Things I Want To Do in Palm Springs, California in 2024

This is a post on what are the things I want to do in Palm Springs, California. Part of the wishlist series and read on to find out more.

Written by: Soumya Nambiar

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I was speaking to my friends in the US this weekend and they were insisting that I return back to the US for a trip next year. They recently shifted to California from Florida. He was saying that we will go to California next time you are here and we can visit all the places in California you missed last time around. That got me thinking about where would I love to go if I do manage to go there next year.

As I went on a research mode, I came upon an interesting place, Palm Springs in California. In this post, I list down some of the things I want to do in Palm, Springs, California.

Since Palm Springs is a popular desert resort city, it is not very difficult to find accommodation. Mostly I just want to lay by the side of a pool sipping cocktails in one of the villas in palm springs. But in addition to that, these are some of the things I want to do in Palm Springs, California.

Where is Palm Springs, California?

But before that, let us first find out where Palm Springs is and why is it so popular. Palm Springs is located in California and is well placed between San Diego and Los Angeles. One of the major attractions of the place is that they have over 300 days of sunshine every year.

So people looking for winter getaways in California are naturally drawn to the area for its unique climatic conditions and distinctive environment. It was developed into a resort city in the early 1900s for health tourists who were looking for dry heat.

Things I Want To Do in Palm Springs, California

Exploring the Coachella Valley Preserve

Coachella Valley Preserve is home to the Thousand palms oasis and is located only 15 miles from Palm Springs city. It is also home to the Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard and you can find them only in this part of the world. There are multiple hiking trails around the reserve.

The trails range from easy to difficult ones and it is important that you check in to the visitor center before embarking on any of the hikes. Some of the popular hiking trails are the McCullum, Hidden Palms, Moon Country etc. I am definitely going with the easy hike but even that one is a 4-5 mile hike.

The hiking trails offer a glimpse into the unique wildlife around the area. The desert wetlands are also known to blossom with wildflowers at certain times during the year. Just imagine that sight among the lush palm groves. There are no admission charges but a small donation is expected at the visitor center.

Joshua Tree National Park

Another hiking destination popular with travelers and is known because of the Joshua Trees found here. It offers spectacular views over the Coachella Valley. But one of the main Palm Spring attractions I am keen on seeing here is the Cholla Cactus garden which is home to many Cholla Cacti.

The Hidden Valley picnic table is also very popular. There are also many free-standing boulders that are easy hiking trails. It is approximately 40 miles from Palm Springs. They do charge an admission fee of approximately 25$ for a 7-day consecutive period if you are taking your own vehicle.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

One of the things we missed doing in Scotland was the cable car ride up the Ben Nevis mountain range. It was too windy and hence could not be done while we were there. That is why the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway appeals to me so much. San Jacinto mountains act as a barrier for Palm Springs from the chilly winters. But the view from the top of the mountain is equally incredible.

All you have to do is take a tram to the summit of the San Jacinto Mountains. It is the largest rotating tramway in the world and the ride takes approximately 10 minutes to climb to more than 8000 feet.

There are multiple observation decks and restaurants at the top of the summit. You also have an option to snowshoe, hike or do cross-country skiing once you are at the top of the mountain. This place is a must do on your tour of Palm Springs.

Since the ticket lines are usually long, it is recommended that you buy tickets in advance. They cost approximately 25$ for adults.

Find out more and buy your tickets to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway here.

A tree stub surrounded by lots of snow in Palm Springs, California
Pic by Rick McCharles

Go Exploring the Indian Canyons

There are many Indian canyons around the area including Palm Canyon, Murray Canyon and Andreas Canyon. There are many hiking trails around here too. But guess I would be bored of so much hiking and would love to go horseback riding here. Also, you have an option to buy Native American pottery work while you are here. Guided hikes are available here as well.

There are many Golf resorts around the area and I would love to visit one of them to try my hand at them.

Palm Springs Art Museum

As an art aficionado, I would definitely love to spend some hours when I am in Palm Springs. The museum also offers free entry every Thursday between Memorial Day and Labour Day.

