A desert resort city in Riverside County, California, Palm Springs is expectedly a place with plenty to do, particularly outdoors. Its perpetually sunny climate is why many take interest in not only visiting the city, but also buying into La Quinta, CA real estate, and other properties in and around the area.
Granted, if you’ve never been to Palm Springs, you might get the idea that most leisure activities in the city are centered around the swimming pool. Don’t let what you see in popular media limit you, however, as there are a variety of things to do in La Quinta, Palm Desert, Cathedral City, and of course, Palm Springs itself.
Visit Joshua Tree National Park
Named after the Joshua trees, or Yucca brevifolia, native to the Mojave Desert, Joshua Tree National Park is the ideal place when spending time in or by the pool has gotten old. Even swimming-crazed kids will find something to enjoy at the national park, as it has nine established campgrounds and numerous hiking trails.
Over 250 species of birds are also recorded from Joshua Tree National Park, making it a great place to visit for avid birdwatchers. If birds aren’t your thing, there are always the California tree frogs and red-spotted toads to admire, as well as rabbits, hares, and other mammals to view from a distance.
Being distant and mostly free of light pollution from the city, Joshua Tree sees naturally dark skies in the evening, making it a popular observing site for amateur astronomy and stargazing. Its elevation and desert air, combined with the relatively stable atmosphere common in the region, makes for excellent seeing conditions.
Take a Trip on The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Another safely distanced outdoor activity to do in Palm Springs is to visit The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Built in the 1960s, the tramway brings you two-and-a-half miles above the desert floor through the cliffs of Chino Canyon and into the pristine wilderness of Mt. San Jacinto State Park.
Along with the spectacular views that are a given no matter where you’re seated, you can also look forward to two restaurants, observation decks, natural history museum, two documentary theaters, a gift shop, and over 50 miles of hiking trails, when you get to the top.
If there is snow at the time of your visit, you can add sledding, snow-shoeing, and cross-country skiing to your outdoor activity itinerary. It’ll also be even cooler at the top, making it more enjoyable to explore the hiking and walking trails and take in the snowy views.
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
Since you’re in the middle of the desert, you might as well enjoy getting familiar with some real desert critters at The Living Desert and Zoo Gardens. Focused on wildlife from North America and Africa, it also features exhibits like a replica of a Northeast African village with some Nigerian dwarf goats.
Tours of the zoo include engaging discussions about the animals, feeding the giraffes, taking rides on the endangered animal carousel, exploring the various trails that loop through the Sonoran Desert, and viewing the zoo’s outdoor G-scale model train exhibits.
It’ll be good to arrive early when some of the animals aren’t avoiding the heat yet. Then, when it’s your turn to get out of the sun, you can head to the zoo’s air-conditioned Discovery Center. Keep in mind, though, for everyone’s safety in this time of Covid-19, tickets to the zoo and gardens are limited, so best plan ahead.
Learn more about things to do at La Quinta and Palm Springs, and the possibility of living in these areas, by calling us at 760.567-7822. Among the top La Quinta realtors, Kathleen O’Keefe Galligher will answer any questions you may have.