Things to do 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: 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: San Andreas Fault Open-Air Jeep Tour

3. 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.

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 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 Desert: Remotely Guided City Scavenger Hunt by Car

5. 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.

California: Downloadable Audio Guide for Highway 1 and More

6. California: Downloadable Audio Guide for Highway 1 and More

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.

Frequently asked questions about Palm Springs

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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 205 reviews

Amazing! Never thought I could get to the mills sooo close! Make sure you watch the into video - it will answer many questions you may have! Download the app and use it with your headsets as it tends to stop when phone screen goes off..

It was exemplary to what I thought, me and my husband had a great and wonderful time. I wish to come back again in the future.

Fue mejor de lo que esperaba me encanto las vistas muy seguro también muy económico y llegas ala sima omg

We enjoyed Annette. Very knowledgeable and pleasant. A fun 1 1/2 hour tour. .

Washington too easy to get my reservation, and fast!