52 Coolest Things to Do in Palm Springs

There’s a good reason why Coachella takes place in Palm Springs – it’s one of the coolest, most alternative and unique places to be in the USA.

With so many cool things to do in Palm Springs, it’s totally worth going there for a holiday, Coachella or not.  It’s a desert oasis with hot springs, mountains, canyons and 300 days of sunshine a year. Combining all the favourite outdoor attractions with the California essentials: cool coffee shops, hip restaurants and funky architecture – Palm Springs is a great place to hang out.

So if you’re heading to Coachella and planning on flying in and right back out again, I’d take a minute to rethink because this cool city has way more to offer than a single weekend of good time vibes.

52 Coolest Things to Do in Palm Springs

What to do at Coachella

1. Visitors centres may seem a little old fashioned, but you have to visit Palm Spring‘s just to see its space-age exterior before picking up any info.

2. Indulge in some retail therapy in the boutiques and vintage shops of Palm Canyon Drive.

3. Get up early and hit hiking trails like Mecca Hills Wilderness, San Jacinto Peak and Bump and Grind Trail in Coachella Valley.

4. Go horseback riding along the historic and extremely pretty Agua Caliente Indian Canyon.

5. And make sure to stop and take some snaps of the windmills from Indian Canyon Drive.

6. Learn about the early settlers of Palm Desert at the Historical Society of Palm Desert’s Museum.

7. See if you can spot a mountain lion or coyote with a tour of the Joshua Tree National Park.

8. Loosen the belt after eating Rio Azul‘s amazing Mexican food.

9. See where the rich and famous have lived and hung out with a celeb tour.

Palm Springs in Indio

10. Consider upping your recycling game at Robolights where robots are made from discarded electronics.

11. Explore the sands in a desert town by ATV driving with Off Road Rentals.

12. Make like you’re in a Western movie by catching a concert at Pioneertown’s Pappy and Harriets.

13. Whip out the telescopes and take a star gazing tour in Rancho Mirage.

14. And if you really get into it, head to a star party where you can ask astronomers all your galactical questions.

15. And if you really really get into it, spend an entire night under the stars at the Vern Whitaker Horse Camp.

16. Get yourself a date (the fruit variety) from the Shields Date Garden and watch the city’s most talked about movie, ‘The Romance and Sex Life of the Date’.

17. Pick up the ultimate Palm Springs souvenir at Destination PSP.

18. Make like royalty and presidents and take a break at Sunnylands to see PS architecture at its best.

19. Visit your pals Picasso, Warhol and Lichtenstein at the Palm Springs Art Museum.

20. See which celebs have lived in Palm Springs at the Walk of Stars.

21. Save a little on a Saturday with a free gig at The Rock Yard at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.

22. Wander through workshops of the Backstreet Art District and pick up some original art, jewellery or ceramics.

What to do in Palm Springs

23. Cool off in the pool or play a game of tennis at Fritz Burns Park.

24. Lower that raised eyebrow when you try a date shake from the Windmill Cafe.

25. Eat inside an old cinema at Workshop Kitchen+Bar.

26. Browse the vintage cars, pick up some pickles or listen to live music on a Saturday at The Street Fair at College of the Desert.

27. Fawn over all the pups at dog-friendly 4 Paws Coffee Co. as they snack on their own treats and coffee.

28. Enjoy a meditative experience and ‘sound bath’ at UFO-inspired Integratron in the Mojave Desert.

29. Drive along Highway 74 for a mix of desert, forest and mountain views.

30. Stop at Vista Point for views of the Coachella Valley.

31. Get a little excited by the idea of a speakeasy come tiki bar at Bootlegger Tiki.

32. Pay your respects to celebs of the past at Desert Memorial Park.

33. Throw it back to 1930s by stepping into a recreation of an all-American store at Ruddys General Store Museum.

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Palm Springs things to do

34. If you’re an architecture buff, do a mid-century modern architecture tour.

35. And finish it off with a visit to The Alexander Estate where you can learn about Elvis Presley’s honeymoon here.

36. Grab a coffee at Gré Coffeehouse & Art Gallery while you listen to music from a mixed tape, play a board game and browse the photography.

37. Embrace your inner moon child with the Ace Hotel’s Full Moon Party.

38. Pack the quinoa and avocado for a picnic at Sunrise Park.

39. Visit the tiny, desert-based, trailer-housed World Famous Crochet Museum.

40. Save the pennies for arts, crafts and entertainment at Thursday night’s Palm Springs VillageFest.

41. Travel around Palm Springs for free in one of the city’s Buzz trollies.

42. Feel the stretch at the Wellness Park in Ruth Hardy Park with a donation-based Power Yoga class.

43. Cover your eyes as you go under the Lee R. Baxandall Bridge where nudists cross the two sides of the Desert Shadows clothing-optional resort.

44. See Coachella Valley from a different perspective on the aerial tramway, the world’s largest rotating tram car.

45. Throw back the cool cocktails at Truss & Twine.

46. Drive to Salvation Mountain for an epic pic of this man-made mountain of colour and scripture.

47. Enjoy a diner experience with a California-Mexican twist at King’s Highway where each night has a different theme.

48. Consider re-watching Jurassic Park after visiting the 100 tonne Cabazon Dinosaurs.

49. Prepare to queue but agree it’s worth it with brunch at Cheekys Palm Springs.

50. Surprise yourself by getting excited at seeing 4,000 windmills at the San Gorgonio Wind Farm Park.

51. Get up close to some of the best wildlife and botanics at The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens.

52. Splash out spend the day’s budget with a visit to desert hot springs somewhere like Hacienda Hot Springs Inn.

What to do in Palm Springs

More on California

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12 Things You Have to Do at Coachella Festival
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