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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 14 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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Located on the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation, Indian Canyons is the ancestral home of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and is made up of three canyons: Palm Canyon, Andreas Canyon, and Murray Canyon. The canyons attract hikers with more than 60 miles (95 kilometers of trails.More
#5
Palm Springs Air Museum

Palm Springs Air Museum

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Home to a large collection of airplanes from World War II, as well as the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, the Palm Springs Air Museum is a history museum dedicated to the role of aviation in American military conflicts. Not only are the aircraft preserved and displayed, the planes are also flown in air shows and demonstrations.More
#6
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
#7
Coachella Valley Preserve

Coachella Valley Preserve

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Home to more than 25 miles (40 kilometers of hiking trails, Coachella Valley Preserve sits between Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park. The preserve is known for its Thousand Palms Oasis and other palm oases, which are formed by water flowing from the San Andreas Fault.More
#8
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

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Covering more than 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) on a 10-minute journey, the popular Palm Springs Aerial Tramway provides spectacular views of Chino Canyon and Mount San Jacinto State Park. Activities at the top—accessed by one of the largest rotating aerial tramcars in the world—are offered year-round.More
#9
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

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California’s largest state park protects an arid mountain wilderness that’s home to wildlife and vegetation like bighorn sheep, eagles, roadrunners, iguanas, wildflowers, palms, and cacti. Its remote atmosphere attracts visitors who want to hike or explore via 4-wheel-drive vehicle.More
#10
Tahquitz Canyon

Tahquitz Canyon

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Part of the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation, Tahquitz Canyon is known for its rock art and 60-foot (18-meter waterfall located at the end of a hiking trail. It’s a popular activity for those looking for an outdoor attraction that’s not too far from Palm Springs.More
#11
Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

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The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Springs brings together wildlife and plant life from desert landscapes. From snakes and lizards to mammals including mountain lions and giraffes, the creatures appeal to children and adults alike. Visitors come to learn more about how life thrives in the desert.More
#12
Oasis Date Gardens

Oasis Date Gardens

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Amid the cacti and scrub brush of the desert outside Palm Springs, a 175-acre (70-hectare ranch provides the chance to learn a bit about Southern California agriculture and have lunch surrounded by date palms. At Oasis Date Gardens in Thermal, Medjool and other varieties of dates are grown, sold, and served up in cold milkshakes—perfect for beating the desert heat.More
#13
Colorado Desert

Colorado Desert

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Southern California’s Colorado Desert, part of the larger Sonoran Desert, stretches from Mexico north to the Mojave Desert, covering 7 million acres (28,000 square kilometers of terrain. Hikers, rock climbers, and campers are particularly drawn to the region for the numerous hiking trails and desert scenery to be explored.More
#14
Mission Creek Preserve

Mission Creek Preserve

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Part of the Wildlands Conservancy group of California nature preserves, Mission Creek Preserve spans more than 4,700 acres between the Sonoran and Mojave deserts. In addition to the typical arid landscape of the desert, the preserve features a patch of wetlands and is home to wildlife such as deer, bears, and bighorn sheep.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Palm Springs

San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour from Palm Desert
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San Andreas Fault Hummer Tour
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San Andreas Fault Hummer Tour

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49
From
US$139.00
Bank Heist Escape Room Game for Private Group
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Palm Springs Windmill Tours

Palm Springs Windmill Tours

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US$52.77
per group
Covered Wagon Adventure & BBQ

Covered Wagon Adventure & BBQ

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From
US$129.00
San Andreas Fault Offroad Tour

San Andreas Fault Offroad Tour

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From
US$189.00
Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Palm Springs

