An astonishing forest of towering white "windmills" (nearly 1,000 of them today, but destined to dwindle as efficiency improves) is a landmark that, for many, is synonymous with the Coachella Valley. This 75-minute tour, which leaves from a convenient spot about 10 minutes north of town, loads you on an air-conditioned touring van to thread among them. You don't get close enough to touch one, but you do stand virtually in their shadow and you very quickly come to appreciate the sweeping size of the 1.5- to 3-megawatt turbines, the technology behind them, the freelancers who invest in them, and the ongoing dealings with the local electric company, which believe it or not can choose to decline the energy they produce if it suits their market goals. Engineering nerds also receive a healthy dose of trivia about the various failed models that have come over the years during the indoor preparatory photographic exhibit before the van leaves. Winds often pick up in the afternoon, so the last tour of the day is the best one for catching the blades in peak performance. After the tour, don't miss the nearby Windmill Market at N. Indian Canyon Road and Dillon Drive—its date shakes are widely considered the best within easy reach of downtown Palm Springs.