Palm Springs is one of the most famous vacation destinations in the United States. Much of the fame of this resort city in Southern California’s Coachella Valley is attached to its association with movie stars and other celebrities, which was especially strong in the early and mid-20th century. Palm Springs is just 120 miles east of Los Angeles, which helps to explain its popularity among the Hollywood crowd. Of course, you don’t have to be a celebrity to enjoy Palm Springs vacations. This city of approximately 45,000 residents mixes small town charm with big city amenities and caters to a wide range of people with its attractive setting and its abundant activity options. Surrounding the Coachella Valley are picturesque mountains that lend themselves well to hiking, mountain biking, and general sightseeing. In the valley, golf and tennis figure among the primary pastimes.
Palm Springs California
Long before Palm Springs and the rest of the Coachella Valley developed into the famous vacation area that it is today, it was home to the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. To this day, the tribe owns about half of the land that Palm Springs is built upon, and it works hard to preserve its Native American heritage. In relation to the history of resort development in Palm Springs, the city started to become fashionable among the tourist crowd in the 1900s. Many of the early tourists came seeking relief from various health conditions, believing that the dry heat and other desert elements would aid them. As word about the area’s beauty and wonderful weather started to circulate, hotels were built and the visitor numbers increased. Movie stars began to arrive in strong number after the El Mirador resort opened in 1927. After World War II, many of the stars who wanted to have their own retreat in Palm Springs commissioned architectural modernists to build their homes. To this day, the city is renowned for its mid-20th century architecture.
Palm Springs has undergone some changes over the years, but that doesn’t mean that everything has changed. As has long been the case in and around town, popular recreational pursuits include swimming, sunbathing, golfing, and playing tennis. Many a Palm Springs home and hotel has a swimming pool, if not multiple swimming pools, and sunbathing is encouraged by the fact that the area averages around 350 days of sunshine a year. In relation to golf, Palm Springs and the other Coachella Valley resort cities figure among the country’s best places to tee it up. La Quinta, which is home to the Arnold Palmer Classic Course and PGA West (pictured), is just one example of another Coachella Valley resort city that caters to golfers. For those who wish to add tennis to their list of things to do in Palm Springs, most of the area’s larger hotels and resorts offer tennis courts, and there are more courts to choose from at the area tennis clubs and parks.
When visiting Palm Springs, those with an interest in history won’t want to miss the Old Palm Springs district. Basically a village within a village, this district west of ritzy Palm Canyon Drive was where many artists and celebrities built their villas and adobe homes beginning in the 1920s. Many of the homes in Old Palm Springs have been transformed into hotels and other places of business, and the district in general is a joy to stroll through. Other ideas for things to do in and around Palm Springs include pampering yourself at a spa, sampling dates at one of the area date groves, seeing what’s on display at the Palm Springs Art Museum, taking a ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, exploring the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens, and hitting the area shops. After the sun goes down, you can turn your attention to the city’s nightlife. Bars, clubs, and casinos are in good supply in Palm Springs and beyond, and if you have something else in mind, you can check the McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts events schedule.
The Palm Springs hotels include several hip and stylish lodging establishments that embrace the city’s nostalgic past without compromising modern comfort. You can also find virtually every other kind of hotel in and around town. In Palm Springs and the other Coachella Valley desert resort cities, there are convention hotels, full-service resorts, mid-size hotels and resorts, and boutique hotels and inns. Some local Palm Springs hotels cater to the naturist crowd, offering clothing-optional policies, and there are also hotels that cater to the LGBT community. Add in the vacation homes and rental condos, and the Palm Springs accommodation options only increase. Basically, when choosing a Palm Springs hotel, it comes down to what you have in mind for your visit, where you want to be based, and how much money you are willing to spend. As a side note, there are no Palm Springs lodging establishments with the word motel on their exteriors, so you will have to do more than just keep an eye out for such notices when looking to save on accommodations. Finally, in addition to Palm Springs, Coachella Valley visitors can focus on the area’s other desert resort cities when trying to find their ideal lodging matches. These other resort cities include Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, and La Quinta.