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10 Free Things To Do in Palm Springs

Two women riding their bikes

Palm Springs is a desert oasis known for its year-round sunshine, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture. While there are plenty of luxury activities and attractions in the area, there are also numerous free things to do that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty and charm of this unique destination. Whether you’re on a budget or simply want to explore the city without breaking the bank, here are 10 free activities that will make your trip to Palm Springs unforgettable.

1. Visit the Palm Springs Art Museum

Located in downtown Palm Springs, the Palm Springs Art Museum has an extensive permanent collection includes significant works by western, contemporary and glass artists, and features temporary exhibitions from internationally acclaimed artists.

Free every Thursday from 4:00 – 8:00 pm.

Palm Springs Art Museum

2. Stroll Palm Canyon Drive during VillageFest

Every Thursday evening, downtown Palm Springs transforms into a diverse array of artists, artisans, entertainers, and purveyors of fresh fruits and veggies, flowers, jewelry, snacks and sweets. Add all that to the great shops, restaurants, clubs, and entertainment venues located along World Famous Palm Canyon Drive – and the result is one of Southern California’s most popular weekly events.

Dog friendly.

October through May 6:00 – 10:00 pm
June through September 7:00 – 10:00 pm


3. Take a Hike

There are miles hiking trails in and around Palm Springs, from easy to advanced.

7 Hikes in Palm Canyons

Hikes in Palm Springs

4. Add some culture at the Backstreet Art District Art Walk

Whether you are looking to purchase your first work of art or add to your art collection, we have a wonderfully-varied selection of paintings, sculptures, encaustic prints, monotypes, jewelry, ceramics, photography, bespoke leather accessories, mixed media works of art and more by locally, nationally & internationally recognized artists.

Join the monthly First Wednesday Art Walk is held year-round, 5:00 – 8:00 pm

Backstreet Art District

Source: Backstreet Art District

5. Palm Springs Walk of Stars

Discover the many Hollywood Stars who lived, loved and played in this beautiful desert oasis called, Palm Springs. Al Jolson, William Powell, Rudolf Valentino and Harold Lloyd started the escape from Hollywood to the desert in the 1920’s. They were soon followed by Shirley Temple, Buddy Rogers, Mary Pickford, Clark Gable, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Ginger Rogers, Gene Autry, Liberace, Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley, George Montgomery, Dinah Shore and most of Hollywood’s stars enjoyed the special magic of this desert village.

Palm Springs Walk of Stars

6. Take a Stroll through Downtown Palm Springs

Stroll the revitalized downtown Palm Springs with new shopping, dining and artwork all within a few blocks. This vibrant district is filled with boutique shops, art galleries, and delightful restaurants. Admire the midcentury modern architecture that Palm Springs is famous for, and don’t forget to snap a few photos next to the iconic Marilyn Monroe statue.

Marilyn Monroe
You can also explore the downtown park just next to Marilyn.
downtown park

7. Marvel at the Palm Springs’ Public Art

Palm Springs is home to an impressive collection of public art installations. Take a self-guided tour and admire the sculptures, murals, and artistic creations that can be found throughout the city. The Desert Art Center is great starting points for art enthusiasts.

Find all the colorful Palm Springs benches.

art benches

8. Go Bike Riding

Palm Springs has miles of well-marked and maintained routes throughout the historical neighborhoods and downtown. Pick up a map or at the Official Palm Springs Visitors Center (800-347-7746) located at 2901 N. Palm Canyon Drive. Palm Springs has added many bike lanes throughout the city. Many local hotels and resorts have complementary bikes you can reserve. Or you can also rent a bike at places like Bike Palm Springs.

Palm Springs Big City Loop Bike Tour

Deepwell Ranch Estates Bike Tour

Self-Guided Bike Tour – South Palm Springs

Bike Riding

9. Enjoy a Palm Springs Park

Sunrise ParkRuth Hardy Park, and DeMuth Park offer pleasant, shady spots to picnic, complete with tables, barbecues, and playground equipment.

demuth playground

10. Discover Palm Canyon Drive

Palm Canyon Drive is the main artery of downtown Palm Springs. Stroll along this lively street, lined with palm trees, boutique shops, cafes, and art galleries. Explore the local boutiques, browse for unique souvenirs, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere.

downtown palm springs

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Exploring Palm Springs Care/Free

Palm Springs Budget Travel Guide

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