A dry heat, bounty of palm trees, and kitschy art scene might describe a lot of cities. But only one place can also boast being the favorite vacation spot of Hollywood elite and the permanent home of the likes of Frank Sinatra: Palm Springs. If you want to live like Ol’ Blue Eyes for a short while, make your way to the California city and stay in one of its fine resorts. From getting a mud mask treatment to enjoying elaborate drag runway shows, things to do in Palm Springs certainly span the gamut of interests.…
Top 30 Things to do in Palm Springs, California
At the top of the mountain, the 14,000-acre (5,665-ha) Mt. San Jacinto State Park offers 54 miles (86 km) of hiking trails, campgrounds, a ranger station, and an Adventure Center. The Adventure Center, open mid-November through mid-April (snow conditions permitting), rents cross-country skis and snowshoes.
Take in the amazing views of the valley floor from Mountain Station observation decks, check out the Natural History Museum, or get a bite to eat at one of the two restaurants or the cocktail lounge.
Finish your visit by perusing the gift shop and watching a special documentary on the history of the tramway, then take the tram back down to the valley floor, watching the Sonoran Desert as you descend. Read More close
Begin your day by heading to Stoney Point Park, also known as Chatsworth Formation, to meet up with your professional guide for a morning session. You spend time going over essential skills for a climber, such as basic knots, belaying and commands, finding grips on the face of the rock, and learning how to rappel down. With all the necessary gear in hand, including a harness, helmet, and climbing shoes, you head to a route ideal for beginners to the sport.
Continue practicing your skills on a variety of routes and try out more challenging climbs as you feel comfortable. Your instructor provides support and tips to help you to improve. End your day feeling proud of your effort and accomplishments. Read More close
Rendezvous with your expert guide at Joshua Tree National Park and hike a short distance to the climbing location while admiring the serene surroundings. Before the action begins, you get a safety overview, learn basic knots, how to belay, and review tips and techniques from an experienced instructor. Then put on your climbing shoes, helmet, and harness, ready to put it all into practice.
You have plenty of time to work on your new skills and try out routes of varying difficulty. After a few hours pushing yourself to new limits, conclude the lesson feeling challenged and accomplished after an exhilarating day on the rocks. Read More close
Climb aboard an open-air jeep to join your small tour group on this glitzy expedition. Your knowledgeable tour guide tells you tales of stars like Frank Sinatra, Cher, Liberace, and Marilyn Monroe as you make your way through the palm-lined streets of this sun-drenched city. Find out why so many stars decide to buy homes here to escape the overbearing lights of Hollywood.
Your small-group experience offers you an intimate journey, allowing you to ask your guide many questions on your route. The open-aired automobile you ride in provides unobstructed views, so any time you stop in front of a gorgeous home, you can get a great glimpse of it and snap as many photographs as you like. With enough star gossip, mid-century architecture, and pop culture for everyone, this tour keeps you fascinated and entertained from beginning to end. Read More close
Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
From busy streets to dirt roads, head out of the city and into the wild as you're picked up in a comfortable SUV and head toward the canyons near Coachella Valley. Make your first stop in the shadow of the Chiriaco Summit and hear stories about how General Patton prepared his soldiers for combat in Africa in the nearby red rock canyons.
Continue on, watching for the dusty shells of native desert tortoises, which can live up to 80 years in this harsh and beautiful environment. Rumble along the Bradshaw Trail nearby, and listen to your guide explain its long and storied history. Originally an old stage coach road established by Gold Rush-era miners, the trail now skirts the edge of a gunnery range used by the Navy and Marine Corps. Stay on the correct side of the road and you're sure to get back to your starting point safe and sound! Read More close
Get ready for a fun-filled adventure as you meet your guide, get kitted out, and hop on your all-terrain mountain bike. When you're comfortable, set off to explore the craggy terrain where cars are rarely encountered.
As you pedal down the dips in the desert, appreciate the stark beauty of the California outback. Meander between the Colorado and Mojave deserts, descending a total of 1,200 feet (366 m) as you wind your way through narrow rocky walls at Box Canyon.
