If you have seen any of the latest johnnie-O catalogs recently you may have noticed we took a little detour away from the coast and set our sights on the beautiful desert oasis of Palm Springs! But what is there to do in Palm Springs? There’s a lot more to this desert getaway than lounging by the pool! (Not a bad option to be fair…) We had to get the catalog finished, but if you ever should find yourself in the desert you can explore Palm Springs on and off the beaten path. We found out about some fun but albeit “weird” things to do in Palm Springs in no particular order.
Go Hiking in Palm Springs: There are many beautiful hiking trails around the city that are ideal way to spend a sunny winter day. One of the most popular places for Palm Springs hiking is at Indian Canyons. However there are also many other trails in the area. Check this website for more information. If you would like to explore more of the desert, visit nearby Anza Borrego State Park, it’s the best kept secret in Palm Springs and a magical place after the winter rains.
Palm Springs Aerial Tram: Ride two and a half miles in a little capsule up Mount San Jacinto to beat the heat. Travel from the desert to alpine environment in less than 15 minutes. The cable car floor rotates as it climbs so you don’t have to move to get a good view. At the top you can go hiking, eat at the restaurants or even play in the snow in the winter months. Get your tickets here.
Walk of Stars: You’ve heard of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Did you know that Palm Springs has their own version? You’ll find stars for US Presidents like Ford, Eisenhower and Reagan. You’ll also find movie stars, architects and musicians. Check out the list of stars here. Where is Palm Springs Walk of Stars? You’ll find the stars in downtown Palm Springs along Palm Canyon Drive, Tahquitz Canyon Way, La Plaza Court and Museum Drive.
Palm Springs Art Museum: If you are looking for Palm Springs off the beaten path, an art museum might not be the first place you would go. But you might be surprised at the collection that includes contemporary American paintings, photography, desert landscape paintings and Native American art.
Joshua Tree National Park: Not in Palm Springs proper but still an amazing place to explore, Joshua Tree is a fantastic national park with strange plants and huge boulders creating an otherworldly landscape. Drive the 45 minutes out of town to get there and stop by Pioneertown to step back in time to the wild west. Find a cool place to stay near Joshua Tree here.
Shop, hike, golf, and more
Resorts and attractions are scattered throughout Palm Springs, but restaurant and retail activity is centered around the parallel-running Indian Canyon Drive and Palm Canyon Road, the latter of which curves east south of Mesquite Avenue. Desert flora thrives throughout the city, and mountain views are nearly ubiquitous. But if you’re looking to get out and explore nature, check out Indian Canyons on Palm Springs’ south border. Andreas, Palm, Murray, and Tahquitz Canyons are home to vast rocky gorges, barren desert landscape, and a lush palm oasis. Choose from more than 60 miles of hiking trail within and connecting the canyons. Another way to enjoy Palm Springs’ natural surroundings is to golf on one of the Coachella Valley’s esteemed courses.
FOOD for FOODIES
Palm Springs’ restaurant scene is constantly evolving, with superb new restaurants opening each year. But Hollywood’s Playground has several mainstays where you can enjoy a bite in the same setting as legendary movie stars from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Las Consuelas serves the same authentic Mexican favorites that patrons enjoyed in 1958 at its 368 N. Palm Canyon location. High-end French restaurant Le Vallauris, open since 1974, serves dinner daily, lunch on Friday and Saturdays, and Sunday brunch. And Melvyn’s Restaurant, a classy restaurant operating out of the historic Ingleside Inn, serves American and continental cuisine. Melvyn’s is also home to an enchanting live music lounge.