Palm Springs Attractions

Palm Springs attractions offer a variety of experiences and things to do that will suit the interests and budgets of just about everyone. Start with the great outdoors, and you have enough tourist attractions in Palm Springs to keep you occupied for days on end.

Crowned by the majestic San Bernadino and San Jacinto Mountains and surrounded by pristine desert landscapes, the Coachella Valley offers some of the best hiking trails in southern California. Many of these trails are easily accessible, and are great Palm Springs family attractions because of the unique landscapes. Dominant in the landscape is the famous aerial tramway. Its boarding platform is in town, and you can actually walk to it from many of the city hotels. From there, it soars 8,500 feet up into the mountains. The ride alone is a thrilling experience that is exciting for children and adults alike. Once up there, you can hike on more than 50 miles of trails from novice to difficult—a full day’s excursion for those on family vacations and enough to tire the kids out so the parents enjoy the vibrant nightlife and glitzy casinos.

Along with the mountains, the outdoor Palm Springs attractions include the surrounding desert and its flora and fauna and the Salton Sea with its wonderful recreation area and incredible birdlife. There is horseback riding, boating and waterskiing, parasailing, off-road vehicle tours, and much more. Head to Palm Desert to visit the Living Desert, a unique museum, zoo, and botanical garden that showcases the desert plants and animals from around the world. Here you can view bighorn sheep and gazelles from the Sahara, kit foxes and tortoises, mountain lions and bobcats, cheetahs and African hunting dogs, hyenas and eagles, warthogs, giraffes, ostriches, and desert toads. It is one of the great Palm Springs family attractions just for the wildlife alone. But children will also enjoy camel rides, hands-on animal shows, and a fanciful merry-go-round.

Waterpark Attractions in Palm Springs
Waterpark Attractions in Palm Springs

More Palm Springs family attractions can be found around the swimming pools of many resorts, which often have multiple pools with one adult only tranquility pool and one that is actually a mini water park with water slides, lazy rivers, sprinklers and fountains, and sandy beaches. If that’s not enough water activity, you can try Knotts Soak City with a giant wave pool, lazy river, numerous water slides, and a roller coaster.

There are also tourist attractions in Palm Springs for adults. The history the Coachella Valley features natural thermal mineral springs—the source of many of the place names. Spas have been important to the region since before settlers arrived, and there are many resorts with extensive full service spas. These spas are features of another of the Palm Springs attractions—romance. This is one of the premier wedding and honeymoon destinations in the United States. There is hardly a hotel or resort that does not have facilities and venues suitable for weddings, bachelorette parties, or honeymoons. Even the golf courses get into the act. There are more than 200 in the valley, and most have wedding facilities or adjoining resorts that do. Golf alone brings thousands of visitors.

Other tourist attractions in Palm Springs include excellent shopping venues, from El Paseo Drive in Palm Desert with its trendy boutiques and shops to large outlet malls and art galleries. There are numerous popular events, including world-class golf tournaments, spring break bashes, and the prestigious Palm Springs Film Festival. You can browse a number of museums, including an excellent art museum, an air museum with dozens of rare vintage aircraft, Native American cultural museums, a fascinating pioneer home historical museum, and much more. You can take a celebrity homes tour to relive the glitzy Hollywood days of the area or enjoy the nightlife of numerous clubs. This has always been a diverse and forward-thinking region, and it is a huge draw for the gay travel industry. There are a large number of hotels that cater exclusively to the LGBT community and many adults only hotels. These hotels range from exclusive boutique hotels to naturist retreats.

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