Looking for some fun things to do in Palm Springs, California? We have the full list of local, tourist and unusual things to do in this iconic desert town.
As young people say these days, travel is life!
Seeing a new place for the first time or going back to a favorite vacation spot is an unforgettable experience. Making fresh memories and embarking on memorable journeys are just two of the many perks of traveling.
In case you are planning to go on a unique, exciting, but at the same time laid-back vacation and great day trips, Palm Springs in California is the best choice you can consider.
Whether you are a local or a tourist, Palm Springs is the place to go if you are starving for a posh desert getaway.
Palm Springs, California, was once known as a movie stars’ playground, but it is now a vibrant and laid-back place for anyone looking to relax and unwind.
Palm Springs is the ideal combination between nature and elegance and emphasizes art and architecture.
Do you want to know what sounds so fantastic about Palm Springs? It is a place where you can pretty much ride a golf cart everywhere. Cool, huh?
Now let’s take a look at what you can do and where you can go while you are in Palm Springs.
Table of Contents
Best Things to do in Palm Springs, California
Check out my tour of Palm Springs via drone while covering some fun things to do in Palm Springs.
In the early twentieth century, Palm Springs grew into a popular tourist destination. It has enticed tourists with its arid landscape, golf courses, attractive midcentury holiday homes, and fantastic restaurant scene ever since.
Although many people will spend their weekend lounging by hotel pools, Palm Springs offers various other activities.
The scorching heat keeps things quiet in the summer, but you can go on enjoyable home tours, visit botanical gardens, and have a blast on one-of-a-kind tram trips at any time of year if you follow our unique guide.
In Palm Springs, you can admire midcentury modern houses, ride a mountaintop tram, take photos in the unique Arabian desert, and do plenty of other things.
Relax, Revitalize and Pamper Yourself
Palm Springs was built with an emphasis on health and wellbeing as well as luxury.
A manicure, pedicure, or massage can be enjoyed at almost any resort, but Greater Palm Springs is known for its health spas, where you can recharge, reinvigorate, and detoxify.
The water in Desert Hot Springs comes out of the springs at 60 degrees Celsius, is cooled, and then sent to the baths. The mineral content of the water has long been thought to be beneficial to the human body.
You can make a reservation at Two Bunch Palms, which has a cave with two mineral pools and a waterfall, as well as a unique yoga dome where regular classes are held.
A Watsu therapy, one of the most deeply soothing treatments, is available at the spa.
Relax in mud baths, which are said to eliminate toxins while also exfoliating the skin. These spa treatments are unlike anything else you’ve ever had.
It’s no surprise that Los Angeles celebrities and entertainment industry professionals come here to relax, find privacy, and get well.
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Experience an oasis of arts and rich culture
Modern exhibitions and fine arts and local artist galleries, murals, and outdoor sculptures can be very appealing if you are an art lover.
Thanks to a myriad of midcentury modern designs by renowned architects such as Albert Frey, Donald Wexler, John Lautner, and E. Stewart Williams, architecture and design you can enjoy Palm Springs at its finest.
Take in some culture during your stay by visiting one of the many art museums.
The Palm Springs Air Museum has an extensive collection of WWII planes, including the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Grumman F7F Tigercat, and Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star.
Like the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., the museum is positioned through Lichtenstein’s works.
This kind of experience is undoubtedly one for the books.
The Palm Springs Art Museum has a prestigious contemporary art collection that includes works by Picasso, Warhol, and Lichtenstein. The museum is visually appealing, with 28 galleries, two sculpture gardens, a cafe, gift shop, lecture hall, theater, and various rooms and resource centers.
The museum is a serene space to revitalize the mind, specializing in modern art such as paintings, glasswork, photography, and architecture.
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The Palm Springs Art Museum is a must-see museum with an impressive permanent collection of art and often fascinating temporary exhibits. There are plenty of docents on hand, and the staff is amiable.
Make an effort to pay a visit. You will not be dissatisfied. If you are a geek, you’ll have a great time in Palm Spring. You won’t definitely have dull moments.
Palm Springs is also well known for having a plethora of golf courses.
With 150 golf courses and 600 tennis courts, you will never be bored if you come to Palm Springs to play golf or tennis. The Humana Challenge golf tournament and the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament are both held in the city.
So, if you love golf or tennis, you may want to make arrangements ahead of time to witness some world-class action and maybe even pick up some style tips from the pros.
Palm Springs should be at the top of your list for an active outdoor getaway like driving in California, whether it’s hiking with the family or playing a round of golf as a couple or with your friends.
See Related: Best Places to Visit in Southern California
Enjoy the Great Outdoors and stunning natural landscapes
In the Greater Palm Springs region, there are many lush natural landscapes to be found. Palm Springs has everything you need to experience the desert outdoors, including hiking, biking, climbing, and sight-seeing.
