Top 10 Things To See and Do in Cathedral City, California

Whether visiting or moving to Cathedral City, you might be curious about what you can do there. Cathedral City has around 58,000 people and is situated in the Coachella Valley area of Riverside County. Also known as “Cat City,” this desert retreat area is known for its family-friendly cultural attractions, resorts, and country clubs. 

Cathedral City is centrally located only 10 minutes from Palm Springs. The weather is excellent year-round, making it a popular destination for snowbirds escaping cold climates. 

Cathedral City has many restaurants, golf courses, art galleries, and shopping areas, such as Cathedral City Marketplace, Canyon Plaza Shopping Center, and Vista Chino Plaza.

Throughout the year, many festivals and events take place, including the Hot Air Balloon Festival, Taste of Jalisco Festival, Fountainworks Festival, Youth Festival, Oktoberfest, Shorty’s Rib Fest, Perez Road Fall Festival, and, don’t forget, The Food Truck Festival. 

There are plenty of great things to do in and around Cathedral City, either over the weekend or when you’re on vacation. Here are my top 10 favorites:

California Coachella Valley Landscape with Palms and Mountains.

Panorama Park is the perfect place to kick back on a lovely afternoon without traveling too far. As the biggest park in the city, it features an abundance of open space and many amenities across the seven acres. You’ll find on-site amenities, including a children’s spray pool and play area, a basketball court, two tennis courts, a volleyball court, and a baseball field. There are also shaded picnic areas with barbecue facilities and a walking trail.


One of the best things about the Cimarron Golf Club is that there are two beautiful courses on-site, each vastly different. These two 18-hole championship courses are suitable for all levels, but they feature more than enough obstacles to keep your game challenging. Stunning views of the San Jacinto Mountains surround this golf club. I don’t find it surprising that this golf club has been voted one of the top 25 places to go in Southern California. Also, the on-site On-the-Rocks bar & restaurant is where you’ll find a delicious meal and refreshing beverages after a long day on the greens.


Immerse yourself in the arts at the Palm Springs Art Museum. Here, you will find regional art showcased and promoted. It is one of the best attractions in nearby Palm Springs. Housed within this unique 75,000-square-foot building is a vast collection of artworks across many disciplines. You’ll see modern paintings, glassworks, and sculptures as you navigate these exhibits. The performing arts center, which includes dance and music, is showcased in the Annenberg Theater, with performances held throughout the year.


There are plenty of wild, natural places around Cathedral City. However, this museum is indoors and not to be missed. The Museum of Ancient Wonders offers exhibitions of replicated and genuine treasured artifacts from the world of ancient civilizations and scientifically produced laboratory-cast fossils of important discoveries of prehistoric life. 

The museum is a new and unique museum devoted to worldwide discoveries in Paleontology, Paleoanthropology, and Archeology rarely experienced outside of larger communities. The Museum of Ancient Wonders was expressly founded to provide permanent access to exhibitions of this nature and the scope for residents and visitors of the Coachella Valley.


The Fountain of Life is a beautiful space featuring water fountains and sculptures in the Downtown area of Cathedral City. It is a perfect rest stop during your busy day exploring the city. Local artists designed and carved The fountains and sculptures, depicting birds, fish, shells, and flowers, and decorate the relaxing space in the middle of urban life.


There are plenty of wild, natural places around Cathedral City, and the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway will take you to one of those beautiful wilderness areas. It’s breathtaking! This tram car ride, which takes 10 minutes and travels two and a half miles, is the largest rotating tram car in the world. You’ll climb 8,500 feet before reaching Mountain Station in San Jacinto State Park. 

At the top, there are many things to do. In the warmer months, guided nature walks are offered. Or you can venture off on a hiking excursion or even camp overnight. Skiing and snowshoeing are also popular activities in the winter. The scenery, which includes San Jacinto and the Santa Rosa Mountains, is spectacular and breathtaking at any time of year. If outdoor adventure is not on your radar, you can always stay a while and enjoy a delicious, locally sourced-meal at the Peaks Restaurant.


The Palm Springs area is a world-famous tourist destination, but in earlier times, it was populated by Indigenous peoples, who made a living off the land. Today, you can see the remnants of their daily life: rock art, house pits, ditches, dams, and reservoirs. That is all that is left, but it’s a fascinating reminder of how life once was in this area. As you explore this historic and beautiful region, you’ll pass through a series of canyons, including Tahquitz Canyon and Palm Canyon. The latter is the home of the California Fan Palm Oasis, which is said to be the largest on planet Earth. Hiking and horseback riding are popular, and many areas are suitable for picnicking. A gift shop serving snacks, beverages, and native crafts is located in the Palm Canyon area.


At the Palm Springs Air Museum, the focus is on World War II aviation history. Through various exhibits, you’ll learn about warplanes and their pilots’ role in reaching victory for the U.S. You’ll see aviation art, documents, and artifacts as you explore. On-site, you will find three hangars housing the world’s most extensive World War II combat aircraft collection. A gift shop, theater, and resource center are also on-site.


The desert landscaping in Cathedral City and its surrounding region make it the perfect destination for one-of-a-kind adventures. Red Jeep Tours is a local eco-tour company offering tours in greater Palm Springs. Some available tours include Jeep or hiking tours of the San Andreas Fault, Joshua Tree National Park, and Painted Canyon. All tours are provided by knowledgeable guides who create a fun and enlightening atmosphere.


Located in a storefront in the corner of a shopping mall, across from Trader Joe’s on Highway 111, Oceans is an elegant and welcoming place. A colossal saltwater aquarium is located in the restaurant’s main dining area, giving the place color and a relaxed atmosphere. Oceans, a Mediterranean-style seafood restaurant established in 1995, is an intimate European restaurant that brings the oceans to the desert, offering fresh seafood in classic Mediterranean and Californian styles. Oceans offers meat specials for the meat lovers as well. Oceans serves premium spirits and an extensive wine list. Do not wait; jump into the Oceans. 

The Cathedral City area has a lot of fun things to do. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me. If you’re considering buying or selling in the Cathedral City area, please contact me, Stephen Burchard, The Desert Bowtie Realtor®, taking the (k)nots out of real estate.