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Six Nifty Ways to Save $ this Summer
Fabulous Freebies worth checking out in Palm Desert
Summer is great time to visit the desert. Most local hotels and resorts offer great value season rates, which help stretch your budget and leave a little spare change in your pocket for either a bit of shopping on El Paseo or a lovely dinner on the town.
Looking for ways to further stretch your budget? Here are a few of our favorite freebies that make the summer season extra sweet in Palm Desert and the surrounding area.
The Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert is always free—not just in summer, but year-round. Their summer hours are Friday-Sunday, 10am-5pm, which should give you plenty of time to enjoy their current exhibition, Pat Lasch: Journeys of the Heart. The main Palm Springs Art Museum in downtown Palm Springs offers free admission every Thursday from 12pm-8pm until Labor Day plus the Second Sunday of every month. Once a month on those no-cost Thursdays they also offer up their Sizzling Summer Film Series, a free film that evokes a desert esthetic and will make you super happy to be sitting in their cool and cavernous Annenberg Theater rather than outside in the elements.
Ready to head to the hills? Take a short trip south on Highway 74 for a visit to the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. Vista Point, about a 15 minute drive up the hill from Palm Desert, offers a panoramic vista of the valley and the Little San Bernardino Mountains to the north. Don’t miss their engaging and educating Visitor Center to learn more about what the mountains have to offer. (Open Friday-Tuesday in summer, closed Wed-Thurs.)
No, sorry, Joshua Tree National Park is not generally free of charge, except on certain select days of the year when all national parks have Free Entrance Days. Two of those days are right around the corner—Friday, August 25 in honor of the National Park Service Birthday, and Saturday, September 30, for National Public Lands Day.
It may seem a little quiet because their volunteers pack up for the summer, but the Coachella Valley Preserve is still open daily from 7am to 6pm. Even if it’s too hot to hike, this shady oasis offers a chance to step out of the car and stroll amongst the native fan palm trees. You can snap a few photos, and tell all your friends that you stood on the San Andreas Fault.
As long as we’re talking about parks and preserves, let’s not forget about Palm Desert’s local parks, too. The city is home to a great variety of city parks and public spaces, including Civic Center Park, the Eric Johnson Memorial Gardens and many others. From playgrounds to skate parks, picnic areas to pickup games, you’ll find plenty of ways to chill out in our green space.
Visiting the College of the Desert Street Fair is technically free, unless you end up pulling out your wallet to do a little shopping. Since this year-round event benefits the College of the Desert Alumni Association’s scholarship fund, we really do hope you will snap up a bargain when you see one. Summer hours are Saturday and Sunday, 7am-12 noon, through September.
For even more recommendations of things to do in Palm Desert, visit us at the Palm Desert Visitor Services counter inside the North Wing of Palm Desert City Hall.