March is one of the best times to visit Palm Springs. The weather is balmy, lots of flowers are in bloom, and activities abound.  Whatever your interest may be — hiking, biking, culture, art, shopping, history, entertainment, eating or drinking — there is so much going on.  Here are some ideas about what to do in Palm Springs in March.

Month of March:  Photographs from celebrated photographer, Michael Childers, will be featured in an exhibit titled “Rockin’ Hollywood,” which opens February 29 at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. The exhibit features portraits of such Hollywood greats as Elton John, Cher, John Travolta, Rod Stewart, and Ringo Starr and includes the fascinating history behind the celebrities portrayed.

March 4First Wednesday Art Walk at the Backstreet Art District, 2600 Cherokee Way, from 7 to 10 p.m. Art galleries and artists’ studios are open for art lovers to enjoy original art by local, national, and international artists. This is an amazing opportunity to interact with artists and to view their paintings, sculpture, photography, ceramics and jewelry, while savoring refreshments and vibrant camaraderie.


March 5, 12, 19, 26: Palm Springs Villagefest is a street fair held every Thursday along Palm Canyon Drive (between Baristo and Amado roads) in downtown Palm Springs, 6 to 10 p.m. More than 180 vendors feature food, art, crafts, and entertainment. This is always a wonderful time for sampling some great food, mingling, and shopping.

March 6:  Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward will be speaking about his career and current issues. Woodward is best known for uncovering the Watergate scandal with Carl Bernstein in 1973. Celebrated for his investigative skills and fair, objective approach, Woodward should be a fascinating speaker. He will offer a knowledgeable perspective on what’s happening in politics today. Richards Center for the Arts, 2248 Ramon Road, 7:30 to 9:30. Tickets $30 to $150 can be purchased online at

March 7 & 8; March 21 & 22:  Desert Art Festival will be held at Frances Stevens Park, 555 N. Palm Canyon Drive, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Artists present their works in all media for visitors to view and purchase. This beautiful setting in Uptown Palm Springs is an idyllic spot for a leisurely weekend stroll. Admission is free.

March 7Wildflower 5K Fun Run/Walk at the Civic Center, 43900 San Pablo, Palm Desert. This is a family friendly event with strollers and dogs welcomed. Registration opens at 7 a.m. and RSVPs are required. Registration fee is $30 and includes a t-shirt. RSVP at

March 9-11:  Max Von Essen is performing at the Annenberg Theatre at the Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 Museum Drive, 6 p.m.  Max has won many awards, including a Grammy.  He has starred in the Lincoln Center’s revival of Falsettos and has appeared in Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita and Les Miserables. This should be a truly inspiring and entertaining performance. To purchase tickets, go to the Annenberg website (link above).

March 11:  Let’s Talk: Walk a Mile in My Shoes. Anthony Purnel, a member of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, discusses the many challenges he faced during his inspiring 132-day hike from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail. Palm Springs Cultural Center, 2300 East Baristo Road, 6 p.m. $10 for members of the Cultural Center and $20 for non-members.

March 13-15; March 20-22: How to Survive an Apocalypse is a surprisingly delightful romantic comedy (despite the title) about a young, stylish couple who are convinced that their chic, partying lifestyle is coming to an end. They become hoarders and hunters and learn a lot about their relationship. At the Palm Springs Woman’s Club, 314 S. Cahuilla Rd. Tickets available via website (link above).

March 7, 14, 21 & 28:  The Certified Farmers Market is held every Saturday morning at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, 2300 Baristo Road, from 8 to 12:30. This bustling outdoor market features a seasonal variety of fresh food products, craft items, and chef demonstrations.

March 27:  Palm Springs Community Drum Circle. This unique, inspiring experience is led by sound healer, Scott Meredith, and held at the Gallery at Crystal Fantasy, 268 N. Palm Canyon Drive, downtown Palm Springs. Free event.

March 29: Slim Man Rat Pack Big Band Show.  Award-winning jazz vocalist, Slim Man, leads a 17-piece big band with favorite songs from the 60s, recreating the era of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bobby Darin and Nat King Cole. At the Annenberg Theatre at the Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 Museum Drive, 5-8 p.m. Tickets available at

Also keep in mind that the Palm Springs Historical Society offers a wide variety of walking and biking tours throughout March, such as tours focusing on such topics as Architecture & Glamour, Rat Pack Playground, Frank Sinatra’s Neighborhood, Modernist Treasures, Uptown Design District and many more. To see what is available and sign up, go to the society’s website (link above).

