California Deserts Visitor Information

Desert Museums

No Visit to a California destination would be complete without visiting one of the many museums.  California has a reputation as a haven for people with creative minds, and you can see this in its multifaceted cultural offerings.  Arts abound here in four main formats: large-scale, world-class organizations; smaller, quirkier museums, often showcasing the Golden State’s history and its abundant idiosyncratic subcultures (think surfers, Silicon Valley techno-wizards, and Peanuts aficionados).

When the weather hinders traditional camping activities (or not) stretch your mind with a visit to one of California’s museums. Need more encouragement? Check out The 10 Reasons to Visit a Museum!

The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, Palm Springs – Inspiring people to learn about the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and other Native cultures and keeping the spirit alive through exhibitions, collections, research, and educational programs.  Read More

Sunnylands Retreat, Palm Springs – Is the dream of Walter and Leonore Annenberg where leaders in politics, education, philanthropy, the arts and culture, and science and medicine could meet to facilitate the exchange of ideas and to advance these fields for the common good.  Sunnylands consists of three entities:  the historic estate, art & cultural center and desert gardens.  Read More

Air Force Flight Test Center Museum – Edwards Air Force Base is located east of Highway 14 near Mojave. This is where the NASA Space Shuttle used to make its landings when the weather in Florida was not favorable. Edwards has served as the base for many notable events in aviation history including the breaking of sound barriers. It was featured in the Hollywood movie, ‘The Right Stuff’. Edwards is an Air Force flight test center for new aircraft. The museum exhibits include the latest in U.S. military arsenal like the F-22 fighter and 34J Firebee drone to the historic X-1 and SR-71A Blackbird.  Visit www.afftcmuseum.org

Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert – Rancho Mirage is located south of Interstate 10 from Bob Hope Drive. This children’s museum features exhibits that inspire & promote intellectual curiosty and self-expression in children. The museum exhibits include Archaeologist Dig, Rope Maze, Gravity Ball Fall, Animal Tracking Station and many more.  Visit www.cdmod.org

Palm Springs Art Museum is located off Interstate 10 and Palm Canyon Drive. This is the only major art museum in the region and features displays of art and natural sciences. The museum exhibits include photography, paintings, sculpture and wildlife with an emphasis on California. Here you can see what the gilamonster looks like, one of the desert’s most venomous creatures.The Annenberg Theatre is also part of the museum and hosts performances of ballet, classical music and theatrical plays.  Visit www.psmuseum.org

Editorial information provided in part by www.CaliforniaRevealed.com, a collection of native Californians and travelers who spend their time exploring California and sharing their discoveries.

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Top Attractions in the Deserts Area

Amargosa Opera House and Hotel, Death Valley Junction
Boomers, Palm Springs
Cabot’s Pueblo Museum, Desert Hot Springs
Death Valley National Park
Havasu National Wildlife Refuge
Joshua Tree National Park
Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Palm Desert
Mitchell Caverns
Palm Springs Aerial Tram
Wet ‘n’ Wild Palm Springs

Activities in the Deserts Area

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum

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Desert Museums

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