Make sure to take some stunning photographs at the Salton Sea, a saline rift lake, before continuing on the trail past natural attractions such as Mt. San Jacinto, the All-American Canal, and the eastern Coachella Valley. Your relaxing yet rewarding route finishes at the Oasis Date Gardens. Read More close
Start the day by meeting your guide at Joshua Tree Visitor Center's Parking Lot. Go on a short hike through the desert landscape, noticing the namesake trees surrounding you, and arrive at your first climbing site. The expert instructor gives a brief safety overview and you get outfitted with the necessary equipment, including a helmet, harness, and climbing shoes. Your day is made easier without the need for knots or belaying, instead just clipping into the top ropes to get started.
With plenty of hours to explore the numerous climbing routes, you feel challenged and accomplished with each effort as you increase your skills. Take breaks as needed to stay hydrated and re-energize with a bit of trail mix and lunch. Head home at the end of your adventure for some well-deserved rest and recovery. Read More close
Meet your guide and the rest of your group at Joshua Tree Visitor Center's Parking Lot. Once you're geared up, follow your expert instructor through a series of lessons that teach you how to escape belay, use an auto-locking device to ascend and aid an injured or fallen climber, and return both of you safely to the ground.
From friction hitches for slings to auto-block knots, Bowering systems to tandem rappelling, this lesson shows you what it takes to become a hero on the slopes. Finish up with a new level of knowledge and preparedness to take on your next climb with confidence. Read More close
Make your way to Joshua Tree Visitor Center's Parking Lot to meet up with your guide. The expert instructor provides a brief orientation to review fundamental safety tips and techniques for a successful day of climbing. Gather the provided equipment, including your harness, helmet, climbing shoes, and head out on a short hike to the best routes for your experience level.
On this outing, there is no need for knots, belaying, or commands. You easily clip into one of the designated top ropes and begin climbing. Your attentive guide provides as much or as little assistance as you need to feel comfortable and to improve your skills. Read More close
Meet your guide at the Joshua Tree Visitor Center's Parking Lot, where you gear up and start scaling the remarkable landscape around you. Professional instructors are on hand with attentive, personal guidance to help you build on the fundamentals of safe rock-climbing techniques and handling the belay at the bottom of the cliff.
As the day goes on, you can practice several new knots and methods for setting up top-rope anchor systems. Finish up with the knowledge you need to evaluate safe climbing areas, build and remove anchors, and rappel with confidence the next time you want to scale the outdoors. Read More close
Get started by greeting your guide at the Joshua Tree Visitor Center's Parking Lot, where you meet your group and gear up with the help of your expert instructors. With their guidance and the safety of a mock lead, you learn how to lead sport routes, clip gear, lead belay, protect from a leader fall, manage your rope, and plan your route.
Once you've learned the secrets of sport climbing, from the safety and fundamentals to rope finding, movement, and communication, end the lesson feeling ready to take on the spectacular rocks with well-earned expertise. Read More close
Get started at the Joshua Tree Visitor Center's Parking Lot, where you gear up and get to know your instructor and fellow climbers. Over the course of the class, you can rely on the safety of a top rope and mock lead as you learn to teach how to lead trad routes, place and remove pro, clip gear, use slings, lead belay, protect from a leader fall, manage your rope, plan your route, and more.
From the fundamentals, safety instruction, and organizing your rack to climbing movement and communication, this lesson opens the door to an incredible climbing experience. Finish up with some new insight and the knowledge you need to take on the slopes with confidence. Read More close
Climb aboard the authentic military Hummer to start your adventure into the desert; where others have to turn back, this specialty vehicle climbs into the canyons of the San Andreas Fault. Visit Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve, the 3rd largest oasis in the world as you venture into the grove of giant California fan palms.
Then, stroll through the oasis on a 30-minute eco-walk and hear the stories and history of the Cahuilla Indians. Then, your 4x4 adventure continues along an old gold-mine trail that rises 4,000 feet (1,220 m) above the desert floor.