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Highly recommend!
Alison_F, Jun 2022
Modern & More Bike Tours Palm Springs
My sis & I loved this tour and getting to learn about the history and architecture of Palm Springs.
star-5
This was really fun and...
Lorna_W, May 2022
Modern & More Bike Tours Palm Springs
Brennan was so knowledgeable about the Palm Springs architecture and he made it all so interesting!
star-5
This was an excellent way...
Cathryn_S, May 2022
Vampire's Lair Escape Room Game for Private Group
We did the Vampire Lair, and are looking forward to doing another room the next time we are in Palm Springs.
star-5
Highly recommend
Mikayla_B, May 2022
Modern & More Bike Tours Palm Springs
This tour was a great way to see Palm Springs!
star-5
Great Tour of the San Andreas Fault
Bassman, Mar 2022
San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour from Palm Desert
Ron gave us a history lesson of Palm Springs and some great info about the fault line.
star-5
Great excursion with very knowledgeable guide
Kevin_W, Mar 2022
Palm Springs Indian Canyons Bike and Hike
Kolin was very knowledgeable and went out of his way to take pictures of and gave great recommendations for the rest of our stay in Palm Springs
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Best tour!
Jeanne_D, Feb 2022
Indian Canyons Walking Tour by Jeep from Palm Springs
Learned lots about Palm Springs history, native Indians, geography and flora and fauna.
star-5
Worth every penny!
Melanie_K, Mar 2022
Palm Springs Indian Canyons Bike and Hike
He showed us some lovely homes in Palm Springs and was a wonderful cheerleader as we braved the final incline into Indian Canyon.
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great getaway for girls trip
marie_j, Mar 2022
Desert Nature Walk + Soundbath & Meditation in a Boulder Cave
I organized a girls getaway to Palm Springs and found this gem for a day trip.
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Amazing way to experience Palm Springs
Beth_H, Apr 2022
Modern & More Bike Tours Palm Springs
Don’t miss an opportunity to experience Palm Springs architecture with Brennan!
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Once in a Lifetime Experience!
Emily_A, Feb 2022
San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour from Palm Desert
All members of our family (kids are 11 and 14) said the tour was the best part of our vacation to Palm Springs.
star-5
quite a ride!
PATRICIAM_D, Feb 2022
Joshua Tree National Park Offroad Tour
or guide Colin was knowledge about the geography, the history and even the cultural background of Palm Springs Also he was a great driver and never made you feel unsafe!
star-5
Enjoyed exploring the ever changing Downtown experience.
Johneen_M, Feb 2022
Scavenger Hunt & Trivia Game: Phone-Guided Walking Tour in Palm Springs
An excellent way to spend a couple of hours in the Sun learning about all that Palm Springs has to offer on top of it’s many hikes, swimming pools and golf courses.
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Fun Palm Springs Hike
Kim_B, Dec 2021
Palm Springs Oasis Hike with Amazing Desert Views
I was visiting Palm Springs and wanted to do a hike, but not alone for safety reasons, so this turned out to be a good fit.
star-5
Great tour
Shelly_O, Apr 2022
Modern & More Bike Tours Palm Springs
Brennan was very knowledgeable we had a great time learning about the history of Palm Springs homes
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It’s a nice half day tour.
Bernadette_G, Sep 2021
Joshua Tree National Park Self-Driving Audio Tour
We’ve never been to Joshua Tree National Park before and decided to see it at a whim for a weekend get away to Palm Springs.
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Overview of Joshua Tree Park
Christopher_H, Sep 2021
Joshua Tree National Park Driving Tour
Kolin did a nice overview of Palm Springs and Joshua Tree Park on a Sunday morning.
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Definitely a good value.
Katherine_G, Jul 2021
Joshua Tree National Park Self-Driving Audio Tour
Wish there driving tours of Palm Springs.
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Fantastic Experience
Carolyn_C, Jun 2021
Private French-Inspired Cooking Class with a Fun Local in Palm Springs, CA
I would recommend this to anyone whether local or travel through Palm Springs!
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Great Moderate Hike
Linette_A, Apr 2021
Palm Springs Oasis Hike with Amazing Desert Views
Most memorable part about hiking tour was Carlos our tour guide knowledge and history of the Palm Springs dessert area.
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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.

Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
PDT (UTC -8)
Country Code
+1
Language(s)
English
Frequently Asked Questions
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