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: Legends and Icons Tour

2. Palm Springs: Legends and Icons Tour

Enjoy a guided tour of Palm Springs and see the houses once occupied by the rich and famous, including celebrities from Hollywood’s golden years. Discover where current celebrities live and keep your eyes open for some star spotting. 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 the location of the Liberace movie, “Behind The Candelabra,” starring Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, and Debbie Reynolds. Hear about the numerous Palm Springs landmarks, such as the Art and Air Museum, the Plaza Theater, The Indian and Tahquitz Canyons, the aerial tramways, historic inns, and many more. Dive back in time and learn about how the Cahuilla Indians lived in the area over 3,000 years ago, long before Hollywood arrived.

Palm Springs: Drag Show with Brunch

3. Palm Springs: Drag Show with Brunch

The Saguaro Hotel presents PS Drag Brunch, the winner of 2022 Best Drag Brunch Award. You'll enjoy a lavish 3-course menu, served at a private table and accompanied by Bottomless Mimosas, Unlimited Champagne, and never-ending soft drinks. While you dine, be entertained by one of the best drag experiences available anywhere. You'll see the top drag talent in California and beyond, a cast featuring Emmy Winners, nationally touring drag artists, and local celebrities. The show wows guests with the costumes, the dancing, the perfect makeup, and the precise lip-sync. Audiences are left alternatively gasping at the shade these queens can throw, or cheering the spectacle unfolding right beside their table. With 5 stars on every review website, PS Drag Brunch is always at the top of everyone's list of things they "must do" in Palm Springs. And with good reason: nearly half guest testimonials use the word "amazing" to describe their experience. And even the most seasoned lovers of drag culture describe this as the "best drag show they've ever seen". Come and enjoy the most remarkable experience in Palm Springs. And leave with "that" photo, the one where you're posting with our cast, that will define your entire trip to magical Palm Springs.

Palm Springs: San Andreas Fault Open-Air Jeep Tour

4. 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 of the primal forces that shaped the valleys and surrounding landscape and the people that called this place home for millennia.

California Audioguide for Self-Drivers

5. California Audioguide for Self-Drivers

Complete your road trip around California with an audio guide featuring 169 locations and 3 hours of audio in 1 app. Listen to the recordings as you take in views at Yosemite, Mt. Whitney, and Zabriskie Point, experience the unique cultures of Silicon Valley, Santa Monica, and Hollywood, and drive down Highway 1. Feel at ease taking in the views while the app uses GPS to find your location and suggest stops. From famous landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge to lesser-known gems like Moss Landing, appreciate the wealth of beauty and history in California with detailed audio descriptions.   Stop and start your journey as often as you please, there’s no constraints once you download the app and activate your audio guide. If there’s a specific site you’d like to visit, manually choose audio guides from the built-in map or from a list.

Palm Springs: Self-Driving Windmill Tour

6. 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 provided through an app with clearly marked destinations throughout the first commercial wind farm in Southern California. After check-in at the Tour Center, you will see a 15-minute video before your self-driving tour. There are exhibits inside the Tour Center on wind energy. You will then be given a map and directed to 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: City Highlights Scavenger Hunt Smartphone Game

7. Palm Springs: City Highlights Scavenger Hunt Smartphone Game

Looking for a way to turn Palm Springs into a giant game board? Urban Adventure Quest has created an interactive scavenger hunt that combines the fun of the Amazing Race with a one and a half hour sightseeing tour of Palm Springs. Guided from any smartphone, groups make their way among well-known and overlooked sights of this little town known as Hollywood’s Desert Playground, solving clues and completing challenges while learning local history. The adventure begins downtown at the Palm Springs Art Museum and the route leads you to outdoor sculptures and art murals, through the Walk of the Stars, past historic buildings, and delicious date shakes. You'll discover iconic sights and hidden gems of this desert oasis while learning why movie stars have been flocking here since the 1920s. The tour requires approximately 1.25 miles of walking. Using a smartphone as “the guide” allows participants to start when they want and determine their own pace of play. Stop to enjoy the beautiful scenery or grab a bite to eat along the way….why not, it’s your schedule? Available 365 days a year from Sunrise to Sunset. Offered at a fixed price for a group vs. per person pricing, this city tour/game offers a great value to those on a budget.

