One of our most popular spots for vacation rentals is Palm Springs, CA, a desert paradise that delights and entertains visitors with a bustling arts and culture scene. Over the years, Palm Springs has become a cultural hub for independent artists, musicians, performance artists and wandering spirits to share their love for art with anyone and everyone who passes through. From intimate art shows to roaring festivals, it will be easy to find cool things to do in Palm Springs at any time of year.
If you happen to be here for the spring arts festival season, you won’t want to spend a moment indoors. Grab your camera, throw on your walking shoes, and head out the door to check out some of the best public art installations in the nation. A walking tour through the community of La Quinta features memorable pieces such as a 20 foot high bronze sculpture of a horse and rider, and a powerful 9/11 memorial monument incorporating wreckage from the World Trade Center site.
For the museum buffs, a stop at the Palm Springs Arts Museum is a must. Founded nearly eight decades ago, this museum offers a collection on par with any major American metropolis. Though the original collection featured a predominantly Native American artifact collection, it has expanded to include works from art heavyweights like Antony Gormley, Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Ansel Adams. With 150,000 square feet to explore, you’ll want to give yourself time to visit its photography and glass architecture-inspired exhibits. If you’re on a tight budget, Thursday evenings are free of charge from 4-8pm.
If festivals are more your thing, look no further. Los Angeles may have Beverly Hills, but when the Palm Springs International Film Festival rolls into town, all of Hollywood arrives in style. Every January, some 140,000 film buffs amass to watch the likes of Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Julia Roberts grace the silver screen. If rubbing shoulders with the paparazzi isn’t your thing, check out Modernism Week in February, a unique festival dedicated to celebrating mid-century modern culture, design, fashion, art, and architecture. The festival brings 40,000 visitors from across the country to its series of showcases, art installations, lectures, films, and home tours.
This is a mere sampling of what the arts and culture scene in Palm Springs has to offer. The only trouble you may have is finding time to fit it all in. January to April are ideal times to visit for large festivals and if you’re here during the rest of the year, museums, intimate theaters, outdoor art, and seasonal art markets await.
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