America's Desert Playground

Things to Do in Palm Springs

With all the things to do in Palm Springs you'll hardly have time to relax in your luxurious Palm Springs vacation rental.

Palm Springs has been called “America’s Desert Playground” and a haven for some of California’s biggest and brightest stars. Palm Springs offers visitor’s miles of palm-lined streets, beautiful canyons, desert flora, cascading waterfalls, and even big horn sheep.

In the heart of the California Desert, Palm Springs proper is a mixture of rich heritage that’s steeped in Indian, Western and Mexican cultures coupled with modern sophistication and a world-class business district. It as also been referred to as one of the golf capitals of the world, with over 100 championship courses.




  • Year-Round Activities


The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is great for visitors looking for some spectacular views and sight seeing. It is a wonder of multiple ecosystems, traveling from the desert floor all the way to the top of snow-capped mountains. Keep in mind that if you happen to be afraid of heights this might not be the ride for you.

Palm Springs is a popular bustling city that is alive with several historic sites and festivals, trendy antique shops, unique boutiques and excellent restaurants. The majestic Mt. San Jacinto towers behind the city and offers visitors a chance to hike, bike and horseback ride through many picturesque trails and scenic routes. Palm Springs is sunny nearly 350-360 days a year, making it the perfect setting for days of play.

Horseback Riding and Hiking

Coyote Ridge Stable is a great place for the entire family and offers horseback riding for all levels from beginners to professionals.  They also have horse shows for those that just like to watch the horses in action. It has been in business for over 15 years and is owned and operated by Sue Lund and Sally Ellis, who along with several of their horses volunteer their time with the S an Bernardino County Sheriff’s Mounted Search and Rescue. With such deep knowledge of the area, they have excellent guided trail rides that take you through the canyons of Morongo Valley. Their picturesque views of the San Gorgonio Mountains and Mount San Jacinto will captivate you. The 3200 ft. elevation of the mountain terrain gives you multiple opportunities to see some of the abundant wildlife and plant species along the way. You could catch a glimpse of golden eagles, red-tailed hawks and kestrels flying high above. You might even see some coyote pups wrestling as they play together and hear covies of Gambel’s quail chirping while they hide under the cover of creosote bushes. All rides are accompanied by a professional rider and at times are offered at a special discounted rate.

Exotic Car Shows and Auctions

In 1981, United Kingdom native Keith McCormick was a successful entrepreneur dreaming about living in Palm Springs so he could devote his time to his family and his intimate passion for exotic cars. He soon turned dream into reality, and in 1985 McCormick hosted his first Palm Springs exotic car auction. Today, the Palm Springs Exotic Car Auction is a tradition that has become world famous. His dedication has produced one of the most respected, prestigious and successful car auctions in America. His showroom is full of classic, vintage and modern day cars that are all privately owned. There are so many awesome vehicles here that every member of the family will find something to amaze them. Never before have there been so many cool cars in one place at one time. Of, course all cars have a hands off policy, so no one is allowed to touch them without permission from the owner.

Sportfishing and Whale Watching

Whale watching in the desert?  Not quite, but close by.  Just a short 90-minute jaunt from Palm Springs is Newport Landing. Here you will discover some of the greatest whale watching and sportfishing in the world. The fishing trips are offered off the Laguna Beach coastline, Catalina Island and in several other destinations. You can catch many types of fish including yellowtail, white sea bass, halibut, red snapper, and lots of others. In fact, catching hundreds of fish in just one of these trips in not uncommon.  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see giant blue whales, grey whales and several others. You’ll even come across dolphins and seals that can be seen swimming along as they try to catch a meal.


  • Seasonal Events

Rent a condo on the green of a Palm Springs golf course and spend your time off perfecting your game.


Springtime in Palm Springs is bustling with splendor and pure delight. When March comes around the La Quinta Arts Festival features a remarkable display of sculptures, paintings and crafts. Artists from all over the globe come to show off their magnificent pieces. March is also home to the Dinah Shore Weekend. This four-day event hosts the lesbian community from all over the U.S. to come and enjoy a relaxed and festive atmosphere. April boasts the International Art Fair and features galleries and up and coming artists. For those that love Jazz music, the Swing ’n Dixie Jazz Festival brings a variety of amazing jazz musicians from around the globe. 


