We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

One Day in Palm Springs

Exclusively commissioned by TripAdvisor

94%
Found this guide helpful

Palm Springs is the hot Southern California getaway abounding with unique art, iconic architecture, beautiful desert landscapes, and much more. From nature trails to golf courses to shopping, this city could easily cram full an entire week. But if you only have one day, here is what to do with it!

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Luxury Traveller
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Like a Local

10 Places

4 City Tips

Print
Map

10 Places

Agua Caliente Indian Canyons

Canyons, Deserts, Hiking Trails, Parks

Woody's Palm House

Restaurants

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Tramways

Palm Springs Art Museum

Art Museums

The Cafe at Shields

Restaurants

Moorten Botanical Garden

Gardens

Coachella Valley Preserve

Nature & Wildlife Areas, Deserts

Palm Springs Windmill Tours

Other Outdoor Activities, Sightseeing Tours, Private Tours, Eco Tours

VillageFest

Points of Interest & Landmarks, Flea & Street Markets

Toucans Tiki Lounge

Gay Clubs & Bars

Megan S's City Tips

  • Although Palm Springs is warm year-round, temps can skyrocket in the summer months (May through September), making some of the outdoor activities tougher. If you plan on a lot of hiking and other outdoor activities, consider visiting in the winter months when it's "cooler" (in the 70s).
  • Palm Springs is very hot and dry — make sure to drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen.
  • If you visit during the summer, get an early start on your hikes — before the heat sets in!
  • January through April is peak tourist season, so while you'll enjoy cooler climes, you may also be inundated with other likeminded "snow birds."
  • Agua Caliente Indian Canyons
    Canyons, Deserts, Hiking Trails, Parks
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    An early morning hike is an ideal way to kick off your day in Palm Springs (and get in a hike before the heat really kicks in). Situated on Agua Caliente tribal land, Indian Canyons contain a series of stunning canyons, and North America's largest natural palm oasis. There are a variety of trails, including a novice one-mile trek that will take you past majestic California Fan Palms, fascinating rock formations, and serene streams.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • To make the most of your visit, ask for a ranger to guide your hike — the knowledgeable rangers can tell you a lot about the Native Americans as well as the nature!
    • Be sure to bring plenty of water.
    • There is a small fee to enter the park.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #9 of 93 things to do in Palm Springs
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Don’t be intimidated by the line to get in - it’s worth it!! 23/11/2018
    • A Peaceful, Satisfying Hike 22/10/2018
    • Agua Caliente Indian Canyons
    Address:
    E Palm Canyon Dr
    Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92264-1642
    Phone:
    +1 760-323-6018
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Woody's Palm House
    Restaurants (American, Bar)
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    After you've worked up an appetite on your hike, sink into a much-deserved burger at Woody's, a casual classic where you can swivel on a bar stool watching the grill man prepare your meal.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Sweet potato fries and onion rings. Each have a cult following, so you should probably try them both!
    • There is often live music here in the evenings.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #53 of 275 restaurants in Palm Springs
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Food, Drink and the Blues 21/11/2018
    • hit the spot 17/11/2018
    • Woody's Palm House
    Address:
    450 S Palm Canyon Dr
    Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92262-7304
    Phone:
    +1 760-230-0188
    Price range:
    US$5 - US$12
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    11:00 AM - 12:00 AM
    Other:
  • Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
    Tramways
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    When it comes to a visit to Palm Springs, the Aerial Tramway is almost a requirement. The world's largest rotating tramway promises incredible views, ascending 8,516 feet from the desert floor to the alpine forest, offering unbeatable panoramas at every turn. Equally fascinating is the dramatic atmospheric shift. You'll go from the heat of the desert to the cool of the mountain, which is often blanketed with snow.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Bring layers: No matter how hot it is at the bottom, there's always a chill at the top!
    • There is a restaurant at the top, but you can also bring your own lunch to enjoy at the picnic tables.
    • After 4pm there is a small discount off the price!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 93 things to do in Palm Springs
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Have to do once 07/12/2018
    • Highly recommend 06/12/2018
    • Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
    Address:
    1 Tramway Rd
    Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92262-1828
    Phone:
    +1 760-325-1391
    Other:
  • Palm Springs Art Museum
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    For good reason, artists have long been drawn to the Coachella Valley, infusing the area with a wealth of incredible works. At the heart of the desert art community is the Palm Springs Art Museum, which features an impressive collection of Modern and Contemporary painting and sculpture, including some fabulous temporary exhibits.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Admission is free on the second Sunday of the month.
    • Be sure to check out the online calendar before your visit — the museum offers a wealth of workshops, lectures, and other events.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 93 things to do in Palm Springs
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Second Sunday 09/12/2018
    • An afternoon to kill 07/12/2018
    • Palm Springs Art Museum
    Address:
    101 N Museum Dr
    Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92262-5659
    Phone:
    +1 760-322-4800
    Hours:
    Thu
    12:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    Fri - Tue
