Best Palm Springs Date Ideas
Credit: Jessica Myers

10 Palm Springs Date Ideas That Aren’t Restaurants

From Hot-Air Balloon Rides to Spa Days, This Is How to Woo Your Love in the Desert

If your typical date night is slowly becoming a stale routine of TV and takeout, then it might be time to switch things up. While it’s no secret that Greater Palm Springs is home to fabulous restaurants, there’s so much to see and do that goes far beyond dining in this dreamy desert. We’ve rounded up some of the most exciting outdoor adventures, unforgettable experiences and cultural activities that will get you into the wild and shaking things up in no time. From art museums and trips to the zoo to stargazing tours and hot-air balloon rides, start marking your calendar—we’ve got your next 10 dates all lined up.

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Tee Off Together at SilverRock Resort

Best Palm Springs Date Ideas
Credit: SilverRock Resort

Is there a better way to impress your partner than with a hole-in-one? Nestled at the foot of the Santa Rosa Mountains in La Quinta with challenging bunkers and stunning water features, SilverRock’s captivating golf course is a date-worthy hotspot for a romantic day under the desert sky. The Arnold Palmer Classic Course spans over 200 acres, with irresistible views of the desert landscape. It’s the perfect place to unwind with your beau in the tranquility of nature, undisturbed by the hustle and bustle of urban life. Bring your “A” game during a round of golf before sitting down to a fine dining experience al fresco style at SilverRock Grill, conveniently located on the grounds. Open for breakfast, brunch and lunch, the grill offers everything from sweet and savory breakfast bites and house-grilled specialties to craveable south-of-the-border bites. One of the perks of dining on a date? You can sample double the dishes and get the best of both worlds! The Kobe Rock Burger, Morning Delight and Blueberry Pancakes are all must-tries after some friendly competition with your date.

Location: La Quinta

 

Catch Waves (and Feelings) at Palm Springs Surf Club

Credit: Palm Springs Surf Club

Surfing in the desert?! How can you not say yes to this one? The new Palm Springs Surf Club features state-of-the-art wave technology to create a surfer’s paradise in the heart of the desert. Designed to suit waver riders of all skill levels, you don’t have to hang ten to have fun at this surf spot. Couples will appreciate the luxury cabanas with an alluring aesthetic of surf decor, complete with misters, plush loungers and poolside dining service. Rounding out the experience with multiple beach-style bars and restaurants, this desert surf club is nothing short of a totally rad date idea.

Location: Palm Springs

 

Visit VillageFest

Best Palm Springs Date Ideas
Credit: Visit Palm Springs

For a Thursday night thrill, head over to Palm Canyon Drive and experience VillageFest—a weekly street fair that features more than 180 local vendors, artisans and craft makers. Leash your pup and set out for a dog-friendly nighttime stroll with your boo where you can support small businesses. Peruse displays of handmade jewelry and glassware, antiques, collectibles, vintage clothing, bath products, home goods, fresh produce, baked goods and other trinkets. There’s also original artwork and high-quality crafts. Hit up the night markets if you’re feeling snackish, bop to the sounds of local musicians or catch performances by top-notch entertainers. 

Location: Palm Springs

 

Explore the Palm Springs Art Museum

Credit: Palm Springs Art Museum

Craving culture? Unleash your inner art critic and take a trip to the Palm Springs Art Museum. Packed with exhibitions and activities to suit a variety of artistic tastes, rotating curated collections grace the walls with works of all kinds—from lesser known Picassos to up-and-coming contemporary artists. Marvel at a masterpiece, then head to the Architecture and Design Center, where you can tour unique buildings and structures like The Frey House, designed by celebrated architect Albert Frey, and Aluminaire House, built and styled in the classic Palm Springs midcentury modern aesthetic. Take in a show at the Annenberg Theater, which showcases top-tier talent, from seasoned Broadway performers to magnificent musicians.

Local Insight: Admission is free with a reservation on Thursday nights!

Location: Palm Springs

 

Hot-Air Balloon Ride

Take to the skies for a peaceful ride in a hovering hot-air balloon with Fantasy Balloon Flights. Float your way through the desert air as your skilled captain points out fascinating landmarks and local wildlife. Hop on an early-morning flight and watch the sunrise over the majestic mountains! Lasting 2.5 hours, you’ll watch your vessel inflate before your eyes and sail through the air, ultimately capping off your adventure with a champagne toast. If you’re feeling extra romantic, you can even charter your own private sweetheart trip for two.