Mountain views, wildflowers, and a range of options for early risers and sunset chasers can all be found here.
This Palm Springs landmark is an estate-turned-botanical garden with great cacti from all over the world.
Suggestion: Make sure you have enough room on your phone because the golden light in the cactarium is incredible.
Just check it out here:
Tahquitz Canyon is known for its beautiful rushing waterfall and calm, deep pools of precious water found in the region.
Palm, Andreas, and Murray are the three canyons that make up the Indian Canyons. Each one takes visitors on a stunning journey through an abundance of plant life that contrasts sharply with the surrounding desert mountainsides.
The picturesque trails wind through rocky gorges that give way to roaming natural springs, with some of these streams flowing all year.
A one-of-a-kind zoo and botanical garden devoted to the world’s deserts. Giraffes, mountain lions, zebras, and cheetahs are only a few of the amazing animals that will accompany you on your journey from Africa to North America.
Geographic replicas of areas as varied as Baja California’s Viscaino Desert and Madagascar’s tropical deserts can be found in the botanical gardens.
Is it just me, or are you also experiencing South Africa Safari feels already?
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The easiest way to see and experience all of these wonders at once is to order your tickets and reserve a seat on the Tram in advance.
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway climbs to 8,516 feet at Mountain Station, on the flanks of towering Mount San Jacinto, after a 2.5-mile journey through Chino Canyon.
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Take a plunge and enjoy pool parties
There’s nothing better than jumping into a cool pool when your summers can easily battle with desert temperatures of 110F (43C) or more.
The Ace Hotel & Swim Club, the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs, and the Saguaro all sell day passes to use their services, with hotel guests getting free entry.
A young crowd is catered to by DJs and a vibrant atmosphere. On weekends, a day pass to the Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel costs $10 (£7.70) and provides access to several pools, a sauna, and showers.
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Indulge in shopping
Greater Palm Springs has great shopping centers, like El Paseo, the “Rodeo Drive of the Desert,” where the best designers are lined up next to one another. It’s ideal for window shopping when taking in the views of the desert mountains.
Palm Springs also has the Uptown Design District, which is home to various fascinating galleries and mid-century modern home décor boutique shops with bold colors and bold designs.
Complete your vacation by visiting Trina Turk and purchase a traditional Palm Springs souvenir for your wardrobe or house.
Fill up your feed with Instagram-worthy establishments and structures.
You know this one, without pictures, it never happened.
You’ve come to Palm Springs to have an excellent time, relax, and spend a lot of time in the water.
But, without a beautiful Instagram feed, were you even there at all? We’ve already found the most Instagrammable spots in the desert, so you can spend less time looking and more time slaying. Take out your selfie sticks and get started.
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This Palm Springs estate is surrounded by towering robots and unusual Christmas scenes made out of discarded electronics.
Since 1986, Kenny Irwin Jr. has been creating the sci-fi holiday show, which has evolved into a year-round experience that can be seen from the street.
However, during the winter season, Robolights comes to life with millions of lights and public access to the entire celebration.
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Palm Springs has long been a favorite refuge for Hollywood’s elite. The Walk of Stars in this city is much less crowded than its western equivalent, but it is no less critical. You’ll enjoy taking a walk down the main town streets and seeing how many familiar faces you can see.
The Walk of Stars is Palm Springs’ answer to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and it’s located downtown along sections of Museum Drive, Tahquitz Canyon Way, and Palm Canyon Drive.
Famous residents, local philanthropists and humanitarians, and Medal of Honor recipients all have stars dedicated to them.
And, while we’re on the topic of Hollywood, what is Hollywood without Elvis Presley? If you’re a big Elvis Presley fan, you won’t want to miss this stop on your itinerary.
The house, which is located at the San Jacinto mountains base, has panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, which can be seen from the gorgeous gunite pool.
On regular year-round guided tours, see these and other era-defining elements and see what it was like to be inside Elvis’ former home.
Your Instagram account will indeed be famous when you have walked-in the mansion of the King of Rock and Roll.
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Palm Springs Welcome Sign
For decades, this iconic sign, which can be found on Indian Canyon Drive on the way into town, has been featured on postcards.
Friendly Suggestion: To park safely away from the main road, turn right on Tramview Road.
How did 1100 Sierra Way’s bubblegum pink door become the city’s most photographed residential door? No one knows. But you can’t argue with the zeitgeist, mainly when it’s so darn attractive.
Do not forget to use the hashtag #ThatPinkDoor when you get there.
So, that’s it. Good luck with your vacation planning, and we hope you’ll have a whale of a time in Palm Springs.
No trip to Palm Springs is complete without hitting Joshua Tree National Park, check out our full Joshua Tree itinerary to figure out how long you need to spend and what you need to see on your visit.