24 hours in Palm Desert

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Desert Willow Golf Club

Maybe your short trip is deliberate, or maybe you’re just stopping in for a quick stay en route elsewhere, or you’re here in Palm Springs but with work to do. Palm Springs, California and the surrounding areas have endless things to do, so it isn’t hard to plan a fun 24-hour getaway. Below are some suggestions on how to spend 24 hours in Palm Desert.

Staying in Palm Springs proper? Click here to read 24 hours in Palm Springs.

24 hours in Palm Desert

Located a little southeast of Palm Springs lies beautiful Palm Desert.

Play golf

Luscious golf courses and country clubs are encompassed in this small area, so bring your clubs and play at least nine holes at one of their open courses. (Click here for the definitive listing of all public golf courses in the Greater Palm Springs area) One of the main roads in the area, El Paseo, holds countless opportunities to shop, eat, and view art, and it’s affectionately known as the Rodeo Drive of the desert, named after the famously ritzy shopping street in Los Angeles.

Shop the ‘Rodeo Drive’ of the Desert

The Gardens on El Paseo is a large shopping mall that holds dozens of shops including Gucci, LOFT, Saks Fifth Avenue, Pottery Barn, and more. The CODA Gallery, the Elan Vital Galleries, and the Melissa Morgan Fine Art Museum are close together and feature several different types of artistic media that everyone in your group will enjoy.

Chill out in the park or on a trail

The Civic Center Park is a nice place to relax and feed the ducks on a nice day. The park has several unique statues, a playground, an elegant pond with a fountain, and occasional free concerts for the public to enjoy. If you’re with a furry friend, Palm Desert has a great off leash park too; read about all the off leash options in Greater Palm Springs here.

the living desert palm desert

The Living Desert

Hiking is also a favorite activity in Palm Desert, including the Homestead Trailhead that gives hikers a nice workout while letting them enjoy excellent views of the mountains and cities below.

Enjoy the Living Desert zoo & gardens

Of course, perhaps one of the greatest things to do in Palm Desert is visit The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. From chuckwallas to dwarf donkeys and foxes, there are so many unique animals to see along with gardens where you can see interesting species such as the teddy bear cholla and the kokerboom tree. Staff members give presentations on the animals throughout the day, so it can be an educational experience as well as extremely fun.


The courtyard at the Hotel Paseo

In the evening, visitors can’t go wrong with catching a show at the Arthur Newman Theater or the McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts, which both offer various shows of all different genres throughout the year.

There are plenty of chain hotels lining the highway, but the Hotel Paseo is an excellent local place to spend a night and relax at its spa and pool.

Palm Springs Traveller Staff