Image by Jeff Whyte Shutterstock
This rotating cable car climbs nearly 6000 vertical feet and covers five different vegetation zones, from the Sonoran desert floor to pine-scented Mt San Jacinto State Park, in 10 minutes during its 2.5-mile journey. From the mountain station (8561ft), which is 30°F to 40°F (up to 22°C) cooler than the desert floor, you can enjoy stupendous views, dine in two restaurants (ask about ride 'n' dine passes), explore over 50 miles of trails or visit the natural-history museum.
The valley station is about 3.5 miles off Hwy 111; the turnoff is about 3 miles north of downtown Palm Springs. Cars depart every 30 minutes and more frequently during peak times. Online tickets are available from six weeks to 24 hours in advance and highly recommended to avoid often horrendous wait times.