Before your tour concludes, travel to Eureka Peak through an area known as the largest and oldest in the park. See the Joshua trees standing as tall as 49 feet (15 m) with roots that can reach 36 feet (11 m) into the ground. During the mid-19th century, Mormon settlers named these trees, which reminded them of the biblical story where Joshua reached his hands up to the sky in prayer.
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After convenient pickup from your Palm Springs or Palm Desert hotel, travel in your air-conditioned vehicle to the spectacular natural formations of Joshua Tree National Park. Upon arrival, you can immediately appreciate the park's namesake trees, and take some photographs of the branches that coil up into tight bunches.
Hop out of your vehicle and revel in the informative exhibits at the Visitor's Center, where your local guide details the park's unique flora and fauna while providing a rundown of the spectacular features you are about to witness.
Marvel as you ride through rocky trails twisted between rugged canyons and sheer rock walls. Spot wildlife native to the area, including quick roadrunners and red-spotted toads, darting between the geological masterpieces at Hidden Valley. Enjoy a relaxed walk through nature or take a look at the memento-filled gift shop to complete your tour.
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Leave from the sun-soaked valley around Palm Springs and enjoy a scenic drive in a comfortable and air-conditioned tour van. Watch for the first appearance of the park's namesake trees, whose stiff palm-like leaves grow in tight bunches at the ends of stout branches.
At the Visitor's Center, check out immersive exhibits that chronicle the area's flora and fauna, and listen to your guide as they point out the park's most famous landmarks and features. Snap photos of the rocky terrain, and meander down leisurely paths to find new vantage points and more tranquil desert scenes. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, including fleet-footed roadrunners and red-spotted toads.
Stop by the gift shop on your way out of the park, or while away the extra time with a quick nature walk in the Hidden Valley or to Keys View, both ideal ways to end your Joshua Tree National Park experience. Read More close
Meet your guide in sun-soaked Palm Springs and prepare for an exciting off-road adventure as you ride to your destination in a comfortable all-terrain vehicle. Keep an eye out as you arrive in the trails of a wilderness zone known for its spectacular rock formations created entirely by nature.
Once you reach the most colorful portion of the San Andreas Fault, marvel at the sheer rock faces, monumental geological specimens, and stunning native desert plants, and keep an eye out for some local wildlife. Follow your expert guide on a walk through the middle of the magnificent rock formations, or stay in the jeep and just admire the view. After the incredible adventure winds down, head back to your hotel. Read More close
Enjoy convenient pickup from your Palm Springs hotel and drive past the sheer cliffs of Chino Canyon to reach an aerial tram ready to whisk you over 6,000 feet (1,829 m) to an incredible vista just shy of San Jacinto Peak. At the top, stroll around in the cool mountain air, snap a few photos, and let your guide point out distant sights visible from your lofty perch before you head back down.
Make your way to the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens to spend some leisure time getting up-close looks at desert-dwelling creatures and finding out how seemingly barren environments can sustain an abundant array of plants and animals.
Grab lunch in the El Paseo Shopping District to refuel before you embark on a sightseeing adventure past the former mansions of entertainment greats like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and Marilyn Monroe.
Wrap up your day with the chance to meander around the myriad of shops, boutiques, and stores that make up the Desert Hills Premium Outlets. Browse hard-to-find deals and big-name brands including Coach, Dolce & Gabbana, and Giorgio Armani before you hop back in your comfortable transportation and return to your hotel. Read More close
Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
Located minutes from Palm Spring, Desert Hills Premium Outlets boasts over 130 stores including:
- Bottega Veneta
- Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th
- Barney's New York
Your shopping package includes a $25 gift card redeemable at any store as well as a valuable VIP coupon book with additional savings. The extensive selection of shops offers something for fashionistas, bargain lovers, and die-hard shoppers. The only thing you won't be able to purchase is a bigger vehicle to bring all your newly found selections home. Read More close
Your private ride starts with convenient transportation from your hotel, leaving you plenty of time to discuss your ideal itinerary as you drive with your guide for the day. Perfect for seasoned veterans and biking rookies, this tour allows you to choose between challenging climbs and leisurely cruises.
