California is a beautiful state offering diverse travel opportunities depending on where you visit. We are fortunate to call Orange County home and while it offers countless things to do and beaches to visit, we also love that it is a rather central location to many fantastic “staycation” destinations. Located less than two hours from Palm Springs, the area not only offers a different climate than the coastal cities, but numerous things to do for any type of traveler.
If you are traveling to the area, don’t miss these things to do in Palm Springs!
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Experience The Living Desert
The Living Desert is a must see when visiting the Greater Palm Springs area; with bighorn sheep, cheetahs, golden eagles, Mexican wolves, leopards and an interactive animal hospital, there is something for everyone. Clearly the weather is warm in Palm Springs, but The Living Desert makes your time comfortable with trams that run consistently to take you to and from park exhibits. The Living Desert is actually a zoo and botanical garden representing the deserts of North America and Africa so there is a lot to see.
Our personal recommendation is to make sure you take time to stop by the state of the art hospital to talk with volunteers and see the animals. It’s also a great natural break from the sun and heat with a lot of great learning opportunities for kids and adults alike.
Hit the Pool
You are in Palm Springs after all so time in the pool is a must on the list of things to do. If you are traveling with children there are so many family friendly hotels in Palm Springs with pools and water features that will keep them entertained for days! Be sure to stay safe in the sun though and pack your sunblock and sunhats.
If you really want to enjoy the pool in style, rent a cabana for the day. We rented one at Renaissance Indian Wells Resort; having our own private cabana allowed us to relax as parents which is what vacation is all about. The kids enjoyed being able to enjoy the pool and escape the direct sun for a bit while they snacked and watched some television in the cabana. Truly a travel win!
Dine at Eureka!
Eureka! is located nearby many hotels including where we stayed at The Renaissance Indian Wells and brings guests locally sourced, authentic dining experiences. The plates served at Eureka! bring a touch of signature to what some may think are everyday dishes; after all, it takes a special foodie gift to make a burger stand out from the crowd.
At Eureka! it is clear from the moment you take your first bite that the menu is carefully crafted with chef passion. Pair that with a beer from their massive selection and you have quite a pairing. And do not forget the Truffle Fries.
Families will appreciate the attention to detail on the kids meals that offer a healthy twist and the atmosphere that allows parents to relax in comfort while the kids watch their favorite sports shows on the restaurant televisions. With service that supports that ability to relax, we could not have been happier while dining at Eureka!.
Discover and Play as a Family
If you want to give your family a break from the sun that allows them to still explore and get their energy out, Children’s Discovery Museum in Rancho Mirage is the perfect place to go! The museum makes learning fun and interactive for kids of all ages with multiple galleries and interactive exhibits. With both a boy and a girl that span in age almost three years, our kids overlap in some interests but definitely have their own needs as well. Children’s Discovery Museum has something for everyone ranging from levers and interactive pizza kitchens to painting and dress up for younger children.
Make sure you allow ample time to explore the robotics area as both the kids and adults will find plenty to do in this area. This was our favorite museum exhibit!
Enjoy a Homemade Pop Tart
I may be a California girl now but you can’t take the Midwest roots out of me. When I heard there were homemade pop tarts at Wilma and Frieda’s Cafe I was all in. Admittedly, I was skeptical and wondered if homemade could truly measure up but it met and surpassed expectations. Filled with homemade fruit and coated with frosting, the pastry held its shape perfectly. That being said, if a pop tart is not your thing, rest assured Wilma & Frieda’s Cafe has plenty of sweet treats for everyone.
With so many fun things to do in the Greater Palm Springs area, the question is which will you do first?