From Los Angeles, take Interstate 10 East towards Phoenix. Palm Desert is about a two hour drive if there is not much traffic. Beware, weekend getaway traffic can be very heavy.
Amtrak has stations in nearby Palm Springs and Indio.
Palm Desert is a very car-oriented city. If you want to have a good time at all, you should rent a car at the airport. Otherwise you'd have to take the bus or walk. It's a lot easier getting around in Palm Desert and of all Coachella Valley if you have a car.
The main drag through this area is Highway 111. It runs east/west along the mountain side and connects all the cities in the Coachella Valley. This road has lights and lots of traffic, so if you are going far, you should drive out and hop on the 10. The Rodeo Drive of the area is El Paseo. There are lots of art galleries, shops, and restaurants along El Paseo.
Living Desert Zoo & Gardens, 47-900 Portola Ave., 760 346-5694, . For close-up encounters with spectacular desert plants and animals. People of all ages will have fun.
Palm Desert Civic Center, 73510 Fred Waring Drive, 760 346-0611. Nice park with occasional musical performances, basketball courts, and a nice atmosphere.
McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, 760 340-2787, . Has great shows going on all the time.
Balloon Flights, There are a number of different balloon ride companies in Palm Desert.
There are a lot of good places to shop with good stores. You could probably find just about anything.
The Gardens, . A very nice shopping area on El Paseo. There are lots of good stores.
Westfield Shoppingtown, 72840 Highway 111 Ste 166, 760 346-2121, . Nice mall right in the heart of Palm Desert.
The River, . At Bob Hope Drive and Highway 111 in the neighboring city of Rancho Mirage. Great shopping center with restaurants, shopping, movies, and more. There actually is a river there too.
Armando's Dakota Bar & Grill, 73260 El Paseo, 760 346-0744. Great Mexican food with good fajitas.
Tony Roma's, 73155 Highway 111, 760 568-9911. Boasts the best ribs in the country. Great place to go for an inexpensive dinner.
Mamma Gina's Restaurant, 73705 El Paseo, 760 568-9898, . A more expensive restaurant with great chop salad.
Picanha Churrascaria, 73399 El Paseo, 760 674-3434. The Brazilian food is great and they bring the meat out to you and then you decide if you want it or not rather than ordering the meat first. Great salad bar for vegetarians too.
Pacifica Seafood Restaurant, 760 674-8666, . Seafood. Located at The Gardens on El Paseo
Native Foods, 760 836-9396, 73-890 El Paseo, . Vegan restauraunt, reasonable prices. The tempeh/vegetable/pesto pizza is very good.
CJ's Diner (Breakfast & Lunch), 74894 Lennon Place, #H-1 (see map on website), ☎ 760-837-9650, . See our website for hours, location, menu, etc.
Beer Hunter Sports Pub & Grill, 78483 Highway 111, La Quinta, 760 564-7442. If there is a game on and you want a drink and some inexpensive food, this is the place to come. Complete with pool tables and shuffle board.
Best Western Palm Desert Resort, 74695 Highway 111, 760 340-4441, Toll-free: (800) 231-8675, Fax: (760) 773-9413, .
Joshua Tree National Park. This desert park is a great day trip to take while at Palm Springs. You can get there in less than an hour by going north on route 63. Take a minimum of four hours to do the loop from the north through the south of the park. Camping is allowed as well as rock climbing.
Idyllwild. Alpine scenery a short drive from Palm Desert.
Cabazon Outlets, A large outdoor shopping plaza with many stores. If your looking for something to buy, chances are that there is a store in Cabazon that will have it.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!