the living desert giraffe

Best of the Best 2022: Attractions

Here are nine ways to experience Greater Palm Springs from feeding the giraffes at The Living Desert to enjoying the outdoor ambiance of Old Town La Quinta.

Staff Report Attractions, Best Of, Current Guide

the living desert giraffe

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens.

Our readers voted for their favorite restaurants, shops, and activities in the Coachella Valley. We’re spotlighting a few of the winners from more than 20 categories. For the entire list, check out

Palm Springs
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

The world’s largest rotating tram cars soar 2 ½ miles along the cliffs of Chino Canyon to reach the pristine Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness, home to miles of hiking trails and two restaurants. Overnight camping is available with advance reservation.

Cathedral City
Museum of Ancient Wonders

In an unassuming strip mall off Highway 111, this unique museum contains a vast array of replica objects from faraway worlds — King Tut’s sarcophagus, a T-Rex skull, ancient Greek vessels. They may not be the originals, but they’re cool to view.

Rancho Mirage
Sunnylands Center & Gardens

This historic 200-acre retreat, formerly the winter home of late ambassadors and philanthropists Walter and Leonore Annenberg, has hosted presidents and dignitaries. Now, you can visit too. Admission to the gardens is free, and ticketed estate tours are available.

Palm Desert
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

Rhinos and cheetahs and foxes … oh my! The Living Desert cares for creatures and plants that are native to arid regions around the world. The zoo offers interactive opportunities that the whole family will enjoy, like feeding the giraffes and walking with wallabies.

Indian Wells
Indian Wells Tennis Garden

The world-renowned host of the two-week BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament — and one of the most beautiful venues in the game — also stages live music, car shows, and art festivals throughout the year. You can even play here with a tennis membership.

Coachella Valley History Museum

An early 20th-century schoolhouse, a water tower, and an adobe are among the well-preserved connections to the Coachella Valley’s past at this complex, which also features a museum dedicated entirely 
to the desert’s favorite fruit: the date.

La Quinta
Old Town La Quinta

With its charming Spanish-inspired architecture and bougainvillea-lined corridors decked with string lights, Old Town is unlike any other outdoor gathering plaza in the desert. The complex hosts art fairs and live music and contains restaurants, a taproom, an ice cream shop, boutiques, and beauty salons.

Augustine Casino

Nestled in the shadows of the beautiful Santa Rosa Mountains, this slots-only casino features a mix of new games with high-end animation and old-school favorites like video poker and Pot ’O Gold keno. Locals love Augustine for its low-key and friendly vibe. Plus, two restaurants serve up a casual dining experience with great food and amazing value.

Desert Hot Springs
Cabot’s Pueblo Museum

Early Desert Hot Springs homesteader Cabot Yerxa, credited with tapping the hot and cold mineral springs that bubble underground, built this maze-like pueblo by hand in the 1940s. Open to the public, it contains 35 rooms displaying Native American art and artifacts as well as souvenirs from Yerxa’s travels.