Local Insight: Ready to take things to the next level? Their team can help you plan the perfect in-flight proposal that’s sure to seal the deal.

Location: Indio

 

Rhino Encounter at the Living Desert

Credit: Visit Greater Palm Springs

Eager to expand your social circle? Take a trip to the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens and make some new friends—with horns, that is. Nia and Jaali, the zoo’s resident black rhinos, are excited to meet you, and their caregivers will offer insight on their unique biology and curious personalities. They’ll also go into how to help prevent the extinction of this special species. The Rhino Encounter lets you get up close and personal with these gentle giants, allowing you and your date to feed and brush them while watching their carefree play. Admission to the Living Desert is required, so be sure to stroll through the grounds after your visit and meet other citizens of the animal kingdom that call the zoo home—from magnificent cheetahs and zebras to warthogs and wallabies.

Location: Palm Desert

 

Couples Massage at The Spa at Séc-he

Credit: Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians

Take a tandem trip into total relaxation when you book a couples massage at The Spa at Séc-he. Choose from a variety of experiences, each tailored to your needs and preferences. The Signature massage incorporates gemstones and a heated stone and scrub to treat tired tissue, followed by a soothing soak in the spa—a deux. Add in some aromatherapy with blended love essential oils to rejuvenate skin and ignite passion, or throw in a pair of facials to fully pamper yourselves and restore your baby-soft skin. After the parallel rubdown, enjoy an aromatic bath infused with healing minerals and soothing oils for the ultimate day of rest and relaxation.

Location: Palm Springs

 

SkyWatcher Sky Tours

The universe is calling! To see if your love is truly written in the stars, hightail it over to the Hidden Valley in Joshua Tree National Park for a blissful evening of twilight stargazing with SkyWatcher Sky Tours. Curl up in your cozy outdoor nook that has everything you need: pillows, chairs and blankets for snuggling, a large-scale telescope and binoculars for enhanced observation and a picnic basket stocked with savory snacks. A two-hour guided tour of the stellium and constellations will take you to a galaxy (or two) far, far away while your knowledgeable star guide walks you through the twinkling lights of the open sky, framed by the panoramic desert landscape.

Location: Palm Springs

 

Red Jeep Tours

Best Palm Springs Date Ideas
Credit: Red Jeep Tours

Ready for some outdoor pursuits? Choose your own adventure! Familiarize yourselves with the topography of the desert by taking a guided Red Jeep Desert Adventure tour through some of nature’s greatest wonders. Explore the tectonic shifts along the San Andreas Fault or hike through the fault zone and discover the vibrant communities and culture of the Cahuilla Indian Village—both come with stunning views of the Santa Rosa Mountains. Enjoy a packed picnic lunch in Joshua Tree National Park, then explore the wildlife and ecosystems that make the region truly spectacular. You could also choose to be dazzled with a journey into the Painted Canyons and marvel at the colorfully vibrant mineral striations and amazing agriculture that you’ll have to see to believe.

Location: Palm Desert 

 

Hop on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Credit: Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Get a bird’s-eye view of the magnificent mountain landscape with an exciting aerial tramway tour. Take a breathtaking 10-minute trip along the Chino Canyon cliffs with sweeping valley views and a journey into the heart of Mt. San Jacinto State Park. The slowly rotating gondola offers various vantage points along the ride up to Mountain Station, where you can enjoy a leisurely lunch in one of restaurants, take in more views from the observation deck, explore the Natural History Museum, screen a documentary in the theater and stock up on plenty of souvenirs at the gift shop.

Location: Palm Springs

Writer | + posts

Based in Los Angeles, Kandace has spent the past ten years in the fashion and lifestyle space, and recently in entertainment at Sony Pictures Studios. She has a Masters in Journalism from Emerson College and has studied in Paris, Firenze, and Washington DC, beginning her career as a style editor and tastemaker for NBC. She is an internationally award-winning filmmaker, having studied screenwriting for film and television at UCLA, and her work has been celebrated around the world, in cities like London, Nice, New York, and Montréal. Paying homage to her French heritage, she is also the creator of The Chic American--a style and culture editorial destination for Francophiles, dedicated to the art of living an elevated, French-inspired lifestyle.

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