5 must-see destinations in Palm Springs

Published Date: January 6, 2023

Palm Springs golf course with trees and mountain
A desert oasis within the Coachella Valley, Palm Springs evokes images of swanky, mid-century Hollywood — Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack pals built homes here — and it continues to be a vacation destination for celebs like the Kardashian clan and Leonardo DiCaprio. The resort town’s proximity to Los Angeles has made owning a second home in Palm Springs a desirable option for SoCal residents wanting an easy weekend getaway.Despite its glitzy aura, Palm Springs is a welcoming haven for all travelers — no show biz credentials required. Anyone looking to escape the winter chill will find nothing but sun and pleasant temperatures during the colder months, and heat-seekers can get their fill from May through October, when temps typically reach the 90s and 100s. Whether you’re planning a one-time visit or considering a second home in Palm Springs, here are five interesting places to check out while you’re there.   

Palm Canyon Drive and the Walk of the Stars

Palm Canyon Drive is the “Main Street” of Palm Springs, weaving through the city and the heart of downtown. It’s classic Palm Springs, with a bit of everything: retro architecture, boutiques alongside trinket shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. If you’re exploring the city on foot, you can’t miss the Walk of the Stars. Hundreds of stars honoring celebrities and other notable figures line the sidewalks along Palm Canyon Drive and adjoining streets. Did you know? After his music career, Sonny Bono got his start in politics in Palm Springs, serving as mayor from 1988 to 1992 — and of course there’s a star in his honor. 

Tahquitz and Indian Canyons

The Coachella Valley has a rich indiginous history, and the Cahuilla people have inhabited the area for thousands of years. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians owns land in and around Palm Springs, including the Tahquitz and Indian Canyons. Both sites are culturally and ecologically significant, and visitors can learn more about the history of the land and tribes while exploring the beautiful desert landscape. Don’t miss the hike to Tahquitz Falls, featured in Frank Capra’s 1937 film “Lost Horizon.” 

Palm Springs Vintage Market

This monthly pop-up market is the venue for vintage treasure hunters. Whether your style is kitsch, classic or downright quirky, the vintage market has collectibles, antiques and all sorts of interesting finds. With the rising interest in Mid-Century home restoration, the market focuses on offering authentic, quality vintage wares that owners can incorporate into their interior design. For those with second homes in Palm Springs, the vintage market is the perfect place to find one-of-a-kind decór for your Desert Modern home.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Built in 1963 and modernized in 2000, the aerial tramway transports visitors nearly 6,000 feet up over 2.5 miles to Mountain Station in Mount San Jacinto State Park. The complex construction techniques earned the structure a historical civil engineering landmark designation, and after updates were completed, it became the world’s largest rotating tram car. Temperatures at the top can be up to 40 degrees lower than at the base — a refreshing change, depending on the season. Mountain Station includes a restaurant, museum and an information center, and serves as a gateway to miles of hiking trails within the state park as well as the stunning vistas of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.

Palm Springs Visitor Center

Admittedly, a visitor center is not usually a prime attraction — but if you’re picturing an airport-style info kiosk or a drab municipal building, think again. The Palm Springs Visitor Information Center is an architectural gem, originally built as a gas station in 1965 and designed in a modern, futuristic style. Experience the Jetsons vibes while enjoying the picturesque backdrop of the San Jacinto Mountains. And since you’re there, you might as well pick up a postcard and get some insider tips on other area activities.

Find your desert escape

Pacaso offers exceptional second homes in highly desirable West Coast markets. Our second homes in Palm Springs include resort-like amenities within the privacy of your own luxurious home. With co-ownership, you choose the amount to own, so you can maximize your time in your home — while Pacaso takes care of maintenance and property management. View our listings to get started.

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Amie Fisher

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