Coachella Travel

The Top Things To Do in Coachella Valley

Music festival season is upon us! And whether you’re in the desert for the Coachella or Stagecoach, you gotta check out all that Coachella Valley and Greater Palm Springs have to offer. Although the festivals are all located in the Coachella Valley, world-class artwork, global wine tasting, and breathtaking desert views are just a hop and a skip away. So budget some time for a few Instagram-worthy stops on your drive to the festival, or even on the drive back. You could even break away from the campgrounds during the weekend before the performances and parties start. But no matter how you spend your time, here is our list of the best things to do in Coachella Valley.

Palm Springs Art Museum

Location: 101 N Museum Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262

The Palm Springs Art Museum is the perfect stop on your way to Coachella for the weekend.  With free admission on Thursday nights, you will see paintings, photographs, and sculptures from around the world. Specifically, their exhibition on Norman Zammitt is so vibrant and soothing. He was a pioneer of the Light and Space art movement, so all of his works feel very out-of-this-world (& are great for a photo op!) And in the heart of Downtown Palm Springs, there are plenty of restaurants and boutiques in case you need to stop for a snack or for some last minute shopping. Or if you’re dying to see more artwork, check out the Palm Springs Architecture and Design Center. Its gorgeous building was designed by E. Stewart Williams, and has exhibitions on Mexican graphic design and American architecture.

Wine and Tee Time at The Classic Club

Location: 75-200 Classic Club Blvd, Palm Desert, CA 92211

The Classic Club is a championship golf course that was designed by pro-golf legend, Arnold Palmer. And like the golf star, this club is iconic. Not only is their course gorgeous, but it is perfect for golfers of all experience levels.  They have a wide variety of golf holes, giving you and your friends an adventurous 9-hole or 18-hole experience that isn’t overwhelming. And as a part of your green fee, they will give you a free towel and a $25 food voucher to enjoy at their two restaurants and beverage cart. Also, on Saturday, April 13, 2024 from 11am-3pm, Bellatrix restaurant is hosting their Classic Club Wine Expo. At this event, they will celebrate wine from around the world as well as their regionally-sourced ingredients so they can create an immersive wine tasting experience. This experience is priced at $75/person, but if you book early, you score a reservation for only $60! Click here for more info. Or if you aren’t at Coachella week one to enjoy this one-time-only event, schedule a wine tasting at Jalama Wines in Downtown Palm Springs.

Dinner at Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey

Location: 1556 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Modern meets traditional at Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey. Chef Engin Onural takes a cosmopolitan perspective on traditional Japanese cuisine. Their signature dishes like their duck liver mousse, shredded duck bao buns, and black mussels are to die for. But if you want an extra special experience, try sampling the Sandfish tasting menu. The six-course gastronomical experience includes salad, as well as classic, maki, and hand rolls. But regardless if you go for the tasting menu or a-la-carte, don’t forget to order one of their famous whiskey cocktails.

A ride on Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Location: 1 Tramway Rd, Palm Springs, CA 92262

8,516 feet above the ground, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is an Instagram-worthy stop on your trip to Coachella Valley. While you’re on top of the world, enjoy panoramic views of Chino Canyon from the largest rotating tram car in the world. And when you arrive at Mountain Station, don’t forget to take a photo from their observation deck, facing Mt. San Jacinto State Park.

Hiking at Joshua tree

Location: 74485 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277-3597

Joshua Tree is not just a world-famous camping destination, but it is an epic spot for stargazing, wilderness backpacking, and rock climbing. Home to funky Joshua trees, diverse wildlife and rock formations, the national park is perfect for a serene camping experience after your musical weekend at Coachella. But unlike camping on the Coachella Valley campgrounds, there are few resources out in Joshua Tree. Be sure to bring extra camping supplies like gallon-jugs of water and plenty of snacks, so you stay hydrated in the desert climate. And FYI, cell phone reception is at a premium, so be sure to go with friends. And so you don’t forget any essentials, check out our essential packing list for camping here.

Wanna party in the desert? Check out the best pool parties at Coachella here.