Between the always-amazing weather and breathtaking scenery, it’s not hard to find things to do in Palm Springs. Here’s our ultimate visitor’s guide to Palm Springs, CA.
1. Ride The Tramway
Palm Springs has a reputation for many things, but unbeknownst to many is the record for world’s largest rotating tramcar. Since 1963, Palm Springs has held that record with the Palm Springs Tramway.
The tram will take you from Valley Station all the way to Mountain Station in Mount San Jacinto State Park, a 10-minute long ride that works out to roughly 2.5 miles. Not only is the tram an incredibly convenient way to get from the city to the mountains, but it’s also the most scenic way to do it!
The trip isn’t over once you get to Jacinto State Park. Whether you choose to take a guided nature walk or tour the area yourself, you’ll find a wide assortment of animals and plenty of natural scenery. This is typically best enjoyed in the summer, but snowshoeing or cross-country skiing might be an option in the winter if you’re up for a chillier experience.
Once you get to the peak of the mountain, you’ll witness one of the best views in the world from over 8,500 feet, and you’ll also get to enjoy food from Pines Cafe or Coachella Valley’s most excellent restaurants.
2. Walk Palm Canyon Drive
If you’re a shopper or traveling with one, you’ll definitely want to check out Palm Canyon Drive. Besides offering an assortment of boutique stores, it also has a wide variety of restaurants, art galleries, and museums.
VillageFest is a weekly Palm Springs event on the Drive, and you can also visit the Cornelia White House, one of the oldest structures in town that dates all the way back to 1893.
There are plenty of activities to keep you engaged on Palm Canyon Drive, but just walking the street with a coffee in hand is a great option all on its own. Just make sure you bring some walking around money with you!
3. See 880 Acres Of Beauty
Nature buffs are more than welcome at the Coachella Valley Preserve, one of the preeminent natural parks in all of California. With roughly 880 acres of protected land, you’ll see everything from desert wetlands to palm woodland havens. If you’re lucky, you might even see some of the endangered inhabitants such as the fringe-toed lizard.
If a walk on foot isn’t your cup of tea, there are horseback rides that can easily be arranged.
4. Enjoy Pure Relaxation At Two Bunch Palms
Palm Springs has an excellent reputation for its spas and resorts, and Two Bunch Palms is right up there with the best of them. Besides having a well-established wellness treatment program, it also holds title as the oldest hot mineral springs resort in the country.
Some of the unique offerings include shaman journey sessions, past life regression, and hypnotherapy. Of course, you can also lounge by the water and let the sounds of waterfalls and gently swaying branches soothe you into nirvana.
After your relaxing treatment, you can take in a fine meal at the in-house restaurant, Essence, and enjoy it’s locally sourced organic meals.
5. Visit The King’s Honeymoon Home
You might not associate the “King,” Elvis Presley himself with Palm Springs, but he has quite the following due to his connection with the town dating back to the 60s.
Shortly after Elvis and Priscilla Presley got married, they spent their honeymoon at the Alexander Estate, and they also lived there for a year from 1966 to 1967.
Their housing at the Alexander Estate is no secret, and fans now hold special events every year to celebrate Elvis’ birthday, death, and life. There are tours available to educate you on how important the Alexander Estate was in Elvis’ life, and if you have the budget, you can even rent the house for a special event. There’s only one rule: make sure you play some of the King’s music!
6. Eat At El Jefe’s
You won’t have to look far to find a good restaurant in Palm Springs, but a local favorite is El Jefe, a Mexican street food experience housed in boutique hotel Saguaro.
While you might think you’ve had tacos before, you’ve never really tried a taco until chef Jose Garcia makes one for you. The tacos come complete with toppings like chorizo sausages and shrimp, and the romantic atmosphere of El Jefe makes every dining occasion a great memory waiting to be had.
There’s so much to do in Palm Springs that this list could go on forever, but these are some well-known and less well-known options that are sure to give you a one-of-a-kind trip. You can’t go wrong in Palm Springs, so most importantly, have fun!