What are the best things to do in Palm Springs?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Marissa Willman

From architecture to natural wonders, there’s no shortage of things to enjoy Palm Springs. Here’s a look at the best things to do in Palm Springs:

1. Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. For the best vistas of Palm Springs and the surrounding Coachella Valley, get a bird’s-eye perspective with a trip up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The world’s largest rotating tramway offers 360-degree views of the desert floor as you climb up the San Jacinto Mountains. At the peak, enjoy summer nature trails and winter snowfall in San Jacinto State Park.

2. Palm Springs Art Museum. Contemporary art lovers swoon over the 24,000-piece collection at the Palm Springs Art Museum. The 150,000-square-foot building features modern art, Native American artifacts and impressive sculptures. If you enjoy performing arts, don’t miss the high-caliber live shows and film screenings at the museum’s Annenberg Theater.

3. VillageFest. The streets of downtown Palm Springs turn into an outdoor marketplace on Thursday nights during the year-round VillageFest street fair. Shop for local goods such as Coachella Valley honey, take a horse-drawn carriage ride through downtown or nosh on tender tri-tip sandwiches, all as live performers keep the energy high with electric cello and acoustic guitar performances under the desert sky.

4. Mid-century modern architecture. Palm Springs is filled with architectural gems by designers such as Donald Wexler, Albert Frey, William Cody and John Lautner. Take a self-guided drive through the city to see architectural beauties such as the Wexler steel houses or the Frey-designed Palm Springs Visitor’s Center. In February, don’t miss the annual Palm Springs Modernism Week celebration, when icons like the Frey House II open up for tours.

5. Indian Canyons. Delve into the natural side of the area with a hike into the Indian Canyons, tucked into the very San Jacinto Mountains that paint the backdrop for Palm Springs. Sights in the Indian Canyons include striking rock formations, palm tree oases and natural waterfalls.

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