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How to Spend 1 Day in Palm Springs

How to Spend 1 Day in Palm Springs

Located in the Colorado Desert, 100 miles (161 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles, Palm Springs is an oasis of sun, fun, and money that’s not just for retirees anymore. Thanks to events such as the Coachella music festival, it’s taken on a hip, laid-back vibe that attracts all ages. Here’s how to get the most out of one day there.

Morning: Take a Ride

Begin your day with expansive desert views from Palm Springs’ Aerial Tramway. Ascend 5,783 feet (1,790 meters) into the San Jacinto Mountains and experience the transition from hot and dry to cool alpine temperatures. At the top, enjoy the scenery from the observation deck or restaurant, then head out to hike, snowshoe, or cross-country ski on the trails around the station. Alternatively, join a Jeep tour and explore the surrounding desert before the afternoon sun becomes uncomfortable.

Afternoon: See the Stars’ Homes

Once known as “Hollywood's Playground,” Palm Springs boasts an impressive lineup of celebrity homes, including the former residences of Marilyn Monroe, Nat King Cole, and Elvis Presley. Join a guided tour to view some of these properties, as well as learn about the architecture and history of the area, which is renowned for its mid-century modern designs. Another trademark of Palm Springs is its windmills. Take a tour of the town’s 2,000-plus windmills and learn why this renewable energy source is so important to the region. Along the way, try a date milkshake, the signature treat of the California desert.

Night: Catch the Other Stars

One of the big advantages of being out in the desert, away from the city lights of Los Angeles, is the chance to see the stars—in the nighttime sky. Come evening, small-group tours venture out into Palm Desert via 4WD vehicles to do some stargazing. In addition to learning about desert wildlife and geology, get a clear view of the visible planets and stars, with the help of a telescope and your guide. Alternatively, you can book an aerial tram ride for the evening, then enjoy dinner at the Mountain Station restaurant or café and grab a drink at the lounge.

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9 Tours and Activities

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Joshua Tree National Park Driving Tour

Joshua Tree National Park Driving Tour

star-5
106
Explore the uncanny landscape of Joshua Tree National Park with a 4.5-hour van tour from Palm Desert, near Palm Springs. Enjoy the comfort of an air-conditioned van or SUV as you navigate soaring granite formations and groves of the park’s famously spiky trees, and capture unforgettable images of terrain that spans the Colorado and Mojave deserts. Trace a gentle trail into the rocks at Hidden Valley and Keys View, watch for the park’s reclusive wildlife, and experience the unique beauty of one America’s most remarkable national parks.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$199.00
From
US$199.00

Indian Canyons Walking Tour by Jeep from Palm Springs
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Indian Canyons Walking Tour by Jeep from Palm Springs

star-5
18
Go deep into Palm Springs’ Indian Canyons on a 3-hour, small group Jeep and hiking tour to the ancestral home of the Cahuilla tribes. Take in views of the rugged desert landscape as you ride into the rocky canyons, and learn the rich history of the Cahuilla; take a 1-mile (1.6-km) walk along a palm-lined stream to see the traces of historic Native American settlements. Visit a shady desert oasis, walk to a seasonal spring and browse a tribal trading post, then finish the tour at your Palm Springs hotel.
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  • 3 hours
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$175.00
From
US$175.00

Guided Loop Hike in Palm Springs with Amazing Desert Views

Guided Loop Hike in Palm Springs with Amazing Desert Views

star-5
64
I provide water, a snack bar and a backpack for each hiker. We'll be in the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument on some the best hiking trails in Palm Springs California. I know these trails very well & the best viewpoints along the way to enjoy some of the most beautiful views of Palm Springs & beyond. You'll see desert plants & cacti close up as we hike. You'll see from the desert valley floor below all the way up to beautiful nearby mountain peaks, while getting in some great exercise. I'll point out interesting landmarks along the way, like the very unique Bob Hope house, Mt San Gorgonio (the tallest mountain in So Cal), Indian Canyons & other points of interest. Depending on the time of year I've seen the endangered Peninsular Bighorn Sheep here. They'll be lots of time for taking beautiful scenic photos & I'll point out some of the best photo spots. Contact me if you want to do any of my hikes on a certain date/time or if you're looking to hike somewhere else.
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  • 3 hours
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$49.00
From
US$49.00