Joshua Tree National Park: Self-Guided Driving Tour

8. Joshua Tree National Park: Self-Guided Driving Tour

Go on a fun driving tour through Joshua Tree National Park. Start your trip at Bajada Nature Trailhead and quickly visit the helpful Cottonwood Visitor Center. Enjoy the oasis at Cottonwood Spring, then drive down Pinto Basin Road, seeing Creosote Plants. Experience the desert at Pinto Basin Sand Dunes Trailhead, see the Ocotillo Patch, and visit the Cholla Cactus Garden. Check out Arch Rock and Heart Rock, walk around Split Rock Loop, and take pictures at Skull Rock. Learn history at Desert Queen Mine, see old Joshua Trees, and hike Ryan Mountain Trail. See the quiet Hall of Horrors Area, peaceful Cap Rock, and calm Barker Dam Trailhead. Don’t miss Intersection Rock, Hidden Valley Nature Trailhead, and the Boy Scout Trail. Discover Samuelson's Rock and finish your tour at the Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Center. Explore nature's wonders! Centers: Cottonwood Visitor Center, Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Center. Sights: Cottonwood Spring, Pinto Basin Road, Pinto Basin Sand Dunes Trailhead, Ocotillo Patch, Cholla Cactus Garden, Arch Rock, Heart Rock, Split Rock Loop, Skull Rock, Desert Queen Mine, Joshua Trees, Ryan Mountain Trail. Special Areas: Hall of Horrors Area, Cap Rock, Barker Dam Trailhead, Intersection Rock, Hidden Valley Nature Trailhead, Boy Scout Trail, Samuelson's Rock.

Palm Desert: Remotely Guided City Scavenger Hunt by Car

9. Palm Desert: Remotely Guided City Scavenger Hunt by Car

Learn about Palm Desert as you embark on a scavenger hunt. Play as a single team or try to win against others as your remote guide sends you clues. See the Fountain of Life in Cathedral City and see the beautiful stone sculptures of wildlife. Drive to Sunnylands Center, a huge 15-acre site known for its desert art garden. See the glass facade of the center and the Palm Springs Art Museum, famous for its collection of art by modern, contemporary, and glass artists. Continue your adventure as you visit Misty's Consignments, which houses designer furniture, fine art, and accessories.

3 hour Hummer Adventure in the San Andreas Fault

10. 3 hour Hummer Adventure in the San Andreas Fault

Your tour will begin with a safety briefing and a chance to meet your experienced guide. Then, you'll climb into a specially modified Hummer and head out into the desert. Your first stop will be at Thousand Palms Oasis, a beautiful oasis located in the Coachella Valley Preserve. Here, you'll have the chance to walk across a bridge that straddles the San Andreas Fault. It's an amazing experience to stand on two different tectonic plates at the same time! Next, you'll head into Berdoo Canyon, a remote area that is home to some of the most impressive geological formations on the San Andreas Fault. As you drive through the canyon, your guide will tell you about the history and geology of the fault, and you'll get to see up close the effects of millions of years of tectonic movement. One of the highlights of the tour is a visit to the "transition zone." This is a unique area where the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate are actively sliding past each other. The ground here is constantly shifting and changing, and it's a fascinating sight to see. The tour ends with a return to Palm Springs. But before you go, your guide will take you to one last stop: a viewpoint where you can take in stunning views of the San Andreas Fault and the surrounding desert landscape. Adventure Hummer Tours offers a truly unique and unforgettable experience. If you're looking for an adventure, and you're interested in learning more about the San Andreas Fault, this is the tour for you. Get to places that other tours cannot go. Adventure Hummer Tours has special permits from the National Park Service, which allows them to take you to areas that are off-limits to other tour operators. This means that you'll get to see the San Andreas Fault from a perspective that few people ever get to experience. Learn from experienced guides. Adventure Hummer Tours guides are experts on the San Andreas Fault and the surrounding desert landscape. They'll be able to teach you all about the history, geology, and wildlife of the area.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Palm Springs

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What people are saying about Palm Springs

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 249 reviews

Richmond was an excellent guide, he was well prepared and extremely knowledgeable. He had visual aides to help explain certain items and was able to read his audience to make sure we all had an enjoyable and interesting time and would definitely recommend him to anyone. His good sense of humour added to his charm.

Recommend going early in the day so you can enjoy the scenery and walking around/hiking. Fun ride up with beautiful views and very cool ride down in the dark. There is a bar and restaurant to enjoy some cocktails food and views.

The experience was great but the dining is subpar. Eat before you head up to the mountain.

Amazing and thanks.... it was so easy getting a ticket thru your voucher

Wonderful experience for my family visiting from Singapore!