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Things to do in

Palm Springs

Top sights in Palm Springs

Our most recommended things to do in Palm Springs

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

1. Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

From top to bottom, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway delivers a scenic and educational journey as you travel through 5 transitional zones. Some have compared it to taking a ride from Mexico to Alaska in just 10 minutes. See for yourself as you ride up to the top, where spectacular views await! The 2.5 mile (4 kilometer) ride from the Valley Station (elevation 2,643 feet, or 805 meters) to the Mountain Station (elevation 8,516 feet, or 2,596 meters) transports you from the warm desert sands to cool mountain air, with temperatures that are generally 30-degrees cooler than on the ground. The tramway is the threshold of the 14,000-acre Mt. San Jacinto State Park, a natural place with some of the last pristine wilderness in Southern California. In the winter, try cross-county skiing or snowshoeing. Rental equipment is available at the Adventure Cether, snow conditions permitting. During the summer months, camping, guided nature walks, and 54 miles (87 kilometers) of hiking are available. There are 2 dining options at the Mountain Station: Peaks Restaurant offers upscale contemporary cuisine with a spectacular view of the desert floor, and Pines Cafe is a cafeteria-style restaurant that offers a casual dining experience. Also at the top are gift shops, a Natural History Museum, and 2 documentary-style movies on the history of the tramway and the Mt. San Jacinto State Park.

Palm Springs: San Andreas Fault Open-Air Jeep Tour

2. Palm Springs: San Andreas Fault Open-Air Jeep Tour

Board your open-air Jeep and embark upon a scenic and informative exploration of the stunning landscape of an active earthquake zone where you will travel across private property only accessible by 4WD and only open for this specific tour. This exciting 4WD adventure to the private Metate Ranch reserve on the San Andreas fault line is a once in a lifetime experience for any visitor to the Coachella Valley. Discover the unique geography of this tortured landscape as you explore the skeleton of the earth. Visit a natural oasis and uncover the mysteries of the hardy plants and animals carving out an existence in the dry barren landscape.  Learn about the culture and lifestyle of the Cahuilla Indians and how they used the desert’s plants for food, medicine, tools, weapons, shelter, and more. You will have an opportunity to walk among the stone corridors and sheer granite walls of ancient canyons as you learn the fascinating history the primal forces that shaped the valleys and surrounding landscape and the people that called this place home for millennia.

Palm Springs: Legends and Icons Tour

3. Palm Springs: Legends and Icons Tour

Enjoy a fascinating 1.5-hour tour of Palm Springs and see the houses once occupied by the rich and famous, including celebrities from Hollywood’s golden years. You will also discover where current celebrities live, so keep your eyes open for some star spotting! Sometimes referred to as "Little Hollywood," the glamorous movie colony of Palm Springs boasts more than 50 celebrity homes, including those of Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, and the small house owned by Marilyn Monroe on Rose Avenue. Many stars built smaller getaways than their LA mansions, located just east of Palm Canyon Drive to Ruth Hardy Park. Visit the property known as “The Rat Pack Hideaway” and location of the Liberace movie “Behind The Candelabra” starring Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, and Debbie Reynolds. Learn about the numerous Palm Springs talked about landmarks, such as the Art and Air Museum, the Plaza Theater, The Indian and Tahquitz Canyons, the aerial tramways, historic inns and many more. Learn how the Cahuilla Indians lived in the area over 3,000 years ago - long before Hollywood arrived.

Palm Springs: Self-Driving Windmill Tour

4. Palm Springs: Self-Driving Windmill Tour

The Palm Springs windmill self-driving tour is an interactive, educational, and fun tour for friends and family. This tour will guide you along with an audio program with clearly marked destinations throughout the first commercial wind farm in Southern California. First check-in at the Tour Center where you will view a 15 minute video prior to your self-driving tour. There are exhibits inside the Tour Center on wind energy. You will then be given a map and directed where to start your tour. You will then take a journey through 10 marked stops, starting with a display yard of non-operating wind turbines. Learn about the successes and failures and visit a real generating wind turbine, where you can get up close and take pictures. Continue to a solar farm and end the tour with a stop at the old gas plant.

Palm Springs: Indian Canyons Hiking Tour by Jeep

5. Palm Springs: Indian Canyons Hiking Tour by Jeep

Begin your incredible journey in a 4WD as your tour guide takes you into the lush palm oasis of the magnificent Indian Canyons of Palm Springs. Visit the historical home of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. Learn about the history, culture, legends, and stories of the Cahuilla people. Along the way, discover Rincon Village and the Cahuilla’s amazing understanding and usage of desert plants.  Embark on a guided 1-mile hike on a peaceful trail up Andreas Canyon that winds along a beautiful stream of cascading waters shaded by a canopy of California Fan Palms. Discover ancient bedrock mortars and an array of desert flora. Once you reach the top of the trail, enjoy a breathtaking view of the steep cliff walls on the opposite side. Enjoy a short walk to a hidden water cave where the water flows most of the year. At the end of your adventure, relax, refresh, and shop for unique gifts and souvenirs at the Indian Trading Post which features Indian art and artifacts, books, jewelry, pottery, baskets, weavings, and more.

Other Sightseeing Options in Palm Springs

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What people are saying about Palm Springs

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 196 reviews

The tour was far more than we could have imagined or hoped for. Our tour guide was a wealth of knowledge and juicy tid bits of the Hollywood who’s who and made the adventure well with the money. The air-conditioned Mercedes van was comfortable, clean, and a great way to see all those amazing homes! Highly recommend.

Our driver/tour guide was very friendly, fun and knowledgeable about the area and the old stars homes. We would recommend this tour to anyone looking for a good time while learning about some history.

Evan is the perfect host and incredibly knowledgeable about the history of the Coachella Valley. The bike route was beautiful…stunning geography!

Super nice and passionate guide. really nice as an excursion, to recommend

very informative and a great way to see Palm Springs