Put a Smile on Your Face in the Sunshine
Maybe you’re still shaking off some leftover winter blues or just need a reason to smile. Either way, read on—you’re almost guaranteed to feel the endorphins once you experience some of the places on this list! Palm Desert is always a delight to the senses with an average of 269 days of sunshine to enjoy world-class shopping, art galleries, restaurants and workout ops! We’ve put together a list of fun places to explore and things to experience in Palm Desert that’ll have you feeling energized and happy! Palm Desert Activities
Lounge by the Pool at Hotel Paseo
Soak up some vitamin D by the pool at this stunning boutique hotel in the heart of Palm Desert! Even if you don’t check into the hotel, you can still enjoy the pool with a day pass, which allows you to order poolside service from the Lemon Drop pool bar, play a little golf at a poolside putting green and enjoy Saturday entertainment throughout the season. You can also rent a cabana and enjoy complimentary soft drinks and a flat-screen TV. This is what we call real fun in the sun!
Palm Desert Activities
Play a Game of Pickleball
Pickleball has skyrocketed in popularity, and Palm Desert is one of the best places to play! Many hotels offer courts, clinics and lessons for guests, but our favorite spot to get a game in is at the City of Palm Desert Freedom Park, which is home to eight pickleball courts and is open to the public. The park’s 26 acres also offers plenty of space to explore and features a dog park, playgrounds, picnic shelters and walking paths.
Put on your Hiking Shoes and Explore the Bump and Grind Trail
The Bump and Grind trailhead is right behind the Desert Crossing Shopping Center in Palm Desert, but you’ll feel like you’ve left the city in no time. Get your heart pumping on this four-mile loop trail, which is all uphill for the first half—great for cardio and perfect for releasing those endorphins! It’s one of the most popular trails in the desert, offering views of the foothills, Palm Desert and the high peaks of Mount San Jacinto and San Gorgonio. Hike early or late in the day to avoid the hottest part of the day, but you still won’t want to forget your water bottle and sunscreen; there is no shade on this trail!
Palm Desert Activities
Treat Yourself to a Shopping Spree on El Paseo
Who doesn’t get a natural high from buying something new? The El Paseo shopping district has been deemed the “Rodeo Drive of the Desert”—and for good reason. You can browse at designer boutiques, grab a bite at one of the noteworthy restaurants and visit the many art galleries during your stay. This shopping district is comprised of The Shops on El Paseo on the main street and The Gardens on El Paseo, located in a lovely alcove off the main street. Treat yourself with a trip to Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue or Escada—you deserve it!
Move Your Body at Movement Bottega
Moving your body is one of the best ways to boost endorphins! This fitness studio’s philosophy is that its movement practice is an investment in your greatest masterpiece—your body. Movement Bottega incorporates Pilates, alternative movement modalities and holistic movement into its workout programs. You can choose between private sessions and semi-private sessions in small class sizes, and there are also online mat classes. A lot of emphasis is placed on personal attention to give you maximum results.
Local Insight: At the end of May 2022, Movement Bottega will change its name to Missoni Lanza Movement Studio.
Palm Desert Activities
Indulge in a Decadent Meal at Pacifica Seafood Restaurant
Start out with oysters on the half shell, then move on to twin lobster tails or shrimp scampi pasta. And if you’re an early bird who arrives between 3:30 and 5 p.m., you can feast on a yummy two-course meal for just $25. Get seated on Pacifica Seafood’s rooftop patio with beautiful mountain views to enjoy some fresh air and a sunset. Specials include half-off bottles of wine on Tuesdays and nightly happy hour from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Feed a Giraffe at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
Embrace your inner child by feeding the giraffes at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens! These graceful giants are easy to feed and very gentle, so your entire family can enjoy this rewarding experience. There will be some great Instagrammable moments, so have your phone handy to capture some snaps of these beautiful animals in their habitats. The Living Desert members can feed the giraffes for $6, and non-members can do so for $8. Food for giraffes is available at the exhibit, and during the spring and summer months, feeding time is between 8 a.m. and noon.
Lynne Eodice is an accomplished writer & photographer. She is the former Features Editor for Petersen’s PHOTOgraphic magazine, and has contributed her writing and/or editorial expertise to Photographer’s Forum, Rangefinder, DoubleExposure.com, California Tour & Travel, Family Photo and Adorama’s Learning Center. She is also the author of Photos That Inspire: Photo Workshop, an instructional book that’s illustrated with more than 200 images by various photographers, published by Wiley & Sons.