Palm Desert

Adventures under the warm desert sun of Coachella Valley

Palm Desert, Calif. – Years ago, our family stumbled upon Palm Desert for the first time. We instantly fell in love with the region and it has become a regular landing spot for annual desert adventures. It has all the elements for family fun and is a popular snowbird destination less than 15 miles from Palm Springs.

The spring scenery is incredibly colorful. From the wildflowers that light up the desert to the water-infused suburban landscapes, this desert oasis welcomes the road weary traveler with vibrant displays of flowering plant of all variety.

↬ Summer Fun Starts Here ↫

⤥ Summer Fun Starts Here ⤦

⤥ Summer Fun Starts Here ⤦

⤥ Summer Fun Starts Here ⤦

California’s Nicest Community Park?

Palm Desert also boasts Civic Center Park, hands-down the nicest community park we’ve yet to encounter in our California travels. Grab your morning coffee and take a stroll here before the real heat arrives. Found an worthy competitor? Please let us know.

Palm Desert Civic Center Park
Civic Center Park, the best!

Lodging Accommodations

Lodging to accommodate any budget and style are readily available. From the pampered country club golf resort to the budget traveler and everything in between, it’s easy to find the ideal base for your excursions in and around the Coachella Valley. Tip: If you plan on swimming, be sure to check that your hotel has a heated pool. The weather may be hot, but not all pools are warm during early spring.

Civic Center Park is a desert oasis.

Shopping & Dining

If you have someone in your family that enjoys shopping, Palm Desert offers the gamut from the high-end El Paseo shopping district to the busy Westfield Mall. A walk through the El Paseo shopping district is a great place to stretch your legs and enjoy some of the terrific scenery, custom boutiques, art galleries or to grab a bite in the great outdoors. The River in Rancho Mirage on Highway 111 offers outdoor dining and shopping in a tranquil setting surround by an oasis of cool water features.

Dining choices are also in abundance in and around Palm Desert. For those with younger children or grandkids, the Spaghetti Factory in Rancho Mirage offers a comfortable and lively dinner environment in a relaxed setting. For a casual lunch or late dinner, we regularly make a stop at the famed, Shermans Deli. A classic New York-style deli and restaurant is among our fun picks and a family favorite. Shermans does get very crowded, but it’s worth the wait.


Sunnylands – Rancho Mirage

This past year we made our way over to Sunnylands, the former Annenberg Estate in Rancho Mirage (off of Bob Hope Drive). Famous for playing host to several presidents and its beautifully inspired mid-century modern architecture, the garden tours are a free and worthwhile stop for exploration. Learn more online at

Joshua Tree and Living Desert Zoo

In spring, things start to heat up and it’s time to get out and explore. No trip to Palm Desert would be complete without a trip to The Living Desert Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Truly uniquely compared to other zoos we’ve visited, The Living Desert Zoo is a treat everyone should visit at least once.  To learn more about The Living Desert, go

Joshua Trees
Joshua Trees at sunset.

Each year, the main event for our family is exploring Joshua Tree National Park, about an hour’s drive from Palm Desert. Bring plenty of water, snacks and good hiking shoes. Joshua Tree National Park offers opportunities for all ages to experience and explore this desert wonder. We highly suggest taking the east to west route a couple hours prior to sunset for a memorable experience.

From an air-conditioned car tour, to day hiking to the full desert camping experience, Joshua Tree remains a California treasure.

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