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Visit Palm Springs & the Greater Coachella Valley Part 2: Activities to Do Near Palm Springs

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

Planning a trip to Palm Springs or the greater Coachella Valley but not sure what activities to do while you're there? Aside from hanging out poolside with friends, the following recommendations are some of the top-rated activities to do while in the Coachella Valley.

A must-do in Palm Springs to beat the heat this summer! The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is the world’s largest rotating tram car, traveling over 2.5 miles along the cliffs of Chino Canyon and transporting riders to the pristine wilderness of the Mt. San Jacinto State Park.

Tram cars rotate slowly throughout the journey upward, displaying picturesque views of the valley below. Upon reaching Mountain Station (with an elevation 8,516 feet), you’ll be able to enjoy two restaurants (and a full bar!), observation decks, a natural history museum, two documentary theaters, a gift shop, and over 50 miles of hiking trails!

You will not regret this outing in Palm Springs! This excursion is a fantastic way to beat the heat, as temperatures are typically 20-30+ degrees cooler on the mountaintop.

Take part in a round of golf at one of over 100 local golf courses! The Coachella Valley is known for some of the most beautiful and well-kept courses in Southern California. Many courses feature irrigation lakes and dry, fertile terrain, rendering the Palm Springs area a beautiful spot to golf! Here are AMG's favorite golf courses open to the public:

The following are some of AMG's favorite and top-recommended hikes in the Palm Springs area:

Museum Trail:

Located at the Palm Springs Art Museum, the Museum Trail is part of the Cactus to Clouds Trail, where you'll get a taste of the climb without committing to the full hike. The Museum Trail hike begins at the Art Museum and is two miles roundtrip in total. At the top of the 1,000-foot climb, you'll observe gorgeous views of the Coachella Valley city and desert scape below.

Coachella Valley Preserve:

This preserve is located north of Indian Wells and includes over 25 miles of easy/moderate hiking trails. In the Coachella Valley Preserve, you'll discover beautiful desert oases and endangered and protected animal species. The Preserve is a wonderful place for the entire family to enjoy a day of hiking.

Araby Trail:

The Araby Trail is six miles in total roundtrip. It begins in a residential area and will take you past the iconic Bob Hope Estate (the UFO-shaped hillside home!). This hike is located in the heart of Palm Springs and will take you to new heights and views of the valley.

Bump and Grind Trail:

A very popular hike for tourists and locals who love to burn some calories, the Bump and Grind Trail features a 1,000 foot elevation gain and beautiful views of the valley below. This three-mile hike is located in close proximity to Indian Wells.

4. Go Shopping:

Palm Springs is home to some of the best, most diverse shopping and dining experiences in Southern California. Here are a few of the top-rated places to go shopping in Coachella Valley:

El Paseo is truly a luxury outdoor shopping experience. Located in the heart of Palm Desert, you'll be able to enjoy the beautiful desert landscape, scenic views, and refined shopping (featuring many high-end designer names!). Your dining options are also endless. Enjoy a variety of local cuisines, all within walking distance of shopping!

Palm Canyon Drive, located in Downtown Palm Springs, is the epitome of Palm Springs style. Shop vintage, antique, and interior design shops that ring true to the midcentury-modern style, or browse unique jewelry and apparel boutiques that line the streets. Take a shopping break, and enjoy food and cocktails at one of the many top-rated local eateries. Downtown Palm Springs is a trendy and unique shopping experience you don't want to miss!

Located in Cabazon, CA, your shopping options at the Desert Hills Premium Outlets are literally endless! This is a wonderful place to stop on your way into or out of the Coachella Valley. With over 180 designer stores, expect to spend a majority of the day shopping 'til you drop! Dining options are also available.

Open daily and featuring interactive animal exhibits like giraffe feeding and petting zoos as well as shopping, dining, nature trails, and animal safaris, Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is a wonderful place to bring the whole family!

In need of a place to stay during your trip to the Coachella Valley area? Search our available vacation rentals near Palm Springs here!


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