Fun Places To Go In Palm Springs

Fun Places To Go In Palm Springs

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Palm Springs, California has been a hot spot since the early 1900s, when many tourists and movie stars flocked to the area for the privacy and health benefits of the desert. Even today, people are attracted to this sunny place, especially in winter.

Fun Places To Go In Palm Springs

Many guides focus on the best things to do in Palm Springs, or at least the places you need a car or taxi to visit. This post features only the best things to do in downtown Palm Springs and the surrounding neighborhoods. Whether you travel without a car or prefer to walk, you’ll be happy to know that you can do everything in this car-free post.

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This desert resort town is unlike any other place you’ve ever visited. It was never on my radar, but I’m so glad I visited. Mid-century modern architecture with all the colors make Palm Springs a fun place to walk and explore.

It’s one of the most obvious things to do in downtown Palm Springs, but it’s also one of the best. Go north on S Palm Canyon Drive to Ramon Road in downtown and north on N Palm Canyon Drive to W Vista Chino. A 2 mile walk takes you through the heart of downtown and downtown. I recommend going up one side of the street and walking down the other side.

Palm Springs Plantation of the Stars is the city’s version of the Hollywood Plantation of Fame. The Walk of Stars honors celebrities and residents. With more than 400 stars, they cover several blocks in the center and upper part of the city. Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra and Ginger Rogers are among the famous stars.

As you walk around, you’ll see all the street art that’s spread throughout downtown and downtown. To see the artwork in front of the Palm Springs Art Museum, be sure to take the main road into their museum. You can’t miss Marilyn Monroe!

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Murals are huge these days and you’ll see a lot of them around town, but not so much in other cities.

That’s not to say Palm Springs doesn’t have art. You will see painted chairs in almost every block. Look for the egg and the bacon can. Of course, a food bank is my favorite!

Two of my favorite galleries were Nat Reed and Shag. Both are Southern California artists who paint vintage inspired scenes mostly set in the Southwest.

Fun Places To Go In Palm Springs

One of the best things to do in downtown Palm Springs is to visit the city’s most famous museum, the Palm Springs Art Museum. The main collection includes works of modern and contemporary art. There is also American art and artifacts from the West. Don’t miss the sculpture garden on the first floor.

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Entrance to the museum is free on Thursdays. Although this is not a secret. Expect a large crowd at a regular museum. There was live music on the Thursday night I visited. It wasn’t the museum experience I prefer, but I could see how it would be popular for a social night out.

The Center for Architecture and Design is also part of the museum. It requires a separate entrance and is located at the southern end of the city center.

Along Palm Canyon Drive is a mix of shops. Along with gift shops and boutiques, there are luxury stores like Sephora, Kiehls, Francesca and West Elm.

I love local shops like Pipa’s that sell Palm Springs products with the mid-century modern vibe that the city is known for.

Best Things To Do In Palm Springs, Ca: Fun Activities And Attractions

Just Fabulous is another interesting store to visit. After shopping, go through the back door into the hallway. It’s easy to miss the courtyard if you’re walking down N Palm Canyon Drive and don’t stop at one of the shops or restaurants that lead to this beautiful garden oasis.

Shop Trina Turk’s colorful styles at her first retail store in Palm Springs. Then describe her home in the Mesa neighborhood on the Hidden Paradise tour below!

The McCallum Adobe Museum is a small free museum downtown. Briefly covers the history of Native Americans and pioneers of the region. There is also a wall of notable people who have visited Palm Springs. The rest is devoted to temporary exhibitions related to the city.

Fun Places To Go In Palm Springs

Plus, it’s a great indoor activity if you’re having one of the few rainy days like me.

The Best Places To Stay In Palm Springs

The historical society also offers paid tours and bicycles. Multiple visits are made to different neighborhoods and focus on different topics. Most of the tours are about movie stars and celebrities who make or have made Palm Springs their home. They also cover architecture and are full of interesting and historical stories.

The heart of the city tour takes place in the city center. Since I spent a lot of time walking downtown, I chose the Paradise Walk in the Mesa neighborhood. This neighborhood is easy to walk south of downtown.

It’s a beautiful neighborhood with interesting architecture and famous residents! You’ll have to take the Hidden Paradise tour to find out which house is pictured above!

Another tour option is the Legends and Icons bus tour. This tour is not led by the historical society, but is a good option if you don’t mind walking too much. You can also see more during a visit.

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If you take the Paradise Tour in the Mesa neighborhood, you’ll be close to the Morten Botanical Gardens. This small private grove is a hidden gem just south of downtown.

There are thousands of species of cacti and other desert plants in the small gardens. Paths cross several floors with some descriptions and names. Cactus includes a collection of small cacti. It was interesting to see the different species up close.

Birds, turtles, mine waste, ceramics and plants are also for sale. It is a small but very quiet place. There are even benches around to relax and enjoy the gardens. There is a toilet behind the gardens.

Fun Places To Go In Palm Springs

The only thing better than eating on a nice day is eating on a beautiful winter day! In early January, one of my favorite things to do in downtown Palm Springs was to eat. Most restaurants in downtown Palm Springs have indoor and outdoor seating.

Best Things To Do In Palm Springs, California

Sammy G’s Tuscan Grill is an Italian restaurant. The outdoor seating, nestled between the buildings, created a romantic feeling with the delicate lighting between the palm trees and the fountain. There are fireplaces and heat lamps near the table for those cold winter nights. The white wine lemon cream sauce on the roast chicken was a delicious dish to enjoy in the setting.

Visit Wilma and Frida for lunch. They serve bakery classics like scrambles, desserts and other favorites. I ordered one of the house specialties, Biscuits and Gravy, which comes with Sausage. Since it’s also served with a side, it’s a hearty meal, but it’s so good that I easily ate it all. Enjoy your meal on the balcony overlooking a small courtyard off the main drag.

Relaxing around the hotel pool is one of the best things to do in downtown Palm Springs. Almost all hotels have a swimming pool. The pools are open year-round, but are closed during the hot summer months. In the hottest days of winter, you can swim.

I was drawn to the bright colors of Delos Reyes (pictured above) but stayed at the Vagabond Motor Inn. Although both hotels are located south of the city center, they are slightly cheaper and an easier bus ride or walk to the city center.

Splash House 2023

Speaking of color, the Saguaro is a bright hotel that is famous for its pool. Kay from Amazing Tours gave me lots of tips before my first trip and wrote great reviews of Saguaro. The hotel is a bit far from the city center, but with the free bike rental you will be in the city center in no time!

Two other downtown spots where you can relax around the pool are the Kimpton Rowan and the Best Western Plus Las Brisas.

Of all the things to do in downtown Palm Springs, a visit to the Museum of Modernism is the only thing I have yet to do. As you walk through the exhibits designed to represent the 1950s and 1970s, you will experience mid-century modernism.

Fun Places To Go In Palm Springs

From what I understand, you feel like you’ve stepped back in time and come across different settings, from a beauty salon to a hotel. One of the reasons I haven’t been there yet is that I think I’d rather meet someone and enjoy taking lots of pictures. This is how the museum was built

After Liking It Hot In Palm Springs, Marilyn Monroe Statue Moving On

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