10 Best Museums in Palm Springs for Art Lovers, History Buffs and Families

Marissa Willman

By , Local Expert, Palm Springs
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Palm Springs is well known as the ultimate resort destination, ripe with golf courses, swimming pools and enviable weather all year long. As such, the Coachella Valley's collection of museums might surprise you. There's something for everyone to discover and enjoy in Palm Springs' museums, from World War II history and the culture of the native Cahuilla people to contemporary art exhibits and pristine gardens.

The downtown Palm Springs area has a number of museums for you to choose from. The Palm Springs Art Museum houses contemporary and modern art exhibits from some of the finest artists in the world. In recent years, the...  Read more »

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    Palm Springs Art Museum

    The Palm Springs Art Museum is home to both world-class contemporary art and cultural pieces that reflect the desert's native past.

    Local Expert Tip: "Drop by on Thursday afternoons or the second Sunday of each month for free admission."

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    Palm Springs Air Museum

    Staffed largely by veterans, the Palm Springs Air Museum is home to one of the world's largest collections of flyable WWII planes.

    Local Expert Tip: "You can see the museum's historic planes take to the sky on holidays like Memorial Day."

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    Sunnylands is the "Camp David of the West," and the A. Quincy Jones-designed property is a must-see for lovers of politics and modern architecture.

    Local Expert Tip: "The Sunnylands Center and Garden is open year-round, but if you want to see the estate, you'll need tickets. Tickets are released online on the 1st and 15th of each month for tours during the following two weeks."

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    Children's Discovery Museum of the Desert

    The Children's Discovery Museum of the Desert is home to hands-on exhibits that focus on educational entertainment for all ages.

    Local Expert Tip: "Don't miss a chance to paint a real Volkswagen Beetle. The permanent exhibit is constantly evolving as visitors add their own creative flair, so be sure to leave your mark!"

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    Cabot's Pueblo Museum

    Cabot's Pueblo Museum is a surviving testament to the perseverance of America's original homesteaders....  Read more »

    Local Expert Tip: "Around the corner from the museum, you can visit Miracle Hill. This is where Cabot first found both hot and cold water aquifers running underground."

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    Agua Caliente Cultural Museum

    The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum showcases the native history of Palm Springs and the Cahuilla Indians.

    Local Expert Tip: "The museum hosts an annual traditional bird-singing festival and Native American film festival, both of which are not to be missed."

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    Ruddy's General Store Museum

    Ruddy's General Store Museum is a nostalgic re-imagining of an authentic 1940s general store. It is filled...  Read more »

    Local Expert Tip: "The General Store Museum is right next to the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum and McCallum Adobe. All three museums are relatively short visits, so plan to visit them all in one trip."

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    Coachella Valley History Museum

    The Coachella Valley History Museum is home to historic buildings, the Coachella Valley Historical Society's research archives and several gardens.

    Local Expert Tip: "Spend an hour or so with a volunteer guide, who can walk you through the history of the various rooms and exhibits. "

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    McCallum Adobe

    The McCallum Adobe is run by the Palm Springs Historical Society and is the oldest remaining building in Palm Springs.

    Local Expert Tip: "The museum is closed seasonally during the summer months, so plan your visit accordingly."

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    General George Patton Memorial Museum

    General George Patton Memorial Museum is filled with history of World War II and General Patton. You can...  Read more »

    Local Expert Tip: "Don't miss the West Coast Vietnam Memorial Wall, a recent addition to the museum."



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