The Top 10 Things to Do When Visiting Palm Springs, California

In the heart of the Californian desert, tucked against the backdrop of rugged mountains and bathed in perpetual sunshine, lies the city of Palm Springs. Beyond its iconic mid-century modern architecture and Hollywood-inspired glamor, this desert oasis draws in visitors with its treasure trove of unique experiences. If you’re heading to the desert soon, here’s how to fill your time in Palm Springs.

Explore the Grounds of Parker Palm Springs

Palm Springs is known for its design-centric attractions, which means it’s an absolute must to visit Parker. Formerly the estate of Western movie star Gene Autry, this hotel has seamlessly blended its rich history with contemporary luxury. Following Autry’s sale of the property, hotelier Jack Parker acquired the estate. Now, the Jonathan Adler-designed Hollywood Regency-style hotel is the biggest and most luxurious property in the desert. 

Take a Ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Consider yourself an adventure seeker? Good, because the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is waiting for you. Starting from the Valley Station, the world’s largest rotating tramcar takes visitors along the cliffs of Chino Canyon. Once at the top, (which has an elevation of 8,516 feet), adventure lovers can enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and snowshoeing as well as dining at the two restaurants.

Take Part in the Weekly Palm Springs VillageFest

Join the locals every Thursday night in downtown Palm Springs at VillageFest, a lively street fair. Stroll along Palm Canyon Drive, which is lined with stalls offering art, crafts, food, and live entertainment. The atmosphere is lively, the vendors are unique, and it’s the place to be on a Thursday night.

Get Cultured at the Palm Springs Art Museum

Dive into the vibrant arts and culture scene at the Palm Springs Art Museum. With an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art, the museum offers a diverse range of exhibits that any art aficionado will love. What’s more, the museum’s architecture is a work of art in itself, with a sleek and modern design that complements the surrounding desert landscape.

Go on a Date at Shields Date Garden

A local favorite since 1924, Shields Date Garden is a historic date farm that’s not only a testament to the region’s unique agricultural history but also a charming destination for those who want to experience something off the beaten path. Complete with a café that whips up world-famous date shakes, a beautiful garden to meander through, and a vintage movie theater, this farm is ideal for anyone who wants to learn more about the agricultural roots of Palm Springs. Plus, the shakes are pretty delicious.

Start Your Day at Cheeky’s

If you’re on the hunt for a trendy and whimsical breakfast spot, Cheeky’s is a Palm Springs favorite. This lively eatery in the Uptown Design District is renowned for its creative and ever-changing menu that features locally sourced, organic ingredients. The best part? Cheeky’s has its very own chickens who have a special diet, which helps ensure all eggs are delicious. 

Dance the Night Away at The Purple Room Supper Club

The Purple Room Supper Club is a living tribute to the golden era of Palm Springs’ entertainment scene. This iconic venue has been a cornerstone of the city’s cultural landscape since the 1960s, hosting legendary entertainers like Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. The intimate setting, complete with plush booths and a stage that has live music performances (ranging from jazz and cabaret to contemporary acts), makes every visit to The Purple Room a good time.

Soar Over the Desert in a Hot Air Balloon 

Soar above the desert in a hot air balloon for a one-of-a-kind perspective of Palm Springs and its surrounding landscapes. Enjoy the canyons and vastness of the Coachella Valley from above. Plus, Fantasy Balloon Flights, Balloons Above, and HavNFun Hot Air Balloons all use FAA-certified pilots. 

Learn More About Art with a Self-Guided Palm Springs Public Arts Tour

Immerse yourself in the vibrant art scene of Palm Springs by taking a self-guided tour of its public art installations. From sculptures to murals, the city’s outdoor art gallery is as good as it gets. All you have to do is stroll around town, and you’ll see vibrant works from both local and international artists.

Cool Off at High Bar

Coachella Valley’s only rooftop pool bar, High Bar, is perched atop the Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel. This rooftop lounge has panoramic views of the mountains and city, making it a wonderful spot to soak up all that Palm Springs has to offer. The atmosphere is elevated, complemented by comfortable seating, fire pits, and an inviting pool that’s great for a dip.

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