Top 10 Locals' Picks

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Want to live like the locals? Then make these hidden gems part of your next Palm Desert vacation.

  1. Old-Fashioned Fun.  Get in touch with the Palm Desert of years past at Keedy’s, a classic soda fountain. Stop in for a shake, burger or the best breakfast in town and enjoy a good chat with locals and visitors alike.

  2. Valley Hiking Trail

    Picture-Perfect Picnic.  Pack a basket and head out for a hike along the notorious Hopalong Cassidy Trail, where you’ll enjoy spectacular desert views. Making your own lunch too much work? Just pick up sandwiches and treats at one of Palm Desert’s friendly local restaurants or bakeries.

  3. Drive Into the Sunset.  Put a little romance in the air with a short drive up Highway 74 to Vista Point, about 15 minutes outside Palm Desert. Located just where the desert meets the San Bernardino National Forest, you’ll find stunning sunsets and lush scenery here.

  4. Natural Wonders.  Head over to world-famous Joshua Tree National Park for more natural beauty than you can imagine. From the wild, spindly trees that give the park its name to beautiful granite outcroppings, glorious sunsets and hundreds of species of birds, there’s plenty to discover here.

  5. Get Festive.  Enjoy one of the many art, cultural and festivals that call Palm Desert home – like  Fashion Week El Paseo, the Tamale Festival or even the Date Festival.

  6. Try your Luck.  Head to one of the Coachella Valley’s many casinos for a day – or longer – of exciting table games and slots, plus plenty of great food, Vegas-worthy shows and more.

  7. Take the Tram.  Rise high above the Coachella Valley floor in rotating tram cars at the Palm Springs Aerial Tram, which soars to the top of Mount San Jacinto. Once atop enjoy dining, hiking and panoramic views of the valley below. 

  8. Culture Vultures.  From fine art to Native American culture, children’s exhibits to historical aircraft, Palm Desert offers plenty of museums perfect for the whole family. Be sure to plan a visit on a Palm Desert First Weekend, when you can enjoy a myriad of activities in just a few days.

  9. Be a Sports Fan.  Cheer on your favorite team or player at one of the area's great sporting events, like the CareerBuilder Challenge golf tournament and the BNP Paribas Open Tennis Tournament.

  10. Explore the Outdoors.  Drive deep into the San Jacinto Mountains for a day of outdoor exploring at Idyllwild, about 45 minutes away from Palm Desert. Featuring snowy peaks in winter and great hiking in summer, it’s the perfect complement to your desert vacation.

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.