Palm Springs is chock full of fun things to see and do. From the Palm Springs Tram to hiking trails and celebrity home tours to museums, you won’t run out of sightseeing attractions in Palm Springs. But if you’re looking to see a little more of the Sunshine State while you’re out West, here are four great day trips from Palm Springs to make from your home-away-from-home base of Palm Springs:
Mountain Village of Idyllwild
Distance from Downtown Palm Springs: 50 miles, approximately 1.5 hours’ drive time
Idyllwild, California is a beautiful Palm Springs point of interest located in the mountains. Its elevation offers a break from the desert heat to take advantage of outdoor activities like mountain biking, hiking and rock climbing. Just as gorgeous is the scenic drive up to Idyllwild on Highway 74, which features several vista points where you can stop to take in the desert below (and some snaps for Facebook while you’re at it). Before you head out from your Palm Springs vacation rental home, pack a picnic to enjoy on one of Idyllwild’s trails.
Santa Monica Pier
Distance from Downtown Palm Springs: 122 miles, approximately 2 hours’ drive time
If you just can’t leave California without seeing its beaches, make the trip to the Santa Monica area of greater Los Angeles. The famous Third Street Promenade is a prime location to spend the morning hours before the sun heats up, shopping, people-watching and grabbing a bite to eat. After lunch, head to the Santa Monica Pier for amusement park fun at Pacific Park, or hit the beach – both of which are walking distance from Third Street. Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals, also located by the pier, offers an opportunity to pedal along the coastline several miles on the beachside bike path. Since the journey’s a little farther away, plan to spend the day here and arrive back at your Palm Springs rental at night.
Trails of Coyote Ridge Stables
Distance from Downtown Palm Springs: 20 miles, approximately 30 minutes’ drive time
Located north of Palm Springs, these guided horse trail rides take you up 3,200 feet through the canyons of Morongo Valley, with beautiful vistas of the San Gorgonio Mountains and Mt. San Jacinto. Plan to spend the day roaming the trails, and enjoy the gorgeous mountain terrain, wildlife and plant life. You might experience magnificent eagles, red tailed hawks and kestrels soaring high above, or maybe you’ll even see coyotes at play.
Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown
Distance from Downtown Palm Springs: 31.4 miles, approximately 45 minutes’ drive time
The legendary Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace has been delighting locals and travelers alike since 1982 with its mesquite barbeque, live music, dancing and friendly service. In 1946, Pioneertown was founded by a group of Hollywood investors with dreams of creating a live movie set – an 1870s frontier town with facades for filming and interiors open to the public. On the outside were stables, saloons and jails, and on the inside were ice cream parlors and bowling alleys. Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Russel Hayden and the Sons of the Pioneer were some of the original investors and personalities who helped invent Pioneertown. More than 50 films and several television shows were filmed there throughout the 1940s and 1950s.
Find your Palm Springs home base for exploring these famous California attractions.