Palm Springs RECOMMENDATIONS See all

Palm Springs Suggested Itineraries

By Viator, August 2010

4.5 136 Reviews | Add your review

Someone says Palm Springs, I think sun, relaxation, golf. I should probably add to that list dramatic landscape, swimming, shopping and eating.

Located in the Colorado Desert 100 miles southeast of Los Angeles, Palm Springs is an oasis of fun. And money – the mega-wealthy tend to retire here, or come to play golf, or for, er, rehab. But there’s plenty more to Palm Springs than just fun and frivolity.

Day 1: The City

Palm Springs has just what you’d expect: great shopping, good eating, relaxing spas and pools. Wander down mile-long El Paseo Shopping Street – the Rodeo Drive of the desert. There’s upscale couture and furnishings for those that don’t need to check the price-tags, for the rest of us there is The Gardens on El Paseo with its quality chain stores, and art both on the street and in galleries. Sit in a café and watch how the other half shops. If that makes you a bit hot under the collar, head for Knotts Soak City waterpark, 21 acres of slides, rides and splashing around. And of course there are those golf courses singing their siren song: PGA anyone?

Day 2: The Desert


Take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway from the desert floor to high up on Mt San Jacinto in a revolving gondola. Sometimes there’s a temperature drop of up to 40 degrees, so if the heat’s getting to you, this is the place to go. Once up there you can hike, picnic or just look at the views from the State Park and Wilderness. In winter, take a toboggan and enjoy the snow. To understand life in the desert, go to the Living Desert, a 1,200 acre reserve, museum, zoo and education center. And kids will love the interactive displays at the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert.

Day 3: Deeper Into the Desert


Now that you’ve gotten a taste for those endless skies and ever-changing rugged landscapes, head further afield to Joshua Tree National Park in the Mojave Desert. Alternately you can stay closer to town and hike into the beautiful Indian Canyons – take your swimsuit in case the streams are running. If you’re fascinated by how landscapes form, venture to the San Andreas Fault. Be really brave and ride a bicycle along the fault line – there’s almost no traffic and I’m sure the earth won’t shake too much.

Tours & Tickets

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Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

4.5 star rating: Recommended 107 Reviews

On a hot summer's day, one of the best things to do in Palm Springs is to take a ride from the dry desert floor with the Aerial Tramway, 5,873 feet up into ...  Read more

Location: Palm Springs, California
Duration: Flexible

From USD $23.89

The Earthquake Canyon Bike Express

4.5 star rating: Recommended 12 Reviews

Embark on a scenic 20-mile (32-km) bike tour through Palm Desert! Descending through the heart of the San Andreas Fault zone between the Colorado Desert and ...  Read more

Location: Palm Springs, California
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $94.99

Joshua Tree National Park Jeep Adventure

4.5 star rating: Recommended 4 Reviews

Joshua Tree National Park Adventure - This tour takes you to one of the nation's most outstanding wilderness treasures, Joshua Tree National Park you will use ...  Read more

Location: Palm Springs, California
Duration: 4 - 5 hours

From USD $158.99

San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

San Andreas Fault Tour - Come see where earthquakes are born! You will see first hand what geologists have called" the most tortured landscape on ...  Read more

Location: Palm Springs, California
Duration: 3 - 4 hours

From USD $158.99

Palm Springs and Outlet Shopping Day Trip from Los Angeles

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 10 Reviews

Experience the best of Palm Springs on this day trip from Los Angeles by air-conditioned coach. Enjoy spectacular views aboard the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway ...  Read more

Location: Los Angeles, California
Duration: 12 hours (approx.)

From USD $158.99

See all Palm Springs Suggested Itineraries Tours & Tickets

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