City Orientation Walk (Self Guided), Palm Springs

Palm Springs is a wonderful city surrounded by desert and mountains, and it is interesting how in such a geographic location a beautiful, tourist-attracting city was born. Take this tour to see and visit some of the most engaging sights in Palm Springs.
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City Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk
Guide Location: USA » Palm Springs (See other walking tours in Palm Springs)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 km
Author: Dee
1
Palm Springs Convention Center

1) Palm Springs Convention Center (must see)

Site of the fabulous Palm Springs Film Festival Gala, as well as of many conference events and exhibits, the Palm Springs Convention Center is a 245,000 sq ft (22,800 m2) convention center located in the downtown area. Architect William Pereira designed the original building in 1974. In 2005, the Convention Center completed a massive expansion, adding over 100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2). It can accommodate groups from 12 to 12,000 people. The new design, by Fentress Architects, pulls colors and design elements from the surrounding desert. Additional meeting space is available at the attached 410 room convention hotel.

Why You Should Visit:
While you may not want to go spend your time in a convention center, if you have a reason to, this one is definitely a great facility – check the events schedule online!
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Palm Springs Art Museum

2) Palm Springs Art Museum (must see)

The Palm Springs Art Museum (formerly the Palm Springs Desert Museum) was founded in 1938 and has become the regional Art, Natural Science and Performing Arts institution for Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley.

In 1982 the Museum earned national accreditation from the American Association of Museums. After a two-year process of self-evaluation in 1993/94, the Museum was commended as one of the country's extraordinary institutions and received subsequent accreditation until 2005. Today the permanent collection consists of more than 24,000 objects. 12,000 objects include fine art, fine art photography, photographic archives, Native American art, Mesoamerican art and artifacts from other cultures. The natural science collections are categorized in geology, biology and archaeology. 12,000 specimens include ceramics, lithics, tools, weapons, minerals, fossils, rocks, casts of fossils, herbaria, mounted invertebrates, preserved amphibians and reptiles, study skins and whole mounts of birds and mammals.

Why You Should Visit:
World class establishment with many special events throughout the year.
The art is well-grouped for viewing and appreciation, spacious and roomy to explore.

Tip:
Start on the topmost floor and work your way down to the main floor. Make sure to get to the fun basement, too!

Opening hours:
Fri-Tue: 10am-5pm;
Free admission on Thursdays after 4pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Palm Springs Walk of Stars

3) Palm Springs Walk of Stars

The Palm Springs Walk of Stars is a historical attraction of Palm Springs. It is the place that represent the great value of the famous people and their worldwide importance. It was established in 1992 still honoring famous stars with a Golden Palm Star entrenched on the pathways of Palm Springs. There are already 329 stars. It is a tourist attraction and it also is an evidence of the past of Palm Springs.
4
Plaza Theatre

4) Plaza Theatre

Plaza Theatre, also called Fabulous Palm Springs Follies because of the extraordinary holiday productions. It is considered one of the most important landmarks in Palm Springs. It is a famous throughout the world theatre because of the shows completed with music, dance and comedy. The visitors can admire movies since 1930’s, 40’s and even 60’s. During the show there are usually invited famous stars and the well-known Line of Long-Legged Lovelies.
5
Agua Caliente Cultural Museum

5) Agua Caliente Cultural Museum (must see)

The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum is an association where the culture and history of the Cahuilla peoples are interpreted. It was founded in 1991 and it shows characteristics of this long-established culture in the heart of Palm Springs. The museum exhibits artifacts, jewelry, music and photographs of the indigenous Cahuilla Indians, as well as organizing tours and special events, plus other activities. Now the museum has a mission to build another facility of this kind to extend the tribe's traditions and teach the new generations to share this way of life with others. Their new 100,000 sq ft facility is planned to open in 2020.

Why You Should Visit:
To learn about the beautiful culture, and to get an insight into how early inhabitants were able to live in this desert.

Tip:
Check out the lovely garden in back, which relates to many plants used by the area's early, tribal residents.
Also, consider visiting the nearby Indian Canyons afterwards.

