Stuff to do in Palm Springs

by Kelly

There is so much stuff to do in Palm Springs we had to create the ultimate blog which included everything! While we couldn’t fit it all into one awesome weekend getaway we did as much as possible, and found all the best stuff to come back and do on our next trip! Check out all the best stuff to do in Palm Springs to plan your trip!

All our blog posts contain affiliate links that help us keep our blog running at no extra cost to you! When you click on our links to book accommodation activities or transport we earn a very small commission. This costs no extra to you but helps to keep our blog online!

Need to know for Palm Springs –

Useful information to help you plan your Palm Springs trip!

Where to stay in Palm Springs?

Our top Palm Springs hotels for every budget are:

Rainbow Hotel Palm Springs

The Sagurno Palm Springs – this is ‘the’ Palm Springs hotel. Think the perfect colourful hotel with the best pool. Enjoy your afternoons by the pool with great music and best people watching. It’s where you’ll want to get your insta pic. Tip – get down there early to reserve your sun bed. They also do an incredible Palm Springs Drag Show with Brunch! These are a serious good time! We were there for it and honestly it was the best experience. Highly recommend if you like to laugh, sing and have too much fun!

Romantic Places to stay in Palm Springs

Kimpton Rowan– the most stylish and beautiful of the Palm Springs hotels. This is where you’ll have the most perfect time! Every detail is divine.

Hyatt Palm Springs – in the absolute centre of town this is the usual excellent Hyatt standard, you won’t be disappointed.

Palm Springs Boutique Hotels

Drift Palm Springs – Iconic styling, a gorgeous stay

Fleur Noire Hotel – super pretty and very plush, it’s a great location.

Hotels in Downtown Palm Springs

Delos Reyes – it’s a little below downtown (easy bus ride or stroll in) but has the colourful building and pool for that Palm Springs vibe on a budget. Tip -book a deluxe room for the better option. Rooms also include a microwave if you’re a budget traveller this can be handy!

Motel 6 Downtown – slightly more in town and slightly more expensive than the Delos Reyes.

Do you need a car in Palm Springs?

It’s always great to have a car to get around if you plan to visit some locations in Greater Palm Springs. We usually book through Rental Cars. There’s tons to see around the area which is easiest with a car. If you are planning on spending a couple of days here and sticking to the main Palm Springs area you can get by with buses, Uber, lyft, bikes and walking!

Free things to do in Palm Springs

Of all the best stuff to do in Palm Springs we had to start with the free stuff! These are all great things to see and do on their own or you can combine them with other options below when you are in the area. We love having a list of free stuff to see which is often nearby anyway!

Palm Springs Visitor Information Centre

The Palm Springs Visitor Information Centre is set in an old gas station and Palm Springs landmark. Designed by the original architect of Palm Springs, Albert Frey it is a perfect example of the unique design that the area is synonymous for. The iconic soaring roof building welcomes visitors each year, the staff there can help with reservations and events as well as gift items, maps, souvenirs and Palm Springs-logo apparel for sale. There is also a Palm Springs backdrop for pictures! Open 10 am – 5 pm daily

Walk further up from here and you will find the Palm Springs sign near the road, worth a photo as well!

Palm Canyon Drive

Palm Canyon Drive is the Main Street of Palm Springs and where all the action is! It is a really long street full of restaurants, bars, cafes, art galleries, cute stores and showrooms. Palm Springs is the home of mid-century modernism and you will be spoilt for choice at the clothing stores, furniture showrooms and galleries! We loved stopping in at the local artist SHAGs showroom, luckily on an opening night with free cocktails and the artist in residence.

Tennis Club neighbourhood

Step foot in the Tennis Club Neighbourhood and you will see mid-century modern homes everywhere. These are private homes but walking or cycling the streets is open to all. Take your time to marvel at the stunning designs as you stroll by. Here you will find the Edris House and Del Marcos Hotel. You can also take a Legends and Icons Tour to check out the best spots!

Old Las Palmas Neighbourhood

This neighborhood has been home to many famous celebrities and is full of stunning mid century homes and colourful doors! We loved cycling around here and finding our favourite homes.

Movie Colony Neighbourhood

Stop by the famous Frank Sinatra House! The famous singer lived here between 1947 to 1954. It is located on East Alejo Road and is really tall.

Hire bikes and cycle around finding all the colourful doors

We cycled around these beautiful streets finding all our favourite homes and colourful doors, it really is a must do activity, You can do it on foot to keep it free but we really recommend hiring a bike (or E-bike!) to cover more ground. My favourite neighbourhood was Las Palmas, check out our colourful door itinerary here!

Welmwood Murray Memorial Library

This library is one of the sweetest examples of the distinctive Palm Springs design. From 1912 you will find this tiny library often holds free exhibitions. While we were there they were showcasing postcards from the 1930s to the 1950s.

