If the thought of visiting a hyped up, crowded tourist attraction makes you cringe with anxiety, this list of parks and attractions will help you plan an enjoyable trip to Palm Springs. The desert is filled with museums and landmarks that draw throngs of visitors, but there are also a number of parks and attractions that focus on a slower way of doing things.
To the north of Palm Springs, you'll find Joshua Tree National Park, which boasts two different deserts, larger than life rock formations and, of course, fields of joshua trees. You can spend a day hiking, rock climbing or sightseeing, and for unmatched views of the night sky, you can even camp overnight. If you're looking for a cooler escape, Mount San Jacinto State Park at the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway offers nature walks and hiking trails that stretch as far as Idyllwild.
If you'd rather explore the desert with a guide, Desert Adventures offers several jeep tours to Joshua Tree National Park and the San Andreas fault. And for an afternoon stroll in a garden setting, don't miss the Sunnylands Center and Gardens, which recently opened in Rancho Mirage, or Moorten Botanical Gardens in Palm Springs.
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