16 Best Things To Do In Palm Springs – Attractions, Tours & Sights

(Last Updated On: January 19, 2023)

Palm Springs is a desert oasis in Southern California that’s famous for its hot springs, stylish mid-century modern architecture, and vibrant nightlife.

The area has long been popular with Hollywood celebrities and is now a top destination for travelers from around the world.

Palm Springs has a population of just over 45,000 people and covers an area of approximately 94 square miles.

The city experiences more than 300 sunny days per year and has an average high temperature of 87 degrees Fahrenheit.

The first human inhabitants of the Palm Springs area were the Cahuilla Indians who have lived in the region for centuries. The Cahuilla developed a complex irrigation system that allowed them to farm the arid land.

The city was incorporated in 1938 and quickly became a popular tourist destination due to its warm climate and natural hot springs.

In the mid-20th century, Palm Springs became known for its stylish mid-century modern architecture.

Many of the city’s iconic buildings were designed by renowned architect Richard Neutra.

Things To Do In Palm Springs

1. Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is the world’s largest rotating aerial tramway.

It takes passengers from the desert floor to the top of San Jacinto Peak – an elevation gain of over 8,000 feet!

The Tramway was built in 1963 and has been carrying passengers since 1966.

It has two large cabins that hold up to 80 people each and rotate slowly as they travel up the mountain, giving everyone a 360-degree view of the stunning scenery below.

At the top of the tramway, there is a restaurant, Observation Deck, and Nature Center for visitors to enjoy.

The views from the Observation Deck are incredible – on a clear day, you can see all the way to Mexico!

If you’re looking for an adventure while in Palm Springs, the Aerial Tramway is a must-do. It’s an experience you’ll never forget!

Address: 1 Tram Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262

2. Indian Canyons

Indian Canyons

The Indian Canyons are located in Palm Springs, California and are home to some of the oldest living things on earth.

The canyons were carved out over millions of years by the San Andreas Fault and the erosive power of water from rain and snowmelt. Today, they provide a unique look into the geological history of southern California and a habitat for many plants and animals that are found nowhere else on earth.

The Indian Canyons are named after the Native American tribes that have lived in the area for centuries.

The Agua Caliente tribe has inhabited the canyons for over 2,000 years and continues to do so today. The canyons are also home to the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians and the Cahuilla tribe.

The canyons are a popular tourist destination for their unique geology, hiking trails, and views of Palm Springs and the surrounding desert.

The most popular canyon is Andreas Canyon, which features a large variety of plant life, including many cacti and Joshua trees. Indian Canyon Drive is a scenic road that runs through all of the canyons and provides access to many of the best viewpoints.

The Indian Canyons are an important part of the local economy and culture. The Agua Caliente tribe operates several businesses in the area, including the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Indian Canyons Golf Resort, and Spa Hotel Resort.

The canyons are also a popular filming location for movies and television shows.

The Indian Canyons are a unique and beautiful part of California that are worth a visit for anyone interested in the state’s history, geology, or wildlife.

3. Palm Springs Air Museum

Palm Springs Air Museum

The Palm Springs Air Museum is a world-renowned aviation museum.

The museum houses one of the largest collections of flyable World War II aircraft in the United States.

The museum also has a large collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents from the war.

In addition to the World War II collection, the museum also has exhibits on the Korean War, Vietnam War, and Gulf War.

The Palm Springs Air Museum is more than just an aviation museum. It’s also a living history museum where visitors can learn about the people who fought in these wars.

The museum offers a variety of tours and educational programs for all ages. The Palm Springs Air Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in aviation or military history.

Address: 745 N Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs, CA 92262

4. Palm Springs Art Museum

Palm Springs Art Museum

The Palm Springs Art Museum is one of the largest art museums in California.

It has a collection of more than 45,000 works of art, making it one of the most diverse and interesting museums and art galleries in the state.

The museum is filled with modern and contemporary art and is perfect for a couple of hours, to browse through when you visit Palm Springs.

