5 Ways to Experience Palm Springs on a Budget

Posted By: Monday, August 27, 2012



Who needs deep pockets to enjoy Palm Springs? This desert city offers an experience to fit any budget and many Palm Springs attractions can be enjoyed for free--or close to it. Here are five great ways to experience the best of Palm Springs on a budget.

Village Green Heritage Center
At the Village Green Heritage Center on South Palm Canyon Drive, visitors can learn about Palm Springs' history without paying an arm and a leg. Start by learning about the indigenous people of the Coachella Valley at the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, where exhibits and collections highlight the customs and culture of the Cahuilla people. Admission is free, and while you're there, be sure to pop into Ruddy's General Store Museum next door. The museum feels like a perfectly preserved general store from the 1930s and 1940s, and admission is just $.95.

The Palm Springs Historical Society maintains the neighboring McCallum Adobe, the city's oldest remaining building, and Miss Cornelia White's "Little House." Both properties are open to guided and self-guided tours, and the $3 admission charge covers both historic sites.

Backstreet Art District
The Backstreet Art District is home to a number of artisan studios, where visitors are welcome to drop in as artists create sculptures, paintings, jewelry, photography and ceramics. Enjoy the city's thriving art scene with a free art walk through the Backstreet Art District, held on the first Wednesday of every month. Visitors can interact with artists as they create and browse through artist galleries.

Palm Springs Art Museum
The Palm Springs Art Museum is home to a number of modern art collections and exhibitions that shouldn't be missed. With ongoing performances at its Annenberg Theater and activities for all ages, the museum offers something for everyone to enjoy. Admission and activities are free on the second Sunday of each month, and on Thursdays from 4 - 8 p.m., admission is free courtesy of the City of Palm Springs. For a fun and budget-friendly night out on the town, tour PSaM for free on a Thursday afternoon and then head into downtown to enjoy Villagefest, a free and high-energy street fair with local vendors, entertainment and food.

Moorten's Botanical Garden
Walk through a tranquil garden lined with succulents, cacti and other desert flora at Moorten's Botanical Garden, a true hidden gem of Palm Springs. This carefully curated garden has been a family affair since 1938 and the lush grounds provide a picture-perfect backdrop for a relaxing afternoon. Admission is just $4 and there are plants available for purchase--take a piece of the desert home with you!

Self-Guided Architectural Tour
Grab your car keys, bicycle or walking shoes and treat yourself to a self-guided tour of Palm Springs' architectural gems. Modern architects such as Donald Wexler and Albert Frey put Palm Springs on the map as a mid-century modern destination with their iconic designs. Today, many of these structures still stand and can be enjoyed for free. This resource will help you plan your self-guided architectural tour of Palm Springs. Better yet, you can kick off your modernism tour with a stop at the Albert Frey-designed Visitor's Center on North Palm Canyon Drive, where you can pick up a map of the city's modern treasures. Be sure to check out Elvis's Honeymoon Hideaway, where the crooner carried Priscilla over the threshold, and the Wexler Steel Houses, 6 of which are designated as Class 1 Historical Sites.

Looking for more ways to enjoy Palm Springs on a budget? Plan your affordable itinerary with this list of free things to do in Palm Springs, and be sure to check out the getaway deals at comeplayinpalmsprings.com.




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