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Palm Springs City Trip — Attractions

See giraffes at the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens in Palm Springs, California


Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Where to Stay Where to Eat What to See & Do

Get the details on important attractions and resources for your trip to Palm Springs.

DESERT AND HIKING


The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
47-900 Portola Ave.
Palm Desert, CA 92260
760-346-5694

The Living Desert is a zoo and botanical garden in the nearby town of Palm Desert. A vast model railway gives way to open enclosures for cheetahs, zebras, yellow-tailed storks and dik-diks (small antelope). An inner loop trail runs through the park and longer trails are available for more serious hikers. Kids can play in the Gecko Gulch desert-themed playground.

Moorten’s Botanical Garden
1701 S. Palm Canyon Dr.
760-327-6555

Experience the desert without leaving the flatlands. Moorten’s Botanical Garden has been in operation since 1938, offering several acres of cactus thickets, supple succulents and flowers you might not have imagined a desert could produce—about 3,000 varieties in all.

Joshua Tree National Park
74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms

760-367-5500

Joshua Tree National Park occupies over a million acres and straddles two deserts (the Colorado and the Mojave, where the famed Joshua tree has its home)—each with strikingly different flora. It's a great place for hiking, rock climbing and camping.

Tahquitz Canyon
500 West Mesquite
760-416-7044

There's good hiking in the tribal lands of Tahquitz Canyon, operated by the Agua Caliente band of Cahuilla Indians. Canyon admission is $12.50. Once inside, you can enjoy a ranger-led tour. Make sure to watch the film about Tahquitz, a Cahuilla shaman who is known for stealing the souls of the unsuspecting.

MUSEUMS


The Douglas A26 JD1 Invader at the Palm Springs Air Museum in California

Palm Springs Art Museum
101 Museum Dr.
760-325-7186

Formerly the Palm Springs Desert Museum, the permanent collection showcases Mesoamerican antiquities and works by artists of world renown—Dale Chihuly, Ed Ruscha, Sam Francis, Louise Bourgeois and many more. The museum, with cutting-edge exhibitions and elegantly employed space, superbly demonstrates how good a small museum can be. It's located in downtown Palms Springs on Museum Drive behind the Palm Springs Fashion Mall.

Palm Springs Air Museum
745 North Gene Autry Trail
760-778-6262

Not just one of the nation's largest collections of WWII flying aircraft, this museum also houses a library of 8,500 volumes and the Buddy Rodgers Theater which shows daily documentaries.

Palm Springs Air Museum photo gallery


SHOPPING

El Paseo
Palm Desert

Non-outdoorsy types might just stop for shopping or dining on Palm Desert’s El Paseo. Big-name department stores sit alongside tiny boutiques and plastic surgery centers.

TOURS


The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Celebrity Tours
4751 E. Palm Canyon Dr.
888-805-2700, 760-770-2700

A narrated ride past the one-time homes of Hollywood royalty. You’ll see the former lavish spreads of Dinah Shore, Richard Nixon, Alan Ladd, Nelson Rockefeller, Barry Manilow and Mary Martin—and that’s just on one block. If these names were part of your adulthood, you’ll have plenty of company on the tour.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
One Tramway Rd.
888-515-TRAM, 760-325-1449

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway will whisk you away for a 2.5-mile gondola ride up Mount San Jacinto to a lofty 8,500 feet above sea level. The gondola rotates ever so subtly en route, so if you don’t have the view you want, just wait a moment. Once you arrive, dozens of hiking trails wind through the towering peaks, deep valleys, forests of lodgepole pine and white fir, campsites and, during snow season, places to snowshoe and cross-country ski.

PS Modern Tours
760-318-6118

Young and art-minded visitors might prefer a private tour of Mid-century modern architecture such as those offered by PS Modern Tours, which sweeps inquisitive crowds away for a 2½-hour-long encyclopedic whirl through the town’s architecture.

The Best of the Best Tours
490 S. Indian Canyon Dr.
760-320-1365

An assortment of tours includes a trip round the San Gorgonio Wind Park, the forest of energy producing windmills that guard the main route into Palm Springs.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Palm Springs Official Visitors Center
2901 N. Palm Canyon Dr. (Former Tramway Gas Station)
Palm Springs, CA 92262
760-778-8418
800-347-7746

For more information, visit the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism website.


MORE PALM SPRINGS INFORMATION


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