Opening Hours:
Wed-Sun: 10am-5pm (Sep-May); Fri-Sun: 10am-5pm (Jun-Aug)
6
Ruddy's General Store Museum

6) Ruddy's General Store Museum (must see)

The Ruddy's General Store Museum represents the past, especially the 1930s and early 1940s. It is filled with general store merchandise and fixtures collected by a depression-era liquidator and kept in a basement for 40 years. Everything is authentic – no recreations – and over 95% of the items are filled with their original contents. Hardware, clothing, food, pharmacy, board games, tobacco, cleaning products, etc., etc., – and the docent is there to answer any questions. Admission is only $1.00 and well worth the time. Much fun!

Why You Should Visit:
Not a place to shop but a fun place to remember items from the past and giggle at what folks used to buy!
Neighboring this museum are other mini-museums that are free/donation if desired, so it is worth the trip.

Tip:
Be sure to ask the guide what some of her favorite items are and she'll point out some hidden gems.

Opening Hours:
Thu-Sun: 10am-4pm
7
Palm Springs Historical Society & Village Green

7) Palm Springs Historical Society & Village Green (must see)

The Palm Springs Historical Society was established in 1955 by Melba Berry Bennett. It is housed in The Village Green Heritage Center that occupies two 19th century buildings, The McCallum Adobe Museum and Miss Cornelia White's "Little House". These pioneer houses find themselves in a picturesque park-like setting surrounded by hotels, shops and restaurants.

The McCallum Adobe is the city's oldest standing edifice, erected in 1884 for John McCallum, the first permanent white resident. Inside it features a large number of photographs, paintings, clothing, tools, books, and Indian ware dating back to the earliest days of Palm Springs. Miss Cornelia White's “Little House” was constructed from railroad ties in 1893 by the city's first hotel owner, Dr. Welwood Murray. It holds a collection of donated antiques.

Why You Should Visit:
Nice central hub of local history; a nice convenient way to immerse yourself quickly in everything from Native American life to early settler architecture to lifestyle and community growth.

Tip:
The Historical Society offers several walking tours in the 2-mile, 2-hr range. Most walks are wisely offered at 9:30am (before it gets too hot out) and you learn a great deal about Palm Springs history and future. The information is available on their website and you can buy tickets.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-4pm
Free admission
8
Coachella Valley Savings No. 2

8) Coachella Valley Savings No. 2 (must see)

Coachella Valley Savings No. 2 (also known as Washington Mutual, and Chase Bank) is a historic building located in Palm Springs, California. The building is a fine example of the short span of time that master architect E. Stewart Williams used the International Style of architecture for commercial buildings in the early 1960s. It features a flat roof, deep overhangs, steel-frame construction, and a lack of applied ornamentation. The most prominent feature of the structure are the inverted arches of reinforced concrete that rise to form columns that hold up the roof. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016.
9
Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium

9) Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium (must see)

Established in 1939, the Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium is a 1-acre (4,000 m²) family-owned botanical garden specializing in cacti and other desert plants from different regions like Arizona, Mexico, Africa, Texas and other. There are also outdoor collections that consist of many other beautiful species like Caesalpinia, Euphorbia, Gymnocalycium, and even a dozen Aloes of southern Africa and Madagascar. The entire number of examples is approximately 3,000. Even though the focus of the garden is succulents, there is plenty of shade cover protecting you from the hot sun and if feels nice and cool.

Why You Should Visit:
To explore one of the best succulent collections in SoCal – there's a pretty exciting section of rare varieties!

Tip:
There are lots of plants to buy, starting at $1 for little baby plants and going up depending on size. Tons of variety!
Staff is helpful in answering all questions on what plants to pick for your purpose and any other general questions.

Opening Hours:
Daily (exc. Wednesdays): 10am-4pm (Sep 22–Jun 20); Daily (exc. Wednesdays): 9am-1pm (Jun 21–Sep 21)
Tours are given from late fall to mid-spring by Master Gardener volunteer docents – usually between 10:30am-12pm – and are free with the price of admission.

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