Welcome To Palm Springs
As the western gateway of the Coachella Valley, Palm Springs draws visitors from all over the world with its incredible weather, high-caliber golf courses, beautiful landscape, outstanding attractions, world-class resorts, rich culture, fine restaurants, and thriving business climate.
Palm Springs offers residents and visitors opportunity, sophistication and culture. An attractive destination for visitors and many who will make Palm Springs their home, the city is enriched with history, culture, and more importantly a strong sense of community. No one should miss all that Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley has to offer.
Palm Springs is located approximately 110 miles east of Los Angeles and 135 miles northeast of San Diego. The population of Palm Springs was 44,552 at the 2010 census.
The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians were the first ancestors of the Palm Springs area. Archaeological research has shown that the Cahuilla Indians have lived in the area for the past 350-500 years. The current name for the area, “Palm Springs”, came into common usage in the mid-1860’s when U.S. government surveyors noted that a mineral spring was located at the base of “two bunches of palms”.
Palm Springs became a fashionable resort area in the early 1900’s when tourists arrived with conditions that required dry heat. The Palm Springs area really began to develop during the 1920’s, when Hollywood movie stars, attracted by the hot dry, sunny weather and seclusion, began regular visits to the area. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, architectural modernists flourished with commissions from the “stars”, using the city to explore architectural innovations and new artistic venues.
Palm Springs is noted for its mid-century modern architecture. A home developer, Alexander Homes, popularized this post-and-beam architectural style in the Coachella Valley. Alexander houses and similar homes feature low-pitched roofs, wide eaves, open-beamed ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Restoration projects are now being undertaken to return these homes and businesses to their original condition.
As the 1970’s drew to a close, increasing numbers of retirees moved to the Coachella Valley. As a result, Palm Springs began to evolve from a virtual ghost town in the summer to a year-round community. Businesses and hotels that used to close for the months of July and August instead remained open all summer. As commerce grew, so did the number of families with children. Year-round living in the Palm Springs area has shown significant growth over the last 30 years and continues to grow today.
Geography & Climate
Located in the Coachella Valley desert region, Palm Springs is sheltered by the San Bernardino Mountains to the north, the Santa Rosa Mountains to the south, by the San Jacinto Mountains to the west and by the Little San Bernardino Mountains to the east. This geography gives Palm Springs its hot, dry climate, with approximately 354 days of sunshine and only 4.83 inches of rain annually. The winter months are warm, with daytime highs often between 73°F and 86°F and corresponding nighttime lows of 50°F to 60°F while the coolest days tend to average from 62°F to 71°F, and corresponding nights falling to the mid 40’s°F. Summer often sees daytime temperatures between 106°F and 112°F, with overnight lows ranging from 77°F to 90°F. The mean annual temperature is 74.7°F.
Economy, Attractions & Entertainment
Though celebrities still retreat to Palm Springs, many today establish residences in other areas of the Coachella Valley. The city’s economy now relies on tourism, retail sales and TOT (transient occupancy tax). It is a city of numerous festivals, conventions, and international events including the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
The world’s largest rotating aerial tramcars (cable cars) can be found at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. These cars ascend two-and-a-half miles up a steep incline to reveal views of the entire Valley. The ascent from the desert floor to an altitude in excess of 8,500 feet is accompanied by a drop in temperature of 30°F or more, giving riders a cool respite from the heat. A wilderness area can be explored at the top of the tram and there is a restaurant with incredible views.
The Palm Springs International Film Festival presents movie star-filled, red-carpet affairs. The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies stage-show features performers that are over the age of 55. Every Thursday evening downtown Palm Springs is transformed into Villagefest, featuring a diverse display of arts and crafts, a certified farmer’s market, food, and live entertainment on historic Palm Canyon Drive. The Palm Springs Convention Center underwent a multi-million-dollar expansion and remodeling in 2005
The Palm Springs Art Museum presents traveling art exhibitions plus a variety of entertainment in its Annenberg Theater. The Spa Resort Casino, owned by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, is located in downtown Palm Springs.
At The Living Desert, sometimes referred to the Palm Springs Zoo, you’ll get a unique view of the desert flora and fauna and see animals and plants from the local area, as well as those from Africa and other desert areas. Indian Canyons offers incredible outdoor scenery including creeks, palm groves and natural rock formations. Indian Canyons is very popular with hikers and nature lovers.
The popular Palm Springs Air Museum exhibits War II combat aircraft and educates on the role the pilots and American citizens had in winning the war. Palm Springs Celebrity Tours offers daily guided bus tours of Palm Springs celebrity neighborhoods, both past and present.
Palm Springs is an amazingly warm and sunny destination, and it’s an ideal place for bike riding. Palm Springs offers miles of well-maintained bike trails that wind through the downtown area and into many of the historic neighborhoods. Palm Springs is also home to quite a few excellent parks. Sunrise Park and Ruth Hardy Park are both great options for families, couples and even singles looking for a place to have picnic and enjoy some time outdoors.
Numerous five star hotels, restaurants and attractions cater to tourists, while shoppers can find a variety of high-end boutiques in downtown Palm Springs. There is also a water park and skateboard park.
Palm Springs is home to the Palm Springs Power, a semi-pro league baseball team composed of college all-stars. It has a winter league baseball team, the Palm Springs Chill of the Arizona Winter League. The Palm Springs Stadium was once the spring training site of the California Angels (now Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) American League baseball team from 1961 to 1993.
The Palm Springs area features a number of sporting events including the BNP Paribas Open, one of the most significant tennis events in the world, after the four Grand Slam tournaments; the Humana Challenge (formerly the Bob Hope Classic) , the Kraft Nabisco Championship, and dozens of boxing events held throughout the valley. Palm Springs has also hosted the Easter Bowl, the national junior tennis championships, where America’s top juniors in the nation go and compete for a grand prize, and several NCAA golf tournaments.
“Golf Capital Of The World”
The Palm Springs, CA area is world-renowned for being one of the most popular golf destinations in the world. In fact, the Palm Springs area is often referred to as the ‘Golf Capital Of The World” with more 125 golf courses throughout the area, great weather and beautiful natural surroundings.