Credit: Sal Cavazos

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

From Exploring Botanical Gardens to Rock Climbing, These Greater Palm Springs Activities Are Must-Dos!

When many think of Greater 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 this nine-city oasis that you’ve probably never thought of before.

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Feed a Giraffe at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

Palm Springs Unique Activities
Credit: Visit Greater Palm Springs

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


Visit the Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza

Palm Springs Unique Activities
Credit: Agua Caliente

Situated on six acres of sacred tribal land in downtown Palm Springs, the new Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza is a cornerstone for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. The desert oasis features several educational facilities, including a cultural museum, gathering plaza, oasis trail and the luxurious Spa at Séc-he. Each space is intentionally curated as a connection point to engage with the rich heritage of the Agua Caliente people. An education center and garden commemorate the cultural relics and stories of the tribe. Desert-inspired tones reflect the Coachella Valley landscape, while glass tile mosaics and earthen textiles enhance the plaza’s nature-focused design. The focal point of the plaza is the sacred mineral spring, containing natural healing properties used in the tribe’s spiritual ceremonies.

Location: Palm Springs


Enjoy a Feast for the Senses at PS Underground

Credit: Kari Kirkland / Bruce Feagle

Lights, food, action! PS Underground takes dinner and entertainment to a whole new level with extravagant displays that don’t skip out on the glitz and glam. From cocktail parties to corporate gatherings, this stylish 4,200 square-foot dining space transforms to bring guests’ visions to life. Their private event packages include all-out amenities such as red carpet rollouts, appetizer stations and photo ops. Versatile menus with fresh, seasonal ingredients are tailored to each event’s theme. Of course, what’s a dinner party without the theatrics? At PS Underground, live entertainment shows accompany full-course meals. To keep things even more spellbinding, all details are kept top secret until the night of the big reveal—an asset of the venue’s mystique.

Location: Palm Springs



Moorten Botanical Garden

Credit: Douglas Sanchez

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

Palm Springs Unique Activities
Credit: Visit Greater Palm Springs

For a quintessential Greater Palm Springs 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 



Wine Tasting at Bouschet

Credit: Big Dodz

The Greater Palm Springs region may be known for its storied cocktail scene that has attracted celebs for decades, but believe it or not, wine connoisseurs too can 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 called PS Air Bar. You won’t need a boarding pass to enjoy a few fun sips!

Location: Palm Springs


Rock Climbing in Joshua Tree

Credit: Visit Greater Palm Springs

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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