On our way to Palm Springs and back we chose to drive through the Mojave Desert (Mojave National Preserve). We did this drive a few years ago and it was one of our favorites because you skip the highway and go on an open road and practically don't ever see another car for miles upon miles. They warn you to have a full tank of gas and water in your car because it is the desert and can get "extremely" hot. Also, look out for roadrunners and turtles crossing the road! You eventually come across the Historic Route 66 in Amboy, CA and Roy's Motel and Cafe where it is a must to get out and snap a few photos while stretching your legs.
When getting close to Palm Desert you will know it because of all the windmills or I should say wind turbines. Palm Springs is home to the oldest wind farm in the US and at present time there are approximately 2,700 of them surrounding the area. It is quite an amazing site to see.
On our way back we drove through the Joshua Tree National Park which is full of spectacular views, incredible plants/trees and "very" windy roads.