Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Canyon Drive is the main downtown area of Palm Springs where many of the city’s attractions, galleries, restaurants, and shops are found. It is also the home of the weekly Palm Springs VillageFest. There are several museums on Palm Canyon Drive, including the Aqua Caliente Cultural Museum, the Palm Springs Historical Society, and the Cornelia White House. If you are wondering what to do in Palm Springs, California today, this is a great place to start exploring.
The Palm Canyon Theatre, the Welwood Murray Memorial Library, and Ruddy’s General Store are also located in this exciting area. The restaurants of Palm Canyon Drive serve a variety of international cuisines like French, Italian, Japanese, and Mexican. Stop by some of the shops, which sell books, clothing and gifts. Palm Canyon Drive is a pleasant street lined with tall palm trees that offers visitors many things to see and do.
Palm Springs Tramway
When you want to get out of Palm Springs for some change of scenery, your best option is to take the Palm Springs Tramway, the world’s largest rotating tramcar. Completed in 1963, the tram takes you for a 10-minute long, 2.5-mile ride. The trip begins at Valley Station and ends at the Mountain Station, located at an elevation of 8,516 feet. The tram is the city’s most convenient gateway to the surrounding San Jacinto and Santa Rosa mountains.
At the end of the tram ride, you will find yourself in the Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness Area. In the summer, you can take a guided nature walk and search for elusive wild animals or go hiking or camping. Winter offers a wide range of different adventures that you can take on skis, on snowshoes, on foot, or with kids.
Peaks restaurant, at 8,500 feet elevation, offers a spectacular view of the Coachella Valley and serves delicious locally sourced food. The fresh vegetables, poultry, and dry meats on the menu all come from Coachella Valley. For lighter fare, you can try Pines Café, which features a cafeteria style dining room in which you can have a piece of pizza, a sandwiches, soup, or salad.
Palm Springs Village Fest
The Palm Springs VillageFest is a street fair that is held every Thursday night on Palm Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs. Also known as the Palm Springs Street Fair, it features three city blocks of art, entertainment, food, and shopping. Merchants on Palm Canyon Drive keep their shops open late during the street fair on Thursday nights so that visitors can enjoy the fair and do some shopping at the same time.
Members of the street fair include antique dealers, arts and crafts makers, writers, and food vendors, among others. A variety of entertainers perform all styles of music at the street fair including solo singers, instrumentalists, and groups.
Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway
The Alexander Estate, also called the House of Tomorrow, is a mid-century icon of modernism. Writers have extensively praised its architecture, but it is much more famous for being the place where Elvis and Priscilla Presley spent their honeymoon, and it is where they lived between 1966 and 1967.
There are special events organized every year to celebrate this event, along with Elvis’ birthday and death. You can follow one of the expert guides during one of the daily tours to learn about this monumental event and the life of the famous star. You can also rent the house for your own wedding or another special event.
1350 Ladera Circle, Palm Springs, California, Phone: 760-322-1192
Tiki bars come in and out of fashion, but if you are ever in the mood for a colorful drink with a little umbrella sticking out of it, check out Palm Springs’ new offspring of the legendary 55-year-old North Hollywood Tonga Hut. Located above NYPD, a pizzeria on North Palm Canyon Drive, Tonga Hut has colorful and vibrant decorations typical of tiki bars.
The restaurant features an eye-catching clamshell and lava rock fountain, rich dark wood-paneled walls, and fishing nets hanging from the ceiling. The authentic art pieces from the Pacific Islands are especially spectacular, and some are even fit for museums. Be sure to try one of their creative drink concoctions; whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong.
The food comes out of the adjoined Polynesian restaurant Hideaway, and their authentic pupu platters, served on real wooden carved platters, are simply delicious.
254 North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, California, Phone: 760-322-4449
Palm Springs Air Museum
The Palm Springs Air Museum is a living history museum dedicated to educating the public about the role Air Power played in preserving American liberties and way of life. The Museum preserves, exhibits, and flies aircraft from World War Two, Korea, and the Vietnam Wars. Most of the aircraft are in flyable condition.
Many of our docents are veterans and are willing to share their experiences and sacrifices for the education of future generations. In addition to flyable and static aircraft, the Museum uses permanent and temporary exhibits, related artifacts, artwork, and library sources to perpetuate American History. Children 5 and under and all active military with ID (and their immediate families) receive free admission.
745 North Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs, California 92262 Phone: 760-778-6262
Spa Resort Casino – 401 Amado Rd., Palm Springs
Agua Caliente Casino – 32250 Bob Hope Dr., Rancho Mirage