23 of the Best Things to Do in Palm Springs, California

Are you wondering, what is there to do in Palm Springs? Palm Springs is the ideal vacation destination when planning a weekend getaway in California. From delicious restaurants and bars to outdoor activities of all kinds to shopping and spas, there is never a shortage of things to do in Palm Springs, CA. Located near some of the best national and state parks including Mount San Jacinto State Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Moorten Botanical Garden, and the Coachella Valley Preserve, Palm Springs is the perfect place for hikers, bikers, and those who want to experience nature. Palm Springs is also home to a number of cultural and artistic destinations, including a number of galleries, museums, and live show opportunities. For the full list of activities, events, and other things to do in Palm Springs, we recommend downloading our free Vacation Guide. Our top favorite attractions, activities and restaurants in Palm Springs include:

Palm Springs Attractions

Palm Springs Air Museum

The Palm Springs Air Museum is a history museum dedicated to educating and informing the public about the role Air Power played in the many wars of America’s past. Exhibits include aircrafts from World War II, Korea, and the Vietnam Wars, with many of the aircrafts still in flyable condition. Visit the museum to learn more about our country’s history and how these famous aircrafts aided in military victories.

Copa Palm Springs

The Copa is an old fashioned, throwback of a nightclub that features various shows and performances. With a large variety of performances from local and guest entertainers, delicious cocktails, and a fun atmosphere, the Copa is the perfect place for a night out on the town. Check the calendar located on the Copa website for a complete list of performances and shows. Also, visit the Copa on the weekends to experience the hottest dance floor in the valley, complete with DJ mixes, interchanging lights and lasers.

The Spring Day Spa

The Spring Resort and Spa is the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate during your visit to Palm Springs. Located on an elevated promontory, this spa is known for its beautiful views of Palm Springs and the San Jacinto and San Gorgonio mountains. Spend your days lounging in the heated mineral water pools or enjoy any of the wonderful body massages and treatments available.

Casinos in Palm Springs

With a reputation for being a Hollywood refuge, it’s no wonder that Palm Springs is awash in breathtaking entertainment. The casinos in Palm Springs fit the bill as some of the best to play in the United States, and offer a host of other entertainment opportunities besides some gambling fun.

Palm Springs Indian Canyons

Palm Springs Indian Canyons is one of the area’s most impressive natural wonders, stretching for 15 miles through the Coachella Valley. Once home to the Cahuilla people who expertly lived off this rugged landscape, it is now preserved for lovers of the West’s stunning landscapes.

The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum

The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum offers numerous programs, classes and events to both educate and entertain local residents and visitors alike to the area. Don’t miss a chance to explore this attraction while here!

Golf Courses in Palm Springs That Our Guests Love

Palm Springs has long been known as a golf destination, with numerous high-end courses and resorts scattered across the Coachella Valley. Whether you’re looking for an exclusively golf-oriented vacation, or just to play an easy round of golf, you’ll love any time spent on the beautiful golf courses in Palm Springs.

The Palm Springs Architecture Museum

The Palm Springs Art Museum has a new feature ready to be enjoyed by visitors and locals alike. The new Palm Springs Architecture Museum, a celebration of the area’s unique mid-century design for which it is well known, is an inspiring place to visit in the midst of the city. This new museum both preserves and displays the country’s largest collection of Desert Modernism architecture found in both private and commercial buildings around the city.

Your Guide to Exciting Palm Springs Nightlife

The Palm Springs nightlife is a collection of distinctive bars and clubs that creates a unique scene for all to enjoy.  Check out this Palm Springs entertainment guide to find your new favorite venue!

Palm Springs Activities

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is one of the many ways to enjoy the great outdoors of Palm Springs during your visit. Known as the world’s largest rotating tramcar, this Aerial Tramway offers breathtaking views of the sheer cliffs of Chino Canyon. The ride lasts 10 minutes beginning at the Valley Station with an elevation of 2,643 ft. and ending at the Mountain Station with an elevation of 8,516 ft. View the sites of the Chino Canyon with this amazing Palm Springs activity.

Big Wheel Bike Tours

For those who love the outdoors and biking, the Big Wheel Bike Tours is the perfect Palm Springs activity for you! The main bike tour is The Earthquake Canyon Express, a 20 mile tour that descends through the heart of the San Andreas Fault zone to the heart of grape country near Mecca. This sightseeing ride allows riders views of the beautiful Colorado and Mojave Deserts, the Box Canyon, the Salton Sea, Mr. San Jacinto, the All-American Canal, and the Coachella Valley.

Living Desert Zoo & Gardens

The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens is one of the best Palm Springs activities to enjoy for families visiting the area. The Living Desert focuses on conservation through preservation, education and appreciation by educating guests about the Colorado Desert and more.

