During your long weekend getaway or extended vacation, you want to do something different and surround yourself with things that are both relaxing and stimulating. The arts have it all, from music to innovative ideas on canvas, all of which can destress the buildup from everyday life.
The art scene of Palm Springs can take you away on a sea of enjoyment to a variety of venues where you can explore different mediums in unique settings.
If you love theater, check out the performances at the Palm Canyon Theatre. You'll find everything from off-Broadway musicals to "thought-provoking plays", all in an intimate setting in the heart of Palm Springs. From shows like Evita and Sweet Charity to Rock of Ages and the thriller Death Trap, there's something everyone can enjoy.
When visiting Palm Springs, it is important to recognize the original inhabitants of the area, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. The Agua Caliente Indian Reservation occupies almost fifty square miles in the Palm Springs area, including parts of the cities of Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, and Cathedral City.
A good place to begin learning about Cahuilla history and culture is the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum in Palm Springs. Located at 219 South Palm Canyon Drive, the museum is easily accessible. In addition to photographs and maps, the museum houses Native American artifacts. Woven Stories: Baskets of the Cahuilla is an exhibit on traditional basket making.
Back in the mid-1960s, a historic estate was about to emerge in Rancho Mirage when Walter and Leonore Annenberg contracted architect A. Quincy Jones to design their mid-century modern winter home, Sunnylands estate.
The home is a glowing example of Jones' unique style, including overhangs that shield rooms from direct sun while still allowing outdoor ambiance and brightness to grace the interior through the full glass walls. Sunnylands also boasts a signature "statement roof" of Jones' in the form of a pink pyramid. Inside, the open floor plan creates a flow that echoes the vast spread of the surrounding gardens, a favorite of Leonore.
Aviation and history enthusiasts can get up close to actual vintage aircraft from WWII, Korea and Vietnam eras at the Palm Springs Air Museum. CNN Travel has named the Air Museum one of the top 14 aviation museums in the country, and it has one of the largest military aviation collections in the world. Your visit will be even more interesting because many of the docents actually flew the planes and are happy to share their stories.
You'll find more than 40 aircraft in three hangars and on the outdoor tarmac. Some of these crafts can be and are still being flown, and each of the three hangars is organized by theme. The European Hangar spotlights the Army in the European Theater during WWII, Korea and Vietnam; in the Pacific Hangar, the focus is on the WWII Navy in the Pacific Theater; and the third hangar houses the B-17 Flying Fortress, the Aviation Science Center, and a café.
Think the Palm Springs Art Museum is just a place to get out of the heat for the day? Think again. With revolving and permanent displays, a theater and three different sites, there is always something happening at the Palm Springs Art Museum.
The Palm Springs Art Museum
Having outgrown the original 10,000 square foot building in the late 60's, the Palm Springs Art Museum (at a constant 75 degrees if you must know) has a huge theater, classrooms, a lecture hall, a 1,000 square foot store, and a very popular cafe. While the museum used to be multi-disciplinary, the focus has shifted to being a world class museum with an amazing theater program. If you are looking for Western art, Contemporary art, Photography, Architecture, and more, you'll love going through the 28 galleries. And if you're out and about on Thursday evening, admission to the Museum is FREE from 4pm-8pm.
The Palm Springs Air Museum is a living history museum dedicated to educating the public about the role Air Power played in preserving American liberties and way of life. The Museum preserves, exhibits, and flies aircraft from World War Two, Korea, and the Vietnam Wars. Most of the aircraft are in flyable condition.
Located in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, the Palm Springs Art Museum features a sophisticated collection of art, loaned or donated by the area's affluent residents. The museum has an art collection that rivals urban metropolitan museums, and includes works from Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Donald Judd, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, Robert Rauschenberg, Antony Gormley and Ansel Adams.
Spread over the 150,000 square feet, the museum boasts major collections of modern and contemporary art, glass, photography, architecture and design and Native American and Western art. It has two outdoor sculpture gardens, a café featuring American and Continental cuisine, and a museum store that includes one-of-a-kind gifts and art-related merchandise.
The museum is open every day except Mondays and major holidays, and is always 75 degrees, providing a welcome respite from the Palm Springs summer triple-digit temperatures. It features free admission every Thursday evening from 4-8 p.m. and every second Sunday of each month.