Shields Date Garden
It’s a fact: Palm Springs and The Coachella Valley are the “Date Capital of the World.” And, by that, we don’t mean canoodling twosomes, but rather the fabulous date fruit. Shields Date Garden, which dates back (no pun intended) to the 1920s, is a no-frills operation. The family-owned business still grows its own dates without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. The storefront features every date imaginable, and you can taste test, too. Out back is the café where you can enjoy breakfast or lunch. No visit is complete without ordering one of Shields famous date shakes.
The Living Desert
If you want to see some of the other desert inhabitants (those you won’t find lounging poolside), then check out The Living Desert and its 450 wild animals. This enchanting zoo and botanical garden represent the desert environments of North America and Africa and boast 1,200 protected acres. Enjoy live animal shows, stroll through the gardens, trek along hiking trails, take a tram ride or visit the model train exhibit.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Climb aboard the world’s largest rotating trams as you embark on a ten-minute journey scaling the sheer cliffs of Chino Canyon, passing through several climate zones. Once you reach the top, diversions include hiking or guided nature walks if the weather is warmer, and cross-country skiing or snowshoeing during the winter. Lunch and dinner are served at the Peaks Restaurant and Pines Café, both offering breathtaking views. The first tram departs at 10 a.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. weekends with the final descent at 9:45 p.m. Keep in mind that even when temps are baking down below, it can get nippy up on top of San Jacinto Mountain.