Palm Springs: Desert Oasis

The Saguaro, Indian Canyons, Knott's Soak City Water Park, Desert Adventures, Walk of Stars and Escena Golf Club are just a few fun things to see and do when visiting Palm Springs, CA.
By: Troy Petenbrink

Photo By: Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism

Photo By: Troy Petenbrink

Photo By: Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism

Photo By: Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism

Photo By: Troy Petenbrink

Photo By: Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism

Photo By: Troy Petenbrink

Photo By: CAHairyBear, Flickr

Photo By: Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism

Photo By: Troy Petenbrink

Photo By: Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism

Photo By: Troy Petenbrink

Photo By: Troy Petenbrink

Photo By: Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism

Photo By: Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism

Soar to new heights to get a unique perspective of Palm Springs. There are several tour companies that offer hot-air balloon rides, including Balloons Above, Caliente Tropics and Sunrise Balloons. Some local tour companies provide guided tours for families or romantic escapes with champagne for couples.

For more than half a century, Sherman’s Deli has been serving up Kosher-style favorites from matzo ball soup to hot pastrami sandwiches. It also offers some of the most decadent desserts in Palm Springs, California. Other popular casual dining spots include Cheeky’s, Aspen Mills Bakery, Bit of Country and Pinocchio in the Desert.

The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies celebrated music and dance from the 1940s through the disco era of the 1970s. The cast ranged in age from mid-50s to 80+ years young. With lavish, Vegas-caliber productions, performances were held five days a week, October to May. The Follies were located in historic Plaza Theatre -- a charming, neon-encrusted historic movie house that is an attraction unto itself. The Follies played their last show in 2014, although there are plans to restore and reopen the theater in the near future.

Located at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains, the Palm Springs Art Museum is a true treasure. The modern building, designed by renowned California architect E. Stewart Williams, houses an extensive collection of international modern and contemporary art. The museum is also known for its contemporary and studio art glass exhibits.

It is estimated that nearly half of the population in Palm Springs identifies as gay or lesbian, and it consistently ranks as a top destination for LGBTQ travelers. The city boasts more than two dozen resorts that cater to the gay community, along with a lively night scene with several gay bars and nightclubs. Visit Gay Palm Springs for more information.

Jump into a big red jeep for your next adventure-- exploring the Palm Springs area. Desert Adventures, an outdoor adventure and eco-tour company, offers tours to see the San Andreas Fault, Palm Springs Indian Canyons and Mecca Hills.

Dubbed the “Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway,” Elvis Presley’s first Palm Springs home is where he and Priscilla enjoyed their honeymoon and frequently stayed during their first year of marriage. The house is a wonderful example of the mid-century modern architecture that is found throughout Palm Springs. Elvis fans and architecture enthusiasts alike can take a guided tour of the privately-owned house.

Moved from Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, the Forever Marilyn statue enjoyed a temporary display in Palm Springs. The 34,000-pound sculpture was located at Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way, where it remained until March 2014.

Nature lovers should visit Joshua Tree National Park, located approximately 35 miles east of Palm Springs.

The Palm Springs Walk of Stars is a nostalgic reminder of the city’s historic and current ties to Hollywood. Palm Springs was home to several celebrities, including Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball. The city continues to attract a new crop of stars with the annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, which has grown in popularity.

PGA Tour named Escena Golf Club as one of the top 10 public golf courses in California. Escena is not only one of Palm Springs’ most challenging courses, but it’s also one of the most beautiful. There are more than 100 golf courses in Palm Springs and the surrounding Coachella Valley.

Since its completion in 1963, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway has carried more than 12 million visitors up the stunning cliffs of the San Jacinto Mountains. The 12-minute ride on the world's largest rotating tram offers riders breathtaking views of Palm Springs and the entire Coachella Valley. At the top, travelers can walk along nature trails and visit the Mountain Station’s educational center, gift shop and restaurants.

With its colorful palette inspired by local fauna, The Saguaro is one of Palm Springs’s newest hotels. Including The Saguaro, there are more than 100 hotels in the city, which means there’s something for every taste and price range, including full-service resorts, boutique hotels, historic inns, private vacation homes and condos.

Looking for a way to cool down during your stay in Palm Springs? Head to Knott’s Soak City Water Park. The city’s only water adventure park, it has 16 acres of water rides and attractions, including the Sunset River, Surf Rider, Pipeline Point and Riptide Reef.

The Indian Canyons -- located on Agua Caliente tribal land just minutes from downtown Palm Springs – is an amazing natural desert setting that visitors can explore along its more than 100 miles of hiking trails. The Palm Canyon’s groves of fan palms are particularly beautiful.