Bucket List: Top 10 Best Things to Do in Palm Desert, California

What are the top tourist attractions in Palm Desert CA?

Bump and Grind Trail by @cobber99 via Flickr CC

Palm Desert Bucket List: 10 Best Places to Visit in Palm Desert, California USA

Palm Desert is one of the best tourist destinations where recreation, entertainment, and shopping are combined in one place. In addition, the city is a popular spot for visitors taking shelter from the cold brought by winter due to its year-round hot weather. Palm Desert is a city in the Coachella Valley, California. Several festivals and events are being hosted throughout the year, such as the Scottish Festival, Desert ARC Italian Festival, CanadaFest, and many more.

The city is known for its shopping boutiques, golf courses, country clubs, and art galleries. Several leisure activities can also be done in Palm Desert for a more adventurous vacation, such as hiking, riding on a hot air balloon, and other tours to explore the surrounding desert.

Below are the 10 best things to do in Palm Desert, California.

Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

Living Desert Zoo and Gardens by Dsyrengelas via Wikipedia CC
Living Desert Zoo and Gardens By Dsyrengelas at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

Formerly known as the Living Desert Museum, a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) since 1983, the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is a 1,200 acres zoo and botanical garden located in Palm Desert.

It is a recommended destination for family trips with kids. The park houses over 500 animals of 150 species and highlights desert animals from Africa and North America.

Cabot’s Pueblo Museum

Cabot’s Pueblo Museum - Best Things to do in Palm Desert photo by Jllm06 via Wikipedia CC
Cabot’s Pueblo Museum – Best Things to do in Palm Desert photo By Jllm06 – Own work, CC0, CC

Cabot’s Pueblo Museum is a historic house museum built by Cabot Yerxa. The structure began its construction in 1941, and Yerxa continued working on the home using various natural materials found in the desert. Unfortunately, in the year 1965, Yerxa passed away, leaving home completely unfinished.

The museum’s façade is Pueblo revival design and a 4-story home with 35 rooms, now houses exhibits and galleries with artifacts, artwork, and other memorabilia of the lifestyle of an early desert homesteader.

Bump and Grind Trail

Bump and Grind Trail by @cobber99 via Flickr CC
Bump and Grind Trail by @cobber99 via Flickr CC

Referred with many names by locals such as Desert Mirage Trail, Pattron Trail, and Desert Drive Trail, but whatever it is called, the Bump and Grind Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in the Coachella Valley.

With a span of 4 miles and elevation gain of 1,000 feet, hiking this trail is challenging and worth it; as you reach the peak, admire the picturesque view of Palm Desert.

El Paseo Shopping District

El Paseo Shopping District photo via FB Page
El Paseo Shopping District photo via FB Page

If you want to just dine in a fancy restaurant, or go shopping spree on high-end boutiques, one of the best shopping areas is the El Paseo Shopping District at Palm Desert. With over 300 ravishing shops and restaurants, you can find everything in the shopping district.

The area is also a great destination for outdoor activities, with Fashion Week El Paseo, Jazz Concert Series, and a gallery to visit.

Balloons Above

For a more adventurous and unique experience, fly high over the Palm Desert with Balloons Above tour company. They offer bookings such as standalone tours, flight, and wine tours. Their most famous tour of a 1-hour flight across the Napa Valley, followed by a champagne brunch at C Casa, Oxbow Public Market, which was awarded several times with Michelin Bib Gourmand.

A hot air balloon is one of a kind and memorable experience to watch the desert landscape and cities.

Palm Desert Aquatic Center

Palm Desert Aquatic Center photo via Fb page
Palm Desert Aquatic Center photo via Fb page

A popular family-friendly water park located in Palm Desert, the Palm Desert Aquatic Center is an 8-acre facility with three swimming pools, water slides, diving boards, and other play features for visitors of all ages.

The facility is open all year round and can be rented for events as well.

Desert Willow Golf Resort

Desert Willow Golf Resort photo via FB Page
Desert Willow Golf Resort photo via FB Page

The Desert Willow Golf Resort was founded in 1997 to increase the tourism and profit of the city of Palm Desert. The resort is an award-winning golf resort featuring two of the top golf courses that can be found in the Coachella Valley, the Firecliff Course, which is a difficult course, and the Mountain View Course, which is a relaxing and smoother golf course.

The resort also has a clubhouse, outdoor dining areas, and several hosted events and offers an outstanding golf academy for those who want to learn to golf.


Grill-A-Burger Palm Desert
Grill-A-Burger Palm Desert

Grill-A-Burger is a local food joint frequented by locals and tourists, offering trendsetting burgers the old-fashioned way for over a decade. They offer a variety of burgers that will suit everyone’s cravings and diet.

Other than gourmet burgers, they also offer hot dogs and salad. Dedicated to serving their best to customers, Grill-A-Burger uses the best ingredients and natural, antibiotic-free USDA beef.

Wilma and Frieda

Wilma and Frieda's Cafe photo via FB Page
Wilma and Frieda’s Cafe photo via FB Page

One of the most delightful cafés in El Paseo district and a local favorite, Wilma and Frieda. The café serves the finest comfort foods and delectable desserts. They also offer their guests to choose the ingredients to build their omelet.

The house specialty and a must-try are short rib eggs Benedict and Filet Mignon with eggs.

Coachella Valley Brewing Company

Coachella Valley Brewing Company
Coachella Valley Brewing Company

For the craft beer enthusiast, visit the Coachella Valley Brewing Company on Fridays and Saturdays. They offer a short tour showcasing the brewing process and equipment used to brew craft beers.

The industrial park also serves various appetizers while tasting 20 different types of beer in the taproom, all made with local ingredients.


  • (2021), 19 Best Things to Do in Palm Desert, Vacation Idea
  • 15 Best Things to Do in Palm Desert (CA), The Crazy Tourist
  • Appelbaum, (2021), 17 Best Things to Do in Palm Desert, CA — Top Activities & Places to Go!

Palm Desert, California Travel and Tour Packages

Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of affordable Palm Desert, California hotels and resorts via Agoda, Booking, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

Want more updates about new package tours and tourist spots in Palm Desert, California, USA? Follow #TeamOutofTown, on FacebookTwitterInstagramBloglovin, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

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