Also, Read – Things to do in San Francisco in 4 days

Best Time To Visit Palm Springs

The best time to visit Palm Springs is during late winter between the months of January and April. Fall months between October and December are also a good time to visit. But the summer months between May and September are best to be avoided since the heat is too intense during this season.

Vegetarian Food in Palm Springs

There are plenty of vegetarian food options in Palm Springs and I cannot wait to try them out when I visit Palm Springs.



Hopefully, I get to visit the US again sometime next year. If I do, then Palm Springs is definitely on my wish list.

Things to do in palm springs pinterest

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About Soumya Nambiar

Soumya Nambiar here. I am an avid traveler, travel blogger, vegetarian foodie and entrepreneur from Bangalore, India who grew up in Tanzania, Africa. I have been to more than 60 countries and in this blog, I write about my personal experiences as an Indian traveller around the world as well as my struggles as a vegetarian. I can be reached at [email protected].

11 thoughts on “Things I Want To Do in Palm Springs, California in 2024”

  1. I have never traveled in the US and this is why I don’t know much about the country. I had no idea where Palm Spring was (even if I’ve heard about it before) or what is there to do. The Coachella valley sounds very interesting to visit, especially for a nature enthusiast that wants to spot the famous lizard. Is this the same place where the Coachella festival takes place? I love hiking so walking for a few miles in the Joshua Tree Nation Park is definitely my cup of tea.

  2. I haven’t been to Palm Springs for many years, so these places are a nice reminder of what to see. I like the sound of the tramway, and good to know you can buy tickets ahead of time. I like travelling in October when it’s cooler so I’d come here at this time!

  3. Great list! We are in SoCal, just over an hour from Palm Springs so it’s our desert getaway from the beach! If you go, check out the Omni Rancho las Palmas if you need a hotel. It’s awesome with a great water park area!

  4. Lovey post and always nice to jot down and share information about places that you plan to visit, not just the ones you have visited. I haven’t been to this area, but have come across it in movies and photos and I love the barren topography of the region – makes for some nice photographs – and would one day love to explore it more. The tramway sounds like a nice idea and have heard a lot about the Joshua Tree National Park, so that should also be a wonderful day out. Thanks

  5. This sounds like an amazing adventure. Sitting by the pool and cocktails is the perfect relaxing holiday but I also agree that seeing sights or destinations is also a must do when on holiday because not only will they be awesome, you are already there so why not? The airiel tramway sounds awesome. I done something similar in Bangkok. They have a sky train through the city, its pretty cool.

  6. AH! I love Joshua Tree soooo much! I am a rock-climber and so that is the place for learning how to rock climb to be sure. Although if you aren’t a rock-climber with the ropes and such, there are some fabulous trails and such that you can wander around and look at the unique rock formations. I’ve never actually visited Palm Springs, so now that will have to be the next thing I do when I go to California – the Fringe toed lizard, lol, that’s such a funny name.

  7. Joshua Tree has been on my dream destination place for as long as I remember! I’ve only been to the U.S. twice – both times for Disney (oops) – so definitely need to do a more “grown up” trip at some point!
    The Aerial Tramway sounds cool – I imagine the view would be just incredible !

  8. I always hear about Palm Springs and I’ve seen it on TV and in movies, but I’ve never been there. It’s got my kind of attractions – national parks, canyons and cables. I’m glad that I won’t have a problem finding vegetarian food either.

  9. California has always been on my top of my list because of all the amazing places I have heard about there. Palm springs look like my kind of place. The place is full of adventure and fun. I would love to visit Joshua tree as I love rock climbing. Another place added to the list 🙂

  10. Love Palm Springs! We took the tramway up to the top and then hiked the approx 11 mile round trip up to the summit of San Jacinto Peak. It was a challenging hike, but the views from the top were amazing. It’s a bit of a drive from Palm Springs, but the metal sculptures in Borrego Springs (south of Palm Springs) and swinging by the Salton Sea (an area rich in history), is a fun day trip. Joshua tree was also great to visit….the pictures don’t do it justice. It’s a must for sure.


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