For almost 50 years, the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens has been teaching people about the desert and how plants and animals survive in extreme conditions. The attraction is laid out by continent, taking visitors through Africa and North America with stops to see the many different animals and plants on the way. Highlights include giraffes, leopards, porcupines, bighorn sheep, jaguars, and eagles. When it comes to plant life, you’ll find agaves, palm trees, wildflowers, and an interesting section on drought-tolerant plants for your garden at home.
Visit Living Desert Zoo and Gardens on its own. Or, join a tour group from Los Angeles to Palm Springs that includes admission to the zoo, sightseeing, and shopping in Desert Hills Premium Outlets.
Things to know before you go
- Entrance to the zoo is by paid ticket.
- Discounts are available for children and seniors. Children under 3 go free.
- Skip the line with a prepaid ticket.
- The park is wheelchair accessible.
- The zoo offers special animal encounters: Visitors can feed the giraffes or take a camel ride.
- For an extra cost, you can buy a ticket for the shuttle bus that stops at all the major sites within the park.
How to get there
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens can be found at 47900 Portola Avenue in Palm Desert, California. You’ll find ample free parking on site. Access by public transport is limited.
When to get there
The attraction is open every day except Christmas Day (25 December). It opens from morning until late afternoon between October and May, and from early morning until lunchtime during the hot summers, and occasionally offers night events. Desert animals are most active in the early morning or early evening, so plan your visit around these times to see the most species. Visit in late spring to see extra-cute baby animals.
Play a Round of Golf in the Desert
The area around the Coachella Valley is home to some 124 golf courses and is a hot spot for both amateur and serious golfers. The courses have an impressive combination of challenging holes, carefully maintained landscaping, and views of the San Jacinto Mountains. They attract visitors from all across the world.