Culture + Style

On a Budget? How to Visit Posh Palm Springs Without Breaking the Bank

Explore Palm Springs art galleries and working studios on an Art Walk. (Photo: Kelly Truscott)

Palm Springs may celebrate financial indulgence, but that doesn’t mean a trip to this luxe desert outpost has to break the bank. Visitors who need to keep spending in check (hey, isn’t that most of us?) can still experience the best this resort town has to offer. Stroll through an art walk, visit one of the area’s acclaimed local museums, or explore the hundreds of acres of dunes and mesas in the magnificent surrounding desert.

From Starving Artists to Hollywood Stars

Home to a dozen art galleries and working studios, the local Palm Springs art community welcomes visitors to explore paintings, ceramics, photography, and more. You’ll find eclectic works created by both national and international artists. On the first Wednesday of each month from 6 pm to 9 pm, the Backstreet Art District’s Art Walk invites guests to meet local resident artists and learn about their work.

Palm Springs Walk of Stars
Talk a stroll along Palm Springs Walk of Stars. (Photo: M. Sobreira / Alamy)

If celebrity culture is your style, head to Palm Springs Walk of Stars, which includes sidewalks along Palm Canyon Drive, Tahquitz Canyon Way, and Museum Drive. Each of the golden stars honors a resident of the Palm Springs resort community, who contributed to the recognition of Palm Springs in the fields of show business, sports, military, literary, civic, and humanitarian achievement.

Culture (and Air Conditioning)

Palm Springs Museum of Art
Get a culture fix at the Palm Springs Museum of Art. (Photo: nik wheeler / Alamy)

The warm temperatures and endless sunshine in this desert resort town can leave you longing for a reprieve. But there’s no reason to hide out in your Palm Springs hotel’s air-conditioned room. Palm Springs Art Museum offers weekly free admission to the public at its downtown and Palm Desert locations. The downtown museum houses contemporary art, Native American art, and architecture holdings. Surrounded by the four-acre Faye Sarkowsky Sculpture Garden, the Palm Desert location features changing exhibitions.

Admission is always free at The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, which celebrates artwork and artifacts from the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, as well as other indigenous people. The museum hosts and organizes temporary exhibitions and annual events, including the Native FilmFest.

Walk on the Wild Side

Joshua Tree National Park
Hikers trek near Barker Dam in Joshua Tree National Park. (Photo: Ben Barden / Alamy)

Hit one of the trails and boardwalks of Big Morongo Canyon Reserve, which spans more than 30,000 acres from the Little San Bernardino Mountains to the Mojave Desert. This area is home to an impressive variety of wildlife, including mule deer, desert bighorn sheep, red diamond rattlesnakes, and California tree frogs.Several Palm Spring hotels can help organize adventures in the Coachella Valley Preserve, where there are more than 25 miles of desert trails to hike. Stretch your legs as you discover the native wildflowers and birds that make this spot their home at the foot of Indio Hills.


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