The Best Things to Do in Palm Springs

By Isabel | The Getaway via

Palm Springs, a cosmopolitan oasis in the Sonoran Desert, is best known for its mid-century modern structures by famous architects, soothing hot springs, and stunning landscapes. About 100 miles east of Los Angeles, Palm Springs is the principal city of the Coachella Valley, a string of desert towns in Southern California. Palm Springs draws visitors from around the world with reliably beautiful weather and scenery, chic shops and boutiques, and its many spas and resorts. Not sure what to see and do in this glossy California desert? Consider the following top-rated sights when visiting Palm Springs, California.

01 Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Take a ride aboard the world’s largest rotating gondola nearly 6,000 feet up the cliffs of Chino Canyon into Mt. San Jacinto State Park to catch breathtaking views of Southern California’s Coachella Valley. Opened in 1963, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway was originally a way of reaching the top of San Jacinto Peak from the Coachella Valley floor. Today, the tramway offers visitors to Palm Springs, California, a one-of-a-kind perspective of the city and the surrounding area.

02 Palm Springs Art Museum

Located in downtown Palm Springs, the Palm Springs Art Museum is dedicated to art, natural science, and performing arts. The museum’s permanent collection consists of more than 24,000 objects ranging from fine art and photographic archives to Native American and Mesoamerican art and artifacts. The museum also showcases 12,000 archaeological and geological specimens, such as ceramics, minerals, fossils, tools, and weapons. Among notable landscape artists with works on display or curated by the museum are John James Audubon, best known for documenting and illustrating American birds, and German American artist Carl Eytel.

03 Jeep Tour of the San Andreas Fault

The San Andreas Fault extends roughly 745 miles through California, and one of the best ways to visit the fault is on an exhilarating Jeep Tour. Experience beautiful scenery as you wind your way through the geological canyons of the San Andreas Fault Zone. You will enjoy the spectacular views and unique geological features of the Coachella Valley and learn about the plants, animals, and seismology of the fault zone and the California desert.

04 The Sunnylands Center and Gardens

The Sunnylands Center and Gardens, the mid-century modern retreat of Walter and Leonore Annenberg, offers visitors a glimpse into the historic estate and information about the history and cultural significance of Sunnylands. Surrounded by nine acres of desert gardens, the estate once entertained famous entertainers such as Frank Sinatra and political leaders, including eight U.S. presidents.

05 San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm

The San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm, one of three major wind farms in California, has become a fascinating feature in the landscape of the San Gorgonio Pass. The wind farm features more than 4,000 wind turbines that can harness 650 megawatts of renewable energy or enough energy to power 195,000 California homes. A neat feat of human engineering, the Wind Farms offer a unique opportunity to learn about wind energy in one of the windiest places in southern California.

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