Fun, affordable things to see and do as a family
From Sinatra and Elvis to today’s Hollywood A-listers, showbiz folk have long favored sunny Palm Springs, California, as a desert escape from the glare of megawatt superstardom. Drive a few hours east of Los Angeles International Airport, or fly into Palm Springs International Airport, and you’ll arrive in a resort town where, contrary to popular belief, you won’t need a movie star’s bankroll to have a blast.
It’s true that some signature activities, like spa treatments and rounds of golf, can be expensive, but there is much affordable fun to be had on a family vacation in and around Palm Springs. From kid-friendly activities to art gallery hopping, it’s all here under the Coachella Valley sun.
1. Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Ride the world’s largest rotating aerial tramway, whisking you from the desert floor to near the top of piney San Jacinto Peak in 10 minutes. Walk the web of mountain hiking trails (in winter you can rent snowshoes and cross-country skis), snap selfies at the scenic overlooks and grab a bite at the Mountain Station building, which houses a restaurant, cafe and lounge that boast sweeping views of the starkly beautiful valley. Money-saving tip: After 4 p.m., the Ride ‘n’ Dine package gets you a tram ticket and dinner at the cafeteria-style Pines Café for $36 for those ages 13 and up and $23.50 for children ages 3 to 10.