Top 8 Things to Do in Palm Desert

Palm Desert is home to a number of fun outdoor sites, shops, and restaurants.

Located in the center of the Coachella Valley, Palm Desert is a popular vacation spot for travelers looking for a respite from the cold weather. This lively city offers a wide selection of food and entertainment options, and is conveniently located near Joshua Tree. Are you planning on taking a trip to Palm Desert soon? Check out our guide to the top 8 things to do in Palm Desert!

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1. REI

Stock up on outdoor clothing and camping gear before your trip!

Locations around the United States |

Before you depart on your trip to Palm Desert, make sure you visit REI for all of your travel essentials. 

Planning to camp out near Joshua Tree? REI offers backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, hammocks, kitchen supplies, flashlights, and safety kits. Need some new travel gear? Luggage, backpacks, car racks, and travel accessories are all available at REI. You can even join guided backpacking trips to Joshua Tree with one of REI’s adventure guides!

If you need help figuring out which supplies are most suitable for your trip, you can ask one of their expert associates for assistance. Learn more on their website now!

“They have many things I am interested in, the staff have been friendly and helpful. I do not feel pressured and enjoy being there, There are good sales, they carry other brands that I like as well. I feel that I get good value. I especially like their selection of sporting shoes both running and hiking. I can unequivocally recommend REI.” - Consumer Affairs Review

REI digital gift card.

2. Adidas

Try out some new athletic wear and shoes at Adidas!

Locations around the United States |

Palm Desert and Joshua Tree offer a number of fun outdoor activities. Before you leave, you’ll want to make sure you’re stocked up on athletic gear. Adidas is the perfect spot for fashionable, high-quality athletic wear and shoes. 

Adidas offers a number of outdoor essentials, including:

  • Men’s and Women’s Hiking Shoes
  • Sweatshirts
  • Tracksuits
  • Leggings

Working with a tight budget? Adidas regularly adds markdowns of up to 60% off, so make sure you check out their Sale section!

Check out their website or head to a store near you to learn more!

“Very pleased with the customer service & products I received. My order was filled in the timeline given, which I considered a fast turn-around time.” - Site Jabber Review

Adidas digital gift card.

3. PGA Tour Superstore

Planning on going golfing during your trip? Don’t forget to visit the PGA Tour Superstore!

Locations around the United States |

Palm Desert has a number of golf resorts for visitors to check out. If you plan to try out some courses, we recommend visiting the PGA Tour Superstore before your trip!

The PGA Tour Superstore offers a number of golfing essentials, including:

  • Clubs
  • Drivers
  • Putters
  • Wedges
  • Travel Bags
  • Gloves
  • Training Aids

The PGA Tour Superstore also offers men’s and women’s apparel including hats, visors, shirts, pants, shorts, dresses, and skirts. All PGA Tour Superstores offer club fittings, free of charge, for drivers, irons, wedges, putters, and golf balls. 

Visit a PGA Tour Superstore near you now!

“Don't waste your time anywhere else. Everyone's extremely knowledgeable and makes it easy to get the right equipment. Recently ordered irons and had some back order issues with the manufacturer. I went in tried out some other irons and had them extended and back in my hands 2 days later. The irons Ended up feeling better than the original irons I ordered.” - Yelp Review

PGA Tour Superstore digital gift card.

4. Bump and Grind Trail

Start your trip on the right foot with this popular 4.0-mile trail near Palm Desert

Start off your trip with a leisurely hike. Image courtesy of Trip Advisor.

Rancho Mirage 

First up on the list is the Bump and Grind Trail. If you’re looking for a challenging hike, this trail is for you! Throughout the trail, you’ll be treated to gorgeous views of the nearby desert foothills.

The Bump and Grind Trail is located near Palm Desert in Rancho Mirage. It’s 4.0 miles long, and typically takes two and a half hours to complete. Some people like to run or bike the trail too. You won’t be able to bring your dog with you, but you won’t be away from them for too long!

Pro tip: to avoid crowds and heat, we recommend leaving at sunrise or during the late afternoon. And don’t forget sunscreen!

“Great hike for all skill and fitness levels. Easy to complete in just a couple of hours. The couple we were with are not experienced hikers or very outdoorsy, but they had little problem completing it and had a good time.” - Trip Advisor Review

5. McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts

Enjoy a night of live performances at this regal theater

You can enjoy live performances at the McCallum Theatre. Image courtesy of McCallum Theatre.

73000 Fred Waring Dr | Palm Desert |

In addition to its many outdoor recreation spots, Palm Desert also offers cultural sites like the McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts. This theater regularly hosts live music performances, stand-up comedy shows, and musicals. No matter your taste, you’re sure to find a performance that will delight you!

McCallum Theatre also offers educational opportunities like the Palm Desert Choreography Festival and Open Call Talent Project to support emerging artists. Check out their website for more information!

