Credit: Tommy Lisbin / Unsplash
Credit: Tommy Lisbin / Unsplash

7 Things to Do in Greater Palm Springs You’ve Probably Never Thought of Before

From Exploring Botanical Gardens to Catching a Live Cabaret Show, These Desert Activities Are Sure to Impress

When many think of Palm Springs, warm weather, luxury resorts and golf courses come to mind. And while these three things have come to define the region, there’s a host of hidden gems ready to be explored. From attending a live cabaret show to wandering through a greenhouse of rare cacti and succulents, here are seven things to do in the desert that you’ve probably never thought of before. Greater Palm Springs Unique Activities


Catch a Live Cabaret at The Purple Room

Credit: The Purple Room

If you’ve never heard of The Purple Room, this old-school venue served as a nightlife hotspot for legends like Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin. Today, The Purple Room still hosts intimate music and comedy shows accompanied by a surf ‘n’ turf menu. Stop by and soak up some of this electric energy yourself! 

Location: Palm Springs

Greater Palm Springs Unique Activities

Visit the World Famous Crochet Museum

Credit: Dário Gomes / Unsplash

The World Famous Crochet Museum is housed in a converted drive-thru photo stand and features an eclectic assortment of crocheted animals and other pieces. Admission to this kitschy exhibit is free, so if you’re in Yucca Valley, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t stop by and appreciate all the handiwork that went into each little crocheted creation. Although the World Famous Crochet Museum is tiny, it’s a perfect mainstay that fits Joshua Tree’s eccentric vibe, and there are plenty of other art exhibits in the same area to appreciate!

Location: Joshua Tree



Feed a Giraffe at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

Credit: Sal Cavazos

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert has been rated one of the best zoos in the entire country, offering visitors a glimpse into global desert environments and their fascinating animal inhabitants. The mission of The Living Desert is conservation and preservation of the natural desert. They prioritize endangered animals and species yet still allow for an immersive zoo experience for guests. Each habitat allows for maximum interaction with animals, so you can feed giraffes, hop around with wallabies at the Australian Adventures habitat and chill out with rhinos at the Rhino Savannah exhibit.

Location: Palm Desert

Greater Palm Springs Unique Activities

Moorten Botanical Garden

Living in California, you may think you’ve seen all the cacti and succulents the Golden State has to offer, but you’ll want to check out Moorten Botanical Garden for some rare and spectacular desert flora you’ve likely never seen before. You’ll find agave varieties, cacti so tall they could be trees and The World’s First Cactarium! Don’t forget to swing by the nursery to take some rare plants home with you! 

Location: Palm Springs



Get a Date Shake from Shields Date Garden

For a quintessential desert dessert, head over to Shields Date Garden for an iconic date shake! Even if you don’t like dates, this sweet and creamy shake will make you a convert. You’ll also be able to pick up a variety of novelty products like date-infused coffee, date paste and even date sugar. Complete your venture with a breathtaking walk through the 17-acre date grove and botanical garden.

Location: Indio 


Greater Palm Springs Unique Activities

Wine Tasting at Bouschet

With its dry climate, the desert isn’t known for its abundance of vineyards, but believe it or not, wine connoisseurs can still find some pretty good vino. A must-visit destination when it comes to fine wine and spirits, Bouschet is a popular destination for wine tasting. If you’re more of a spirits person, head all the way to the back of the store, where you’ll discover a secret aviation-themed cocktail bar. You won’t need a boarding pass to join this mile-high club!

Location: Palm Springs



Rock Climbing in Joshua Tree

Credit: Jeremy Bishop / Unsplash

Stone Adventures is a small, locally owned business in Joshua Tree that offers a variety of rock climbing packages to choose from, ranging from beginner to experienced climbers. If you’re feeling up to it, their certified climb guides will lead you to sample some of the best climbing routes in Joshua Tree National Park–under a watchful eye, of course. They also offer instructional climbing courses that will have you ready to scale some boulders in no time! 

Location: Joshua Tree

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