My family has had a house in Palm Desert since 1997 and have been going down since before I was born. Besides just visiting it for holidays and breaks we also lived there for two years for the fourth and fifth grade. Needless to say, I know the city pretty well. You might be asking what Palm Desert part of the Coachella Valley, yes as in the Coachella music festival. There are multiple cities in the valley and there almost seamlessly togeather. Palm Springs being the westernmost city Coachella being the farthest east town although I don't know why anyone would go there. The festival is actually in Indio at the polo fields.
Palm Springs- "the original" Palm Spring is probably the most famous of all the Coachella cities. Its best know for it mid-century style as well as a mecca for gays. And that's really what the city is. The biggest thing is that it's very isolated and feels really far from the rest of the towns.
Palm Desert- is kind of the center of the all the cities El paseo is there where the big shopping is Louis Vitton, Gucci, Ralph Lauren and more affordable stores like Anthropologie and Francesca's. As well as the main mall with many, Barnes and Noble, and Dicks, etc.
Rancho Mirage- Rancho is also a nice city, its main infrastructure is "the River" a very popular hang out for teens from around the central point of the river is the Movie theater, but it also includes a few shops and a bunch of restaurants. Rancho Mirage also includes main hospital Eisenhower always good to note.
Indian Wells- most famously has the BNP Paribas open one of the most well-known tennis tournaments, its also one of the most wealthy cities in the valley.
la Quinta- is a very commercial cities with lots of big shops and restaurants. if you go to Coachella there's a Chipotle,Quiznos etc. Its right around the corner.
Keedy's-Probably the most "locals spot". its a diner behind El paseo it's an authentic diner my favorite pancakes in the world are from here there perfectly thin like a 3cm. And they give you the perfect amount to eat. It's a 2x2x2: 2 pancakes two bacon or sausage and two eggs anyway.
Fresh Agave- Is probably the other Local spot its great Mexican restaurant close to keedy's. There probably most famous for their skinny margaritas, not the skinny girl but there own made with agave as well their bartender is very generous. My favorite from there is the Fajitas.
La Bella Cucina- is a very small Italian restaurant in Palm Desert run by a family its in a strip mall and we love to go and get takeout.
Tommy Bahamas - has a beautiful rooftop restaurant with Hawaiian food the restaurant sits above there.
Jillian's- Jillian's is probably Palm desert's nicest restaurant sitting at the tippy top of El paseo where it turns to meet 111. It's owned and run by the Trubee family and named after their eldest daughter, Jillian. Not to worry they have they have a room for their younger daughter, Mackenzie, who was born after the restaurant opened. While the head check is Jay, their father and June runs the place. But the place feels anything but a family run restaurant with its sophistication.
things to do-
Shopping- as I've mentioned there's great shopping in Coachella Valley get some mid century modern stuff from the birthplace and then head to El paseo for some serious brand shopping and finish it off by heading out 45 minutes to Cabezon outlets we're talking serious outlets including Prada, YSL, Gucci, Alexander McQueen and so much more. There the world's largest.\
Tram- Palm Springs tram is always a hit when you can head from 90-degree weather to snow in 30 minutes you know it's an unusual product. The top of the tram is a state park you can hike, or just look down on to the Vally. The tram inside floor moves 360 degrees so everyone can see all the Vista if you get car sick stand in the middle behind the bars.
golf-probably palm deserts most favorite activity, and I have no interest at all.
tennis-palm deserts second favorite activity.
hiking- as the valley is by definition surrounded by mountains there are so many trails near by and some great places to hike