What to do in Palm Springs during the pandemic

Running out of things to do during the pandemic? Sights, attractions and activities have been curtailed or closed, but if you’re visiting Palm Springs, California for a short getaway, there’s still lots of activities that are accessible. Famed French poet Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was right when he said, “What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well” – Despite the vast desert, Palm Springs hides a lot of gems that can be found regardless of a global crisis. Read on for more on what to do during COVID-19!

What to do in Palm Springs during the pandemic

Exotic plants and animals

Animal lovers – you’re in luck! COVID-19 hasn’t shuttered The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, which is perfect for everyone of all ages, especially kids. It can even be a fine place for a date as an alternative to a fancy restaurant. The zoo features plants and animals you’ve probably never seen before, including a Teddy Bear Cholla cactus and the coyote melon plant. If you think you know what a lizard looks like, think again – the zoo features frill-neck lizards that are born with three middle toes and have the ability to run on their hind legs alone. You can even hear a bird laugh – literally – by visiting the laughing kookaburra, and you can also see a gigantic leopard tortoise.

Informative and fun tours

A Palm Springs visit wouldn’t be complete without some celebrity sightings, or marveling at the amazing modern architecture. You can do both with access to one of Modern Tours Palm Springs self-driving multimedia tours. These driving tours allow for as many or few stops as you want so you can view what you want and skip the rest, and since it starts and stops on your schedule, you’re in control.

You can also rent bikes from various local companies and take a riding tour yourself – the possibilities of what you can see are truly endless, so doing your research beforehand can ensure you see the greatest attractions and landmarks that Palm Springs has to offer. If you’re looking for outdoor adventure, Red Jeep Tours is another favourite that gets you up close to flora, fault lines and stunning panoramas, front the comfort of an open air jeep.

Want to see one of TWO Elvis homes? Modern Tours Palm Springs has you covered.

Take a hike! (and visit parks)

Palm Springs is known for being quite the outdoor oasis, so why not take a hike? Palm Springs and the surrounding regions of the desert have countless trails for hikers of all ages and expertise. Advanced hikers enjoy the Cactus-to-Clouds Trail, AKA the Skyline Trail, which is a breathtaking 20-mile hike from Palm Springs to San Jacinto Peak and has earned the title of being the largest elevation gain hike throughout the entire country. The Palm Canyon Trail is a better place for amateur hikers to begin and it features a river running through it and amazing rock formations in the middle of the hike. Websites like AllTrails can help you determine which trail would be the best for you and your group.

Along with hiking trails, there is also a slew of publicly accessible parks in the Palm Springs region. The most notable park is Joshua Tree National Park, which sits on a massive 800,000 acres of land and is open year-round. While many of the facilities there have remained closed throughout the pandemic, there are not many to begin with because the national park wants visitors to get a true feel of the natural desert landscape anyway. Visitors can hike, rock climb, take photos, and just bask in the beautiful scenery.

You can’t go wrong visiting the Palm Springs dog park (who doesn’t love dogs?!), and Ruth Hardy Park is close to downtown and is never a bad choice for visitors wanting to spend some time in the California sun.

Exciting food

Many restaurants continue to offer takeout and delivery of the best of their menus even though indoor dining may be closed. It’s no secret that food is one of the most important parts of our daily routine, and some of us even get excited for mealtime (guilty!). Of course, you could grocery shop and prepare lunches for a day out, or you can support local restaurants and get yourself some excellent Palm Springs fare, such as a great Mexican food spread from La Bonita’s or a quick lunch and dessert from The Sandwich Spot. Make it a picnic and eat at one of the many parks in Palm Springs, or take it home and eat out on the patio.

So, there you have it – If COVID-19 has you bummed out and bored, look no further than Palm Springs for a day full of action.

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Palm Springs Traveller Staff