|Palm Springs Quick Facts|
|Area||94.975 sq miles|
|Population||44,552 (2010 estimate)|
|Time Zone||PST (UTC-8)|
|Area Code(s)||760 (with a 442 overlay)|
About Palm Springs
Palm Springs is a city in the Riverside County of California. It is located within the Coachella Valley desert region of the Sonoran Desert and has the Little San Bernardino Mountains to the east, the San Jacinto Mountains to the west, and the San Bernardino Mountains to the north and the Santa Rosa Mountains to the south.
The Cahuilla Indians were the original inhabitants of this region. It was in the 19th century that the first white settlers arrived here and they initially called the area "Palmetto Spring" and "Big Palm Springs". The city owes its current nomenclature to Harry McCallum who called it Palm Springs. This name was adopted in 1890 and the city was incorporated in 1938.
By the beginning of the 20th century, Palm Springs became a fashionable resort for health tourism. Its sunny weather also attracts Hollywood celebrities and it became the weekend retreat of movie moguls. Lavish holiday homes modeled on the 'Desert Modern' style were commissioned by Hollywood stars and the city became the finest example of this innovative architecture. Hollywood also lent its bohemian culture to Palm Springs which is evident in every aspect of life in this city.
Palm Springs today is a very popular tourist destination. It is known for its festivals, conventions, trendy shopping malls, and of course, the lush green golf courses!
When to visit Palm Springs
January through May is considered the best peiod to visit Palm Springs. The days are sunny and the evenings beautiful. But the hotel rates also skyrocket at this time of the year! So, if you are looking for some discounts, July-August or September and December are the best times. Late-October is another peak season, thanks to the snowbirds that make this city their winter home. The city is abuzz with festivals and conventions at this time of the year.
Airports Access and Public Transport in Palm Springs
Palm Springs is served by the Palm Springs International Airport. The city has a well defined bus transport system and the main service providers are SunLine Transit Agency and Morongo Basin Transit Authority. Palm Springs is also connected by the railways and has a motorcoach network provided by Thruway Motorcoach.
Hotels & Accommodation options in Palm Springs
Some well known luxury hotels in Palm Springs are Palm Springs Rendezvous, Desert Hills Hotel, Hotel California, Desert Riviera Hotel, Old Ranch Inn, and La Maison Hotel. If you want to book a room in a budget hotel, some of the good ones are Americas Best Value Inn - Palm Springs, Ivy Palm Spa and Resort, Desert Lodge, Quality Inn Palm Springs and Vagabond Inn Palm Springs.
Things to do in Palm Springs
Palm Springs was the holiday home of the rich and famous for a good reason - its breathtaking beauty. Explore the grandeur of San Jacinto Mountains, experience the serenity of the Agua Caliente Indian Canyons, and catch up with the rare wildlife at the Coachella Valley Preserve. Do not forget to visit the Painted Canyon and Tahquitz Canyon. Find a bit more about plants at the Moorten Botanical Garden and look at amazing geological formations at Wonderland of Rocks and Trashcan Rock.
Visit Museums and Landmarks
If aviation history captivates you, then, you cannot miss the Palm Springs Air Museum which has one of the largest collections of World War II aircrafts. The Palm Springs Art Museum founded in 1938, is not only an art museum but also a natural science and performing arts institution. Visit the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, which is dedicated to the history of the Agua Caliente band of Cahuilla Indians. The Village Green Heritage Center and the Ruddy's General Store Museum are also worth a visit.
Palm Springs has many landmarks to boast about. The Desert Memorial Park, which is the final resting place for many celebrities including Frank Sinatra, is one of these. Take a stroll in the Las Plamas, the famous celebrity neighborhood, which is also known for its outstanding architecture. Do not miss the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, the largest rotating aerial tramway in the world. The city also has a number of noteworthy public art projects like Felipe Castaneda's "Standing Woman" statue, Michael Todd's "Daimaru XII" statue, Richard Wyatt's "Desert Highland Mural Project" and "Forever Marilynn" sculpture by Seward Johnson.
Want to see a show that is everything what entertainment is all about? Book a ticket to the 'The Fabulous Palm Spring Follies', a colorful show of music and dance that plays at the Plaza Theater from November to May. You can also catch some theatrical performances at the Annenberg Theatre and Village Center for The Arts. If you are in mood for live entertainment and fabulous food, do not miss the "Village Fest' that is held on Palm Canyon Drive every Thursday.
Palm Springs hosts quite a few annual film festivals throughout the year such as the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films, Festival of Native Film & Culture, and The Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival. If you are a movie buff, don't give these a miss. The city also holds some lively parades - Palm Springs Annual Homecoming Parade, Veterans Day Parade, and the Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade; these are popular with tourists and residents alike.
Go golfing at one of the sprawling golf courses in Palm Springs. You can also go fishing at Lake Hemet or horse riding at Smoke Trees Stables. Palm Springs has some very good hiking trails including the Cactus to Clouds and Palm Canyon Trail. So if hiking is what you love the most, you will surely enjoy your stay in this city.
Restaurants in Palm Springs
Looking for a good place to eat in Palm Springs? Try delicate French Cuisine at Le Vallauris, Caf Des Beaux-Arts, Pomme Frite and Europa Restaurant or indulge yourself with the taste of Italy at Johnny Costa's Ristorante, Kalura Trattoria, Vineyard Tuscan Grill and L'Olivio Italian Bistro. If you want some mouthwatering Asian food, then head straight to Wang's in the Desert, JIAO, and Pepper's Thai Cuisine or if Mexican is your choice, the best options are El Mirasol, Margarita's Restaurant, La Perlita Mexican Food and Taqueria Tlaquepaque. Trio, Tyler's Burger, Jake's, Tropicale and Woody's Burger are good for American food.
Shopping in Palm Springs
From designer wear to antiques, Palm Springs is the place where you can get them all. Some well known malls in the city are Palm Springs Mall, Plaza Del Sol Shopping Center, Desert Fashion Plaza, and Westfield Palm Desert. If you are interested in some open air shopping, visit the COD Alumni Street Fair (every Saturday and Sunday) and Palm Springs Village Fest (every Thursday). El Paseo Shopping Avenue and the Gardens on El Paso are also quite delightful shopping centers. Want some collectables to take back home? Visit the Shiraz Rug Gallery, The Art Place, Victoria's Attic Antique Mall, and Crystal Fantasy where you will find wonderful collections. Resale shopping is pretty popular in Palm Springs. So, if you are looking for a designer dress at unbelievably low price, then go shopping at 'Resale Therapy'.
Higher Education in Palm Springs
California State University, San Bernardino, and University of California Riverside have their branches in Palm Springs. Other important centers of higher education in the city are the Park University, Mayfield College, California Nurses Training Institute, and the College Of Desert (COD), a public community college.
Visit Palm Springs this year and bask in the beauty, vibrancy, and glamor of this desert city.