Arrive at your destination, don a helmet, and get fitted with your bike as you put the finishing touches on your planned route. When you're ready, put your feet to the pedals and get your legs pumping. Roll down dusty trails and over smooth stretches of rock, keeping watch for the desert tortoises, foxes, and lizards that call this environment home.
Throughout the day, enjoy breaks spent snapping photos and getting riding advice from your expert guide. Practice steep climbs, narrow turns, and controlled stops on sandy surfaces so you can end your tour with honed skills and great memories. Read More close
After pickup from your hotel, travel in comfort and style with an experienced, knowledgeable, and entertaining guide. Kick off your day riding down palm tree-lined lanes to catch glimpses at the sprawling estates home to celebrities past and present, including Elvis Presley. Snap photos as you go and listen to stories about why this diamond in the rough resort town is such an attractive place for entertainment stars and legends.
Cruise into the hills for up-close looks at massive wind turbines that help power the city with alternative energy and admire views from your lofty mountain vantage point before you head to a local date farm for a refreshing shake made from freshly picked dates. Wrap up your adventure with a scenic ride back to your hotel, or consider extending your day with dinner at a locally loved restaurant, perched high above the city on a mountain accessible only by breathtaking tram ride.
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Meet your guide and head out on a private adventure in an all-terrain Hummer to one of the lowest places on the earth, the Salton Sea. See the crusty remains of an ancient ocean and let your knowledgeable guide explain the historical and geological background of this fascinating natural area.
Continue your day of discovery with a visit to the ruins of Bombay Beach. Hear how this once thriving beach town became an intriguing destination for photographers, artists, and filmmakers due to its apocalyptic look. Investigate this fascinating place before traveling to the San Andreas Fault, a uniform topographical feature that indicates the boundary between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates.
Wrap up your daring desert journey through California's dusty outback at a nearby date farm, where you can sip and refuel with a cool and refreshing milkshake, made with delicate dates. Read More close
Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
After convenient pickup from your hotel in Palm Springs, cruise through the winding Californian countryside inside a comfortable, air-conditioned Hummer. With the morning light still filling the sky, meander through charming hillside towns, dipping down into the fertile Temecula Valley.
Marvel at incredible views of the vine-laden countryside as you are served a gourmet lunch, paired with delicious glasses of locally produced varietals. Afterward, head through the cellar door at several wineries to sample their finest vintages.
Learn about the local viticulture, taking the opportunity to taste everything from bold reds to refreshing whites, exploring private tasting rooms not normally accessible to the public. Chat with vintners, discuss Temecula's terroir, and consider purchasing a few bottles to take home before you hop back in the Hummer and return to Palm Springs. Read More close
Led by your expert geology guide, trained at the Desert Institute, venture far from where you can go on your own. In a military Hummer H1, take a goldmine trail and encounter some of the oldest canyons on the planet—more than 2 billion years old and the same age as the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Here, you get to see historic gold mining areas and enter a place time has forgotten.
With special equipment and permits, this excursion leads you higher into the canyons of the San Andreas Fault than other tours. Along the way, stop at the third largest oasis in the world, dotted with palm trees, and walk on a bridge straddling the San Andreas Fault. Enjoy some free time out of the Hummer to snap photos of the majestic scenery. Read More close
After a convenient pickup from your hotel, set off on a 4-wheel-drive adventure to the private Metate Ranch which lies within the San Andreas Fault zone. Explore the skeleton of the earth as you walk through this tortured and twisted terrain. As you step on lava-carved landscapes, your guide describes the geology of this mysterious area.
Trek between the steep walls of deep canyons that were created by the powerful forces of plate tectonics, water, wind, and time. Then, explore a natural palm oasis, where crystal-clear water bubbles up from the underground aquifer.
As you travel, learn about the culture and lifestyle of the Cahuilla Indians and how they used the desert’s plants for food, medicine, tools, weapons, and shelter. Before your tour ends, you also get insight into the plants and animals found in the Coachella Valley while you hear about its fascinating history. Read More close
Head to Guest Services when you arrive and pick up your VIP Savings card, which is full of coupons worth over $200 in savings and $10 gift card. You also receive a Savvy shopping tote, perfect for carrying your purchases as you shop the day away. Visit Guess and receive $10 off any purchase of $50 or more, and stop by Starbucks for a tall beverage in a re-enjoyable Starbucks cup to sip as you stroll through the mall. If you get a hungry as you shop, a pretzel at Auntie Anne's is also included in your package.