For the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the opening of the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum in the heart of Palm Springs is a 30-year dream realized. 

The contents of the museum were revealed to the community during its grand opening on Nov. 4. During the dedication, Tribal Chairman Reid D. Milanovich said that every federally-recognized tribe in the United States “has a distinct culture that includes traditions, language, historical clothing, and housing styles, as well as historical food and medicine preparations. We want to share our culture with visitors through our authentic voice. This is our story, in our voice. We are here today just like we have been since time immemorial.”

A first look at the Agua Caliente Gathering Plaza 

The Oasis Path at the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum in Palm Springs, California, is illuminated at night

The Oasis Trail at night. Photo by Kathy Condon

When the fences came down around the finished complex, the 10,000-square-foot Agua Caliente Museum and the Agua Caliente Gathering Plaza were revealed. Outdoor spaces featuring desert native plants surround both, so you can sit and enjoy the serenity and beauty of the area at no cost. The Oasis Trail also winds through the plaza and is an interactive cultural experience in miniature of the nearby Indian Canyons and Tahquitz Canyon trails. The recreated rock formations add to the authenticity of the pathway.

JCJ Architecture out of Phoenix designed the project, and their guiding principles for the space were based on the tribe’s values and commitment to their story.

Entering the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum

A thatched hut replica inside the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum in Palm Springs, California

The museum’s exhibition space is filled with artifacts. Photo by Kathy Condon

The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum’s design is rooted in a tradition reminiscent of basket weaving, pottery, and elements of the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation. Inside the building, the designs incorporated into the floors, lights, and decor all have been meticulously selected to represent aspects of the Agua Caliente culture in five separate exhibition areas.

The journey through the building begins with a film. You are seated in a longhouse-style theatre with 360-degree viewing. The 12-minute film tells the story of the tribe’s creation.

When you exit the theatre, the building’s curved pathway leads to a permanent exhibition displaying the tribe’s history in Coachella Valley. Historical photographs line the wall, interspersed with timelines. Glass cases in the center of the room reveal the beauty of the collection of well-preserved baskets used by ancestors to gather berries and store and prepare food. The artistry involved will cause you to stop and observe the intricate details of the perfectly-shaped baskets.

The beaded clothing of both men and women is displayed with an explanation of the ceremonial occasions on which they were used. In a nearby area, cases show the artifacts discovered when digging began for the museum’s construction. The objects found revealed the Agua Caliente tribes were in Coachella Valley even earlier than was previously thought: 5,000 to approximately 8,000 years ago.

Photos offer a look at the past

A well-designed and perfectly lit gallery is a beautiful way to observe incredible photos of the tribe. Both current and historically valuable photos have captured ceremonies, individuals, and scenes that illustrate the tribe’s life.  Plan to spend some time here. The more you look at the photos, the more you notice. The museum is the perfect place to look deeper into the Agua Caliente culture, and there are knowledgeable people on hand ready to help you learn.

Stopping by the museum store 

A woman holds a piece of pottery inside the gift shop at the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum

One-of-a-kind treasures await in the museum gift shop. Photo by Kathy Condon

When you wander into the store, you will immediately observe that this is not an ordinary museum gift shop. There are no duplicate gadgets or kitschy items. A glass case holds handmade jewelry and one-of-a-kind rings, earrings, and bracelets are beautifully displayed.

The entire space has been carefully curated with art made by Indigenous people from throughout the United States. Weavings and paintings adorn the walls, while exquisite pottery is waiting to find a place in your home. You can visit the museum store without paying an admission fee.

Everything else you need to know about the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum

Admission to the museum is $10 for adults; $5 for seniors 65+, children 6+, and college students with ID; and free for kids under 6, military members and veterans, locals with government ID, and Native Americans with ID.

Educational opportunities are abundant, and signing up for the museum’s newsletter lets you keep tabs on lectures and classes offered during your stay. Presently, there are scheduled lectures about the artifacts found when digging the project; the design of the building; and basketry. 

If you have a car, there is plenty of free parking. The entire area is handicap accessible.

This incredible asset is within walking distance of many of our Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels, and could be combined with a visit to the luxurious Spa at Séc-he. When you come to Palm Springs, plan to take a couple of hours to learn about the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the first settlers of Palm Springs.