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Arts and Culture in Palm Springs

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Palm Springs isn’t just about the nightlife, the partying, and high-end lifestyle. The natural beauty of the desert landscape has long inspired artists and writers who have taken up residence here, and there’s a thriving creative scene which anyone hungry for a bit of culture can sink their teeth into.

 

Art galleries

 

There are several small, independently owned galleries whose paintings and sculptures reflect the beauty of the surrounding Palm Springs landscape. And if you’re after a larger distraction, here’s just the thing...

 

Palm Springs Art Museum

 

Founded back in the 1930s, Palm Springs Art Museum is a major cultural gem tucked within the Coachella Valley. Permanent exhibits include Mesoamerican art from South America, Native American works, and modern art from Europe and America. More than enough to lose yourself in on a long and mind-expanding afternoon.

 

101 North Museum Drive, Palm Springs CA 92262. Tel:+1 760 322 4800

 

Palm Springs Art Museum website
Historic buildings

 

Palm Springs has a rich history spanning from the days of Native American settlements to its era as a playground for Hollywood greats. This means you'll see many fascinating historic buildings and homes in the area, with architecture from across the epochs.

 

The O'Donnell House

 

Set high in the mountains, with sweeping views over the red rooftops of Palm Springs, this charming 1920s home was once owned by multimillionaire oil tycoons. Built at a time when Palm Springs was known as a health resort, it's a reflective and peaceful spot, surrounded by tall palm trees and rolling landscapes.

 

412 West Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs CA 92262. Tel:+1 800 525 7634

 

The O'Donnell House website

 

Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway

 

Built as a 'house of tomorrow' in the 60s, this retro-futuristic abode became a hideaway for Elvis and Priscilla Presley. Since then it has been perfectly preserved to show the house as it was decorated back then, with the modernist architecture and furniture kept perfectly intact, giving it a kitsch, almost sci-fi-like atmosphere. Plus, you get to step inside the very room where the King once slept.

 

1350 Ladera Circle, Palm Springs CA 92262. Tel:+1 760 322 1192

 

Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway website

 

Theaters

 

There are several small, independent theaters in the Palm Springs area, with shows by local groups as well as touring productions which provide a dose of escapism and drama for locals and tourists alike.

 

Annenberg Theatre

 

This unique space is part of the Palm Springs art museum, and the Annenberg Theater has screens on all walls, allowing for live performances, screenings, or a mixture of both. For a small theater, it attracts an admirable number of big names, with Broadway performers and touring shows stopping here on a regular basis.

 

101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs CA 92262. Tel:+1 760 322 4800

 

Annenberg Theatre website

 

Palm Canyon Theatre

 

Palm Canyon Theatre is a lively community performance space, and you'll find a calendar full of kid's shows, amateur theater, and local events. You can also enjoy visits from touring groups, and an audience-pleasingly diverse selection of plays.

 

538 North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262. Tel:+1 760-323-5123

 

Palm Canyon Theatre website

 

Museums

 

From the earliest days of settlement, to its transformation into a health resort and party hotspot, the museums of Palm Springs tell the fascinating tale of how things have changed in this sumptuous sun-dappled region.

 

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum

 

This interactive and lively museum tells the story of the Agua Caliente band of Cahuilla Indians, and the saga of their survival through the passing centuries. With exhibitions showing how the local Native Americans lived across varying eras, you can explore a traditional hut, see handmade crafts, or explore history via video screens and colorful exhibits.

 

219 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs CA 92262. Tel:+1 760 323 0151

 

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum website