The best things in the Greater Palm Springs are free. Here are ten things you can do in the area without spending much.
- Visit the Palm Springs Art Museum. Swing by this world-renowned museum every Thursday, from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM, for free. You can also visit every second Sunday of the month without paying for anything.Children under 18, active military members and their families, as well as NARM and ROAM participants can always get in for free.
- Mingle at the Palm Springs VillageFest. Another Thursday night activity is the Palm Springs VillageFest. Head to Palm Canyon Drive and treat yourself to local food, drinks, and entertainment. You can also shop for a variety of curiosities and products, such as art and jewelry.
- Go hiking in the Greater Palm Springs. Looking to burn calories after a fun night out in Greater Palm Springs? Go hiking! The area is home to an impressive network of free hiking trails. Some of the local favorites include the Araby trail, Big Morongo Canyon Preserve, and the Palm Springs Museum trail.
- Cruise along the Highway 74. For an incredible roadtrip in the Greater Palm Springs, take Highway 74. It is also known as the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway, a long mountain road that snakes up the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains. Your starting point is the visitor center in Palm Desert.
- Attend a Star Party. With little light pollution, the desert is one of the best places to observe the sky. You can go on a “star party” organized by the Astronomical Society of the Desert. They have free events, check out the dates here.
- Go on a self-guided architecture tour. Are you a fan of mid-century modern architecture? You are in the right place. The Greater Palm Springs area is home to architectural treasures. These include the works of E. Stewart Williams, Donald Wexler, and Albert Frey.
- Watch some Sunday Polo. The Eldorado Polo Club hosts polo matches every Sunday, from January through March. You can pack a picnic and watch the game from the designated areas. Sunday tailgating is free, but you do have to pay for parking.
- Go on a day trip to the Salton Sea. Sea? In the middle of the desert? While technically not a sea (it is actually a large lake), a trip to the Salton Sea is always worthwhile. With over 100 miles of shoreline, it is the largest lake in California.While you’re there, check out Slab City, Salvation Mountain, the local flora and fauna, and the mud volcanoes in the area.
- Hit the trail after dark with friends. Explore the Art Smith trail at night and discover the local nocturnal animals along the way with Friends of the Desert Mountains. This is usually held every September, so be sure to mark your calendar and reserve.
- Head to the Backstreet Art District. Looking for another healthy dose of local art and culture? Backstreet Art District will not disappoint, especially if you are a fan of contemporary art.
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