16 Best Things to Do in Palm Desert

Palm Desert
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Located in the Coachella Valley area of Riverside County, Palm Desert is a popular destination for people who are looking for a break from long winters in their region.

The hot city of Palm Desert is known for its amazing festivals, trails, landscapes, parks, art galleries, public art, boutiques, restaurants and much more!

Here is a list of 16 best things to do in Palm Desert:

Hiking in the Bump and Grind Trail

View from Bump and Grind Trail
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There is no doubt about the fact that one of the best things to do in Palm Desert is to go hiking in the Bump and Grind Trail.

The Bump and Grind Trail is not only the region’s most popular hiking trail, but also the one with the most spectacular landscape views.

The 4-mile loop Bump and Grind Trail offers a challenging yet enjoyable way to explore the natural beauty of the Palm Desert at an elevation of 1000 feet.

From spotting sweet wildflowers, magnificent desert views, and even some wild animals - your Bump and Grind Trail experience will certainly be an unforgettable one!

Palm Springs Art Museum

Palm Springs Art Museum
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One of the most fascinating ways to spend your time in Palm Desert is to check out the stunning art at the Palm Springs Art Museum.

The Palm Springs Art Museum features a huge collection of art works from different parts of the world.

The artworks featured at the Palm Springs Art Museum stretch across different historical periods.

The Palm Springs Art Museum is home to Native American Art, Western American Art, as well as a large collection of paintings and sculptures from different geographical locations.

For a more authentic experience at the Palm Springs Art Museum, make sure to check out any of the live performances hosted by the Museum authorities.

The museum also offers a guided tour for visitors.

El Paseo Shopping District

El Paseo Shopping District
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If a little retail therapy is what you’re looking for in Palm Desert, then you must head out to the El Paseo Shopping District.

El Paseo Shopping District is also known as the Rodeo Drive of the Coachella Valley.

The shopping district is stretched across 1 mile and is home to over 300 splendid shops.

The El Paseo Shopping District is mainly popular for its blocks featuring high-end boutiques, shops and picturesque restaurants.

Go for a shopping spree or simply enjoy some window shopping – both ways, the El Paseo Shopping District will charm you with its quaint aesthetics.

Cabot’s Pueblo Museum

Take a trip back in time by exploring the intriguing Cabot’s Pueblo Museum in Palm Desert.

Built by Cabot Yerxa, Cabot’s Pueblo Museum is a historical home that dates back to the 1940’s.

This historical home with four stories and 35 rooms was yet to be completed when Yerxa died in 1965.

At present, you can visit inside the home to explore art and artifacts exhibited to showcase the life of its previous owners.

The fascinating exterior of this huge building perfectly exemplifies Pueblo’s revival design.

The materials used to build this magnanimous house were sourced from the nearby surroundings of the desert.

A Unique Palm Desert Experience with Balloons Above

Hot Air Balloon in Coachella valley
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If you’re in for some adventure, you must not miss the opportunity to fly over Palm Desert with a hot air balloon ride.

The hot air balloon ride over the Coachella Valley offers the most thrilling and fun way to explore the beauty of Palm Desert and its surroundings.

Balloons Above has been offering this unique experience to visitors for over 40 years now.

The best part about a hot air balloon ride is the fact that it gives you the most mesmerizing 360 degree view of Palm Desert.

Imagine soaring across the sky while watching the most striking landscapes of the desert and city.

For the most memorable hot air balloon experience in Palm Desert, you can also go for a special Sunset Flight.

Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
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Living Desert Zoo and Gardens offers an ideal getaway for anyone who is looking to learn more about desert life facts.

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens features a fascinating combination of animal species and a botanical garden focusing on palms and cactus.

Here, you can learn about a wide range of native desert plants and diverse animal species.

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is home to wolves, leopards, giraffes, zebras, badgers, camels as well as a number of other intriguing animal species.

Apart from this, the site also features an exclusive butterfly garden, petting zoo with beautiful nature trails.

McCallum Theater for the Performing Arts

The McCallum Theater for the Performing Arts is a state-of-the-art performing arts center in Palm Desert, attracting visitors from all around the world.

From Broadway, opera to classical and rock music - the theater offers a wide range of entertainment and cultural experiences for visitors and natives.

If you’re looking for some entertainment during your time in Palm Desert, you must plan a visit to this place!

Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center

Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center
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Rising from the desert floor, the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains reach 10,834 feet elevation at the Mount San Jacinto summit.

A day’s trip to the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center will provide you with a stunning landscape of mountains and local communities.

Some remote areas of the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains can be challenging for visitors.

While taking a day trip to this place, you must carry enough water, protect yourself from sun and carry a map to follow the right trails.

If you are traveling with children, make sure to keep them near you at all times and watch out for dangerous flora and fauna.

The trails are rated as easy, moderate and strenuous.

You can choose a trail type that best meets your hiking abilities and needs.

Lastly, make sure that you do not recreate alone and stick to the right trail at all times.

Palm Desert’s Civic Center Park

If you are looking for an outdoor retreat in Palm Desert, you must make it a point to visit the Civic Center Park.

