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Top Activities in Palm Springs

See all 35 things to do in Palm Springs

Palm Springs Attractions

A dry heat, bounty of palm trees, and kitschy art scene might describe a lot of cities. But only one place can also boast being the favorite vacation spot of Hollywood elite and the permanent home of the likes of Frank Sinatra: Palm Springs. If you want to live like Ol’ Blue Eyes for a short while, make your way to the California city and stay in one of its fine resorts. From getting a mud mask treatment to enjoying elaborate drag runway shows, things to do in Palm Springs certainly span the gamut of interests.

Areas & Neighborhoods in Palm Springs

Palm Springs isn’t all about relaxing at the hotel pool, though you can certainly make a weekend of that with no shame. The regions around the city offer lots to see and do for anyone interested in putting away their pool gear for an afternoon. Things to do in Palm Springs, CA range from the culinary to the entertaining, and no matter the speed of your vacation, there is a district here to suit your needs.

Downtown — Downtown Palm Springs marries kitschy, old school Palm Springs with some modern amenities. Spend an afternoon shopping at independent shops and cap it off with a meal at a fine restaurant.

Palm Desert — This Palm Springs-adjacent community is known for shopping, huge resorts, and lots of mouthwatering cuisine. Its retail district has even been called the “Rodeo Drive of the desert.”

Cathedral City — This city is one of the largest in the Coachella Valley, and just a short drive from Palm Springs. Visit the IMAX theater or grab a fellow baseball buff and head to the Big League Dreams Sports Park.

Things to See in Palm Springs

Before you get big ideas about hiking the vast California desert or making your way down a waterslide, stop and look around for a bit. You can enjoy unparalleled views of Palm Springs and its neighbors from the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Meanwhile, a visit to the Palm Springs Walk of Stars will yield photo opportunities next to the granite dedications for celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and Elvis Presley. Fun things to do in Palm Springs can also keep you entertained from the comforts of an air conditioned theater. Take in a show at the Annenberg Theater or the Palm Springs Pavilion while you’re in town.

Sightseeing in Palm Springs

Whether you’re in Palm Springs on a relaxing couples weekend or an extended getaway with the family, there is plenty to do here. Visit the Indian Canyons Hiking Trails to commune with nature and burn some calories, or trek the Tahquiz Canyon, where you are rewarded for your hike with a waterfall. Just remember that summer temperatures in Palm Springs often exceed 100 degrees, so you should remain hydrated. Palm Spring activities also include more relaxing endeavors, such as spending cash at the Cabazon Outlets or getting a massage at one of the many local spas. Amusement parks in Palm Springs, such as the Wet ‘n’ Wild® water park, can keep your group entertained for hours. When you’re not sure where to get started, Palm Springs tours are a great way to see many points of interest with the help of a guide.

Things to Do in Palm Springs with Kids

Going away with the kids? There are plenty of tours and activities in Palm Springs that'll keep your little adventurers entertained. Don't miss these family friendly experiences:

Free Things to Do in Palm Springs

Vacationing in Palm Springs on a budget? The following can be experienced for nix.

Desert Memorial Park - Stroll around this historic place and uncover some secrets from times past.

Tahquitz Canyon - Get set for views that'll inspire awe at this natural landscape.

Baristo Park - Revitalize your mind and soul by spending a bit of time with Mother Nature.

Explore The Neighborhoods of Palm Springs

Downtown Palm Springs

Join the many Angelenos that flock to Downtown Palm Springs to quench their vacation thirst in the Sonoran Desert.


Uptown Design District

Uptown Design District is popular for its abundant dining options, and you can check out San Jacinto Mountains, a top attraction in the neighborhood.

FestivalsDiningLive Music

La Quinta Cove

While visiting La Quinta Cove, you might make a stop by sights like San Jacinto Mountains and Old Town La Quinta.

Tahquitz River Estates

Though Tahquitz River Estates might not have many top sights, you can venture to the surrounding area to see attractions like Palm Springs Art Museum and Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium.

Warm Sands

Warm Sands might not have many top sights, but Palm Springs Art Museum and Baristo Park are two attractions nearby that you can check out.

Magnesia Falls Cove

While Magnesia Falls Cove might not have many sights to explore, venturing just a little farther will lead you to top things to see and do like Rancho Las Palmas Country Club and The River at Rancho Mirage.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What to do in Palm Springs on a sunny day?

What to do in Palm Springs on a rainy day?

Make the most of a wet day by joining some indoor activities, like an Oscar's Cabaret or a Shop & Play at Cabazon Outlets.

What should I not miss in Palm Springs?

If you'd like to experience the best of this destination, slot these attractions into your schedule:

  • Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
  • Indian Wells Tennis Garden
  • Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
  • Palm Springs Air Museum

Are there cheap things to do in Palm Springs?

Have a little fun without putting a dent in your budget with a Shop & Play at Cabazon Outlets or a Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

What can you do in Palm Springs for free?

You could store your cash in the hotel safe for the day, because these fantastic attractions won't cost you a penny:

  • Agua Caliente Casino
  • Fantasy Springs Casino
  • Spotlight 29 Casino
  • El Paseo Shopping District