The museum is located in downtown Palm Springs, and it is open to the public seven days a week.

The museum has a wide variety of exhibitions and events that are sure to interest visitors of all ages.

The museum also has a gift shop and a cafe, so you can make a day of it.

The Palm Springs Art Museum is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. It is an excellent place to learn about the arts and culture of California.

Address: 101 N Museum Dr, Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92262-5659

5. Coachella Valley Preserve

Coachella Valley Preserve

The Coachella Valley Preserve is a nature preserve located in the Coachella Valley.

The preserve is home to many plants and animals that are found nowhere else on earth.

The preserve is also an important stopover for migrating birds.

The Coachella Valley Preserve is a great place to hike, bike, or take a scenic drive.

The preserve also has a visitor center with exhibits on the local ecology and history.

The Coachella Valley Preserve is a must-visit for anyone interested in the desert ecosystem.

Address: 82-505 Highway 111, Indio, CA 92201

6. San Jacinto Mountains

San Jacinto Mountains

The San Jacinto Mountains are a mountain range in southern California, east of Los Angeles.

The mountains are named after Saint Hyacinth (Jacinto in Spanish), and they form part of the Peninsular Ranges, which include the Santa Ana Mountains and the San Bernardino Mountains.

The San Jacinto Mountains are home to a number of plant and animal species. Some of the more notable species include the mountain lion, bighorn sheep, and several species of birds of prey.

The mountains are also home to a number of rare and endangered plants, such as the San Jacinto Mountains wildflower.

The mountains are a popular recreation destination for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities. The mountains are also popular with rock climbers and repellers. There are a number of trails that lead to the summit of San Jacinto Peak, and many more that crisscross the lower parts of the range.

The San Jacinto Mountains are an important part of the history and culture of Southern California.

The mountains have been the site of a number of significant events, including the Battle of San Jacinto, which resulted in the independence of Texas from Mexico.

The mountains were also home to the Cahuilla people for centuries before the arrival of Europeans in the region.

The San Jacinto Mountains are a beautiful and unique part of Southern California, and offer visitors a chance to experience a wide range of natural and cultural wonders.

7. Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is located in the Mojave Desert.

The park is named after the Joshua tree, a type of yucca plant that is found only in the desert regions of California and Arizona.

Joshua Tree National Park is known for its beautiful desert scenery and unique rock formations.

The park is also home to many hiking trails and camping sites.

Joshua Tree National Park is a great place to escape the city and enjoy the beauty of the desert.

Address: 74485 National Park Dr, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

8. Tahquitz Canyon

Tahquitz Canyon

The Tahquitz Canyon is a beautiful and popular hiking spot located in Southern California.

The canyon is named after the Native American legend of Tahquitz, a spirit who lives in the rocks and causes earthquakes.

The canyon is home to a number of plant and animal species, as well as several interesting geological features.

The trail itself is approximately 2.5 miles long and gains about 1,000 feet in elevation.

The hike can be challenging at times, but the rewards are well worth it. hikers are treated to stunning views of the canyon walls, rocky outcrops, and native vegetation.

The Tahquitz Canyon is home to a number of plant and animal species. Some of the more common plants that can be seen in the canyon include manzanita, scrub oak, and yucca.

Animal sightings are relatively rare, but deer, coyotes, and bobcats have been known to wander into the canyon from time to time.

Address: 505 S Indian Hill Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

9. Moorten Botanical Garden

Moorten Botanical Garden

The Moorten Botanical Garden is one of the hidden gems of Palm Springs, California.

Founded in 1938 by Chester and Mildred Moorten, this unique cacti garden is home to over 3,000 species of plants.

The Moortens were passionate about desert plants, and their garden quickly became a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike.

Today, the garden is maintained by the Moorten family and is open to the public year-round.

Interestingly, the Moorten Botanical Garden was featured in the 1949 film noir classic Sunset Boulevard.

In the film, Gloria Swanson’s character Norma Desmond lives in a sprawling mansion overlooking the gardens.

