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Top Things To Do In Palm Desert

Nestled in the Coachella Valley just east of Palm Springs is the beautiful desert oasis of Palm Desert, California. Home to several art museums, breathtaking hiking spots, tasty restaurants, plus more, this vibrant community is the perfect weekend destination. And with an average of 350 days of sunshine a year, you’ll have ample chances to get out and explore the surrounding desert area. Or you can simply lounge poolside with a drink in hand, your choice. Keep reading for a detailed guide of Palm Deserts’ most popular attractions and things to do while visiting.

Surrounded by miles of scenic desert, Palm Desert is a playground for numerous leisure activities such as hiking, picnicking, and strolling through art museums. Only a two-hour drive from Los Angeles, it’s easy to escape here for a long weekend. Discover the city for yourself with these top things to see and do.

The best things to do near Palm Desert include:

  • View Native American, Western American, and contemporary art at the Palm Springs Art Museum
  • Check out The San Andreas Fault, one of the most famous fault lines in the world
  • Hike, picnic, view wildlife, with over 20,000 acres of desert wilderness at The Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve
  • Visit the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center
  • Peruse the art at the CODA Gallery

From beautiful hiking trails to interesting museums, Palm Desert is a hotspot for self-guided exploration and education. These are the best-of-the-best tourist attractions to see while you’re there.

Popular attractions near Palm Desert include:

  • Check out one of the nation’s largest collections of operable WWII aircrafts at the Palm Springs Air Museum
  • See the desert from new heights on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
  • Learn about the renewable energy industry on the Palm Springs Windmill Tour
  • Hike the Bump-n-Grind Trail, the most popular in Coachella Valley
  • Tour Cabot’s Pueblo Museum in a historical house museum, featuring a Hop-style pueblo home

There are plenty of daily activities to experience in Palm Desert right now, even if you’ve had the main attractions covered. Whether it’s brunch in the desert or dinner on the green, visitors should use the below vacation ideas as a springboard for their itinerary.

Exciting activities near Palm Desert include:

  • Enjoy a modern take on classic breakfast and brunch foods at Wilma & Frieda
  • Hit the green at the Desert Willow Golf Resort, one of the best golf courses in the Coachella Valley
  • Enjoy dinner and a show at AJ’s on the Green
  • Shop diverse wares from over 300 vendors at the College of the Desert Street Fair
  • Explore The Art Place, the home to nearly a dozen fine art galleries and interior design boutiques

Palm Desert lights up at night. With restaurants, happy hours, plus plenty of venues to experience a live show or music, the fun only begins by discovering the best things to do at night.

Nighttime activities near Palm Desert include:

  • Try your luck at Agua Caliente Casino Resort
  • Enjoy live entertainment at the McCallum Theater for the Performing Arts
  • See at movie at Tristone Cinemas
  • Sip on wine during happy hour at Le Fe Wine Bar
  • Enjoy dinner and live music at The Nest

Family vacationing is the perfect way to make new memories with the family. Check out the options below to give the kids a reason to get excited to travel.

Family-Friendly things to do near Palm Desert include:

  • Enjoy three pools, two 100-foot slides, a lazy river, plus more at Splashtopia
  • “Wow” your kids with the menu at Fisherman’s Market & Grill
  • Get up-close to some dinos at Cabazon Dinosaurs
  • With over 80-hands on activities, keep your kids entertained at the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert
  • See bighorn sheep, mountain lions, and more at The Living Desert

Though Palm Desert is known for its various outdoor activities, there are also plenty of relaxing indoor things to do after earning that tan. Dodge the desert sun with a few ideas below.

Palm Desert things to do indoors include:

  • Go bouldering or take a rock climbing class at Desert Rocks, an indoor climbing gym
  • Find your inner zen at Go With The Flow Yoga
  • Bring out your artistic side at Paint Sip & Inspire
  • Discover the true meaning of relaxation at Bliss Chakra Spa
  • Sip on tea and snack on treats at Amanda’s Tea Room

Nature lovers will love all the adventurous outdoor activities in Palm Desert to experience, such as hiking, horseback riding, archery, plus so much more.

Active things to see in Palm Desert include:

  • Hike through Indian Canyons and explore jagged cliffs, waterfalls, and mountain springs
  • Ride horses on a guided trail through a canyon with Smoke Tree Stables
  • Take an off-the-beaten-path tour in a Jeep with Desert Adventures
  • Hit a bullseye with private or group archery classes at Robin Hood Archery
  • Go skating at the Palm Springs Skate Park, boasting 30,000 square feet of concrete (for all levels)