California Deserts Travel Guide

Areas to Explore

Cathedral City
Desert Hot Springs
Indian Wells
Indio
La Quinta
Palm Desert
Palm Springs
Rancho Mirage

California Deserts Area information

Discover Music and More with Our California Desert Vacation Rentals

Your Oasis Adventure Awaits

Everyone’s heard of the Coachella Music and Arts Festival that takes place in the spring, but there are plenty of other great experiences you can have here year-round. With nine cities spread across a beautiful desert oasis, there are so many things to do in Coachella Valley you can’t possibly experience it all in just one trip. From world-class golf courses and casinos, blissful spas, and retreats and family-friendly activities, the Greater Palm Springs area is truly rich in visitor experiences.

A Southern California Dream Destination

From country club condos with resort-like amenities to beautiful luxury houses in quiet neighborhoods and city condos in the heart of all the action, our vacation rentals in the California desert are just what you need to make your vacation memorable. Whether your journey brings you to Cathedral City, Palm Springs, or Indian Wells, there’s a vacation home that’s both conveniently located and inviting.

Top Sights in California Deserts

Palm Springs Art Museum

The Palm Springs Art Museum and The Architecture + Design Center—both located in sunny Palm Springs—are two essential museums to visit. The Palm Springs Art Museum houses an extensive collection from Warhol to Picasso, and is considered cultural hub of the Coachella Valley. The Architecture + Design Center focuses on the exploration of architecture and design, and admission to this museum is free.

San Andreas Fault

The San Andreas Fault is the most famous geological feature in North America, where the North American and Pacific tectonic plates meet. This visible geological boundary runs about 800 miles through California is notorious for causing the infamous 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. It’s a popular sight for geology buffs and nature enthusiasts, with educational tours and unguided hikes.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is the world’s largest rotating tram car, offering one-of-a-kind views of the breathtaking cliffs of Chino Canyon. Riders are transported to an elevation of over 8,500 feet to the pristine wilderness of the Mt. San Jacinto State Park. Enjoy two restaurants with spectacular views, a natural history museum and gift shop, and over 50 miles of hiking trails. It’s one of the most popular Coachella Valley attractions—and rightly so.

Top Experiences in California Deserts

Explore the Living Desert

For almost 40 years, The Living Desert has engaged in the important work of preserving, conserving, and interpreting the desert plant and animal life. Nestled at the foot of the Santa Rosa Mountains, this nature preserve includes a zoo where the whole family can see bobcats, giraffes, zebras, cheetahs and more as they roam the desert landscape. There’s botanical garden too, and both are open year-round.

Take a Wild Ride

Go on an exciting 4-hour tour through Joshua Tree National Park while learning about its ecosystem and history from your guide. Take the back roads to the park and see the natural beauty of the area, including the third largest oasis in the world and some of the oldest canyons on the planet, located right on the San Andreas Fault. Learn about the local Cahuilla Indians and visit the cabin of the first settler who lived in the area. It’s an outdoor experience like no other—just don’t forget the snacks!

Get Soaked with the Kids

Cool off at Wet ’n’ Wild, which includes the 600-foot Sunset River, Pacific Spin raft ride, and Kahuna's Beach House. Get soaked with water curtains, hose jets, and a 1,000-gallon dropping bucket. Hang-ten in the middle of the desert on Flow Rider, a surfing or boogey-boarding experience on simulated waves. And after the sun goes down, watch a film on the wave pool with Dive-in Movies.

Pet Friendly Places

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Bring the whole family on vacation!

Great for Groups

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Get away for some quality time.

Beach Breaks

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Escape to sun, sand, and surf.

Golf Getaways

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Make tee time your only responsibility.

Adventure Vacations

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Relax, unwind, and let the outside in.

Ski Vacations

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Slide into your winter vacation with ease!