Address: 1701 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264

10. Palm Canyon

Palm Canyon

Palm Canyon is a stunning natural wonder located in the heart of Southern California’s Coachella Valley.

This magnificent canyon is home to a variety of plant and animal life, as well as some incredible geological formations. Visitors to Palm Canyon can explore the area on foot, by horseback, or even by kayak or canoe.

There are also several campgrounds located within the canyon, making it the perfect destination for a weekend getaway.

The Palm Canyon area was first inhabited by the Cahuilla Native Americans, who have lived in the Coachella Valley for over 2,000 years.

The Cahuilla named the canyon “Chamleh”, which means “hand” in their language. This is likely due to the fact that the canyon’s walls resemble a human hand when viewed from above.

The first recorded visit by Europeans to Palm Canyon was in 1774, when a group of Spanish explorers led by Juan Bautista de Anza stopped here during their expedition up the California coast.

De Anza and his men were so impressed by the canyon that they named it “Palm Spring”, after the many palm trees that grow in the area.

Since then, Palm Canyon has been a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike. In recent years, the canyon has become increasingly popular with hikers, horseback riders, and campers.

Address: 51500 Hwy 111, Palm Desert, CA 92260

11. Robolights


Robolights is an annual art installation and holiday lights display in Palm Springs, California.

The display features large robotic sculptures made from found objects, as well as traditional holiday lights.

Robolights was created by artist Kenny Irwin Jr. in 1988. Irwin began decorating his family home with Lights and homemade robots for Christmas when he was just 12 years old.

His display quickly grew in popularity, and by 1992, Irwin had transformed one acre of his family’s property into a massive Robolights display.

Today, Robolights is one of the largest holiday light displays in the world, featuring over 8 million lights and hundreds of hand-made robotic sculptures.

The display attracts thousands of visitors each year, and has been featured on television shows and in magazines around the world.

Address: 2225 E Ramon Rd, Palm Springs, CA 92264

12. Palm Springs Walk of Stars

Palm Springs Walk of Stars

The Palm Springs Walk of Stars began in 1992 as a way to honor the many celebrities who have made the Coachella Valley their home.

The first inductee was none other than Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe, who famously honeymooned in Palm Springs with her new husband Joe DiMaggio.

Since then, over 250 stars have been honored with a star on the Walk of Stars.

Some of the most recent inductees include country music legend Willie Nelson, actress Elizabeth Taylor, and pop superstar Madonna.

Each star is unique, and each has an interesting story to tell about their connection to Palm Springs.

Willie Nelson, for example, has been coming to the Coachella Valley for decades to play golf and perform at the annual Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Elizabeth Taylor, meanwhile, was a longtime resident of Palm Springs and was known for her love of diamonds (she even has a diamond named after her!).

Madonna, on the other hand, only recently bought a home in Palm Springs but she’s already made her mark on the city.

Address: 200 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262

13. Ruth Hardy Park

Ruth Hardy Park

The Ruth Hardy Park is a public park located in Palm Springs, California. The park was named after Ruth Hardy, who was instrumental in its creation.

The park covers an area of ​​approximately 27 acres and features a variety of amenities, including a playground, picnic tables, and a walking path.

The park is also home to a variety of plant and animal species, making it a popular destination for nature lovers.

Address: 700 Tamarisk Rd, Palm Springs, CA 92262

14. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is a zoo and botanical garden located in the Sonoran Desert of California, near Palm Springs. The zoo covers 1,200 acres (490 ha) and features desert plants and animals from around the world.

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens first opened in 1970 as a small, private collection of desert plants and animals.

The zoo quickly grew in popularity, and by 1974 had become one of the top tourist attractions in the Coachella Valley.

The zoo expanded its facilities and collections over the next few years, and began to focus on education and conservation programs.

Today, The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is home to more than 145 species of animals and 500 species of plants.

The zoo’s programs focus on desert conservation, and it participates in many international breeding programs for endangered species.

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is open year-round, and offers a variety of educational programs and events for visitors of all ages.

