular restaurant offers a diverse menu of American and international cuisine, with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients.

3. Lulu California Bistro:

This lively restaurant offers a fun atmosphere and a menu of classic American dishes, as well as a variety of cocktails and wines.

4. Spencer’s Restaurant:

This elegant restaurant, located in the Palm Springs Tennis Club, offers a menu of American and Mediterranean cuisine, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

Whether you’re looking for high-end shopping or casual dining, Palm Springs has something for everyone.

Art and Culture

Best of Orlando® 2021: Arts and Culture | Arts + Entertainment

Palm Springs is a vibrant hub of art and culture, with a variety of museums, galleries, and events that showcase the region’s rich history and artistic heritage. Here are some of the top places to experience art and culture in Palm Springs:

1. Palm Springs Art Museum:

This world-class museum features a diverse collection of art, including contemporary and modern art, Native American art, and photography. The museum also hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions and events throughout the year.

2. Palm Springs Walk of Stars:

This sidewalk tribute to celebrities who have made significant contributions to the entertainment industry features over 400 stars, including Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, and Elvis Presley.

3. Palm Springs International Film Festival:

This annual festival, held in January, showcases the best in international cinema, with screenings, panels, and special events.

4. Architecture and Design Center:

This museum, located in a mid-century modern building designed by renowned architect E. Stewart Williams, features exhibitions and programs focused on architecture and design.

5. Agua Caliente Cultural Museum:

This museum is dedicated to the history and culture of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, with exhibits on traditional art, history, and contemporary issues. Whether you’re interested in art, film, or history, Palm Springs has something to offer. With its diverse range of museums, galleries, and events, the city is a hub of creativity and culture.

Sports and Recreation

Palm Springs offers a variety of sports and recreational activities for visitors to enjoy. Here are some of the top options:

1. Golf:

Why golf is the best community sport : NPR

Palm Springs is known as a golfer’s paradise, with over 100 golf courses in the area. Some popular courses include Indian Canyons Golf Resort, Desert Willow Golf Resort, and PGA West.

2. Tennis:

Palm Springs has a strong tennis culture, with many resorts and clubs offering courts for both recreational and competitive play. The Indian Wells Tennis Garden, home to the BNP Paribas Open, is a popular destination for tennis enthusiasts.

3. Swimming and Water Sports:

Many resorts in Palm Springs have pools and water parks, perfect for swimming and lounging. Additionally, the nearby Salton Sea and Lake Cahuilla offer opportunities for boating, fishing, and water sports.

4. Horseback Riding:

Several stables in the area offer guided horseback rides through the desert and canyons, allowing visitors to experience the beauty of the landscape from a unique perspective.

Whether you’re a sports enthusiast or simply looking to enjoy the outdoors, Palm Springs has plenty of options for recreation and adventure. From golfing and hiking to tennis and water sports, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this desert oasis.

Greater Palm Springs is a destination that caters to a wide range of interests, from nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts to those seeking relaxation and cultural experiences. With its stunning landscapes, luxury resorts, outdoor activities, and thriving arts scene, this desert oasis has something for everyone. When planning your visit to Greater Palm Springs, be sure to include these top attractions and experiences to create lasting memories in this remarkable desert destination.

In conclusion, Greater Palm Springs offers a wide range of experiences for visitors to enjoy. From cultural attractions and art galleries to outdoor adventures and sports, there is something for everyone in this desert oasis.



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