A wooden structure with bicycles on it.

What To Do in Palm Springs (other than Coachella)

Porsche Davis LA Day Guides

With spring break around the corner, it’s time to start planning. ..

Whether you’re on a shoestring budget, but still want to get away or even the last minute planning type, there is always Palm Springs!

Palm Springs is a gem that keeps getting better. Too Angelenos, Palm Springs is less than an hour and a half drive from LA, and is filled with hidden treasures (outside of Coachella) all year round. Whether you’re the outdoorsy hiking type, or the cool cats that lay poolside pretending that wasn’t your kid who just peed in the pool, Palm Springs has something for everyone.

Whether you visit Palm Springs for a night or a weekend, below is an insider’s guide to get you warmed up to what Palm Springs has to offer.

Palm Canyon Dr.

To familiarize yourself with the area, shopping on Palm Canyon Dr. is always a good idea. Palm Canyon Dr. has the most design and clothing, and vintage stores in town. It makes for great people watching too!

If you are looking for a fun scene and almost a down right party, then go to Mr. Turk | Trina Turk. They also have a home goods section here.

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Mr. Turk | Trina. Turk


Worthy of a stop should you be passing one, is Goodwill. Yes, that’s right. Any and every Goodwill in Palm Springs is worth popping into. Everything on the racks are colored coordinated. And wow! There is a TON of color going on in Palm Springs. Since Palm Springs is also a big “retirement community”, you can find classic high end labels for dirt cheap.

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Lobby Hopping

Yes, set this aside for a whole days adventure and check out these cool lobby’s:

El Saguaro


El Saguaro is a wonderfully colorful and whimsical hotel. The kids will like checking out all the Barbie and Ken “scenes” hanging in the lobby, as well as playing a game of ping pong or corn hole.

There is no need to be a guest of the hotel to enjoy a day at the pool here! The pool is open to the public and you can get poolside service as well.

Ace Hotel


Photo Credit: @acehotelpalmsprings

The cool hipster scene going on in the diner of the Ace Hotel gives you one more reason to pop in and check it out. The eclectic artifacts and interior makes for a groovey hang. Explore the restaurants inside a well.

The Parker


The Parker probably has the most instagrammable façade in all of Palm Springs. For design enthusiasts, Jonathan Alder created this lobby to be an interesting place to peruse.

The kiddos will get a kick out of playing with the life sized chess game out back, or running through the well manicured landscape.
The Parker is also a good choice for dining.

Palm Springs Aerial Tram


Take a 2 and a half mile ride in the world’s largest rotating Tram Car to Mt. Janicito State Park. It’s over 8,000 ft. elevation, so bring plenty of layers. How cool is that to travel from summer to winter in a matter of 10 minutes?

* please note: Due to the storms in Feb, the Tram has closed for repair. It is set to open again on April 1. Check their website before heading out.



Visit 24 sculptures from contemporary artists all over the world right here in the desert. Some sculptures are closer to each other than others, but still just as interesting to have a look around.

Definitely view the map before setting out, especially if your tot doesn’t handle long car rides so well!

Indian Canyons


Photo Credit: @heatherjoyarbrough

Beautiful paths, palms , and walking|hiking trails. Indian Canyons is the premiere spot to hike in the dessert.

Joshua Tree Area: Hiking and more…

Joshua Tree

The first thing I would do before actually heading into Joshua Tree is to stop at the Visitor’s Center and grab a map! However, due to the recent government shutdowns, I would even suggest you obtain a map from a local hotel BEFORE heading into the park.

The hours of the visitor center now vary and you may run the risk of the Visitor Center not being opened at all.


All hiking in Joshua Tree will be dependant on the age| skill level of your little ones (or big ones). For us, we had to stick with easy hikes and trails. The day we went to Joshua Tree it was very windy and cold. Being the native Angeleno that my daughter is, this weather combo wasn’t working in our favor. Even so, we still got to experience quite a bit and make it fun with some quirky stops along the way.



