Things to Do Near El Paseo
Meet Some Critters
The nonprofit Living Desert Zoo and Gardens houses more than 500 animals and a magnificent variety of plant species that are native to the world’s desert regions. Creature encounters include feeding the giraffes and walking with wallabies.
Enjoy a Live Performance
Get a Bird’s Eye View
Highway 74 is known as the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway because it rises from the palm-studded desert floor to the forested mountaintops. The full route will take you 67 miles through the preserved wilderness, but you need drive only 9 miles from El Paseo to reach Vista Point, a popular lookout spot that surveys the Coachella Valley.
Hit the Greens
Stroll a Sculpture Garden
At the Faye Sarkowski Sculpture Garden, paved pathways wind through a 4-acre oasis of native flora and modern sculptures from artists including Betty Gold, Yehiel Shemi, and Felipe Castañeda. The garden is open daily from sunrise to sunset.
Learn Local History
See where it all began! The collection of archival photographs and documents on display at the Palm Desert Historical Society Museum showcases the city’s settlers and development, dating back to the early 1900s.
Picnic at the Park
Grab some takeout at one of the fabulous restaurants on El Paseo and head to Civic Center Park to eat alfresco by the lake. This recreational haven is the city’s largest park and host to regular events including outdoor concerts and movie screenings.
Visit the National Monument
The Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument climbs from the low desert to an elevation of 10,834 feet. Stop by the visitor center on Highway 74 to learn about the land and pick up a map. Then explore the short Ed Hastey Garden Trail, which circles the building, using the augmented-reality app Agents of Discovery, available on Google Play and the App Store.
Make a Splash
With three sparkling pools, multiple waterslides and diving boards, and a fun fountain playground, it’s easy to spend the whole afternoon swimming at Palm Desert Aquatic Center. Exercise classes, swim lessons, and cabana rentals are available. Palm Desert residents get a discount.