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Top things to do in California Desert

Name
Ranked #1 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Concerts; Arenas/ Stadiums/ Fields
Map | Visitor photos (51)
San Jacinto Mountain (Palm Springs)
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$95* and up
Ranked #2 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Mountains; Nature and Parks
Map | Visitor photos (152)
Joshua Tree National Park (Twentynine Palms)
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$159* and up
Ranked #3 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: ; National Parks; Nature and Parks
Map | Visitor photos (316)
Book a Tour
$24* and up
Ranked #4 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Trams; Scenic Railroads

In March, there was still some snow at the top, even though Palm Springs was about 85 degrees.  In August when Palm Springs is over 100 degrees, the temperature will be 67- 70... more »

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Indian Canyons (Palm Springs)
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$125* and up
Ranked #5 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Ancient Ruins; Historic Sites; Canyons
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Sunnylands (Rancho Mirage)
Ranked #6 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Historic Sites; Landmarks
Owner description: Sunnylands, a 200-acre midcentury modern estate, opened March 2012 for high-level retreats of leaders seeking solutions. Left... more » Owner description: Sunnylands, a 200-acre midcentury modern estate, opened March 2012 for high-level retreats of leaders seeking solutions. Left by Walter and Leonore Annenberg, the estate will continue to welcome U.S. Presidents, bipartisan political leaders, & others.The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to building international understanding, advancing world peace, improving the functioning of government and other purposes through high-level retreats for global leaders from a spectrum of fields.The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands welcomes national and international leaders for high-level retreats and meetings that address and seek solutions to serious issues facing the nation and world. Sunnylands, the former winter residence of Ambassadors Walter and Leonore Annenberg, is available also for limited public tours. The adjacent Sunnylands Center & Gardens features exhibitions, films, and educational programs; and visitors can enjoy a nine-acre art garden. The historic house and Sunnylands Center & Gardens opened March 1, 2012.Sunnylands Center & GardensHours: 9am - 4pm, Thursdays through Sundays7am - 2pm, Thursdays through Sundays in June & JulyClosed in AugustCafe open until one hour before closing. « less
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Ranked #7 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Deserts; Scenic Drives; State Parks
The largest state park in California is home to amazing flowers and plants which bloom in the early spring.
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Alabama Hills (Lone Pine)
Ranked #8 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Mountains; Nature and Parks
Located near Lone Pine, these hills form the gateway to Mount Whitney, and are a favorite location for movies and television.
Map | Visitor photos (122)
Palm Springs Air Museum (Palm Springs)
Ranked #9 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Educational Sites; History Museums; Specialty Museums

The Palm Springs Air Museum is the Home of One of the Nation's Largest Collection of World War II Flying Aircraft diplayed in Modern, Well Lighted, Air Conditioned and Clean... more »

Map | Visitor photos (145)
Galleta Meadows (Borrego Springs)
Ranked #10 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Landmarks/ Points of Interest; Landmarks
Map | Visitor photos (94)
Palm Springs Art Museum (Palm Springs)
Ranked #11 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Art Museums; Museums
Owner description: Located in downtown Palm Springs (with a branch location in Palm Desert, CA), the Palm Springs Art Museum offers compelling... more » Owner description: Located in downtown Palm Springs (with a branch location in Palm Desert, CA), the Palm Springs Art Museum offers compelling art exhibitions from national and international artists. The museum's extensive permanent collection includes significant works by modern and contemporary artists, western, contemporary and glass artists, and features several temporary exhibitions throughout the year. The museum is open free every Thursday night and the second Sunday of every month. It also offers a range of theatrical and musical performances in its Annenberg Theater. Throughout all these programs, the museum is dedicated to creating memorable and inspiring interactions through educational and cultural opportunities. « less
Map | Visitor photos (65)
Ranked #12 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Canyons; Deserts; Parks; Hiking Trails

There are several great hikes and trails and a Trading Post within the Agua Calient Indian Canyons, including the most popular Palm Canyon Trail.  To get there, take Palm Canyon... more »