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • The Cafe at Shields
    Restaurants (American, Cafe)
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    Palm Springs is famous for its dates (the fruit!), and Shields Date Garden has some of the best in town. After strolling through the beautiful gardens, head into the shop to pick up all manner of date treats for the folks back home.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • The cafe is a great place to stop for a snack or drink.
    • Don't leave without trying a date shake!
    • There is a 15-minute film, "Romance and Sex Life of the Date," that plays continuously, and features Floyd Shields himself talking about his favorite subject.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 124 restaurants in Indio
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great Date Shake 07/12/2018
    • Always a Pleasure to eat at this famous and historic Place 28/11/2018
    • The Cafe at Shields
    Address:
    80225 US Highway 111
    Shields Date Garden
    Indio, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92201-6538
    Phone:
    +1 760-775-0902
    Price range:
    US$11 - US$15
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    Other:
  • Moorten Botanical Garden
    Gardens
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    At the family-run Moorten Botanical Garden, you can see a wide variety of cacti and succulents, all arranged beautifully.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Not recommended for young children.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #15 of 93 things to do in Palm Springs
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great variety of cactus 09/12/2018
    • Something different! 26/11/2018
    • Moorten Botanical Garden
    Address:
    1701 S Palm Canyon Dr
    Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92264-8936
    Phone:
    +1 760-327-6555
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    Other:
  • Coachella Valley Preserve
    Nature & Wildlife Areas, Deserts
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    While many of the desert trails around Palm Springs can be described as oases, Coachella Valley Preserve is more of a mirage. The beautiful water and surrounding plants are stunning, showing an entirely different side of Palm Springs.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Ask at the visitor center for more information — the staff is really knowledgeable.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #10 of 93 things to do in Palm Springs
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • No parking for RVs :-( 09/12/2018
    • When in Palm Springs make a stop in Coachella Valley Preserve and the 1000 Palms Oasis! 09/12/2018
    • Coachella Valley Preserve
    Address:
    29200 Thousand Palms Canyon Road
    Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA
    Phone:
    +1 760-343-1234
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Palm Springs Windmill Tours
    Other Outdoor Activities, Sightseeing Tours, Private Tours, Eco Tours
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    Another way to get outdoors without all the hiking, the Windmill Farm makes for a fun and educational outing. Here, you can check out the windmills for which Palm Springs is famous, and learn more about the wind power harvesting.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Needless to say, it's very windy here. Don't bring hats or wear other loose items, as they'll definitely blow off!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 32 Outdoor Activities in Palm Springs
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great, Friendly Tour 20/11/2018
    • Very informative, well led 17/11/2018
    • Palm Springs Windmill Tours
    Address:
    62950 20th Ave
    Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92262
    Phone:
    +1 800-531-5834
    Price range:
    US$49 - US$49
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • VillageFest
    Points of Interest & Landmarks, Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    If you're in Palm Springs on a Thursday evening, VillageFest is the place to be. For more than 20 years, this street fair has turned downtown Palm Springs into a lively fiesta of entertainment and stalls selling food, drinks, crafts, and more. This is a great way to dip into the local art and food scene!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nightlife Seeker
    • Foodie
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    Tips
    • VillageFest runs 6-10pm from October through May, and 7-10pm from June through September.
    • Even in the evenings it will still be hot, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and drink plenty of fluids as you wander around.
    • Dog friendly!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #14 of 93 things to do in Palm Springs
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Eclectic mix of vendors and music 01/12/2018
    • What better way to enjoy a summer evening ? 12/11/2018
    • VillageFest
    Address:
    Palm Canyon Drive between Baristo and Amado
    Downtown
    Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA
    Phone:
    +1 760-320-3781
    Hours:
    Thu
    6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    Other:
  • Toucans Tiki Lounge
    Gay Clubs & Bars
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    Whether you want to catch the cabaret or are just looking to dance the night away, Toucans Tiki Lounge is sure to make for a memorable time. This high-energy gay nightclub features themed dance parties (think 'Jungle Boogie' or 'Latin Night Monday') every night of the week.

    Good for
    • LGBT
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • "Tammy Rose and the Playgirls" is a fabulous cabaret that takes place every Sunday evening. Get tickets!
    • If you're looking for a more mellow nightlife option, the Ace Hotel and Swim Club features everything from bingo night to local comedians.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 12 Nightlife in Palm Springs
    • Cute little Tiki bar SO much fun!! 15/10/2018
    • Arrive with cash for the queens! Don't be SHADY! 23/05/2018
    • Toucans Tiki Lounge
    Address:
    2100 N Palm Canyon Dr
    Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92262-2800
    Phone:
    +1 760-416-7584
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    12:00 PM - 2:00 AM
    Other:
top
×
Was this guide helpful?
YesNo