Spread across 70 acres, Palm Desert’s Civic Center Park stands as the biggest community park in the city.

The Civic Center Park is a favorite with visitors and families who are looking for a large open green space or picnic area in the city.

The Civic Center Park site also attracts sports enthusiasts, being home to baseball fields, basketball, tennis, volleyball courts, along with a separate playground for kids.

Palm Desert’s Civic Center Park is nicely built with proper amenities, including restrooms, walking trails, public art area and a beautiful rose garden.

You can also explore Civic Center Park’s amphitheater that hosts several events and concerts all year round.

Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve

Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve
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Located in Coachella Valley, Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve is a serene and untouched wilderness area.

It’s easy to get to the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve area, as it is merely 20 minutes away from Palm Desert.

The Preserve stretches across 20,000 acre, featuring an intriguing combination of hiking trails and picnic spots.

Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve gives you an authentic desert nature experience with its widespread landscapes and wild plant life.

The Preserve also offers guided hiking tours on some days of the week.

To know more about the services provided at the Preserve, you can contact the visitor’s center.

Palms to Pines Scenic Byway

Palms to Pines Scenic Byway
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When someone mentions Palm Desert, you cannot help but imagine the most striking landscapes!

A short road trip along the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway offers just the perfect way to catch a glimpse of the most attractive landscapes in the area.

To take this scenic route, you’ll start your trip just outside the Palm Desert area.

You’ll know you’ve reached your destination as soon as you catch a glimpse of the snow-peaked mountains at Banning Pass.

This gusty 67-mile long road trip is perfect for visitors who are looking to get away from the city structures and crowded attractions.

Palm Desert Aquatic Center

Has the Palm Desert heat has taken a toll on you?

Well, there no other way to beat the desert heat than taking a trip to the Palm Desert Aquatic Center!

The Palm Desert Aquatic Center is quite popular with residents and visitors alike, as the water park offers a perfect way to retreat from soaring temperatures in the region.

The best part about the Palm Desert Aquatic Center is the fact that it remains open all twelve months of the year, featuring fun attractions for visitors of all ages.

The Palm Desert Aquatic Center features three swimming pools, water slides, spray areas as well as other fun play areas.

The water park also offers exercise classes during certain hours.

The Street Fair at College of the Desert

The Street Fair at College of the Desert is considered one of the most sought-after things to do in Palm Desert.

The Street Fair at College of the Desert is an open-air shaded shopping hub featuring the widest range of exclusive clothing, art, decor, furniture, gadgets, gifts and food.

The Street Fair at College of the Desert has been going on for over 36 years.

Till now, it continues to offer the most versatile range of merchandise and services for all ages and budgets.

Whether it’s the gourmet food, live entertainment, or home and fashion goods - everything about the street fair makes it worth a visit!

San Andreas Fault

San Andreas Fault
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Another great way to make your trip to Palm Deserts a memorable one is to explore San Andreas Fault in Greater Palm Springs.

San Andreas Fault stands as one of the most fascinating geological features of the West Coast.

San Andreas Fault is particularly held responsible for continental rifts triggering earthquakes in California.

The boundary formed by two massive tectonic plates is considered the “fault” in San Andreas Fault.

The highlight of your visit to San Andreas Fault will be the flora and fauna, oasis and mud pots.

The best way to visit San Andreas Fault is by taking a guided jeep tour, especially if you are not interested in hiking around.

Right from its multifaceted geological features to groves and tropical plants, everything about a day trip to San Andreas Fault is full of adventure and fun.

Desert Holocaust Memorial

The Desert Holocaust Memorial in Palm Desert aims at educating visitors about the atrocities of the Holocaust, along with remembering the ones who lost their lives to it.

With its impressive representation of the horrors of the Holocaust, the memorial leaves you with contemplative and sobering thoughts.

The first thing you’ll see after entering the memorial is a circular row of trees, symbolizing life outside the concentration camps.

The memorial features a collection of 7 large figurines, depicting the different kinds of people who suffered under the Nazi atrocities.

You can visit the Holocaust Memorial any day with free admission.

It is truly one of the most heart-touching Holocaust memorials you’ll visit across America.

Desert at Pacifica Seafood Restaurant

If you are craving for some good seafood in Palm Desert, you must not look any further than the Desert at Pacifica Seafood Restaurant.

Pacifica Seafood Restaurant is one of the most top-rated seafood joints in Palm Desert.

The restaurant not only stands apart because of its warm and attractive setting.

It also meets all your expectations in terms of taste and freshness.

The restaurant menu offers you an extensive range of salads, and appetizers to choose from.

If you are confused about what to order, you can always choose anything from the restaurant’s special sugar-spiced salmon, filet mignon, shrimp scampi pasta or Chilean sea bass.

Another highlight of Pacifica Seafood Restaurant is its outdoor dining facility that offers you a gorgeous view of the mountains.

Apart from offering the most scrumptious seafood, the restaurant’s bar also gives you a choice of handcrafted cocktails, vodkas and wines.