Off-Road UTV 28-Mile Tour for 8 Riders

Off-Road UTV 28-Mile Tour for 8 Riders

star-5
27
With 800+ 5-star reviews across Google, Trip Advisor, Facebook, and Yelp, we are confident you will have a blast! Get ready to experience the Mojave Desert's incredibly diverse, off-road terrain. Challenge your driving skills over dirt, sand, and rock, as you maneuver through twists, turns, inclines, dips, and off-camber terrain. Participants will attend a 1-hour safety orientation and prep upon arrival. Once helmets and gloves are fitted, intercoms will be synced...and off you go!
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  • 3 hours
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$1,325.00
per group
From
US$1,325.00
per group

Modern & More Bike Tours Palm Springs

Modern & More Bike Tours Palm Springs

star-5
57
This is a small group 2+ hour bike tour of three architecturally & historically significant residential neighborhoods in South Palm Springs. Quiet streets, no hills, constant sunshine, & very little traffic make for a great ride for novices or expert cyclists alike. Please note: Bike rental is NOT INCLUDED in this tour. You're welcome to bring your own bikes, or discounted rentals are available at Big Wheel Tours. Our tour begins & ends in their parking lot. We'll explore the neighborhoods of Deepwell Estates, Twin Palms, & Indian Canyons. We'll make frequent stops for photos & to learn details about specific homes. Please note: This tour is designed for serious architecture & history fans, with a lot of academic-level information & detail. It may not be the most enjoyable tour for some children. COVID Safety Update: Masks are no longer required for fully vaccinated guests while biking outside. Please wear a mask when entering Big Wheel Tours. Brennan & Tim have both been vaxed!
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  • 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$80.00
From
US$80.00

San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour from Palm Springs
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour from Palm Springs

star-4.5
15
The San Andreas Fault is one of the world’s best-known fault lines—and this small-group tour will help you discover it up close. Pick between morning and afternoon start times, make your own way to the Indio departure point, and set off via open-air Jeep. You’ll discover the region’s dramatic scenery, will learn about desert habitats and the local Cahuilla people, will visit a desert oasis, and much more.
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  • 3 hours
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$150.00
From
US$150.00

Palm Springs Indian Canyons Bike and Hike

Palm Springs Indian Canyons Bike and Hike

star-5
39
Explore Palm Springs and Indian Canyons by bike and on foot during a half-day tour from downtown Palm Springs. With guide, bike rental, and snacks included, it’s easy to discover one of southern California’s most scenic city and desert landscapes. You'll ride through Palm Springs on a 10-mile (17-km) loop to Indian Canyons, then hike in the canyon at a leisurely pace suitable for reasonably active people.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$120.00
From
US$120.00

Titanic Escape Room Game for Private Group

Titanic Escape Room Game for Private Group

star-5
81
The unsinkable Titanic is going down – but, you heard the captain mention a hidden lifeboat over dinner. This unique Titanic-themed escape room is a great way to break out of your normal routine. Enjoy an exciting night out with friends or family, solving this exciting game, at Palm Springs’ largest escape room.
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  • 1 hour
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$35.90
From
US$35.90

Rock Climbing Trips in Joshua Tree National Park (4 Hours)

Rock Climbing Trips in Joshua Tree National Park (4 Hours)

star-5
38
Go rock climbing in Joshua Tree National Park on a half-day, private trip with a certified rock-climbing guide. Since all equipment is included, you won’t need to bring or rent your own gear. Whether you’re a beginning climber excited to try the sport, or a more experienced climber looking for a local intro to Joshua Tree rock climbing, the tour will be tailored to your preferences.
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  • 4 hours
  • iconEnglish
From
US$225.00
Price varies by group size
From
US$225.00
Price varies by group size


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