The zoo also offers overnight camping experiences, as well as safari tours and other adventure activities.

Address: Palm Desert, CA, USA

15. Go On A Palm Springs Windmill Tour

Palm Springs Windmill Tour

Palm Springs Windmill Tours offers visitors the opportunity to see some of the most iconic landmarks in the city up close.

These massive turbines are a key part of Palm Springs’ history and have become a symbol of the city’s unique desert landscape.

The tour takes guests through a working windmill farm where they can learn about how these enormous machines work.

Guests will also get an up-close look at the blades of the turbines and see how they generate electricity.

After the tour, guests can relax in the on-site cafe or explore the nearby hiking trails. Palm Springs Windmill Tours is the perfect way to learn about the city’s rich history and experience its natural beauty.

Address: Palm Springs Windmill Tours, 62950 20th Ave, Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92262

16. Walk Through Palm Canyon Drive

Palm Canyon Drive

Situated in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, Palm Canyon Drive is one of the city’s most popular roads.

Lined with palm trees and featuring a wide variety of shops and restaurants, the street is a hub of activity for both locals and visitors alike.

Palm Canyon Drive got its start in the early 1900s as a dirt road connecting Palm Springs to the nearby town of Desert Hot Springs.

Over time, the road was paved and developed into the thriving thoroughfare it is today.

One of the street’s most iconic features is the rows of towering palm trees that line either side.

These palm trees were planted in the 1920s as part of a beautification project spearheaded by local business owner Nellie Coffman.

Today, Palm Canyon Drive is home to a wide variety of businesses, including restaurants, hotels, shops, and art galleries.

It is also the site of some of Palm Springs’ most popular events, such as the Palm Springs Art Fair and the Palm Springs Pride Festival.

Whether you’re looking to do some shopping, grab a bite to eat, or simply take in the sights and sounds of downtown Palm Springs, Palm Canyon Drive is the perfect place to start your exploration.

Address: 268 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92262-5510


How long should I spend in Palm Springs?

If your goal is simply to relax and enjoy the desert scenery, then a few days may be sufficient. However, if you also want to take advantage of all the great activities and attractions that Palm Springs has to offer, then we recommend staying for at least a week.

What is the best time of year to go to Palm Springs?

The best time to visit Palm Springs is usually between November and April, when the weather is warm and sunny but not too hot. However, keep in mind that this is also the busiest time of year, so you may want to visit during the shoulder season (May-October) if you’re looking for a more relaxed experience.

Does Palm Springs have a beach?

No, Palm Springs does not have a beach. However, it is only about a two-hour drive from Los Angeles, which has plenty of great beaches to choose from.

How far is Palm Springs from the ocean?

Palm Springs is about 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the nearest ocean. However, it is only about a two-hour drive from Los Angeles.

Where do celebrities go in Palm Springs?

There are a number of popular celebrity hangouts in Palm Springs, such as the Ace Hotel & Swim Club, The Parker Palm Springs, and the Viceroy Palm Springs.

Does Palm Springs have hot springs?

No, Palm Springs does not have any hot springs. However, there are a number of great spa resorts in the area that offer a variety of treatments and therapies.

Is downtown Palm Springs safe?

Downtown Palm Springs is generally safe, but like any urban area, there are areas that are best avoided after dark. If you’re unsure about an area, it’s always best to ask a local for advice.

What is there to do in Palm Springs at night?

There are a number of great bars and clubs in Palm Springs, such as the Rooftop at the Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel, Eight4Nine, and Workshop Kitchen + Bar. There are also a number of live music venues, such as The Sphinx Lounge and Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace.


  • Tamara M

    Hey there! My name is Tamara, welcome to my little world! I’m a 20-something-year-old from Toronto, Canada (though I’m rarely there) and I’m super passionate about exploring the world, photography, and cooking delicious plant-based recipes. I created this blog to share my favorite places, adventures, restaurants, accommodations, and travel tips with all of you and keep a bit of a travel diary for myself.

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