7-Day Itinerary in Palm Springs, CA

7-Day Itinerary in Palm Springs, CA

Welcome to Palm Springs, California! If you’re planning a vacation in this sunny paradise, you’re in for a treat. With its breathtaking scenery, vibrant downtown, and an abundance of outdoor activities, Palm Springs offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a nature lover, art enthusiast, or simply looking to relax by the pool, this 7-day itinerary will guide you through the best of what Palm Springs has to offer.

Key Takeaways:

  • Explore the downtown area, filled with colorful buildings, art galleries, and trendy restaurants
  • Discover the unique midcentury modern architecture that Palm Springs is famous for
  • Immerse yourself in the vibrant art scene, visiting art installations and galleries
  • Experience the natural beauty of Palm Springs on hiking trails at Indian Canyons
  • Take a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park and marvel at the desert landscape

With this itinerary as your guide, get ready to create lasting memories in Palm Springs, California!

Day 1: Downtown Tour

On your first day in Palm Springs, embark on an exciting tour of the vibrant downtown area. Start your exploration by strolling down Palm Canyon Drive, the main street in the heart of Palm Springs. This lively thoroughfare is lined with colorful buildings, quaint shops, inviting art galleries, and trendy restaurants, offering a mix of old-world charm and modern appeal.

As you wander along Palm Canyon Drive, take in the captivating sights and immerse yourself in the artistic atmosphere that defines this iconic destination. Admire the intricate murals adorning building facades, showcasing the diverse talent of local artists. Step into the renowned art galleries dotting the downtown area, displaying a wide range of captivating artworks.

During your downtown tour, be sure to visit two iconic landmarks that have made Palm Springs famous. The Saguaro Hotel Palm Springs is a vibrant oasis of color, with its rainbow-hued facade and modern design. Capture Instagram-worthy snaps against the backdrop of this unique hotel.

Another must-visit landmark is the legendary Hotel California, which has captivated visitors with its timeless charm for decades. Embrace the nostalgic ambiance as you soak up the history and allure of this iconic establishment, rumored to have inspired the famous song by the Eagles.

As the sun sets on your first day in Palm Springs, treat yourself to a delightful dinner at one of the marvelous restaurants nestled in downtown Palm Springs. From refined fine dining establishments to trendy eateries, this vibrant culinary scene caters to a variety of tastes and preferences, ensuring a memorable dining experience.

Take advantage of this opportunity to savor delectable cuisine, unwind with a refreshing drink, and reflect on the exciting day of exploration you’ve had in Palm Springs. With so much to see and do, the downtown tour sets the stage for an unforgettable vacation in this enchanting desert oasis.

Day 2: Midcentury Modern Houses and House of Tomorrow

On your second day in Palm Springs, immerse yourself in the iconic midcentury modern architecture that has made this desert oasis famous. Take a leisurely drive through the charming neighborhoods of Palm Springs, where you’ll find a treasure trove of midcentury gems.

In particular, don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore neighborhoods like Vista Las Palmas, The Wexler Steel Homes, and Twin Palms, known for their vibrant doors and retro designs. These neighborhoods showcase the best of Palm Springs midcentury modern architecture, with their clean lines, flat roofs, large glass windows, and playful colors.

While exploring these neighborhoods, keep an eye out for the stunning celebrity homes that dot the landscape. Palm Springs has long been a playground for the rich and famous, and many celebrities have called this place their home away from home.

One iconic celebrity home that should be on your must-visit list is the House of Tomorrow. This three-story midcentury modern house was once the vacation home of the legendary entertainer Elvis Presley. Situated in the heart of Palm Springs, the house offers breathtaking views of the Coachella Valley and showcases the innovative design elements that define midcentury modern architecture.

Key Highlights

  • Explore the Vista Las Palmas, The Wexler Steel Homes, and Twin Palms neighborhoods
  • Admire the colorful doors and retro designs
  • Spot celebrity homes while wandering through the neighborhoods
  • Visit the House of Tomorrow, Elvis Presley’s former vacation home

Day 3: Art Tour

On the third day of your Palm Springs adventure, immerse yourself in the vibrant art scene of this desert city. From intriguing art installations to contemporary galleries, Palm Springs offers a feast for art enthusiasts. Start your day by exploring the various Palm Springs art installations scattered throughout the city. These unique displays of creativity will captivate your imagination and provide a glimpse into the artistic spirit of the community.

