The Best Palm Springs Activities for Retirees

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Palm trees and a blue sky in Palm Springs, California.
Palm-Springs-California

5 minute read

What You’ll Gain From Reading This Article: This article provides insights into various activities and attractions that make Palm Springs an ideal destination for retirees. Readers can learn about outdoor recreation options, shopping opportunities, golf course recommendations, and more.


Known for its year-round sunshine and stunning landscapes, Palm Springs is a haven for retirees seeking relaxation and adventure. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a culture lover, or simply in search of serenity, Palm Springs has an array of attractions that cater to many tastes and preferences. Let’s explore the best Palm Springs activities for retirees, from tranquil strolls through vibrant gardens to exhilarating outdoor adventures.

Ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

The cable car leading up to Mount San Jacinto in Palm Springs, California.

Palm Springs is surrounded by stunning desert landscapes and mountains including San Jacinto Mountain, which is the highest peak in Riverside County. With the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, you can ascend straight up San Jacinto Mountain and enjoy breathtaking views.

The tramway is the largest of its kind in the world, and it takes riders on a two-and-a-half mile journey up the mountain. At the top, visitors can enjoy views from the observation decks and explore the natural history museum. You can also grab a bite at one of the two restaurants or hike the mountain with over 50 miles of trails.

Take Advantage of Great Shopping in the Area

A 55+ woman enjoying Palm Springs activities like shopping at boutiques.

When it comes to Palm Springs activities, a bit of retail therapy is always fun. With its mixture of high-end retail shops, outlet malls, and eclectic boutiques, the Palm Springs area is a shopper’s paradise.

Be sure to visit El Paseo Shopping District, also known as the “Rodeo Drive of the Desert.” This mile-long shopping district in Palm Desert features more than 300 clothing shops, art galleries, restaurants, jewelers, and more. It’s the perfect place to stroll around while enjoying California’s sunshine. Desert Hills Premium Outlets are also a must-visit when heading to Palm Springs. This outdoor mall located about 20 minutes west of Palm Springs is home to the largest collection of luxury outlets in California.

For those who prefer to support local businesses when shopping, visit the Palm Springs Villagefest. This unique open-air market is held every Thursday evening in Downtown Palm Springs along scenic Palm Canyon Drive. Villagefest features over 180 vendors selling clothing, health and wellness products, art, jewelry, food, and more. It’s free to attend, and the event also features live entertainment.

Explore the Coachella Valley Preserve

Palm trees and mountains in Coachella Valley.

For outdoor enthusiasts, a trip to the Coachella Valley Preserve is sure to be a treat. Located about 17 miles east of Palm Springs, this oasis consists of lush palm trees as well as hidden wetlands. The preserve covers more than 20,000 acres and also encompasses the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve. Together, these preserves have miles of hiking trails, allowing visitors to explore rare plant and animal life.

Enjoy a Game of Golf

The golf course at Indian Wells Golf Resort in Palm Springs, California.

Looking for more Palm Springs activities? The area is home to well over 100 golf courses, with many designed by renowned architects, such as Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, and Jack Nicklaus. With stunning mountain backdrops, these beautifully landscaped courses draw golfers of all skill levels. Also, for those seeking something a bit different, Indian Wells Golf Resort now offers Shots in the Night.” This after-dark golf experience features light-up targets, glowing golf balls, putting green activities, food truck dining, cocktails, and more.

Visit the Palm Springs Art Museum

The entrance to the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Springs, California.
Image provided via Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com

The Palm Springs Art Museum is conveniently located in Downtown Palm Springs, making it a perfect stop as you explore the city. Since 1938, The Palm Springs Art Museum has remained a local gem for art and culture. The museum’s collection features significant works, including pieces by Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, Ansel Adams, and more. The exhibits also include historical indigenous works. Local insider tip: Admission to the museum is free every Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

You Can Make Palm Springs Your Home for Retirement!

As a prime vacation destination in Southern California, there are plenty of Palm Springs activities to enjoy! But what if you want unlimited time to enjoy all that this sunny oasis has to offer? 55places can help with that!

We specialize in helping 55+ homebuyers discover what’s next. We have a network of local real estate agents, and they are ready to help you purchase your dream home in the perfect active adult community in Palm Springs. Contact us today to take the first step towards a California retirement!

Discover what’s next.

To learn more information or connect with a real estate expert, contact us today.

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and 55places.com.
Details here.

We're here to help! (800) 928-2055

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I agree that 55places and its affiliates, partner providers or agents may call, text, or email me about my inquiry, which may be made with automated means. I understand that my consent is not a prerequisite for buying a property. I may revoke my consent at any time by contacting optout@55places.com. Message/data rates may apply. I also agree to 55places.com’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

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