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Palm Springs, California


Palm Springs, in the Sonoran Desert of Southern California, is known for its dramatic location, its stylish architecture,  shops and museums, and its golfing and tennis venues and other outdoor recreational opportunities. Its attractions have been influenced by its history as the get-away for Hollywood stars during the 1930s to 1960s.

Palm Springs' central avenue, Palm Canyon Drive, features vintage boutiques, interior design shops, art galleries and restaurants. The centrally located statue honours the former mayor, Sonny Bono.

Within the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs lie the surrounding cities of Palm Desert, Indio, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Desert Hot Springs, Banning, Yucca Valley and La Quinta, shown here.

A unique architectural style, now called Desert Modernism, emerged in the 1920s to 1950s. Approximately 250 buildings exemplify this style, including the Visitor Center, a re-purposed gas station.

Sunnylands is the 200-acre mid-century estate of Ambassadors Walter and Leonore Annenberg which offers public gardens, an art gallery and tours of the home and halls used to host international diplomats.

The Palm Springs Air Museum is a non-profit educational institution preserving American fighters, bombers and trainers, with an emphasis on World War II aircraft.

The stunning Palm Springs Art Museum also includes a second branch in Palm Desert and the separate Architecture and Design Center.

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens has 1000 acres of desert ecosystem, featuring African, Australian and North American habitats.

Dramatic desert flora can be viewed at the Living Desert Zoo, Sunnylands, Moorten Botanical Garden, Mojave Desert Garden and Oak Glen Preserve.

Walks Among Stars by Dave McGary is one of 14 pieces at the Faye Sarkowsky Sculpture Garden.

Blue by Lucy Lyon is one of the 3000 contemporary sculptures in the collection of the Palm Springs Art Museum.

Rock, Paper, Scissors by Kevin Box is seen at the Ramey Fine Art Gallery, one of several galleries along El Paseo Street.

       Throughout the communities of the Coachella Valley, there are numerous art galleries, installations and displays.

Palm oases appear along the valley where water escapes through fissures in the San Andreas Fault. At Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve an interpretive trail highlights the unique oasis ecosystem.

There are many hiking trails in the area, the most ambitious being stretches of the scenic 2650-mile Pacific Crest Trail which traverses the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains from Mexico to Canada.

Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument and State Park encompass the rugged mountainous area near Palm Springs. An aerial tramway takes visitors to San Jacinto Peak for access to trails and views of the Coachella Valley.

The Aqua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has lived in the area since 5000 B.C. The Band operates the Indian Canyons interpretive trail and will soon open a cultural center in downtown Palm Springs.

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This site was last updated 02/20/23