Palm Springs is a desert oasis unlike any other, less than 113 miles from Los Angelos in the Coachella Valley. The city is a holiday haunt and winter resort for many Americans. During summer there are golf, swim or take a hike in the mountains and canyons. During winter there is ample opportunities for warm weather hikes and cold weather cross-country skiing. Palm Springs is also home to one of the largest collections of Midcentury Modern architecture in the world. Come and relax when not taking part in the city’s many cultural activities…!
TOP 8 PLACES TO VISIT
1.AERIAL TRAMWAY AND MOUNT SAN JACINTO
The aerial tramway is located on the edge of Palm Springs, 10,000 ft above the desert floor. The temperature is considerable cooler 8,500 ft to where the aerial tram will take you. A interpretation center run by the state park services is housed at the mountain station at the end of the line. The station runs a video program on the construction of the Aerial Tramway. There are a couple of hiking trails from the station to the summit of Mount San Jacinto and through the well-populated pine forests on the mountain. Spectacular views can be seen from the mountain.
2.PALM SPRINGS ART MUSEUM
The museum has been in existence since the late 1930. Previously the museum focused almost exclusively on the desert, but today it is a multifaceted museum offering both displays of artwork and performing arts. On exhibit is modern art, contemporary art and Native American art. On display are paintings, photography, glass, pottery, sculptures and architecture on a permanent basis.
3.PALM SPRINGS AIR MUSEUM
One of the country’s largest collections of working Second World War period aircrafts is housed in the museum. Much of the collection is displayed in hangars so it is a great place to visit when the weather is too hot to be outside.
4.KNOTT’S SOAK CITY
The water based amusement park is one of the cities most appreciated attractions particularly during summer when the temperatures are very high. Numerous water slides including a 70 foot twin Scorpion and a wave pool can be enjoyed in the hot temperatures. Smaller children will enjoy Squirt City.
5.THE LIVING DESERT ZOO AND GARDENS
The zoo features a variety of animals from North America and Africa, with zebras, giraffes, hyenas, some large cats, along with many others. The best time to visit the zoo is in the mornings before the heat set in and the animals is still active. Guided nature walks, wildlife shows and animal feeding is also available. A visit to the zoo and gardens is a great way out and see not only the animals, but the desert as well.
Claude K Bell, a sculptor for Knott’s Berry farm spend over a decade crafting the dinosaurs in the 1980’s. ‘Dinny the Dinosaur’ and ‘Mr Rex’ from the 1-10 can be seen just west of the city. Today you can pan for dino fossils, climb inside Rex's mouth, marvel at dozens of dinosaur models and stock up on dino souvenirs in the gift shop.
7.CABOT OLD INDIAN PUEBLO MUSEUM
The museum preserved the rugged frontier spirit of the pioneer days in Coachella Valley and the history of the life of Cabot Yerxa. The museum is a unique Hopi inspired Pueblo hand-made by Cabot Yerxa over 24 years. Cabot’s collection of Native American pottery, early 20th century photographs and artifacts from his Alaskan adventures are all housed in the museum. The surrounding ground are landscaped with native plants and home to many rustic period items, such as 1900’s tools, machinery and house goods. You can also visit the Pueblo Art Gallery, a bookstore and “Waokiye” the famous sculpture and the 43 foot tall Indian monument carved from 750 year old Sequoia Redwood.
8.RUDDY’S GENERAL STORE MUSEUM
The museum with its treasured bit of the past is conveniently located in the heart of the city on Palm Canyon Drive. As you pass through the entrance, you are suddenly transported back in time to the 1930s and early 1940s. The museum is an authentic, lovingly re-created general store which was intergrated in 1983 with Jim Ruddy extensive 35 year old collection of general store merchandise and a museum he had purchased in the Mid-West. In the museum you can see store fixtures and merchandise a Depression-Era liquidator had kept in his basement for 40 year. The result is one of the largest complete displays of unused general store merchandise in the country - every detail is authentic, including the original showcases, fixtures, signs and products - groceries, tabacco, hardware, clothing, medicines, beauty aids, soaps and notions. Bring your camera!
OTHER PLACES TO VISIT
It is easy to explore the downtown area on foot, or you can catch a cab from your hotel if you don’t have a car. The SunBus system is convenient and offer free Wi-Fi.
The best time to visit Palm Springs is between January and May, when the daytime temperature are not to hot. During the summer months, the weather can be extremely hot, but many find that time of year to be perfect for a morning hike or exploring indoor attractions such as galleries, museums, and shops. August is the hottest month, with an average high of 42°C. February is the coldest month, with an average high of 22°C.