Discover the Top Sightseeing Spots in Greater Palm Springs

Here are some of the best ways to explore the Coachella Valley

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Whether you’re looking to commune with nature, fly high in a balloon, or see where the legendary stars of old Hollywood once lived and played, the desert offers the perfect tour. Here are some of the best ways to explore the Coachella Valley on your own or in a group.

Enjoy one of Desert Adventures Eco-Tours & Events’ popular off-road Jeep tours of the San Andreas Fault or Mecca Hills/Painted Canyons, which provide insight into the valley’s geology and how local natives once lived. Learn more about the area’s deep ties to Hollywood on the City & Celebrity Home Tour and sample the valley’s burgeoning microbrew industry during the Craft Beer Tour. Relax in climate-controlled vehicles as you visit destinations ranging from the windmills to Joshua Tree National Park. 760-324-5337;
www.red-jeep.com

 

The Best of the Best Tours hosts visits to the Coachella Valley’s working windmill farms, with lessons on local weather and geology. The company also offers trips through Indian Canyon and excursions to celebrity homes. Combine all three sites in the Bonanza Tour. 760-320-1365; www.thebestofthebesttours.com

 

Hop a ride with Adventure Hummer Tours to check out local sights or even travel to nearby Temecula for the Palms to Vines wine-tasting experience — which includes local pickup and drop-off service. 760-285-0876;
www.adventurehummer.com

To explore by bicycle, Big Wheel Tours offers guided rides along the San Andreas Fault. Try the rugged trail and visit the high desert on a Joshua Tree National Park hiking or Jeep tour. 760-779-1837;
www.bwbtours.com

Fans of Elvis can explore the Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway estate (pictured at right), where The King and Priscilla Presley honeymooned and lived for a year. 760-322-1192;
www.elvishoneymoon.com

Fans of Hollywood lore have plenty of other options, too. Clark Gable, Liberace, Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, and many other stars have called the desert home. See where famous folks lived and played on Palm Springs Celebrity Tours; take the private tour for a deeper peek. 760-770-2700;
www.thecelebritytour.com

Five Star Adventures Tours helps visitors relive the Golden Era of Hollywood. The Wednesday night Rat Pack Hideaway/Rich and Famous Tour offers cocktails and a visit to the location where scenes from the movie Behind the Candelabra were filmed. Other excursions explore homes of famous Movie Colony residents and local midcentury modern icons. 760-320-1500; www.fsatours.com

For a leisurely exploration of local star power, take a self-guided stroll along the Palm Springs Walk of Stars throughout downtown, featuring more than 370 film and TV celebrities, including Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Liberace, and Marilyn Monroe, along with prominent humanitarians, politicians, musicians, and sports figures. 760-416-5811; www.palmspringswalkofstars.com

Experience the natural splendor of the Coachella Valley and beyond aboard the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The spectacular vistas during the 12-minute ride in the rotating tramcar are matched by the magnificent scenes at the Tram’s Mountain Station, 8,516 feet up. Camp, hike, or even cross-country ski in the winter; year-round guided nature walks highlight this mountain paradise’s flora and fauna. Enjoy fine dining and breathtaking views at Peaks Restaurant. 760-325-1391;
www.pstramway.com

See view from high up with Havnfun Hot Air Ballooning (760-646-8884, www.flyhotairballoons.com), and Magical Adventure Balloon Rides (866-365-6987, www.hotairfun.com).

For a truly out-of-this-world tour, take in a star show at GarganOptics, a private, state-of-the-art, climate-controlled observatory that uses GPS-guided robotic telescopes to see constellations, planets, and shooting stars. 760-238-4584; www.garganoptics.com

Get a taste of the wild at The Living Desert Zoo & Botanical Garden in Palm Desert. Explore the North American and African deserts with self-guided, narrated tours showcasing each region’s plant and wildlife. Discover the giraffes, spot a cheetah, or swing by the interactive animal hospital. 760-346-5694;
www.livingdesert.org

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