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Top Things to Do Near Palm Springs

Top Things to Do Near Palm Springs

Discover top Palm Springs attractions from Joshua Tree to aerial tram rides, hot springs, golf, festivals, and more in this guide. Team


2 min read

November 02, 2023

Nestled within the sweeping landscapes of the Coachella Valley, Palm Springs stands as a beacon of leisure and adventure under the California sun. Renowned for its mid-century modern architecture, vibrant arts scene, and healing hot springs, this desert resort city offers a myriad of activities beyond its chic hotels and swaying palm trees. Here’s a curated list of must-do experiences in the vicinity of this sunny paradise.

Explore Joshua Tree National Park

A mere 40-minute drive from Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park is an otherworldly destination where two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together. Hiking, rock climbing, and stargazing are just a few activities that attract nature enthusiasts. Whether you're capturing the surreal beauty of the Joshua Trees themselves or admiring the panoramic views from Keys View, the park is a natural wonder not to be missed.

Known for its iconic trees, Joshua Tree National Park is a staple for outdoor getaways near Palm Springs.

Take a Ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Experience a breathtaking journey up the cliffs of Chino Canyon on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. As you ascend to over 8,500 feet, the tram car rotates, offering a 360-degree view of the rugged terrain. Once at the Mountain Station, explore the hiking trails, dine overlooking the valley, or simply enjoy the often snow-capped scenery, particularly striking against the desert backdrop.

Visit the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

Combining the allure of a zoo, botanical garden, and conservation park, The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert is an engaging destination for all ages. See giraffes, cheetahs, and Mexican wolves, or explore the various ecosystems recreated here, including a replica of the Baja California's Vizcaíno Desert.

Discover the Palm Springs Art Museum

For a dose of culture, the Palm Springs Art Museum showcases an impressive collection of art, ranging from contemporary works to Native American pieces. Their sculpture garden is a tranquil spot for contemplation amidst the desert landscape.

The Palm Springs Art Museum is home to some stunning original art.

Unwind in Desert Hot Springs

Just a short drive north of Palm Springs, the town of Desert Hot Springs invites visitors to soak in its mineral-rich waters. Known for its natural hot and cold aquifers, you can choose from various spas and resorts for a day of rejuvenation.

Go Antiquing in Cathedral City

Cathedral City, affectionately known as “Cat City,” is a treasure trove for antique lovers. Stroll through its unique shops to find vintage gems, mid-century modern furniture, and rare collectibles.

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Indulge in a Date Shake

When near Palm Springs, sampling a date shake is almost a rite of passage. This creamy concoction made from locally grown dates is both a refreshing treat and a nod to the region's agricultural heritage.

From the serene to the sensational, the area surrounding Palm Springs is laden with opportunities for exploration and relaxation. Whether you’re scaling the heights of the San Jacinto Mountains or immersing yourself in the soothing waters of natural hot springs, each moment promises to be as enriching as it is memorable.

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