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Palm Desert is a city of 53,000 people (2018) in the desert of California between Palm Springs and Indio. It lies in the Coachella Valley at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains. The city is home to many golf courses, attractions, luxury hotels and shops, and spas that make the region a famous getaway for much of Southern California.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

By car[edit]

Palm Desert and the Coachella Valley from Hwy 74

is the main artery serving the Coachella Valley. From Los Angeles, take Interstate 10 east towards San Bernardino, Indio, and Phoenix. Palm Desert is about a two-hour drive if traffic is not heavy. Weekend getaway traffic can be very heavy. Exiting Monterey Avenue or Cook Street and heading south puts you in the heart of the city.

descends the San Jacinto Mountains into the city from the south. Travelers from the San Diego should head north on I-15, south-east on State Hwy 79 (Temecula Pkwy at exit 58 in Temecula) and then east on State Hwy 371 until it meets with Route 74. Chains may be required on this route in the winter. CA-74 ends at its intersection with CA-11 in the heart of the city. The road itself continues north into town as Monterey Ave.

begins at Exit 111 of I-10, west of Palm Springs, serves a main throroughfare through Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells and Palm Desert with shops, strips malls, restaurants and hotels lined up along the road. East of Indio Highway 111 eventually goes southeast towards Brawley along the eastern shores of the Salton Sea.

By train[edit]

Nearby Palm Springs is served by Amtrak via its Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle routes, which run thrice-weekly.

Get around[edit]

Like many California cities, Palm Desert is a very car-oriented city. If you want to have a good time at all, you should rent a car at the airport. Otherwise you'd have to take the bus or walk.

By car[edit]

The main highway serving the city is State Highway 111, which links many of the Coachella Valley cities, from Palm Springs to Indio and beyond to the Mexican Border at Calexico. However, this artery has many traffic lights and lots of traffic, so if you are going far, you should consider driving out and hopping on the 10 freeway.

The Rodeo Drive of the area is El Paseo. There are lots of art galleries, shops, and restaurants along the street, which links up with Highway 111 at its ends.

By shuttle[edit]

The City of Palm Desert operates the El Paseo Courtesy Carts. The shuttle runs along El Paseo and is free of charge. Although not a viable option for seeing the entire city, it allows visitors to park their cars and see the entire El Paseo stretch.


Trail in the Living Desert
  • 1 Living Desert Zoo & Gardens, 47-900 Portola Ave, +1 760 346-5694. For close-up encounters with spectacular desert plants and animals. People of all ages will have fun. During the summer, due to extremely hot temperatures, the preserve closes at 1:30PM. Living Desert Zoo and Gardens (Q5551958) on Wikidata Living Desert Zoo and Gardens on Wikipedia
  • 2 Palm Desert Civic Center, 73510 Fred Waring Dr, +1 760 346-0611. Nice park with occasional musical performances, basketball courts, and a nice atmosphere.


  • Stroll along El Paseo between Monterey and Portola avenues. This stretch has many fine boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and shops. The free Courtesy Carts make visiting this stretch very easy.
  • 1 McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Dr, +1 760 340-2787. Has great shows going on all the time.
  • Balloon flights. There are several balloon ride companies in Palm Desert.


There are a lot of good places to shop in Palm Desert. You could probably find just about anything.

  • 1 The Gardens. A very nice shopping area on El Paseo. There are lots of good stores.
  • 2 Westfield Shoppingtown, 72840 Highway 111 Ste 166, +1 760 346-2121. Nice mall right in the heart of Palm Desert.
  • 3 The River. At Bob Hope Drive and Highway 111 in the neighboring city of Rancho Mirage. The center has great shopping with restaurants, shopping, movies, and more. There actually is a river there, too!




Go next[edit]

  • Joshua Tree National Park. This desert park is definitely worth visiting if you have at least half a day to spare. You can get there in less than an hour by going north on State Route 62. Take a minimum of four hours to do the loop from the north through the south of the park. Camping is allowed as well as rock climbing.
  • Idyllwild. Alpine scenery a short drive from Palm Desert via State Route 74 & 243, the Pines to Palms Highway.
  • Cabazon Outlets, A large outdoor shopping plaza with many stores. If you're looking for something to buy, chances are that there is a store in Cabazon that will have it.
Routes through Palm Desert
San BernardinoCathedral City  W  E  IndioBlythe
Palm SpringsRancho Mirage  N  S  Indian WellsEl Centro

This city travel guide to Palm Desert is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.