Map | Visitor photos (57)
Ranked #13 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: ; History Museums; Specialty Museums; Museums
Map | Visitor photos (65)
Book a Tour
$95* and up
Ranked #14 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Deserts; Nature/ Wildlife Areas; Nature and Parks
Owner description: Formed by a system of sand dunes, this 20,000-acre sanctuary is home to several species of rare wildlife and a number of palm... more » Owner description: Formed by a system of sand dunes, this 20,000-acre sanctuary is home to several species of rare wildlife and a number of palm oases. « less
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Painted Canyon (Palm Springs)
Ranked #15 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Canyons; Nature and Parks
A variety of colors paint the rocks here, giving this unique location its name.
Visitor photos (53)
Book a Tour
$159* and up
Ranked #16 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Travelers' Choice™ 2014 Winner Attractions
Category: Natural History Museums; Deserts; Gardens; Nature/ Wildlife Areas; Parks; Zoos
The botanical gardens of this park offer great opportunities to see desert vegetation.
Map | Visitor photos (328)
Palm Canyon (Palm Springs)
Ranked #17 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Canyons; Deserts; Nature and Parks
Map | Visitor photos (67)
Ranked #18 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Scenic Drives
Visitor photos (37)
Ranked #19 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Children's Museums; Museums
An interactive museum with hands-on exhibits allows children to explore and learn.
Map | Visitor photos (7)
Ranked #20 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Hiking Trails
Map | Visitor photos (23)
Ranked #21 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Architectural Buildings; Landmarks
Map | Visitor photos (29)
Ranked #22 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Landmarks/ Points of Interest; Landmarks
Map | Visitor photos (23)
VillageFest (Palm Springs)
Ranked #23 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Flea/ Street Markets; Landmarks/ Points of Interest
Owner description: The place to meet new friends is at this old-fashioned street fair with sidewalk performers, musicians, farmer's market,... more » Owner description: The place to meet new friends is at this old-fashioned street fair with sidewalk performers, musicians, farmer's market, gifts and lots of food. « less
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Ranked #24 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Antique Shops; Malls; Specialty Shops; Landmarks/ Points of Interest; Historic Walking Areas
Owner description: A unique shopping avenue filled with over 250 delightful discoveries... Shops, restaurants, art and more! Don't miss all the... more » Owner description: A unique shopping avenue filled with over 250 delightful discoveries... Shops, restaurants, art and more! Don't miss all the special events like Art Walk (1st Friday, Oct-May), Cruise Night (1st & 3rd Fridays through April), Jazz Concerts (Jan-Apr), Fashion Week (Mid-March) and so much more! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and online. « less
Map | Visitor photos (45)
Ranked #25 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Canyons; Nature and Parks
Cosos Mountains canyon containing rock paintings that pre-date Native Americans.
Visitor photos (6)
Ranked #26 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Water Parks; Amusement Parks
Map | Visitor photos (15)
Tahquitz Canyon (Palm Springs)
Ranked #27 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Canyons; Nature and Parks
Map | Visitor photos (58)
Ranked #28 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Farms; Ranchs; Landmarks
Owner description: When traveling through the Death Valley area consider visiting beautiful China Ranch, near Tecopa California. China Ranch is... more » Owner description: When traveling through the Death Valley area consider visiting beautiful China Ranch, near Tecopa California. China Ranch is a family owned and operated small farm, a lush piece of greenery amidst the forbidding Mojave Desert near Southern Death Valley. Imagine towering cottonwoods and willows by a wandering stream, date palms and abundant wildlife, all hidden away in some of the most spectacular scenery the desert has to offer.The Ranch is also rich in history. The Old Spanish Trail is within walking distance, as is the historic Tonopah & Tidewater railroad bed. Hike to nearby abandoned mines if you wish, or just relax and browse through our store.We offer several varieties of California dates as well as our own hybrids. Try some delicious date nut bread, muffins or cookies, or take home one of our unique hand-crafted gifts.If you are interested in learning more about the wildlife, plants or history of the area, try one of our interpretive guided nature walks. Learn about the geology, botany, birds, and early man in the area. The Old Spanish Trail comes alive again and much more. Visiting China Ranch can be a wonderful one day adventure or highlight of any trip to Death Valley.We are not a resort or tourist development, but rather a working family farm in a truly unusual setting. « less
Map | Visitor photos (68)
Fortynine Palms Oasis Trail (Twentynine Palms)
Ranked #29 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Hiking Trails
Map | Visitor photos (11)
Ranked #30 of 205 attractions in California Desert
Category: Libraries; Traveler Resources