18 Ways to Spend Your Vacation in Palm Springs, California

A vacation in Palm Springs promises to be filled with fun. From outdoor adventures to cool museums and from casinos to a thriving night scene, there’s never a dull moment. Heaps of terrific restaurants that cater to many tastes and a wide array of Palm Springs vacation rentals to choose between add to the city’s appeal. Add these attractions and activities to your list for a fabulous vacation in Palm Springs.

1. Hit the Casinos

Often a major magnet for holidaymakers in Palm Springs, the city’s casinos offer a huge array of table games and arcade games, as well as dining and drinking options. Some casinos in Palm Springs are open around the clock. Flashy and swanky, some also feature awesome shows or live bands, and some have pumping clubs where the resident DJs know how to rock the tunes. Options include Spotlight 29, Casino Morongo, Fantasy Springs, Augustine, Agua Caliente and Spa Resort.

2. Get Active in the Coachella Valley

Not just for festivals, the Coachella Valley Preserve is a top place for active days in the great outdoors. Expect rugged terrain in the scenic valley and keep your eyes peeled for desert-dwelling wildlife.

3. Ride the Aerial Tramway

There’s no need to hike Mount San Jacinto when you can simply hop in the cable car. Enjoy soaring views on the way up and learn more about the mountain’s biodiversity in the interpretive center. Feeling energetic? Hike the rest of the way to the summit.

4. See the Cabazon Dinosaurs

The looming Cabazon Dinosaurs are the quirkiest roadside attractions around Palm Springs. The drive out to them is well worth it.

5. Have a Round of Golf

Palm Springs’s well-maintained golf courses present plenty of challenges and scenic views. Popular options include Escena Golf Club, Indian Canyons Golf Resort and Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort.

6. Take a Day Trip to Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is within easy reach of Palm Springs. See where two dessert ecosystems merge, admire rugged landscapes, marvel at the interesting rock formations and snap pictures of the diverse flora and fauna. Be sure to get a selfie with a Joshua tree! Head to Hidden Valley and hike through the boulders.

7. See the Palm Springs Walk of Stars

While it’s not quite Hollywood, pay homage to local legends at the Palm Springs Walk of Stars. Early pioneers, veterans, showbiz names, former presidents and names from literary circles can all be found immortalized on the sidewalk.

8. Learn More at Agua Caliente Cultural Museum

The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum is a top place to learn more about the indigenous Cahuilla group. The group originally lived in the lands around the Coachella Valley. The museum has a variety of exhibits and displays relating to their history, culture and heritage.

9. Go Wild at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

One of the top things to do on a vacation to Palm Springs, the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is home to a wide variety of animals and plants from the desert. As well as local desert life, the facility also houses flora and fauna typical of other North American deserts and African deserts. The walking trails give you a greater appreciation for the world’s driest places.

10. Experience Village Fest

Village Fest takes place every Thursday evening in downtown Palm Springs. You’ll find a great selection of arts and crafts stalls, food vendors and entertainers.

11. Marvel at the San Andreas Fault

The gaping San Andreas Fault is an easy day trip from Palm Springs. See the deep chasm created as the North American and Pacific tectonic plates gradually rip apart.

12. Splash Around at Wet ‘n’ Wild

A cool water park that was previously known as Soak City, Wet ‘n’ Wild is a great place if the Californian sun is making you a bit hot under the collar. Take it easy in a cabana, swim in the pools, relax on the lazy river, bob in the wave pool, try surfing and enjoy the varied chutes and slides.

13. Peer Down from a Hot Air Balloon

Get a bird’s eye view of the sweeping desert expanses and the city from a wicker basket as you soar through the skies on a hot air balloon ride.

14. Hike in the Indian Canyons

There are several canyons around Palm Springs that were once considered sacred by Native American groups that called the area home. Tahquitz Canyon is especially pretty, complete with a gushing waterfall and rock art. Others include the lush Palm Canyon, the Murray Canyon and the Andreas Canyon.

15. Spot the City’s Statues

Large statues of famous faces from times gone by are dotted around the city, a reminder of the area’s rise to fame as a playground of the rich and famous from Hollywood back in the day. Marilyn Monroe, Sonny Bono, Lucille Ball, Frank Bogert and Gene Autry are just a few to look out for. Some of the more unusual include St. Francis and the Desert Holocaust Memorial.

16. Admire the Works in Palm Springs Art Museum

Feeling arty? Head to Palm Springs Art Museum. Collections mainly focus on contemporary pieces, though there are some desert-inspired works too.

17. Take it Easy at Moorten Botanical Garden

Looking for a place to chill in nature? Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium is an ideal place to escape the city’s hustle and bustle for a while.

18. Tour the Sunnylands Estate

A historic home set in glorious gardens, journey back in time with a tour of Sunnylands. Reservations are required to tour inside the house.

A vacation in Palm Springs certainly offers plenty of diversity to suit all tastes and interest. Bonus suggestions include visiting Palm Springs Air Museum, hitting the downtown shops, riding through the desert on a quad bike and discovering the landscapes by horseback. You’re sure to have a top time in California’s Palm Springs!