My favorite place in Palm Desert, CA is The Living Desert. Their web site, www.livingdesert.org, has lots of information about the zoo and botanical gardens.
An unexpected feature is a miniature railroad.
The Living Desert has animals from desert regions of the U.S. and around the world. There are amphitheater shows where zookeepers bring out animals for an up-close look and an entertaining talk.
This is a great small zoo and I love the backdrop of the local landscape.