The Outlet Shops of Cabazon truly offer something for everyone, whether you're shopping for kitchen goods, clothing, kids' wear, athletic gear, or work-ready accessories. Some of the brand name shops include the CABI, Karen Kane, Brighton, Le Creuset, Guess Accessories, Rockport, and Under Armour. Read More close
As you set out into the country, your professional guide entertains you with stories about the history, culture, lifestyle, and legends of the Cahuilla people. In Andreas Canyon, take a guided 1-mile (1. 6-km) hike on a tranquil trail along the banks of Andreas Creek as you learn about native ceremonies, legends, and stories of how of the Cahuilla people used the desert's plants for survival.
Next, view one of the largest natural palm oases in North America from the rim of Palm Canyon and take a short walk to a hidden cave where the water flows most of the year. At the end of your adventure, relax, refresh, and shop for unique gifts and souvenirs at the Indian Trading Post, which features Indian art and artifacts, books, jewelry, pottery, baskets, weavings, refreshments, and more. Read More close
Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
Once you've been picked up from your hotel, journey to a natural palm oasis, explore spectacular box and slot canyons, and view an ancient fossil bed as your Jeep winds its way through the incredible labyrinth of geological cuts and canyons of the San Andreas Fault zone.
As the sun sets, witness the spectacular burst of red, yellow, and orange hues and watch as the fading light casts amazing shadows and colors on the hills. Desert sunsets are magical, so be sure to bring your camera.
When the sky darkens, you are treated to a fascinating stargazing opportunity with your guide pointing out constelliations is the night sky. Read More close
As you head out from the Greater Palm Springs area, you get a narrated tour of the Coachella Valley and learn about the energy generated from the wind and solar farms along San Gorgonio Pass. Inside the park, spend the morning exploring as your guide describes the plants and animals of the high desert and tells stories of the rich history of the area.
Take a guided hike to Hidden Valley to see a jaw-dropping wonderland of majestic rock formations, and then find the spectacular view at the Key's View Overlook, which offers a stunning viewpoint from 5,185 feet (1,580 m) in elevation—letting you see all the way to Mexico on a clear day. By the time of your return trip in the afternoon, you have an expert's insight into one of the most striking environments around, plus the iconic plants and wildlife that make their home in the desert. Read More close
Enter a 21-acre (8-ha) water park and true desert oasis, Wet 'n' Wild Palm Springs. Explore the park's many aquatic secrets—from the 50s and 60s retro-inspired rides to the tidal oscillation of the wave pool. Dip into cool waters and forget about the sun's oppression as you speed down some of the best slides in the world.
There's nothing quite like the exhilaration you feel as you point your toes down a steep waterslide and wait to push off. Climb to the tippy top of the Tidal Wave Tower, and shoot down the 7-story slide at incredible speeds. Or enter the curving tunnel of the Sea Snake, sloshing around in the dark belly of the beast before getting spit out in a refreshing pool.
In between slides, lounge in a beach chair by the water or go for a relaxing cruise on the lazy river. Unwind and have fun with your family at Kahuna's Beach House, a 4-story play structure bursting with aquatic delight. Read More close
Enjoy convenient pickup from your hotel and head out to your first stop of the day. Roll down dusty drives to get up-close looks at sections of the Colorado and Mojave Desert, and learn about how these seemingly sparse scenes host a myriad of tenacious plant life and animals.
Hear fascinating info about sun-soaked California's ingenious aqueduct system, which provides farms, residents, and industries in dry climates with fresh, clean water. As you explore, don't forget to snap photos of the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa Mountains' stratified slopes, and find out how the powerful San Andreas Fault created their precipitous profiles. Wrap up your tour with a final walk along winding paths and ask any last questions you have about the wild lands that surround you before jumping back on your coach and returning to Palm Springs. Read More close