If you happen to visit during the spring, be sure to participate in the renowned Desert X Palm Springs contemporary art exhibition. This biennial event showcases thought-provoking works by local and international artists in stunning desert locations, creating a symbiotic relationship between art and the surrounding landscape.

Continuing on your art-filled journey, take the time to visit the Palm Springs Art Museum and explore its impressive collection of contemporary and modern artwork. As you wander through the museum’s galleries, you’ll encounter a diverse range of artistic expressions that highlight the dynamic nature of the Palm Springs art scene.

One of the highlights of your art tour is the mesmerizing cactus garden at Desert X, representing the “women’s qualities”. This garden, filled with vibrant colors and unique shapes, serves as a fitting metaphor for the strength and resilience of women. Take a moment to admire this beautiful installation and reflect on its deeper meaning.

Immerse yourself in the artistic side of Palm Springs and let the creativity wash over you as you explore the various art installations, exhibitions, and galleries. By the end of the day, you’ll not only have a deeper appreciation for Palm Springs’ contemporary art scene but also a better understanding of its unique cultural identity.

Famous Art Installations in Palm Springs
Art Installation Description
Desert X A contemporary art exhibition that features installations by local and international artists in desert locations.
Women’s Qualities Cactus Garden A vibrant cactus garden representing the strength and resilience of women.
Robolights An immersive and eccentric art installation featuring colorful lights and sculptures created by artist Kenny Irwin Jr.
Forever Marilyn Statue A larger-than-life sculpture of Marilyn Monroe in her iconic white dress.
Palm Springs Murals A collection of captivating murals scattered throughout the city, showcasing the talents of local artists.

Day 4: Hike at Indian Canyons

On the fourth day of your Palm Springs adventure, immerse yourself in the breathtaking natural beauty of Indian Canyons. Located just south of Palm Springs, Indian Canyons offers a captivating oasis with towering palm trees, picturesque canyons, and serene flowing rivers.

Indian Canyons is home to several hiking trails that cater to all skill levels, providing opportunities for both leisurely walks and more challenging treks. One of the most popular trails is Andreas Canyon, a peaceful path that meanders alongside a beautiful creek, adorned with colorful wildflowers and stunning waterfalls.

During your hike, keep an eye out for the California Fan Palm, the only native palm tree in California. This magnificent tree, with its tall trunk and fan-shaped leaves, adds to the allure of the oasis and creates a truly enchanting atmosphere.

As you explore Indian Canyons, take the time to pause and appreciate the tranquility of nature. Find a scenic spot to rest, enjoy a picnic, and feel the serenity that surrounds you.

Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply seeking a peaceful escape in Palm Springs, a day spent hiking at Indian Canyons promises to be a memorable experience, connecting you with the raw beauty of the desert landscape.

Trail Options at Indian Canyons:

Trail Name Difficulty Length
Andreas Canyon Trail Easy 1 mile
Murray Canyon Trail Moderate 4 miles
Palm Canyon Trail Moderate 15 miles
Trading Post Trail Easy 0.5 miles

With such a diverse range of trails to choose from, you can tailor your hiking experience to your desired level of challenge and exploration. Don’t forget to bring comfortable hiking shoes, plenty of water, and sunscreen to make the most of your day in the Indian Canyons.

Day 5: Joshua Tree National Park

On the fifth day of your Palm Springs adventure, plan a day trip to the breathtaking Joshua Tree National Park. This scenic park is just an hour’s drive from Palm Springs, making it the perfect destination for a day filled with outdoor activities and natural wonders.

As you enter Joshua Tree National Park, you’ll be greeted by a unique desert landscape adorned with towering Joshua Trees and stunning rock formations. These iconic trees, with their twisted branches and spiky leaves, create a surreal and magical atmosphere that is truly enchanting.

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the beauty of the park is by going on a hike. Lace-up your hiking boots and explore the various trails available, each offering a different perspective of the park’s diverse ecosystem. Consider taking the Arch hike, where you can marvel at nature’s architectural wonders. You’ll encounter stunning natural arches and rock formations that will leave you in awe of the forces that shaped them over millions of years.

