Palm Springs

Palm Springs

The ancestral home of the Cahuilla Indians, Palm Springs pulses with the presence of its original inhabitants. Whether visiting downtown’s Spa Resort Casino, “taking the waters” of the resort’s spa, or hiking in the lush Indian Canyons, an aura of spirituality permeates the land. The city itself is probably best known as a hideaway for celebrities who flocked here during the 20th century.

Over the years, Palm Springs grew into a destination with a global reputation for first-class resorts and hotels, modern architecture, great restaurants, eclectic shopping, and year-round fun. Top events include Palm Springs International Film Festival in January, Modernism Week in February, and VillageFest every Thursday night on Palm Canyon Drive. Complete your visit with a ride on Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to enjoy the refreshing beauty of the San Jacinto Mountains.

For those who live to shop, retailers of every stripe comprise the Uptown Design District on North Palm Canyon and along the downtown strip. The restaurant scene continues to grow, with excellent dining at venues such as Trio, Lulu California Bistro, Cheeky’s, and Zini Café Med joining long-standing establishments such as Le Vallauris and LG’s Steakhouse.

As one of the first and arguably the most famous desert resort destinations in the United States, Palm Springs has a celebrity vibe that’s hard to beat.

Palm Desert

Palm Desert

The oasis offers considerable shopping options, including Palm Desert’s elegant El Paseo and its wealth of fine stores.

Palm Desert is considered the geographical center of oasis communities. With stunning mountain views, 350 days of sunshine a year, and an environment that encourages an active lifestyle, the city attracts a wide variety of people. Consumers enjoy considerable shopping options, including elegant El Paseo and its wealth of fine stores, such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Apple, Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Lucky Brand Jeans, and the recent addition of Bang & Olufsen. Nearby Westfield Palm Desert represents the only regional mall in the area.

Palm Desert is also education focused, with three college campuses: College of the Desert; California State University, San Bernardino; and University of California, Riverside. The city’s must-see attraction is The Living Desert Zoo & Botanical Garden, a wildlife park devoted to desert flora and fauna from around the world — and the proud exhibitor of a collection of model trains that will delight the whole family. Add to this the arts and culture offerings of McCallum Theatre and Palm Desert’s continued popularity among locals and visitors is easily understood.

Rancho Mirage

Rancho Mirage

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Rancho Mirage is among the most affluent and well-managed communities in the desert, with 80 percent of homes located in gated enclaves. The city also boasts an enviable roster of celebrities, families, and vacationers. Many flock to Restaurant Row and The River at Rancho Mirage to shop, drink, dine, and go to the movies. Gamers seek out Agua Caliente Casino • Resort • Spa for 24-hour entertainment. For more cerebral undertakings, the architecturally significant Rancho Mirage Public Library offers special events, lectures, and exhibits. Rancho Mirage focuses on health, with distinguished facilities like Eisenhower Medical Center and Betty Ford Center. One of the biggest bonus additions is The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, the spectacular Walter and Leonore Annenberg estate, center, and gardens, which is open for tours, conferences, and special events.

Coachella

Coachella

Coachella marks the desert’s easternmost city, where 80 percent of the land remains undeveloped and the median age of residents is 24. Coachella is one of the fastest-growing cities in the state with a population that is 98 percent Hispanic. The area’s casinos on Indian reservations — Spotlight 29 Casino, and Augustine Casino — bring the majority of visitors to Coachella, but it’s said that the authentic Mexican food brings them back.

The city’s crowd-pleasing fiestas include Cinco de Mayo, Mexican Independence Day (Sept. 16), and a day honoring the Virgin of Guadalupe (Dec. 12). A weekly Saturday morning farmers market features plentiful Coachella crops, such as grapes, citrus, corn, carrots, artichokes, and peppers.

Cathedral City

Cathedral City

Cathedral City’s assortment of independent shops and restaurants draws people like a magnet to its excellent location between Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage. Other attractions include the IMAX Theatre, Mary Pickford Theatre, and Big League Dreams Sports Park — where the playing fields resemble scaled-down famous ballparks such as Boston’s Fenway Park, New York’s Yankee Stadium, and Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

Boomer’s recreation complex, featuring miniature golf, go-karts, bumper boats, a rock wall, and a game room, brings out the kid in everyone. Cool folks love Desert Ice Castle, a fullservice skating facility. Or you can play in the Fountain of Life in the city’s Town Square or mountain bike along the Santa Rosa Mountains to the south of the city.

La Quinta

La Quinta

Largely surrounded by the Santa Rosa Mountains, La Quinta offers a distinctive backdrop for such world-class events as the Humana Challenge (formerly Bob Hope Classic) at SilverRock Resort’s Arnold Palmer Classic Course, and La Quinta Arts Festival. The city’s fairy tale story began in the 1920s with the creation of La Quinta Resort & Club, which now includes restaurants, golf courses, tennis courts, a spa, and more. Old Town La Quinta, located within La Quinta Village, is alive with sidewalk cafés, concerts, art shows, a weekly organic farmers market, and more. La Quinta Museum features traveling and historical exhibits, and La Quinta Public Library boasts one of the top circulations in Riverside County. The city is known for arts and culture, natural beauty, and an Old World atmosphere with a distinctly 21st century focus on health and wellness.

Indian Wells

Indian Wells

This beautiful city boasts a high percentage of very well-off retirees, resulting in a “private club” feel for those who live here. With a property owner I.D. card, residents enjoy an array of perks, from discounts at hotels, spas, and restaurants to special invitations to parties at the BNP Paribas Open, The Living Desert Zoo & Botanical Garden’s WildLights, and more. Fortunately, Indian Wells shares its wealth, including the Indian Wells Tennis Garden (host of the BNP Paribas Open and Indian Wells Arts Festival), Indian Wells Golf Resort and IW Club, and Desert Town Hall Indian Wells lecture series. Four deluxe hotel properties lie within the city’s borders: Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa; Indian Wells Resort Hotel; Miramonte Resort & Spa; and Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa.

Indio

Indio

As the largest and one of the fastestgrowing cities in the Coachella Valley and the second county seat for Riverside County, Indio is a force in the area. The increasing popularity of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Stagecoach Music Festival, both held at Empire Polo Club, have contributed to much of the city’s current girth. But the “City of Festivals” does not stop there. Millions of people come here annually for a host of additional events, including the Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival, Southwest Arts Festival, and International Tamale Festival. Other favorite attractions include Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Coachella Valley History Museum, Coachella Valley Wild Bird Center, and the Cabazon Cultural Museum. The Indio Chamber of Commerce offers self-guided tours through Indio’s murals, a series of 12 outdoor panels commissioned to honor the city’s history and people.

Desert Hot Springs

Desert Hot Springs

Healing hot mineral waters are discovered in 1913 at the foot of the San Bernardino Mountains. Almost 100 years later, “California’s Spa City” attracts visitors globally. Water naturally heated underground to as much as 180 degrees has resulted in more than two dozen spas and spa hotels, including the celebrity-studded Two Bunch Palms Resort & Spa, soothing Miracle Springs Resort, and DogSpa and Wellness Center, for traveling with your pup.

People are drawn to the small-town atmosphere, award-winning tap water, proximity to Joshua Tree National Park, and stunning elevated views of Palm Springs, causing the population to double in the 1980s. Desert Hot Springs’ annual spa tour and holiday parade are two of the area’s favorite events.