It’s not a mirage—the desert is full of entertainment

The Coachella Valley and the Palm Springs area are bursting with activity, from museums and cultural attractions to outdoor fitness experiences and nature preserves, as well as some old-fashioned vacation favorites, like shopping, dining and entertainment.

Some highlights include Palm Springs’ annual Modernism Week in February; year-round ascents to the San Jacinto State Park via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway; April’s Coachella Music and Arts Festival and Stagecoach Festival; winter and spring hiking, bouldering and rock climbing adventures in Joshua Tree National Park; shopping at the world-class Cabazon Outlets and Rancho Mirage destination mall The River.

Looking for a few more tips from local insiders? Book your tickets early at Palm Desert’s premiere performing arts venue, McCallum Theatre. In Desert Hot Springs, Cabot’s Pueblo Museum tells the strange but story of one of the area’s first residents. Discover the diversity of the common cactus at the Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium. Plan your visit to the Palm Springs Art Museum on a Thursday afternoon or the second Sunday of the month, when admission to the 24,000+ collection is free. A visit to the adjacent Annenberg Theatre means an exclusive small screening, while the Palm Springs International Film Festival invites the best in world cinema every January.

The Thursday evening VillageFest from 6:00 – 9:00 pm brings the valley together with community, entertainment, crafts and food. Or,  put on your dancing shoes for a live jazz jam at The Nest in Indian Wells.

The Palm Springs Air Museum pays tribute to veterans with its extensive collection of air force flight exhibits, and you can often see these old birds in the skies over the desert.

Just outside of Palm Springs, visitors who are feeling lucky can test their talents at the Agua Caliente Casino, where slot machines and card tables provide hours of high-stakes entertainment. Or, catch your favorite band, comedian or performing artist at Agua Caliente’s very own venue, THE SHOW.

Visit the Palm Springs Tourism Office for more activities and suggestions.