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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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

Trip ideas

Top activities in Palm Springs

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Palm Springs

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Easy, breezy fun ride!
Gayle_G, Jan 2023
Modern & More Bike Tours Palm Springs
Our guide is so knowledgeable about not just the architecture, but the history of the whole Palm Springs area.
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Exhilarating
Christopher_M, Jan 2023
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Admission Ticket
Definitely recommend if visiting the Palm Springs area.
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The tram was a beautiful...
Josie_G, Dec 2022
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Admission Ticket
The tram was a beautiful addition to our trip to Palm Springs.
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Beautiful Day to Explore Palm Springs
Deborah_W, Dec 2022
Scavenger Hunt & Trivia Game: Phone-Guided Walking Tour in Palm Springs
Really enjoyed our day on a scavenger hunt in downtown Palm Springs.
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Girls Trip
Judith_B, Nov 2022
Scavenger Hunt & Trivia Game: Phone-Guided Walking Tour in Palm Springs
Beautiful day to experience the finer points of Palm Springs.
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Great bike tour of 3...
Nicole_L, Nov 2022
Modern & More Bike Tours Palm Springs
Great bike tour of 3 affluent south Palm Springs neighborhoods with typical mid-century modern houses.
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Don't miss this Canyon Bike Trip
LisaGeardino, Oct 2022
Earthquake Canyon Express Downhill Bicycle Adventure
I would recommend this to everyone who visits Palm Springs!
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!amazing day with my family
dpasowicz24, Dec 2022
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Admission Ticket
Will enjoy next time I’m in Palm Springs !
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Amazing time!!!!
Karla_H, Jan 2023
ATV/UTV 28-Mile Off-Road Jackrabbit Tour (4-Riders)
Two hours from Palm Springs may seem like a long drive and the cost may seem high, but boy is it worth it!
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Excellent, informative tour...
ROBERT_O, Jan 2023
Half-Day Guided Hike in Joshua Tree National Park
My one caveat to those touring Joshua Tree during the winter months - it's COLD.
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My day in the desert
adrienne_w, Dec 2022
Half-Day Guided Hike in Joshua Tree National Park
I was in Palm Springs for a birthday vacation and was looking for ways to decompress and reset.
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Sunrise, Sheep, and Meditation
adrienne_w, Dec 2022
Mountain Sunrise Hike and Meditation in Palm Springs
I was in Palm Springs for a birthday vacation and came across this sunrise hike and meditation experience.
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Great Experience / Amazing Guide (Susie)
GabrielL, Dec 2022
Joshua Tree National Park Driving Tour
This is a must for anyone visiting the Palm Springs area.
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Loved this desert tour!
Chris_B, Nov 2022
San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour from Palm Desert
With a wealth of interesting desert knowledge, a great sense of humor, and fun off-road desert driving, our tour was the highlight of my stay in Palm Springs.
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Well worth it!
Kasey_B, Nov 2022
Palm Springs Indian Canyons Bike and Hike
The tour was a great way to see greater Palm Springs, and provided some really spectacular views.
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The Beauty……and serenity!...
Ronald_D, Nov 2022
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Admission Ticket
A must see and do if heading to Palm Desert or Palm Springs!
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Awesome way to recharge and get a beautiful sunrise/meditation and exercise in!
Desiree_R, Oct 2022
Mountain Sunrise Hike and Meditation in Palm Springs
I will definitely book again with his tour when I am in Palm Springs!
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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.
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Loved every minute of it
Elizabeth_A, Oct 2022
Modern & More Bike Tours Palm Springs
Great way to learn the history of Palm Springs, see some beautiful neighborhoods and get some exercise.
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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.
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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
PST (UTC -8)
Country Code
+1
Language(s)
English

Palm Springs information

Number of Attractions

14

Number of Tours

94

Number of Reviews

4,055

Currency

USD
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