When the summer heat begins to beat down in Palm Springs, one thing is a given – jam sessions! Every Sunday in June at Melvyn’s all the local musicians gather to carve their own musical realm and meld with others to perform some of the most audibly amazing jam sessions in the entire city.  Saturdays in July Camelot Theatres plays new films, then following the movie the audience gets to voice their thoughts and feelings on the featured film. August introduces First Fridays, an open house tour of all the fabulous shops and quaint boutiques along Palm Canyon Drive. As the summer of the arts begins to cool down, jazz aficionados will hustle for a chance to take a trip to Idyllwild for Jazz in the Pines.


In the autumn months Palm Springs has a vast array of excitement for the whole family. From classic car shows of 50’s and 60’s autos at Rocktoberfest to the International Festival of Short Films, there is something to do everyday. October brings bikers from across the nation to the Palm Springs Hot Rod and Motorcycle Weekend, where you can check out some cool cars and even sweeter motorcycles. November marks one of the largest gatherings in the city for an event called Palm Springs Pride. Here gays, lesbians and people from all walks of life come together to enjoy many festivities, a parade and live music. For families, the Golf Cart Parade showcases an assortment of customized golf carts and crazy outlandish costumes.


The cooler climate of winter creates ideal conditions for outdoor sports, global cuisines and holiday gatherings. Celebrate the edible splendors of the tamale at the International Tamale Festival that’s held in Indio. The Palm Springs Convention Center puts on a wonderful Holiday Concert that is truly full of holiday spirit. In January you will see world-class golfers and celebrities unite to swing away at the famous Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. The BNP Paribas Open is held in mid March every year in Indian Wells and is considered the top tournament on the entire tour -- outside of the Grand Slam (Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the French Open, and the Australian Open).  In fact, it is widely considered the fifth Grand Slam event and is highly recommended.


  • Restaurant Picks

Whether you’re here to golf, enjoy the nightlife or lay by the pools, there are more award-winning restaurants led by international chefs than you’ll know what to do with in this town.

La Brasserie

Soak in the flavors of Paris at this authentic French bistro. The porcelain roosters, banquet seating and Parisian street signs all make La Brasserie come to life, thanks to owner/chef Emmanuel Janin, who stirs up some of the most fantastic dishes you’ve ever seen. Once you sit down, you’ll be treated with Old World charm before dining on oven roasted honey brined pork chop and steamed mussels mariniere with fries. By the end of the meal, you and your significant other will be nestled in the booth, clinking wine glasses like newlyweds.

Monsoon Indian Cuisine

These delectable Indian dishes here will hit you like, well, a monsoon. Located right off Sunrise Park, this one-stop-shop features a decadent lunch buffet, dine-in options as well as pick-up and delivery. It’s great for large groups and even catered events. Try out the tandoori chicken or lamb seekh kabab, two of the chef’s personal favorites.  

Johannes Restaurant

Voted “Best Continental Restaurant” 2013 by Palm Springs Life Readers, Johannes Restaurant is an all-around winner. Its service, warm atmosphere and meals always receive exceptional reviews, and that’s coming from regulars and professional foodies alike. Aussie chef Johannes Bacher uses local and sustainable food options with Australian and South Pacific flavors to create dishes like Australian grass-fed kangaroo loin to wiener schnitzel and Japanese-style spice crusted ahi tuna.


How does a prosciutto-wrapped duck breast sound? At Copley’s, you’ll find an upscale American cuisine that gives a fresh twist to Palm Springs dining. In a cozy ambiance, this place makes a perfect destination for special events like a bachelorette party or birthday. Grab a couple bottles of wines to relax and enjoy the gourmet meal. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to cook like the best of them, Happy Hour Cooking Classes are offered in Copley’s courtyard overlooking the mountains. For $35, guest can experience hors d'oeuvres, a glass of wine and a world-class demonstration by Chef Copley.

Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill

For authentic spices south of the border, Rio Azul offers a tasty choice for the whole family. They have everything you’d want to come with a great Mexican hot spot: fresh guacamole, yellow peppers stuffed with sauteed shrimp and marinated beef entrees. They serve vegetarian options as well, if carne doesn't float your boat.