Best gardens to visit in Palm Springs

Posted By: Erin Lawrence Monday, March 14, 2016
Visitors don't usually think of Palm Springs as lush. But despite being tucked away in the desert, there's lots of green space to enjoy. Here are my top picks.


The grounds at the Parker Hotel
Gene Autry once owned this ultra chic, ultra private resort hotel in the far southeast corner of Palm Springs. The famous singing cowboy actor eventually sold it, but continued to live in a home near the rear of the 13-acre property.

Flash forward to 2004 when the land was taken over by the Parker group, and a full renovation was done on the grounds. New plants like citrus trees and willows were planted, and several distinct garden areas were created; English, French, a croquet area, as well as a relaxation space called Palm Court, complete with hammocks.

Despite a Jonathan Adler-designed renovation of the inside of the hotel, the grounds still manage to steal at least part of the show.  From winding twisty pathways, to tall grasses, beautiful flowers and plenty of fruit, a stroll through the Parker’s gardens is like visiting a mansion with a number of different beautiful rooms.

Moorten Botanical Gardens

This historic landmark has been around since 1938, and has been a favorite of everyone who visits it. The garden is named after the Moorten family, who were all desert plan specialists. They actually turned their home into a living desert plant museum. There are 3,000 varieties of plants here plus "The World's First Cactarium,” which is loaded with cacti and succulents.

Indian Canyons

A series of gorgeous desert hikes, you’d be forgiven for wondering what could be lush about this suggestion. Indian Canyons features several trails lined with palm trees, plants, and desert flora that’s unique. Set against the desert backdrop, magnificent fan palms and more than 150 species of plants are visible within a half-mile radius of Andreas Canyon, and similarly the amazing array of California Fan Palms at Palm Canyon are breathtaking contrasts to the craggy gorges and barren desert around it.


Honourable mentions : Living Desert and Sunnylands

The Living Desert is a great attraction, because it combines the best aspects of a zoo, as well as all the things we love about gardens. Stroll the wide and curving pathways and see gorgeous statuesque cacti, flowering bushes, majestic trees, and speckled among it all, fascinating desert animals. Located in Palm Desert, it's a short drive from your base in Palm Springs.

The publicly accessible area of Sunnylands features a small but peaceful garden laid out in a wide sweeping arc. Cacti are shaded by trees and rimmed with tranquil water features. If you can book a spot on the full Sunnylands tour, you’ll be amazed at what’s hiding behind the secure gates; an 18 hole golf course plus grounds that were designed to remind the owners of their eastern USA roots, and block out anything and everything that would betray the fact  they were really in a desert. (But that’s another blog!) Sunnylands is located in nearby Rancho Mirage.

What’s your favorite green space in Palm Springs? Let us know by Tweeting @PalmSpringsCA | Instagramming @VisitPalmSprings OR by Tweeting or Instgramming me @ErinLYYC

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