Things to Do in Palm Springs

Elizabeth Iris

Palm springs gets an average of 269 days of sun every year. The city is known for its beautiful weather, mid-century-modern architecture and world-class golf courses. However, if you are after culture and the outdoors, Palm Springs has an abundance of cultural pursuits on offer.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway was opened in September 1963 for transportation from the Coachella Valley to the top of San Jacinto Peak. It is the world’s largest rotating tram car, travelling over two-and-one-half miles up the Chino Canyon.

Check the website for operating times. However, normal hours are:

Monday to Friday, the first tram up 10:00 am, and the last tram up is 4:30 pm . The last tram down is at 6:00 pm.

Saturday, Sunday and Holidays, the first tram up is 8:00 am, and the last tram up is 4:30. The last tram down is at 6:00 pm.

Cars depart at least every half hour.

Tram Ticket Prices

  • Adults: $28.95
  • Children: $16.95 (ages 3–10)
  • Seniors: $26.95 (65+)

No pets allowed.

Photograph — Elizabeth Iris

Palm Springs Air Museum

This is one of my favourite things to do in Palm Springs. If you are an aviation fan then this is a must. The museum opened to the public in 1996, and currently is home to 70 flyable and static aircraft, with the numbers increasing every year. The museum is huge, offering visitors 86,000 square feet of climate-controlled hangars and an additional 40,000 square feet outside. In 2014, the museum was voted one of the top aviation museums in the world by CNN.

Check out their YouTube channel and live webcam stream of the runway.

Admission Prices

  • Adults — $20
  • Seniors, Veterans, Retired Military, Teenagers (13–17) — $18
  • Active Duty & immediate family (significant other + children) are admitted free with ID
  • Children 12 and under with a paying adult are admitted Free.

The museum is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and this year, February 18, 2022. There is free on site parking for visitors.

Pets are allowed.

Photograph — Elizabeth Iris

Tahquitz Canyon

There are a lot of hiking trails around Palm Springs. Tahquitz Canyon offers beautiful plants, wildlife and scenery, along with a waterfall, rock art and a visitor centre providing educational and cultural exhibits.

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum

The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, celebrates the history and of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla people of the Coachella Valley.

Entry is free.

Palm Springs Art Museum

The Palm Springs Art Museum has a permanent collection of over 12,000 objects, mostly focusing on modern and contemporary art, architecture, and design.

  • Thursday : 10am–7pm
  • Friday : 10am–5pm
  • Saturday : 10am–5pm
  • Sunday : 10am–5pm

Admission Prices

  • Adult: $14.00
  • Senior (62 & Up): $11.00
  • Students/Teachers: $6.00
  • Children (18 and under): Free

Palm Springs Vintage Market

The Palm Springs Vintage Market offers buyers a range of vintage furniture, clothing, décor and other collectibles. The market is held on the first Sunday of the month. The market is held from October to May, 7am to 2pm. Admission prices are $10 between 7am-8am and $5 between 8am-2pm.

Cabazon Dinosaurs

Just a short drive outside Palm Springs are the Cabazon Dinosaurs, the world’s biggest dinosaurs. The dinosaurs have become an iconic roadside attraction, and have been featured in the movies Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure and The Wizard.

Admission Prices

  • Adults $13 Ages 13–55
  • Children $11 Ages 3–12
  • Seniors & Military $10

Monday — Friday: 10am-5pm (ticket sales end at 4:30pm)

Saturday & Sunday: 9am-6pm (ticket sales end at 5:30pm)

Photo by Larkin Hammond on Unsplash

Tours

Palm Springs is famous for its beautiful mid-century modern architecture, as well as being a playground for Hollywood’s rich and famous since the golden age of Hollywood in the 1920s. Even today, many celebrities have homes here. There are many companies offering tours, my preference is the Palm Springs Historical Society as they are a non-profit organization. However, other tours are available.

Palm Springs Historical Society

The Palm Springs Historical Society offer visitors a look into the McCallum Adobe, built in 1884 and the Cornelia White House, built in 1883. These are the two oldest buildings in Palm Springs. Both houses are open daily Monday-Sunday 10am to 4pm — unless otherwise noted. Entry is free.

Palm Springs Visitors Center

The Palm Springs Visitors Center is located in an old gas station designed by Albert Frey. The visitor centre contains a shop, restrooms and guides of the local area. There is also staff on hand that can answer any questions you might have about Palm Springs.

Photo — Elizabeth Iris

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Elizabeth Iris

Elizabeth Iris

Photographer and like to try stuff out.

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