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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 10 attractions in Palm Springs

#1
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
#2
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
#3
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
#4
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
#5
Indian Canyons

Indian Canyons

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Some of the best hiking near Palm Springs—and in the deserts of California—can be found at Indian Canyons, which is located at the western edge of Palm Springs. The land is owned and protected by the Agua Caliente Cahuilla Indians, who settled in the Palm Springs area centuries ago. Today, these people diligently care for the trails and invite visitors from near and far to experience the stunning desert scenery.There are three primary hikes in the Indian Canyons: Palm Canyon, Andreas Canyon and Murray Canyon. All three are thought to be easy to moderate trips, but more advanced hikers can combine different hikes and take small paths with greater elevation gains up the mountains. Some of the features of the hikes include waterfalls, panoramic views and of course, the sprawling desert landscapes. All of the trails are clearly marked.More
#6
Oasis Date Gardens

Oasis Date Gardens

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Driving from Palm Springs through the nearby small desert towns with cacti and scrub brush on both sides and the heat of summer pressing down on you, a cold treat awaits: the famous date shake at Oasis Date Gardens. This 175-acre date ranch and its accompanying store are situated at the epicenter of California’s vast date production area. This spot features a small gift shop, an educational theater that plays a movie on the history of dates in California, a window through which date processing can be observed and a luncheonette counter that serves food incorporating the region’s fresh dates.This industry in California makes up 95 percent of the entire U.S. output of the crop. The majority of California’s dates are grown in the Coachella Valley, which produces more dates annually than almost any other region in the world; farmers produce more than 35 million pounds of the date fruit every year. Oasis Date Gardens’ medjool dates have been certified organic since 2000, and the business has been in operation for over 100 years.More
#7
Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

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Palm Springs' Living Desert Zoo and Gardens presents animals and botanical gardens in the Sonoran Desert.Focusing on flora and fauna from desert landscapes around the world, the living desert includes replicated gardens from Africa and North America, while theMojave Garden replicates the high desert. Bighorn sheep, lizards, mountain lions, bobcats, and amphibians are joined by exotic giraffes and meerkats in the Africa section.Take a wander through cactus and agave gardens, wildflower and palm gardens, yucca and salvia gardens . You're bound to be inspired by the drought-tolerant planting schemes.More
#8
Palm Springs Air Museum

Palm Springs Air Museum

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One of the world’s largest collections of vintage airplanes from World War II fill the hangars at the Palm Springs Air Museum.Wartime memorabilia, combat photography, murals, uniforms and documentaries provide educational insights into aviation and combat history.Planes in the museum’s three hangars focus on Army and Navy aircraft, and the mighty B17.If you visit on a Saturday you might catch demonstration flights and World War II audio-visual displays.There are flight simulator games for kids, and a children’s calendar of events and activities.More
#9
Coachella Valley Preserve

Coachella Valley Preserve

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The endangered fringe-toed lizard is given room to roam at the Coachella Valley Preserve, which was specifically designed to protect these desert creatures.Guided hikes through the preserves’ sand dunes and rocky escarpments are led by knowledgeable naturalists who can share their insights into the life cycle of this threatened reptile.The preserve has more than 25 miles (40 km) of hiking trails. While you walk, look out for eagles, California fan palms, bobcats, horned owls, cottontail bunnies, kestrels and lizards.More
#10
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

Trip ideas

Recent reviews from experiences in Palm Springs

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Great ride - and learned so much!!
Allison_K, Jan 2022
Modern & More Bike Tours Palm Springs
Brennan is super knowledgeable and we loved all the architecture and Palm Springs history.
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What a great bicycle tour
bslippa, Dec 2021
Modern & More Bike Tours Palm Springs
The history of the homes built in Palm Springs was really brought alive with the stories he shared!
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Fun Palm Springs Hike
Kim_B, Dec 2021
Guided Loop Hike in Palm Springs 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
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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Fascinating details of how Palm Springs came to be.
Kathy_b, Dec 2021
Modern & More Bike Tours Palm Springs
I have a new respect for 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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fun time for adults and kids
Nicholas_F, Jan 2022
Titanic Escape Room Game for Private Group
Would go again if in Palm Springs!
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Amazing Sunrise Hike
Ed_F, Dec 2021
Mountain Sunrise Hike and Meditation in Palm Springs
Tim was extremely knowledgeable and took time during the hike to explain the trail and things about the Palms Springs area.
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Great history and overview of Joshua Tree!
Lisa_L, Nov 2021
Joshua Tree National Park Driving Tour
It took about 40 minutes to get out there from Palm Springs, so it would’ve been hard to take an actual hike.
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Guaranteed Awesome Experience
Char_A, Nov 2021
San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour
I highly recommend this tour to anyone coming to Palm Springs.
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Fantastic tour
Becca_A, Dec 2021
Modern & More Bike Tours Palm Springs
You should definitely do this your if you are in 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
Guided Loop Hike in Palm Springs 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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Great Tour!!!
Jared_K, Sep 2020
San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour
I highly recommend this tour if you're visiting Palm Springs.
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Fun Architecture bike tour
suzanne_g, Nov 2021
Modern & More Bike Tours Palm Springs
Learned so much about the history and architecture of Palm Springs!
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Great pictures
Dawn_A, Jul 2020
Private Photo Session with a Local Photographer in Palm Springs
Localgrapher did an excellent job our pictures were amazing we booked a session in Palm Springs where we were staying to celebrate our 30th Wedding anniversary.
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Family Fun
Paul_T, Mar 2020
Palm Springs Indian Canyons Bike and Hike
I have been going to Palm Springs for 40 yrs and never knew this area of the desert exist.
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Even our teens loved it!
eliotcolon, Feb 2020
Indian Canyons Walking Tour by Jeep from Palm Springs
My sons, ages 16 and 15, said it was the highlight of our Palm Springs trip!
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Peggy_L, Feb 2020
Joshua Tree National Park Offroad Tour
Not only that he got permission to drop us in Palm Springs where we were staying instead of going back to Palm desert.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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