From hotel and activity choices to transportation modes and opportunities to support the local community, there are many ways visitors can minimize their footprint and make a positive impact.
As increasing numbers of leisure and business travelers strive to travel more responsibly and consciously, Visit Greater Palm Springs (VGPS) has doubled down on its commitment to ensure that the values of sustainability, community, collaboration, and inclusion are not only embedded within the organization itself but also in the region’s travel industry. New partnerships, content, and web guides are making it even easier for sustainably-minded travelers, meeting planners, and event producers to find the information and resources they need to curate thoughtful, carbon neutral, and regenerative itineraries throughout the nine desert cities and surrounding protected wildlands. Here are 10 ways travelers can tread lightly when visiting Greater Palm Springs:
1. Be a Kind Traveler
Visit Greater Palm Springs is a proud partner of Visit California’s Kind Traveler regenerative travel initiative. Four participating hotels that prioritize sustainability and community impact are now sharing exclusive offers on KindTraveler.com’s Give + Get hotel booking and media platform. Travelers who book Azure Sky Hotel, Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs, Miramonte Resort & Spa, or The Good House unlock exclusive offers with a $10 or more donation to Friends of the Desert Mountains or LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert, or to another charity of choice on the platform. The site also details experiential offerings and educational guides offering more ways to travel regeneratively.
2. Go Car-Free
Whether arriving by bus, plane, or automobile, book a stay in one of the vibrant pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods of Palm Springs, Palm Desert, or La Quinta, where an abundance of shops, restaurants, and attractions are easily accessible on foot and by bike. Many hotels offer complimentary guest bikes; plus, BIKE Palm Springs has half-day, full-day and weekend-long rental options and Pedego Electric Bikes offers e-bike rentals out of their La Quinta shop.
3. Charge Up
Electric car owners and renters can plug into more than 63 EV charging stations located in convenient locations spread throughout Greater Palm Springs. Several hotels also now offer charging stations.
4. Learn About Sustainable Energy
Discover the desert region’s iconic renewable energy corridor by touring a wind farm with Palm Springs Windmill Tours. Choose from a self-driving tour guided by an app or a more in-depth guided golf cart tour. Get up close to an operating turbine that is as tall as the Statue of Liberty and learn how the windmills contribute to the energy grid.
5. Take a Bike Tour
BIKE Palm Springs leads guided bike tours in partnership with the Palm Springs Historical Society pedaling along on their fleet of RAD Power e-bikes. Sunny Cycle Palm Springs is a pedal-powered electric “limousine” tour company offering a variety of two-hour tours in downtown Palm Springs for individuals and groups, complete with a driver/guide. Big Wheel Tours is another local outfitter offering guided tours and can also take you out to Indian Canyon for an epic cruise along the San Andreas Fault zone.
6. Tee Off Mindfully
The Coachella Valley is home to 13 Audubon International Certified Cooperative Sanctuary Courses that earned the endorsement for practices that maintain the golf experience while preserving nature and native wildlife. PGA West and La Quinta Resort & Club are home to nine courses with the honor; among their unique initiatives is a glass recycling practice, turning bottles into sand for the golf courses’ top fill. Other courses known for exceptionally high green standards include JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa’s two courses, Marriott’s Shadow Ridge Golf Club, and the Arnold Palmer designed Classic Club in Palm Desert.
7. Embrace Mother Nature
Visit attractions that actively work to preserve habitats and restore plant and animal populations, such as the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens. Connect with the area's history and culture during a ranger-led hike in the Indian Canyons. Or hit the region’s more than 100 trails on your own to experience pristine wilderness areas, such as Joshua Tree National Park, Big Morongo Canyon Preserve, or Thousands Palms Oasis Preserve.
8. Shop Antique, Vintage & Consignment
Greater Palm Springs is a legendary destination for antique hunters, vintage connoisseurs, and bargain seekers thanks to the incredible browse-worthy inventory on display in the region’s shops that specialized in gently used goods. From high-end midcentury modern furnishings, eclectic fashions spanning several decades, and racks of contemporary designer wares, shoppers can feel good about scoring one-of-a-kind finds for home and wardrobe that won’t add to landfill and underscore the “reuse and recycle” ethos.
9. Savor Farm-to-Table Dining
The Coachella Valley is one of the largest crop-growing regions in California with more than 65,000 acres of farmlands. Diverse fruits and veggies like tomatoes, greens, citrus, and dates—nature’s candy—are grown right in our backyard, giving local chefs an abundance of locally sourced ingredients to craft delectable dishes at farm-to-table establishments. You can meet the growers and stock up on freshly harvested goodness at weekly and seasonal farmers markets in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Indio, Indian Wells, and Rancho Mirage.
10. Support the Local Indigenous Tribes
Greater Palm Springs has been the sacred home to the Cahuilla people since time immemorial. Nurturing stewards of their ancestral lands, the nine federally recognized tribes of today play a prominent role locally and continue to have a positive effect on the community. Visitors to the area can tap into many recreational and cultural opportunities offered through the various tribal enterprises and reservation lands that are open to the public—from the newly opened Spa at Séc-he in downtown Palm Springs and the innovative sustainable Temalpakh Farms project to cultural centers and tribal events.
ABOUT VISIT GREATER PALM SPRINGS
Greater Palm Springs is Southern California’s resort oasis, with nine cities—Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio, and Coachella—each offering its own blend of experiences. And with natural hot mineral springs, lush palm groves, over 100 golf courses, world-class events, and more than 300 days of sunshine annually, Greater Palm Springs offers a unique combination of escape, adventure, inspiration, and relaxation. In Greater Palm Springs, the choices are as endless as our blue skies.