Things to Do in Palm Springs

In the early 20th century, Palm Springs was nothing but a peaceful village where Native Americans from the Agua Caliente tribe shared space with California migrants looking for the health and relaxation that only the desert can offer.

Their story is the subject of the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum. Early residents enjoyed the beauty of the nature trails at the Palm Springs Indian Canyons and the Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium; today, visitors can soar above the city on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to reach the hiking peaks of San Jacinto.

Mid-Mod Mecca

Nature also provided a luxurious backdrop for the Hollywood celebrities who would eventually discover Palm Springs in the 1920s. Now, it’s your turn to discover this iconic piece of mid-century history, which is still a celebrity playground and weekend escape.

Rat Pack royalty Frank Sinatra and his golden age buddies are known for populating the desert oasis at pool lounges to escape the big city fray.

Order up a classic martini and have some poolside, vintage fun at some of their favorites: Melvyn’s of Ingleside InnRiviera ResortCaliente Tropics, or The Colony Palm Hotel’s Purple Palm.

See the Honeymoon Hideaway of the King himself, a futuristic 1960s icon of midcentury design, or try the pastrami at Sherman’s Deli to walk in the footsteps of Elvis.

Check out more of the city’s fabulous history and architecture on a walking tour with the Palm Springs Historical Society or by visiting during Modernism Week in February.

Tiki Oasis

Slurp down fruity cocktails and island rum at one of Palm Springs’ many frivolous, futuristic Googie revivalist clubs.

Knock back something sweet at Polynesian paradise the Tonga Hut, take a trip underground at the funky and flashy tiki-speakeasy Bootlegger Tiki, or join the annual ohana at The Reef.

To keep up with the latest gathering of the tribe, check out the Tiki Times.