Palm Springs is a perennially sunny vacation destination known for its delightful golf resorts, warm weather, abundant nature, various wildlife, and amusing feel. For people who want to get away from the cold winter, this surely is the perfect getaway for many Americans. Spend your weekend vacation or an extended holiday in various Palm Springs rental homes to choose from. Beyond the golf resorts for hobbyists and enthusiasts, there are plenty of things to do, from dining, shopping, touring museums, to discovering and hiking the surrounding terrains.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and Mount San Jacinto
Standing on the brink of Palm Springs, Mount San Jacinto rises more than 3,048 meters above the desert ground and can be effortlessly get up with the picturesque Aerial Tramway. This is, in fact, the world’s largest rotating aerial tram car. The sight over the desert is whimsical. On hot days, the cool air on top of Mount San Jacinto is surely a refreshing treat for guests.
Observation decks, at least two restaurants, pieces of historical displays, and instructional videos on the construction and history of the tram are all available as the tram ascends to more than 2,600 meters above the ground. From here, a number of hiking trails run through the pine forest, including a hike to the summit of San Jacinto, but guests can either choose to take the hiking trails or walk around the station should they prefer. The temperature is significantly cooler on top even in summer, so guests who visit the place during the winter should be prepared for possible snowfall.
Palm Springs Air Museum
The Palm Springs Air Museum is known for having one of the country’s largest collections Second World War fighter planes that are still working up to this day. In spite of this, the museum is quite compact given the vast collection that is stored inside it and can be explored easily in a considerably short period of time. Much of the collection is exhibited in hangars, so it’s a good place to visit when the weather outside gets too hot or if you’re looking for an escape from the outdoors.
Indian Canyons – situated at the outskirts of Palm Springs – is a well-known area for hiking and exploring some captivating desert scenery. One of the most noteworthy sections in the Indian Canyons are found at Palm Canyon. This 24-kilometer long canyon includes a creek and waterfalls and is lined with huge palm trees that bring color and vibrancy to the otherwise plain shades of the desert surroundings. Visitors can go for a short walk to the creek or choose to continue on for a longer hike, have a picnic, or simply soak up the calmness of the place. From the parking lot, tracks of several spans lead out into the oasis. On the site is a shop selling souvenirs, Indian art, and other memorabilia.
Another oasis which is also worth checking out and a good place to see birds is the Andreas Canyon. In the same area is Murray Canyon, which is seldom hiked but it gives better opportunities for spotting deer and other wildlife.
Palm Springs Art Museum
The Palm Springs Art Museum is a multi-layered museum featuring both artwork and performing arts. It has been in existence since the late 1930s and previously fixated almost completely on the desert. However, the direction has shifted to mid-century, modern and contemporary art over the years, which includes Native American art. The collection boasts and houses work by prominent artists such as Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Henry Moore, and Ansel Adams, among others. Also on site are two outdoor sculpture gardens. Their permanent collections include photography, paintings, pottery, glass, architecture and other designs.
Coachella Valley Preserve
Coachella Valley Preserve – situated at the east of Palm Springs – is another delightful natural space to discover in the Palm Springs area. The sanctuary covers more than 5,200 hectares of desert scenery and is home to an assortment of animals, some of which include great horned owls, lynx, hares, kestrels, lizards, snakes, and other small birds. Book a guided hike with volunteers to make your travel easy and explore the preserve with the area’s excellent views. If you are just looking to enjoy some peacefulness, you can also tackle the trekking trails on your own.
Moorten Botanical Gardens
Moorten Botanical Gardens is a historical landmark features an incredible exhibit of cacti and desert vegetation with tours. Guests can see desert vegetation that ranges from full-grown trees to the smallest of shrubs. The best time to visit the Moorten Botanical Gardens is in the spring because this is the time when the desert is coming into bloom and its trees are starting to turn green again. The garden is open all year-round, however, during the cooler months – from fall of the previous year until spring of the following year – you can book a tour with a guide to the facility that is offered free with admission.
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
Of course, a visit to the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is a must-see in your itinerary. It features plants and animals of the Colorado Desert, and guests will gain some insight in the contribution of deserts in the Americas and even around the globe. The zoo offers various animals from North America and Africa, which includes wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, foxes, zebras, badgers, raptors, leopards, giraffes, hyenas, gazelle, and many other species. The best time to visit is usually in the morning while the heat is still tolerable and the animals are still active.