Modernism Week

Time your trip to Palm Springs around the modernism week and you will enjoy a plethora of free events. We stopped by the free vintage car show and loved it! The theme was “Bikinis & Bucket Seats” is a tribute to the fun and sun of 1960s California youth culture with vintage cars from the 1950s, 60s, 70s on display.

Marilyn Monroe statue

This is the biggest Marylin Monroe statue I have ever seen! It towers over everyone and really is a must visit, between Palm Canyon Drive and the Art Gallery.

Palm Springs Walk of Stars

With over 400 stars bearing the names of celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor and Elvis Presley. This is a really great walk, follow the stars and you will also get a great little tour of Palm Springs.

The Parker Palm Springs Hotel

A gorgeous hotel to stay or if that is above the budget just pop over and take a quick pic in front of the doors! The breeze blocks are also a stunning feature and very Palm Springs!

The Saguaro Pool

This is a must when in Palm Springs it really is the iconic pool of the town. The colourful hotel rooms line up around it giving that rainbow, fun in the sun vibes. Ok so this does have a cost involved if you are not staying here you can buy a day pass to the pool… or we have heard some people have just walked in. Just saying.

Street Art Murals

There is some great street art in Palm Springs. You can find it all over the town, we loved the ones near the Art Gallery.

Stuff to do in Palm Springs … that is worth the money!

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is a must do in Palm Springs. You will jump on a tram and ascend over the landscape to a mountain. Here you can go on hikes, sit and admire the view or grab coffee or a meal at the restaurant. You should book your tickets in advance as they can sell out. Check out tickets here, there is also a car parking cost of $12USD if required.

The Palm Springs Art Gallery

With a large collection of contemporary art ranging from paintings to sculptures it is a really beautiful museum to explore. It really is worth the $25USD to enter or you can get in for free on Thursdays after 4pm. There is also another location in Downtown and in Palm Desert.

The Air Gallery

Showcasing mainly World War II aircraft from the wars in Korea and Vietnam. There are planes sitting throughout three warehouses. There is a $24USD entry fee.

Moorten Botanical Garden

The cheapest of the activities in this section the Moorten Botanical Garden is only $5USD to enter and is a living museum of the desert vibe of the area. You will find loads of rocks, crystals, cactus and relics from yesteryear. It is a great little stop-off that won’t break the holiday budget!

Tahquitz Canyon

This canyon is quite close to the main area of Palm Springs and has a great hike. You will find a waterfall and stream to enjoy. There is a $15USD admission fee to enter. The trail is very well maintained and beautiful. Early morning is best as it gets busy.

Indian Canyon

Hiking at the Indian Canyon Palm oasis was one the highlights of our trip, we loved spending time here. There are loads of hikes you can choose to do, some really long multi day hikes and others that take around 30min. This is super high on my recommendations list. Visit early as the line up to get in is long first thing, I would be at the entrance about 15 minutes before the gates open! There is a $12USD admission cost as well, but it is so worth it.

Home to the Cahuilla Indians for thousands of years, both the Tahquitz Canyon and the Indian Canyon are run by them and you can take a ranger led hike at both to learn more. We loved the fan palms, the incredible natural landscapes and discovering an oasis in the desert! You will find picnic areas, restrooms and rubbish bins, both are set up for you to enjoy a day out.

My favourite hike at Indian Canyon was Andreas/ Palm Canyon. It takes you along (and through!) a pretty river and walking under incredible palm trees including the native fan palm. You will surely have seen this all over Instagram and with good reason, it is a gorgeous place! It really is not a long loop hike and suitable for families as well. It starts from the car park and loops back there. Bring water, snacks or a picnic, sunscreen, hat, glasses specially if you are planning a longer hike out in the sun.

Joshua Tree National Park

I can’t recommend visiting Joshua Tree National Park more highly! We spent two nights camping here…actually it was more like glamping and loved it so much! The tent set up from Camp’d Out was incredible and came with everything we could possibly need to enjoy our time. The national park was amazing, so other-worldly and just beautiful. I had no idea how impressed I would be with this. If you can spend a couple of nights here either camping or staying nearby I really recommend it. Alternatively drive out there for a day or take a tour! It is absolutely worth it. There is an entry fee for Joshua Tree National Park.

Must see while in Joshua Tree Park are Skull Rock, the Dam, Heart Rock and the Cactus Garden to name only a few! Check out our Joshua Tree blog to find out everything you need to know to go!

Joshua Tree Town

Joshua Tree Town is really worth stopping in as well. This is a cute town that has lots of great thrift stores, an information centre for the national park, very cool souvenir, clothing stores as well as cafes and restaurants. Makes sure to grab burgers at the Joshua Tree Tavern, they are so good. Also make sure to stop in to the World Famous Crochet Museum, the world’s tiniest museum! It is incredibly cute!


This is a must visit when in Joshua Tree as it is super close. The drive out to Pioneertown isn’t very long but it is pretty. You will head up a mountainside to the cutest little western town! The town was and still is a movie set for some famous westerns and open to visitors when it is not being used. You can even stay there to get that true western getaway!