“Just watched Rhythmic Circus last night with the family. Man, those dancers & musicians were talented. Especially, the dude they call Heat Box who makes sounds with his mouth. AMAZING!!” - Yelp Review

6. Santa Rose & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center

This popular visitor center offers a couple different hiking trails to choose from

Learn more about the area and get a quick hike in at this popular attraction. Image courtesy of Trip Advisor.

51-500 CA-74 | Palm Desert |

The Santa Rose & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center is a great spot for hiking, camping, and learning more about the general area. Visitors can learn more about Palm Desert’s recreation opportunities and natural resources from staff members. Maps and reference books are also available to purchase. 

Nearby, you’ll find two trails: the Ed Hastey Garden Trail and Randall Henderson Trail.The Ed Hastey Garden Trail is less than a mile long, and contains numerous plants and animals. The Randall Henderson Trail is a bit longer at 2.5 miles, and is made of multiple loops. 

“We stopped here on the day before a winter storm was coming in. It was an easy hiking area, also has restroom facilities and an ADA compliant path. The Center has information about the native people who lived in the area. There are several bird feeders and hummingbird feeders kept up also.” - Trip Advisor Review

7. Coachella Valley Vista Point

Take in the views of the surrounding area

Sit back and enjoy the view at this popular site. Image courtesy of Trip Advisor.

Pines to Palms Hwy | Palm Desert |

As you can see, Palm Desert offers a wide selection of hiking trails. If you want to enjoy sweeping views of the area, we recommend visiting the Coachella Valley Vista Point. 

On the trail, you’ll be able to see the Bighorn Country Club, Indian Wells, La Quinta, and the San Jacinto and San Gorgonio. On clear days, you might even be able to see the northern tip of the Salton Sea. Check out their website for more information!

“Good viewpoint on a clear day. Strictly viewing; no other activities there. If it's hazy wait for a good day.” - Trip Advisor Review

8. Palm Desert Cross Hiking Trail

The whole family is sure to enjoy this leisurely trail

Get your steps in on this fun, laidback trail. Image courtesy of Trip Advisor.

Palm Desert

Next up on our guide to the best things to do in Palm Desert is the Palm Desert Cross Hiking Trail. This popular trail is around 2.4 miles and its total ascent is 770 feet. 

The trail usually takes around an hour and a half, and is considered moderately challenging. Plenty of parking is available, and dogs are allowed! With all hikes, we recommend bringing plenty of sunscreen and water. 

“This is a great out and back trail providing with excellent views. We saw people of all ages - even kids 5 - 6 years old - enjoying this trail.” - Trip Advisor Review

9. Joshua Tree National Park Offroad Tour

Go off the beaten path with this guided offroad tour

Explore Joshua Tree in all its natural glory in a guided offroad tour. Image courtesy of Viator.

74-880 Country Club Dr | Palm Desert |

Looking for a gritty, off-the-road tour of Joshua Tree? Book an offroad tour in a 4x4 Jeep! With a 4x4, you can access spots off the beaten path that are not accessible for a regular vehicle. 

The ride can get quite bumpy, so if you have neck or back problems, it might be best to sit this one out. But if you’re able to join a trip, you’ll get an unfiltered guide to some of the most beautiful spots in the Mojave Desert!

“Great views. Peak views were amazing. Our guide was great! It was a great experience! 4 hours of pure bliss!” - Viator Review

10. Cabot’s Pueblo Museum

Take a tour of this historic museum

67616 Desert View Ave | Desert Hot Springs |

Want to take a break from hiking? Visit Cabot’s Pueblo Museum!

Cabot’s Pueblo Museum is a handmade structure built from found objects across Southern California. Cabot Yerxa, the legendary architect who built the museum, spent 10 years traveling to the Salton Sea, Morongo Valley, Palm Springs, and White Water to gather the materials. Inside, you’ll find one some of the most unique interior designs in the country. 

Visit the website to purchase a ticket now!

“A Hopi-style pueblo built from materials found out in the desert by an artist close to a century ago. It is raw, eccentric, artistic, and striking. The audio tour was thorough and fascinating, almost doing justice to the guy who built it.” - Trip Advisor Review

11. Desert Willow Golf Resort

Enjoy a day out golfing at this popular resort

The Desert Willow Golf Resort offers several courses for guests to try. Image courtesy of Trip Advisor.

38995 Desert Willow Dr | Palm Desert |

Last, but certainly not least, on the list is the Desert Willow Golf Resort. This popular resort offers two championship golf courses: the Firecliff Course and the Mountain View Course. The Firecliff Course was featured in Golf Digest as one of the “Places to Play” and ranked #20 in Golfweek Magazine’s list of 2021 Best Courses You Can Play in California. 

Along with its two golf courses, the Desert Willow Golf Resort also offers an on-site restaurant. Breakfast, lunch, and early dinner is all served. Check out their website to learn more info!

“Absolute BEST golf course my husband and I have ever golfed at! Our home turf is in Cape Cod which is wonderful and of course we have been to notable courses in FL and AZ but this destination blew all of them out of the water.” - Trip Advisor Review

Palm Desert offers a variety of activities that everyone in the group will enjoy. Which spots on the list do you plan to visit? Let us know!

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