If you’re looking for the best experiences in Palm Desert, California, take a look at the list of places we’ve compiled below! This breathtaking city is home to some of the best experiences in the state. From outdoor activities to cultural attractions, there’s something for everyone in Palm Desert. So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure!

The 12 Best Experiences in Palm Desert, California

You can have the best experiences in Palm Desert, California if you’re willing to explore. This beautiful part of America has old-fashioned casinos and quiet hiking trails.

Tahquitz Canyon

The Tahquitz Canyon waterfall is located at the end of a two-mile circle that leads to the canyon. Because the falls are situated on land that is owned by the Agua Caliente Band of the Cahuilla Indians, there is a reservation fee of $12.50 that must be paid to enter the area. In contrast to many of Los Angeles’s waterfalls, which are covered in graffiti due to vandalism, this trail is kept in immaculate condition because of the fee. Ranger-led walks are also available.

Tahquitz Canyon Palm Desert, California


Bump and Grind Trail

The Bump and Grind Trail in Palm Springs is a short but challenging circle climb. You can see the beautiful desert slopes after a strenuous trek. You’ll visit a bighorn sheep habitat and see Mts. San Gorgonio and San Jacinto.

This trail has a nearly 1,000-foot elevation gain. Leave early or late to avoid crowds and heat. Behind Desert Crossing is where the trek begins. The Bump and Grind Trail doesn’t require specific gear, but be prepared.

Bump and Grind Trail Palm Desert, California


Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

As you approach Palm Springs, take a short detour down Tramway Road and you’ll find this iconic, canyon-hugging gondola ride waiting for you there. After boarding a spinning vehicle inside an angular station built-in 1963, you will find that after 10 minutes, the temperature has dropped by more than ten points, and you are now looking out over the entirety of the Coachella Valley below. Spend some time lingering at the restaurant, café, or lounge perched atop the mountain, or continue your journey deeper into the San Jacinto Mountains.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Palm Desert, California


Sunnylands Center & Gardens

Sunnylands, a former winter hideaway for the rich Annenberg family and a popular summit venue for decades of presidents, is located in Rancho Mirage on a tract of desert that is irrigated to cover a total area of 200 acres. It was once owned by the Annenberg family. Despite the fact that the majority of the land is taken up by a golf course with nine holes, twelve acres have been set aside for public gardens, and a visitor center on those grounds features a revolving display of artwork from the Annenberg collection. It is possible to take a tour of the mansion, although tickets typically sell out several months in advance.

Sunnylands Center & Gardens Palm Desert, California


Civic Center Park

The largest community park in Palm Desert is called Civic Center Park, and it spans an area of 70 acres. A grassy space, picnic tables, a playground, and restrooms allow guests to relax or be active outdoors.

In addition to the walking paths that circumnavigate the park, there are also public art installations and a rose garden located in the surrounding region. Throughout the course of the year, the amphitheater plays host to a number of different events, including concerts.

Civic Center Park Palm Desert, California


Joshua Tree

Less than an hour’s drive leads you to distant peaks, stones, and yuccas. You can explore a lot in Joshua Tree National Park in just one afternoon, from an easygoing hike around Hidden Valley to vistas from 5,000 feet up at Keys View. Although Joshua Tree National Park is a popular destination for campers who wish to spend the night in the park, day visitors can also enjoy the park. If you are coming from Palm Springs, you will want to enter Joshua Tree by the northwest gate; if you are staying further east into the Coachella Valley, you can use the south entry; however, this will place you in a more desert location that is further from the park’s primary attractions.

Joshua Tree Palm Desert, California


Palm Springs Art Museum

This museum is of moderate size and is home to a collection of contemporary paintings, sculptures, and art glass by artists such as Henry Moore, Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Sam Francis, Mark di Suvero, and Edward Ruscha, among others from the West Coast. Modernism, Native Americans, and the American West are often featured in desert-themed exhibits. In addition, the museum maintains a branch in Palm Desert, which guests can visit for no charge, as well as an architecture and design center in the central business district of Palm Springs.

Palm Springs Art Museum' Palm Desert, California


Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve

The Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve is a natural wilderness area that spans 20,000 acres in the Coachella Valley and is located around 20 minutes outside of Palm Desert.

This unique natural environment is located in the desert and has a number of hiking paths and picnic places. The possibility of seeing wild animals is always present, but you can count on seeing breathtaking vistas and unusual plant life.

Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve Palm Desert, California


Palm Desert Aquatic Center

When the heat begin to climb in Palm Desert, locals and tourists alike go to the Desert Aquatic Center in order to cool off. This water park is open throughout the entire year and has a diverse collection of activities that are appropriate for guests of all ages. On-site are three spray zones, three swimming pools, each with a water slide, and various play components. 

Palm Desert Aquatic Center Palm Desert, California


Balloons Above

Hot air ballooning over the Palm Desert and Coachella Valley is a thrilling Palm Springs activity. Balloons Above began offering hot air balloon flights in the Coachella Valley in 1979. If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, consider floating across the desert sky while greeting or farewelling the sun. You can bring a thermos of coffee for a morning balloon trip or a bottle of wine for a sunset tour.

The Coachella Valley from the sky is beautiful. Balloons Above’s hot air balloons offer a breathtaking view of California’s surroundings.

Balloons Above Palm Desert, California


Red Jeep Tours

Palm Springs must-dos Since 1988, Red Jeep Tours has offered the best outdoor adventures in Palm Springs. This company gives tours in Palm Desert. Palm Springs Indian Canyons, Mecca Hills Wilderness Area, and Painted Canyon jeep tours are provided.

The San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour is a great way to see the gorges and canyons. During the tour, a naturalist will explain the desert’s plants, animals, geology, history and seismology.

Red Jeep Tours Palm Desert, California


Palm Springs Air Museum

This air museum focuses mostly on displaying combat aircraft from World War II, but also includes examples from Korea and Vietnam. In three warehouses, you’ll find more than 40 flyable and static planes, from the B-17 to the F-4. Additionally, there are a number of aircraft on the tarmac, including the C-47 and the PBY Catalina Flying Boat. In addition, for a hefty fee, visitors can take a fly in a C-47 Skytrain or P-51 Mustang, both of which are housed within the museum.

Palm Springs Air Museum Palm Desert, California


So there you have it! Our list of the best experiences in Palm Desert California. Of course, this is just a sampling, and we’re sure that you’ll find your own favorite places and activities once you get here.

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