Part of the sun-drenched Coachella Valley, Palm Desert is a glamorous town brimming with retro charm and dotted with elegant mid-century modern architecture. As you stroll around town you'll be retracing the footsteps of Rat Pack icons, such as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.
Things to do in Palm Desert
One of California's most iconic buildings, the Sunnylands Centre & Gardens was once home to Walter and Leonore Annenberg, considered one of America's "founding families". Guided tours offer a glimpse at the lavish rooms where they entertained presidents, celebrities and royalty. You can also take a peaceful stroll around the beautifully manicured gardens.
For a glimpse at the Coachella Valley ecosystem, head to the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens. The nature reserve showcases a host of desert plants and animals, including camels, giraffes, oryx, pythons and caracal. Highlights include a colourful African village and a wildlife hospital.
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway climbs almost two kilometres and offers sweeping views over the Coachella Valley. Along the way you'll pass through the lush pine forests of Mount San Jacinto State Park, which are laced with scenic hiking trails and lookout points.
Art enthusiasts shouldn't miss the Palm Springs Art Museum. It champions contemporary art from across California, including painting, photography, sculpture and glass blowing. Inside you'll find abstract bronze sculptures by Henry Moore, pop art from Ed Ruscha and American "Old West" scenes from Frederic Remington.
Getting around Palm Desert
The easiest way to explore Palm Desert and the Coachella Valley is with a rental car. Palm Desert is connected by a network of local buses that run to nearby towns. Palm Springs International is located 30 minutes out of town.