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Top Things To Do In Palm Springs

The best things to do in Palm Springs include visiting spas, golf courses, and desert gardens. You can also test your luck at a casino or take a dip into the city’s many resort pools. Explore spectacular views and leisurely activities in Palm Springs.

Palm Springs is a crossroads for travelers and locals that reflects the surrounding style, food, drinks, and culture. Palm Springs is all about distinctive architecture, sun-worshipping lifestyles, and natural beauty. Here are some of the best things to do near Palm Springs:

  • Hike on the family-friendly Indian Canyon trails
  • Open up an aeronautical time capsule at the Palm Springs Air Museum
  • Spot rare wildlife on 25 miles of hiking paths at the Coachella Valley Preserve
  • Enjoy Joshua Tree National Park’s spectacular views

Grab a self-guided tour map from The Palm Springs Visitor’s Center and explore the city’s history

Pack your schedule with sightseeing and free things to do in Palm Springs. Surrounding canyons and mountains provide ample opportunity for warm-weather hikes. There are many cheap things to do near Palm Springs:

  • Visit the Palm Springs Art Museum on the 2nd Sunday of each month for free
  • Take a hike through Murray Canyon Trail for scenic valley views
  • Challenge your friends to a game of tennis at Demuth Park
  • Take in sweeping views of the desert at Vista Point
  • Enjoy tribute bands for no cost at the Rock Yard concert series

An enduring Hollywood legacy can be found in this desert oasis. Get a glimpse of impressive collections and the area’s star-studded past. Popular attractions near Palm Springs include:

  • Exploring the shops at the Palm Springs Outlets
  • A drive through the scenic Palm Canyon Drive
  • The Palm Springs Walk of the Stars, with more than 250 granite stars  
  • A walk through the Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway, a historic home dedicated to the King  
  • Snapping a photo with the iconic windmills only found at Indian Canyon Drive


Complement your time by the pool or spa with a Palm Springs adventure: the relaxed mentality finds its way into the many main attractions. A few ideas for exciting activities near Palm Springs:

  • Pull up a chair at one of the blackjack tables at Agua Client Casino Resort Spa
  • For some of the city’s best seafood, stop by Fisherman’s Market & Grill in the heart of downtown
  • Take a stroll down memory lane at the vintage shops in Greater Palm Springs
  • Explore the storefronts and art galleries of Downtown Palm Springs  

Walk through more than 250 enchanting boutiques at El Paseo Shopping District

This desert oasis has a thriving nightlife with bars and restaurants nestled into the downtown area. Trendy diners, slot machines, and energetic nightclubs create many options for a Palm Springs night plan. Nighttime activities near Palm Springs include:

  • Stargazing with just a telescope and the nighttime sky
  • Spending the night at one of 1,600 slot machines at Spotlight 29 Casino
  • Bingo night at Fantasy Springs Casino
  • The Welwood Murray Memorial Library
  • An array of night creatures at a Monument Night Adventure as hosted by Friends of the Desert Mountains

Palm Springs boasts a varied dining scene and much-beloved hiking trails. Sunrise to sunset, building a weekend itinerary in Palm Springs can be as therapeutic as the city’s resorts. Here are some ideas for weekend activities near Palm Springs:

  • Visit the trading post of Palm Canyon Trail to find the starting point of a 15-mile hike
  • Book a brunch at Pinocchio in the Desert
  • Visit Arnold Palmer’s for intriguing food
  • Check out the street vendors who set up shop Saturday and Sunday mornings at the College of the Desert campus
  • Experience the thrills of Sunday polo at Empire Polo Club

A trip to Greater Palm Springs is complete only after exploring its beauty. Visit a national park, a nature preserve or even a zoo.

These are some family-friendly things to do near:

  • Float through the Palm Springs Aerial Tram
  • Take a closer look at desert animal life with The Living Desert Zoo
  • Tour the Brandini Toffee Factory for a behind-the-scenes look at how this treat is made
  • Visit Boomer’s Palm Springs, a Family Entertainment Center with games and go-karts
  • Encourage learning at The Children’s Discovery Museum with hands-on exhibits

This city teems with great date destinations. Palm Springs has spas, gardens, hikes, and modern restaurants to choose from. These are a few date night ideas near Palm Springs:

  • Take your date on a worthwhile challenge up The Palm Springs Museum Trail
  • Chill out at the Desert Ice Castle, an ice skating rink
  • Book a couples massage at the healing Palm Springs California Spas
  • Explore Shields Date Garden, a 17-acre date farm
  • Pack a picnic basket and spectate polo for free at Eldorado Polo Club

When traveling in packs, it’s important to find things to do for everyone. Palm Springs has as many active attractions as it does relaxing activities for large groups.

These are some things to do with friends:

  • Try the Maynard Mine Trail for a rugged uphill climb
  • Take a dip at the Palm Desert Aquatic Center, a water park with diving boards and an Olympic-sized swimming pool
  • Book a trip to Augustine Casino’s coin-less slot machines
  • Challenge your friends at Escape Room Palm Springs
  • Work out at Desert Rocks Indoor Climbing Gym, which offers bouldering and harness climbing for all ages

Beat the Palm Springs sun and stay inside a while. Try visiting museums, or booking a wine and painting class. Palm Springs offers many things to do indoors:

  • Watch a family-friendly movie screening at Wet ’n’ Wild Palm Springs
  • Stay chill all summer long at ARRIVE Palm Springs
  • Find your inner Picasso at Pinot’s Palette
  • Cabot’s Pueblo Museum is handmade, created from reclaimed and found homesteads
  • Take a deeper look into mid-century modern design at Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center

Sun-worshippers will enjoy the opportunities to tan on a hike or by the pool. Take a day trip and snap scenic Palm Springs sights. Here are some active things to do in Palm Springs:

  • Visit the mountain village of Idyllwild, located 50 miles from downtown Palm Springs
  • Take a guided horse trail ride through Morongo Valley, about a 30-minute drive from the city
  • Follow Fern Canyon Trail to a plateau filled with wildflowers
  • Desert Adventures Eco Tours & Events offer famous Red Jeep tours in the Greater Palm Springs area
  • Surround yourself with lush desert landscaping at the Faye Sarkowsky Sculpture Garden

Star-studded Palm Springs has unexpected hidden gems. From quaint cafes to Sinatra steaks, there’s much to discover. There are several must-see places near Palm Springs:

  • Taste artisan breads and gourmet sandwiches at Aspen Mills Bakery
  • Try the baby back ribs at Babe’s BAR-B-QUE and Brewhouse
  • Enjoy the tastefully prepared appetizers at Copley’s Restaurant on Palm Springs
  • Try local favorite Blue Cayote Grill, offering fajitas, margaritas, and a lively atmosphere
  • Frank Sinatra himself was a regular at Johnny Costa’s Ristorante