The 10 Best Activities To Do for a Fun Trip to Palm Springs

Tourists indulge in the exquisite hotel scene, but there’s much more to Palm Springs. Scenic landscapes, a rich history, and picturesque tram rides are among its many attractions.

At the dawn of the 20th century, Palm Springs, CA, became one of the most popular resort destinations in the United States. It’s open to tourists all year long and not even the oppressive heat stands a chance against the area’s jaw-dropping scenery and loads of fun activities. 

Keep reading to learn about the 10 best things to do in Palm Springs.

  1. Take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

No Palm Springs visit can be complete without a scenic mountain ride on the Aerial Tramway. 

The world’s largest rotating aerial tram car will take you to the Mountain Station that’s equipped with observation decks and informative displays regarding the region and the trams. And after a quick ride to the top, you’ll set foot on the 10,000ft tall Mount San Jacinto. 

The next item on the agenda would be to explore the 50-mile hiking trails through Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains’ pine forests.

  1. Have an Artsy Day at the Palm Springs Art Museum 

Spend a relaxing day away from the heat of the sun at the Palm Springs Art Museum. It features fine collections related to the performing arts and natural history. You’ll also have a unique opportunity to see some stunning pieces of Native American arts and crafts and artifacts. 

Visiting the Art Museum is considered one of the most kid-friendly things to do in Palm Springs, as most children will enjoy the animals and fossils on display. There are also various theater and music performances all year round. 

  1. Take a Stroll down the Date Farm

Here’s an interesting fact about Palm Springs: More than 90% of dates grown in America are produced here. Lovers of this particular fruit can visit the giant 17-acre Shields Date Garden situated less than 30 minutes away from Palm Springs. 

This farm is perfect for everyone curious to explore some exotic date culture. 

If you can name a date product, you can probably find it there. You can also enjoy the daily movie screenings or take a stroll through the botanical garden littered with hand-crafted Christ statues.

  1. Visit the Moorten Botanical Garden

The incredible Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium is located on the south end of Palm Canyon Drive. Everyone interested in cacti and other desert plants will be able to feast their eyes on a wide range of trees and plants in various stages of growth. 

It’s best to visit the gardens in the spring when the trees turn green again, but the park is open year-round. And if you’d like to take a piece of the Palm Springs flora with you, there’s a commercial nursery where you can buy some. 

  1. Set Foot on the Giant Estate at Sunnylands 

The founder of TV Guide, Walter Annenberg, used to call this massive estate home. This is also where former U.S. presidents attended some of the most heralded summits of the day.

Have a peek at some of the mansion archives, explore its decorative art selection, and admire the bourgeois tableware. 

Just 25 minutes from downtown Palm Springs, the movie-like mansion is open to visitors every day except Mondays and Tuesdays. 

  1. Make Friends with Giraffes at the Living Desert Zoo

Looking for family things to do in Palm Springs? 

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is a world-class zoo that’s perfect for the whole family to explore and see actual desert flora and fauna. If the kids have never crossed paths with a desert, this is the perfect place for them to gain insight into the unique ecosystem. 

The best time to visit is early mornings when the animals are most active. After all, you don’t want to walk around a zoo that’s full of drowsy giraffes, zebras, camels, just to name a few. 

And if you’re ready to take your visit up a notch, you can sign up for the special nature walks or wildlife shows on tap. Most kids will enjoy feeding the giraffes, wouldn’t you say?

  1. Visit the Air Museum

Military aircraft enthusiasts will be excited to learn about and explore the many World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War-era warplanes on display. Most of the collection can be found inside hangars, a nice getaway from the heat. 

For an even more authentic experience, there are museum tours hosted by veterans, many of whom may even have personal experience with the aircraft on display. 

And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can even hitch a ride in some of the museum’s warbirds!

  1. Enjoy the Indian Canyons Sanctuary

This is a stunning natural sanctuary to the south of Palm Springs. Spanning three different canyons, the place is considered a paradise for passionate hikers and those looking to take in some desert scenery. 

The hike starts at the Palm Canyon, a 15-mile long trail surrounded by waterfalls and a creek and decorated with giant palm trees. 

For bird-watching enthusiasts, the Andreas Canyon is as good as they come for local bird sightings. Finally, the Tahquitz Canyon is a tribal land with hiking trails and a 60-foot giant waterfall. 

  1. Explore the Coachella Valley Preserve

Here’s another jaw-dropping landscape that will help you make long-lasting memories. The 13,000-acre raw desert and mountain space is home to vibrant wildlife that you can explore. 

There are three preserve areas, of which the most popular is the Thousand Palms Oasis. 

You can go on a hike guided by volunteer docents and the trails are open for public access from May until September, Friday through Sunday.

  1. Attend VillageFest

Hopefully, you’ll be around Palm Springs on a Thursday evening, as this is when the magical VillageFest takes place. It’s a fun evening out with the family where you can find plenty of jewelry, arts and crafts, as well as mouthwatering snacks and musical performances all along the street. 

Explore the 180+ stalls that vendors set up on the town’s Main Street and host an open-air party in any of the booths available across the street. 

The event usually starts at 7 pm and finishes up at 10 pm. Save the date (every Thursday, all year round) and time!

Leisure and Pleasure in Palm Springs

Scenic hikes, out-of-this-world landscapes, distinct local traditions, and modern lifestyle – Palm Springs has it all for everyone. You’re going to enjoy this exotic little town, no doubt.

So, prepare your itinerary, pack your bags, and bring your cameras. This trip will be one for the books.

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The 10 Best Activities To Do for a Fun Trip to Palm Springs