Make sure to check out all the little boutique stores and take pics of all the western buildings. The burgers at Pappy and Harrietts are the best!

Best stuff to do in Palm Springs – Coachella area

The Coachella area is really easy to get to from Palm Springs especially if you have a car. We always book with Car Rentals as they have great service.

Coachella Valley Preserve – Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve

Opening hours for this preserve change so best to look it up when you are planning your trip but the main palm oasis is the main attraction. I don’t think I will ever get tired of finding these! There are several trails that go to other parts of the reserve. I believe it is volunteer run so relies heavily on support from visitors.

Hot springs Palm Springs!

Head to the hot springs Palm Springs! You have to visit a hot spring while visiting Palm Springs, the best is at The Spring Resort in Desert Springs. Only a 20 minute drive from Palm Springs you’ll find the perfect spa resort. Desert Springs is known for its therapeutic mineral springs you can take a day pass or spend the night here and you’ll not only have a plush, relaxing room but the opportunity to soak in two mineral water spas, a mineral water pool and 2 saunas. Check out our full review to find out why this experience is a must do!


Located in Greater Palm Springs and nicknamed “Camp David of the West,” this estate is part of the local history.the estate only runs ticketed tours however you can visit the gardens outside for free. There are sometimes free events in the summer but we were not visiting then. Check the opening times here.

Take a Red Jeep Tour

A Red Jeep Tour is an absolute must while in Palm Springs. You will bounce around in the back of the cutest red jeeps while learning about the desert, palm oasis, the San Andreas Fault and the Cahuilla Indians. We spent the morning on a Red Jeep Tour and loved it!

 Cathedral City

This area is really close to Palm Springs. There is some cool street art and a great In n’ Out Burger restaurant ( a must try!) While here check out:

WHAT LIFTS YOU one of the street art pieces to check out, it is right near a casino.

what lifts you Cathedral City

LOVERS RAINBOW You will find it in Cathedral City at Rancho Mirage near the Atrium. It was part of the Desert X art festival.

Shields Date Garden and the famous date shake!

Drive out to Shields Date Garden and take a wander around the beautiful gardens. There is some full on religious statues around the place which you can check out or do what we did and enjoy the nature. There is a gift store with old style 50s milk bar. You can order a famous date shake here which are meant to be incredible (if you like dates) it looks like a caramel thick shake to me! The gift store sells the best dates and they are conveniently packaged ready to give as gifts as well!

Cabazon Dinosaurs

You can’;’t miss the massive, massive statues of the Cabazon Dinosaurs. The Brontosaurus and T. Rex sculptures were once part of a diner but today they are at the entry to a dinosaur themed museum. You can just take a quick pic at the entrance or pay the $15USD to go inside and check out the fun.

Bombay beach and Salvation Mountain

Heading south from Coachella you will eventually hit Bombay Beach. It is a huge inland salt sea and was once a holiday destination. Now there are some art installation stores check out on your way to Salvation Mountain. Salvation Mountain is another art installation, more a monument created by Leonard Knight. Consisting of a large painted hillside it makes for some great photos although you can no longer climb it. A folk art site that is also home to a Christian community it makes for a great road trip from Palm Springs, about 2 hours drive.

Where to eat in Palm Springs

There are tons of cafes, bars and restaurants all over Palm Springs and surrounds but they were our favourites.

You have to try the In n’ Out burgers at Cathedral City, it is the best one!

For breakfast I would go to Dennys or Cheekys!

Lunch and Dinner best is Normas (at the Parker Hotel) or Farm Palm Springs

A really fun option is a Palm Springs Drag Show with Brunch! These are so highly rated and really fun. This is one of the best and in the gorgeous Saguaro Hotel, we were there for it and honestly it was a big old great time! Highly recommend if you like to laugh, sing and have too much fun!

Check out our Palm Springs Vlog

Where Next?

Palm Springs Hot Springs

Palm Springs Weekend Getaway

Bike Rental Palm Springs

Capilano Suspension Bridge

The best place to stay in Vancouver? St Regis Hotel!

Three days in Vancouver

Vancouver Itinerary

Stanley Park Vancouver Bike Rental

Things to do in Vancouver on a rainy day

Vancouver Airport Lounge – Plaza Premium Lounge Vancouver is a must!

Best Brewery Vancouver – Red Truck Brewery

Is Tulum Expensive?

Mexico Travel Itinerary

Things to do in Merida Yucatan Mexico

Best hotel in Merida Mexico

Mahahual Mexico

Things to do Isla Holbox

Valladolid Yucatán – all the best things to do

Tequila Tasting Tulum

Snorkeling in Costa Maya

Best hotel in Mahahual Mexico is Inkanto Luxury Hotel

Ragga Sailing Adventures – must do in Belize!

Caye Caulker must visit destination in 2025

The Lodge at Jaguar Reef – the best place to stay in Belize

The best itinerary for Belize!

You may also like

Leave a Comment