Discover local attractions, events and things to do
BY KELLEY HUSKEY
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
U.S. Presidents, dating back to Dwight Eisenhower, have visited and fallen in love with the beautiful desert. They’ve come for business, to meet with presidents and dignitaries and also to relax and play a round of golf. After their retirement, Eisenhower and Gerald Ford bought homes here, and Barack Obama is rumored to have expressed an interest in doing the same.
But there is more to the desert than golf courses, country clubs and tennis.
Palm Desert and its surrounding cities have become a hub for arts and entertainment. In the 18 mile stretch between Palm Desert and Palm Springs, there are many ways to pass the time, including taking an off-road Hummer tour of the San Andreas Fault, enjoying live theater, soaring high above the desert on a hot air balloon ride, attending a concert at one of many venues and many, many art galleries. You don’t have to travel far to visit:
McCallum Theater (73000 Fred Waring Dr, Palm Desert)
Ticket prices: vary
With just over 1100 seats, McCallum Theater hosts live theater, musical concerts, magic shows and an open-call talent competition.
Living Desert Zoo and Gardens (47900 Portola Ave, Palm Desert)
Ticket prices: $19.95 (adult). Open 7 days a week, 9-5
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens specializes in the deserts of the world. There are more than 450 animals found in their natural setting.
Palm Springs Celebrity Tours (4741 E Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs)
Ticket prices: $49
A 36 passenger luxury bus will take you to visit famous neighborhoods and legendary secret spots while learning the history of the stars. See the homes of Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Sonny and Cher, Bob Hope, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and dozens more.
The Palm Springs Rich & Famous Tour – (4741 E Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs)
Ticket prices: $40.
This one and a half hour tour allows you to see dozens of celebrity homes in the City of Palm Springs. These homes belonged to Bob Hope, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Liz Taylor, Ronald Reagan, Marilyn Monroe and dozens more.
College of the Desert Street Fair – (43500 Monterey Ave., Palm Desert)
Open Saturdays and Sundays from 7 am – 2 pm
Spend your day with an open-air shaded shopping experience with more than 300 merchants, artists, a farmer’s market, live entertainment, gourmet food and much more.
Desert Tasty Tours (El Paseo walking food tour)
Ticket price: $69
Monday through Saturday, 11:30 – 2:30 pm
You can expect to visit 5-6 tasting stops along your three-hour, narrated walking tour on El Paseo. Learn about special herbs and spices, and appreciate public art as you stroll along the El Paseo shopping district
Ticket prices: vary
* Tristone Palm Desert 10 Cinemas at Westfield Palm Desert – 72840 CA-111, Palm Desert
* Century Theaters at The River – 71800 Hwy 111, Rancho Mirage
* Desert IMAX – 68510 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Cathedral City
* Mary Pickford Theater – 36850 Pickfair St., Cathedral City
* Regal Cinemas Rancho Mirage Stadium 16 – 72777 Dinah Shore Dr., Rancho Mirage
* Regal Palm Springs Stadium 9 – 789 Tahquitz Canyon Dr., Palm Springs
Sunny Cycle PS (285 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs)
Price: $27 per person
Public Electric Pedal Tour
Two hour ride/tour allows passengers to pedal for awhile, then stop for a refreshment and/or appetizer then mount the bike again and pedal on! Sunny Cycle is engineered on a technology platform with flat screen TV, stereo sound system, USB port phone chargers, misters, under-carriage and under-canopy lighting and an electric motor assist function that relieves riders of the burden of pedaling on uphill grades, assists coming off of red lights and otherwise accommodates all rider capabilities.
El Paseo Cruise Night (73545 El Paseo, Palm Desert)
First and Third Friday of each month, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Get a close-up look at lovingly cared for cars on the upper level of The Gardens on El Paseo parking structure, then watch them cruise El Paseo between Highway 74 and Portola.
Hot Air Balloon Rides
Price: $199-$229 per passenger
Magical Adventures Balloon Rides – Palm Desert Sunrise or Sunset Balloon Ride. Enjoy a shared sunrise or sunset balloon flight over the polo fields, orchards, homes and majestic mountain ranges of Coachella Valley. Your experience includes a one hour or balloon ride, champagne, juice or mimosa toast, cheese plate, flight certificate and souvenir pictures.
Jeep Hummer and ATV Rides (74880 Country Club Drive Palm Desert, CA 92260)
Price: $129 per person
Adventure Hummer Tours – San Andreas Fault Explorer. This 3 hour adventure takes you into the anyons of the San Andreas Fault at sunset, far from where you can go on your own – on a goldmine trail that follows the Big Horn to where you will encounter some of the oldest canyons on the planet – over 2 billion years old (the same age as the bottom of the Grand Canyon).
Red Barn (73290 Highway 111, Palm Desert)
Roc’s Firehouse Grille (36891 Cook St., Palm Desert)
Tommy Bahama Restaurant (73595 El Paseo, Palm Desert)
The Hood Bar & Pizza (74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert)
Shanghai Red’s (235 S Indian Canyon Dr., Palm Springs)
Paint Nite (Locations vary)
Price: $45, includes supplies
Create art at a local restaurant or bar, guided by a professional artist and party host. No experience necessary, and all supplies are provided. Event lasts approximately two hours, at the end of which you get to take home your new masterpiece.
Art galleries (Palm Desert and Palm Springs)
– The Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert – 72567 Highway 111, Palm Desert
– CODA Gallery – 73400 El Paseo, Ste. B-1, Palm Desert
– Heather James Fine Art – 45188 Portola Ave., Palm Desert
– Melissa Morgan Fine Art – 73040 El Paseo, Palm Desert
– Elena Bulatova Fine Art – 232 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs and 73190 El Paseo, Palm Desert
First Friday at The Galen (Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert – 72567 Highway 111, Palm Desert)
First Friday of each month, 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Celebrate with live music in the outdoor Faye Sarkowsky Sculpture Garden. Docent tours of the current exhibition are available.
El Paseo Art Walk (multiple locations)
First Friday of every month – 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
A self-guided tour of El Paseo’s art galleries featuring exhibit openings and artist receptions