For a more unique experience, make sure to include the Cholla Cactus Garden trail in your itinerary. This easy 0.25-mile loop will take you through a dense concentration of cholla cacti, creating a surreal landscape that is unlike anything you’ve seen before. Keep your camera ready as you capture the striking contrast between the vibrant green cacti and the golden desert sands.

Don’t forget to pack a picnic and plenty of water for your day at Joshua Tree National Park. There are designated picnic areas where you can relax and enjoy a meal amidst the natural beauty surrounding you. Remember, staying hydrated is essential, especially in the desert environment.

Before you leave the park, take a moment to appreciate the tranquility and serenity that Joshua Tree National Park offers. Breathe in the fresh air, listen to the sounds of nature, and let the grandeur of the desert captivate your senses. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat from the city, Joshua Tree National Park is a must-visit destination during your Palm Springs getaway.

Experience the beauty of Joshua Tree National Park on a day trip from Palm Springs.

Highlights of Joshua Tree National Park:

  • Stunning Joshua Trees
  • Majestic rock formations
  • The Arch hike
  • Cholla Cactus Garden
  • Picnic areas for a scenic lunch


Palm Springs, CA offers an incredible range of activities and attractions that make it the perfect destination for a 7-day getaway. Whether you’re interested in exploring the vibrant downtown area, immersing yourself in the midcentury modern architecture, or getting out into nature, Palm Springs has something for everyone.

During your stay, be sure to take a tour of the downtown area, where you can discover charming art galleries, trendy restaurants, and iconic landmarks. The midcentury modern architecture found throughout the city is a must-see, with neighborhoods like Vista Las Palmas and Twin Palms showcasing stunning retro designs. Don’t forget to visit the House of Tomorrow, once the vacation home of Elvis Presley.

For art enthusiasts, Palm Springs boasts a thriving art scene. Explore the Desert X contemporary art installations and discover the Palm Springs Art Museum. And if you’re looking for outdoor adventures, don’t miss hiking at Indian Canyons or taking a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park, where you can marvel at the unique desert landscape.

Use this travel guide and itinerary planner to make the most of your time in Palm Springs. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, outdoor activities, or cultural experiences, Palm Springs has it all. Plan your desert getaway today and create unforgettable memories in this vibrant and diverse California destination.


What are the most popular attractions to see in Palm Springs?

Some of the most popular attractions to see in Palm Springs include the downtown area, midcentury modern houses, Indian Canyons, and Joshua Tree National Park.

What can I do during a downtown tour in Palm Springs?

During a downtown tour in Palm Springs, you can stroll down Palm Canyon Drive, explore art galleries, visit trendy restaurants, and see iconic landmarks like The Saguaro Hotel Palm Springs and Hotel California.

Which neighborhoods in Palm Springs are known for their midcentury modern architecture?

Some neighborhoods known for their midcentury modern architecture in Palm Springs include Vista Las Palmas, The Wexler Steel Homes, and Twin Palms.

Where can I see the House of Tomorrow in Palm Springs?

The House of Tomorrow, the former vacation home of Elvis Presley, can be seen in Palm Springs. It offers stunning views of Coachella Valley and is filled with history.

What can I expect on an art tour in Palm Springs?

On an art tour in Palm Springs, you can visit art installations scattered throughout the city, participate in the Desert X contemporary art exhibition (if visiting during the spring), and explore galleries and art museums like the Palm Springs Art Museum.

Where can I go hiking in Palm Springs?

You can go hiking at Indian Canyons in Palm Springs. There are several trails to choose from, such as Andreas Canyon, which follows a beautiful creek and has waterfalls.

What is special about Joshua Tree National Park?

Joshua Tree National Park, located just an hour’s drive from Palm Springs, is known for its unique desert landscape filled with Joshua Trees and rock formations. It offers various hiking trails and stunning scenery.

How can I plan my 7-day itinerary in Palm Springs?

You can use this 7-day itinerary as a guide to plan your perfect desert getaway in Palm Springs. It includes exploring the downtown area, experiencing midcentury modern architecture, visiting art installations, hiking at Indian Canyons, and taking a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park.

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