Palm Springs

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Because Palm Springs is generally more about relaxation than sightseeing, the activities in the valley generally involve personal interest pursuits like golf, tennis, lounging poolside, and indulging in spa treatments. But for those who get restless with sports and/or sedentary activities, guided architecture tours, rugged canyon hikes, and shopping are great diversions too.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Desert Adventures Eco Jeep Tours

The knowledgeable local guides at Desert Adventures provide jeep tours of the San Andreas Fault and Joshua Tree National Park that pay close attention to Native American history, the local ecosystem, ethno-botany, and geology. They also offer hiking adventures, teambuilding programs, and parties at the company’s 1,000-acre Metate Canyon Ranch, about 20 minutes from most Palm Springs area resorts.

Multiple meeting locations, CA, 760-340-2345,
Tags: hiking | editor pick | eco-friendly | things to do | outdoors

Desert Willow Golf Course

Tee up at Desert Willow Golf Course, which receives rave reviews for its two 18-hole, eco-friendly courses – the Mountain View Course, which has wide fairways and stunning mountain views, and the Firecliff Course, designed for more advanced players with 100-plus bunkers and landscaped with indigenous desert plants. Golf enthusiasts and beginners can also take classes at the club’s renowned Palm Desert Golf Academy, with daily clinics starting at $30. 

38-995 Desert Willow Dr., CA, 760-346-7060,
Tags: golf | things to do | sports

El Paseo

Known as the Rodeo Drive of the Desert, this mile-long collection of over 300 high-end shops, boutiques, jewelers, and restaurants includes BCBG Max Azria, Brooks Brothers, Coach, Tiffany and Co., and L’Occitane, to name a few.

El Paseo, across from Gardens of El Paseo, CA,
Tags: shopping | things to do

Outlet Shopping

The Desert Hills Premium Outlets and adjacent Cabazon Outlets on the outskirts of Palm Springs offer the largest shopping areas in the valley. Among the 130 shops are YSL, Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Space (a vendor of Miu Miu and Prada), Theory, Barneys New York Outlet, Dolce & Gabbana, MaxMara, Diane von Fürstenberg, Diesel, and Kate Spade.

48750 Seminole Dr., CA, 951-922-3000,
Tags: shopping | things to do | shopping mall | designer | menswear | factory outlet

Palm Springs Arial Tramway

The thrilling 2.5 mile ascent (the steepest in the U.S.) to the top of Mt. San Gorgonio provides an excellent overview of the Coachella Valley and an awesome 360-degree view of the desert through the rotating tram cars. Visitors will traverse though Chino Canyon, and climb to an elevation of 8,516 feet in less than 20 minutes, with temperatures plunging as low as 50 degrees or lower. At the summit, skip the observation deck, restaurant, and lounge and opt instead for the picnic facilities and the tranquil self-guided nature walks, often on snow-covered trails.

1 Tramway Rd., CA, 760-325-1391,
Tags: family | things to do | outdoors | jim's pick

PS Modern Architecture Tours

Follow historian and architecture aficionado Robert Imber through this informative three-hour, 35 mile minivan tour ($65) that showcases the exteriors of the most well-known modern buildings in Palm Springs, including stops at homes designed by icons like Richard Neutra, the Alexander Brothers, and Clark and Frey.

Meeting places vary, CA, 760-318-6118, no website;
Tags: editor pick | design | things to do | architecture | tour

Spa Desert Springs at JW Marriott

This 2007-renovated destination spa is not only the JW Marriott’s standout feature, but one of the biggest and best spas in the desert. It’s large enough to guarantee hotel guests last-minute treatments, but still personalized and inviting. Treatments like date body scrubs, ampoule, collagen, and caviar facials, instantly relax the sunburnt golf set, while two steam rooms, personal Vichy showers, a dry sauna, and a private spa pool with its own bistro, offer an unrivaled and sublime spa experience you won’t find elsewhere in the valley.

74855 Country Club Dr., CA, 760-341-2211,
Tags: yoga | things to do | health

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