Photo Credit: @kdcontreras4

The Arch Rock is about a half mile trail to walk with a lot of rock formations to climb. IN fact, the kids might get a kick out of seeing the rock climbers all geared up. This is also visible from the road, and there will be places to pull over along the way.

Skull Rock


Photo Credit: @xschuesslerx

Skull Rock is also visible off the main road. Again, there’s a looped trail here also, so if your little one is up for it, it’s 1.5 miles long.

Noah Purifoy’s Outdoor Sculptural Garden

Noah Purifoy is an assemblage artist, who lived and worked most of his life in Joshua Tree. This Outdoor Sculptural Garden sits on several acres of land and consists of some radical folk art that many people would consider “junk”. Though you may scratch your head in wonder when you arrive, the kids will get a kick out of running around checking out the bizarre collection of treasures that sits in Noah Purifoy’s Outdoor Sculptural Garden.


The visit might be a quick one, but it will be just enough to get both the kids and their imagination rolling. Some of Noah Purifoy’s work can also be found at UTA Artist Space in Beverly Hills from now until April 23rd, as well as The Broads upcoming Soul of a Nation exhibit beginning March 23 – Sept 1.

The World Famous Crochet Museum


The World Famous Crochet Museum is part of a larger Installation in Joshua Tree called the Art Queen. The Art Queen will peak your curiosity with a revolving artists display of imaginative folk art.

The graveled campus itself sits on a couple acres of shops and even tinier studios. Here you will find many tchotchkes, along with a miscellaneous array of knitted goods .

Pioneertown, CA

In the middle of what appears to be nowhere, sits Pioneer Town, CA. Yes, Pioneertown is a short drive from Joshua Tree as well as Palm Springs. Pioneer Town was originally created as a Hollywood movie set in the 1940’s. Pioneertown is a place where kids can run around, check out chickens and tiny little shops with local goods, etc.


Though there isn’t a whole lot to do in Pioneertown, it will be quintessential if you are trying to grab a meal and some entertainment at Pappy and Harriets (which is by far the best scene in the entire Palm Springs area, and is right next door).

Since you can potentially be waiting over an hour to get in to Pappy and Harriets, you just miiight need to let the kids run loose here. The scene will be worth the wait.

Eating Suggestions in Joshua Tree

The Country Kitchen

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Joshua Tree Coffee Company


Photo Credit: @joshuatreecoffeecompany

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Pie for the People


Photo Credit: @pieforthepeople

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Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace

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TOTAL (and maybe solo) RELAXATION

Integration : Aka The Sound Bath


Photo Credit: @audibletreats

Do you need some deep relaxation, rejuvenation and time to get aligned with yourself? Then BOOK AHEAD (they sell out fast, but do have availability left for April) and check out this sound bath.

You will experience one hour of deep relaxation as crystal bowls echo in the chambers. Yes, they do allow children experience this, however unless your peepsqueak can sit still for an hour, you may want to consider this sound bath a solo venture.

Joshua Tree Retreat Center


Photo Credit: @desert_magazine

Being a Chicago native and surrounded by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright Homes, the Joshua Tree Retreat Center naturally peaked my curiosity. The Joshua Tree Retreat sits 30 minutes outside of Palm Springs and hosts the largest collection of Lloyd Wright (Frank Lloyds Wright son) buildings in the world.

I still have yet to visit here, but this is something I have on my bucket list. The thought of relaxation sounds glorious. The Joshua Tree retreat center has more than 100 rooms, a pool, jacuzzi and has recently opened a small campsite!

Roadside Attractions

Desert Hills Outlet Stores


Photo Credit: @deserthillspo

Yes, plan a day at the mall…and I mean an ENTIRE day.
I mean it could take you an hour just to get into the Gucci store alone. Desert Hills outlet will be a win win for all!

Expect to find all your luxury brands at this outlet mall including Helmut Lang, Brunello Cucinelli, Farragamo, Alexander McQueen, Alice and Olivia and much MUCH more.

Cabazon Dinosaurs


I mean hello? Where else can you find a dinosaur gift shop LITERALLY INSIDE of a dinosaur? Everyone will get a rise out of this cooky stop!


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