Things To Do In Desert Hot Springs

Select Local Merchants

In 1913, Cabot Yerxa re-discovered Desert Hot Springs' eponymous springs while digging for water on his 160 acres of homesteaded land. In 1941, the pioneer decided to build a Hopi-inspired pueblo on this land using materials he reclaimed or found in the desert. The result is now known as Cabot's Pueblo Museum, and it encompasses 5,000 square feet.

The building, which rises four stories above the desert and utilizes the Venturi Effect for air conditioning, is constructed out of adobe-style sun-dried brick that Cabot made himself in his courtyard. Cabot also used materials from cabins abandoned in the 1930s. Visitors can wander through his pueblo's 35 rooms, peer out of the 150 windows, and stage elaborate Scooby-Doo chases through the 65 doors.

67616 Desert View Ave
Desert Hot Springs,
CA
US

Named for the subject of a legendary tale from 19th-century California, Willie Boys Saloon & Dance Hall surrounds visitors with fun, food, and drink, as well as the rustic frontier atmosphere of the Old West. Diners can feast on pulled pork, spare ribs, fish and chips, and burgers, pairing them with beer and wine as revelers on the spacious dance floor groove to country, classic rock, and top 40 hits. The space prides itself on its collection of antiques and memorabilia, including an authentic Brunswick-made bar from the 1800s, a 19th-century bank-teller gate, and a jail cell from Deadwood believed to have once housed the killer of Wild Bill Hickok and a man who said a curse word on a Sunday.

50048 29 Palms Hwy.
Morongo Valley,
CA
US

The Desert Film Society showcases independent, foreign, and artistic cinematic creations, promoting an appreciation of filmmaking, stimulating post-viewing conversation, and titillating film-focused neurons. Screenings are held at 9:30 a.m. several times a month, with upcoming films including the Portuguese melodrama To Die Like a Man, which tells the story of a transsexual caught between personal identity and religion, and the German drama The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner, about an amnesiac’s effort to rediscover his past. See the schedule for a full list of future offerings.

PO Box 5324
Palm Springs,
CA
US

There are no ropes at the Palm Springs Air Museum?all the better to get close to one of the world's largest collections of operational World War II-era aircraft.

  • Size: three air-conditioned hangars totaling 65,000 square feet, where a display of 28 vintage planes, ranging from the WWII-era Grumman F6F Hellcat to the more modern F-4 Phantom, as well as occasional visiting displays outside tarmac with more vintage aircraft
  • From the Press: CNN Travel named this one of the World's 14 Best Aviation Museums.
  • Permanent Mainstay: Vintage Warbirds, a documentary theater, and a library with 8,700 volumes
  • Don't Miss: Conversing with the museum docents?many of them served in World War II and other conflicts.
  • Hidden Gem: Artist Chris Demarest, who paints soldiers and citizens from the WWII era, can often be found at work in the European hangar.
  • Hands-On Activity: the flight simulator and interactive kids area
  • Special Programs: flight exhibitions and Saturday programs
  • Pro Tip: Go ahead and bring your dog?the museum welcomes friendly pets.
745 N Gene Autry Trl.
Palm Springs,
CA
US

Tucked into the San Bernardino Mountains, Rim Nordic Ski Area puts its stunning setting to good use. When winter barrels in and covers the groomed trail system with the cold powdery stuff, visitors can strap on rented snowshoes or cross-country skis and set off on snowy adventures. Groomed ski trails and tracks for classic skiing impose an outdoorsy form of order, while cross-country lessons prepare first-timers for their expeditions or strange-footwear parties. While the mountain is the perfect place for a wintry outing, Rim Nordic Ski Area doesn't let summer stop the fun either?cyclists also take advantage of powder-free slopes during mountain-biking events, sanctioned by USA Cycling for all levels and age groups.

Rim Nordic Ski Area, Hwy 18
Running Springs,
CA
US

Mesquite Country Club features moderately rolling with mature trees and spectacular views of the mountains. It is well bunkered, with eight small lakes and hundreds of palm trees. Mesquite offers a challenging round of golf with numerous water hazards. Even Bob Hope and his friends would play here in the earlier days!

2700 E Mesquite Ave
Palm Springs,
CA
US