Palm Springs Spas

Many guests, upon visiting, enjoy a day at one of the many Palm Springs spas located in the area, where pampering is doled out without hesitation. Whether you’re looking for your wedding day glow or just a chance to kick back with your sweetheart or a group of friends on a getaway trip, you will surely find all the services you desire in the area. With Palm Springs’ numerous professionals in skincare, massage, cosmetology and much more, not only will you find what you want, but the service will be excellent and often surrounded by beautiful views.

The Shopping in Palm Springs is Fantastic!

Shopping is a key part of any vacation!  You never know what kind of unique or distinctive treasures you’ll discover in a new environment.  Among the countless activities Palm Springs offers is a remarkable selection of amazing places to shop.  No matter what you’re looking for, whether it’s an antique serving bowl or a fashionable scarf, Palm Springs has it!  Browse our list to see the best places for all kinds of shopping in Palm Springs, CA.

Hiking in Palm Springs

One of the finest qualities of this gem of the West is its endless opportunities for outdoor recreation.  With wonderful weather year-round, as well as magnificent scenery and world-famous parks, the great outdoors of Palm Springs is unlike any other destination, and the hiking in Palm Springs is superfluous. Be sure to explore the Chino Canyon!

Palm Springs Restaurants

Palm Springs, CA, is home to a large number of unique spots for an amazing meal. These various restaurants in Palm Springs all have special qualities that cause them to stand out, such as picturesque views, comfortable atmospheres, and uncommon menu items. Be sure to discover the best dining in Palm Springs while you’re here.

El Mirasol

If you’re looking for some of the best Mexican food available in Palm Springs, look no further than El Mirasol Cocinca Mexicana. Choose from a large variety of piping hot plates of artfully prepared Mexican regional cuisine, while enjoying deliciously tangy Margaritas. House specialties include Chicharron en Salsa, Spinach Enchiladas in Chile Verde, and Carne Asada.

LuLu California Bistro

For deliciously fresh and affordable meals, visit LuLu California Bistro, one of the best Palm Springs restaurants. LuLu’s combines talent, expertise, and passion to create amazing plates of delectable food for guests. Choose from menu items ranging from lettuce wraps, to fresh oysters, and pizza. Follow up your entrees with a decadent dessert made daily and a complementing cappuccino, latte, or endless pot of fresh brewed coffee.

Trio Restaurant

One of the most well-known restaurants in Palm Springs, Trio is lively and upbeat, as well as delicious. Located in the Uptown Design District, Trio combines traditional Midwest comfort food with California contemporary edge like Yankee Pot Roast, Calamari with Thai Dipping Sauce, and Braised Lamb Shank. With good pricing, good food, and a colorfully fun atmosphere, Trio is the ideal place to dine while visiting Palm Springs.

Palm Springs Events

Palm Springs Pride Parade

This year’s Palm Springs Pride Parade and Celebration takes place in early November, carrying on a long tradition of spreading education and awareness around the Coachella Valley’s LGBT community. If you have yet to enjoy this uplifting and downright entertaining time of year here in Palm Springs, it is certainly worth the trip, as it is arguably the biggest celebration taking place here all year round.

The CareerBuilder Challenge

Calling all golfers! By signing up for the CareerBuilder Challenge, you’ll receive the opportunity to compete against famous golfers, win prizes, and participate in daily events, all in the beautiful deserts of California.

Palm Springs Film Festival

The annual Palm Springs Film Festival occurs every January and is one of the biggest of its kind in North America, drawing over 136,000 film enthusiasts annually.

Palm Springs Villagefest

The Palm Springs Villagefest is where visitors and locals alike frequently flock to get a taste of the local dining, shopping, and entertainment.  This extravaganza is great for finding gifts for friends and family or just starting the weekend early with some amusing activities.

Palm Springs Festival of Lights

The Palm Springs Festival of Lights is a holiday tradition that attracts both visitors and locals of all ages.  Always held the first Saturday of December, this annual event features all kinds of entertainment, from drum squads to prancing horses.  Proudly presented by the City of Palm Springs, this famous parade has been voted as one of the Top 10 Holiday Parades nationwide by an AOL survey.

The White Party in Palm Springs

Find your best swimsuit and get ready for the celebration of the year!  The White Party in Palm Springs (presented by Jeffrey Sanker) is, without a doubt, the world’s premier gay dance festival.  Get ready to rock all weekend at this blowout; with an unbelievable DJ lineup, fantastic events, and entertaining activities, you’ll never want to leave this California paradise.

For a complete list of activities, events, and other things to do in Palm Springs, we recommend downloading our free Vacation Guide.

Photo Credit: Visit Palm Springs Official Website