Southern California, known for its consistently sunny weather is home to the city of Palm Springs.  Located just an hour and a half south of Los Angeles, Palm Springs is a frequent hot spot for outdoor adventures, shopping and culture.  Here are a few ideas to explore Palm Springs with some of the best venues in and around the city:

1) Visit the Museums

  • Palm Springs Art Museum
    Palm Springs Art Museum is a showcase of the regional arts from the town. There are countless art displays, whether visual or performing arts.
  • Palm Springs Air Museum
    At the Palm Springs Air Museum enjoy a piece of history in the form of classic airplanes, and war aircrafts from both World War II and the Vietnam war.

2) Go on a Nature Walk

  • Indian Canyons
    Made up of three canyons: Palm, Andreas, and Murray, the Indian Canyons are a great place to see the wildlife and the beauty of the desert in closest to nature. Here you will see the flora and fauna that has made California famous, plus see the glorious colors of the canyons. 
  • Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve
    Hike, birdwatch, or enjoy the wildlife and spectacular views of the Coachella Valley. In the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve, you can enjoy 30 miles of trails and get an idea of what the “old west” looked like before settlers arrived in California.
  • Tahquitz Canyon and Waterfall
    The Tahquitz Canyon one of the most beautiful parts of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Reservation. Hosting a 60 foot tall waterfall, rock art, native wildlife and plants, Tahquitz Canyon is filled to the brim with natural beauty.

3) Explore Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park has so much to see, do and explore that it really needs to be an activity in and of itself.  Here are a few of the highlights you won’t want to miss:

  • Scenic Views – Keys View
  • Rock Formations – Heart Rock, Split Rock, Skull Rock, etc.
  • Vacant Mines – Silver Bell Mine, Wall Street Mine, Lost Horse Mine, etc.
  • Attractions – Ryan Mountain, Barker Dam and others
  • Historic Landmarks – Eagle Cliff Mine, Key’s Ranch

4) Take a Tour

  • Palm Springs Celebrity Tours
    Once known as “Hollywood’s Playground,” Palm Springs is filled with history. Classic celebrities, such as Frank Sinatra, Albert Einstein, Jack Benny, and more used to own homes in Palm Springs along with frequent faces of Marilyn Monroe, and Elizabeth Taylor. Come and see how the past and the present are combined in this desert town.
  • Palm Springs Windmill Tours
    The Palm Springs Windmill Tours will take you beyond the fences of private property to see this wonderful source of renewable energy at work. It is a two-hour tour consisting of the history and facts about the windmills.

5)  Engage with the Wild Side

  • Moorten Botanical Garden
    If a long hike isn’t quite your style, a trip to the Moorten Botanical Garden won’t disappoint as it is home to over 3,000 plants from around the world. This garden consists of more than just the native Californian plants, it contains plants from Mexico and some even as far as Guatemala.
  • The Living Desert and Gardens
    Located at the foot of the Santa Rosa Mountains, with over 1,200 acres this zoo and botanical garden includes mountain lions, wolves, eagles, giraffes, zebras, bobcats and more!

6) Spend Time on the Green
Palm Springs is an ideal location for golfers, especially during the winter months.  The stark contrast of the lush greens against the dry desert is stunning!  Some of the more popular courses include:

  • Shadow Ridge (by Marriott)
  • Desert Willow Golf Resort
  • Classic Club
  • Indian Canyons Golf Resort

7) Take-in the Downtown Scene

  • Palm Canyon Drive
    Take a short walk to see what restaurants and hidden treasures to find in the city. Palm Canyon Drive is filled with things to explore and do.
  • Palm Springs Villagefest
    The Palm Springs Villagefest is a weekly event to celebrate the city’s food, art, and shopping. It takes place downtown every Thursday night. Entertainers perform live music.

Set in the Sonoran Desert, Palm Springs, California is not just any desert town.  It’s a city rich with activities to do, sights to see and places to explore!  Whether it’s a golf outing, a of tours or hiking for the perfect scenic view, you’ll find it in Palm Springs.

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Michael Richardson

Michael Richardson is one of the two partners of Gavel International. Michael's introduction to the travel business was as owner of an international tour operation in 1978. He also managed the transportation system of a large motorcoach company in Europe. Michael joined Gavel as an Account Manager in 1985, and has been in both operations and sales of the meeting planning, incentive and events industry. In 1998, he became Executive Vice President. Michael resides in Chicago, IL with his wife, Susan, where they welcome the company of their two grown children.
Michael Richardson