The beautiful metro Palm Springs desert cities and the Coachella Valley have, over the last 30 years, achieved the reputation as the premier vacation golf destination, vacation and retirement areas in the United States. The Valley offers a warm, dry climate along with over 325 days of sunshine and less than 6 inches of rain each year.
Metro Palm Springs Desert Cities
Today, the Coachella Valley is composed of nine cities: Desert Hot Springs, Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio, and Coachella. Given the dry, climate, weather and all the recreational amenities offered to residents here it is no surprise that the area experiences a growth rate in excess of 5% per year with an expected 500,000 permanent residents next year.
This community is famous for its golf courses. For the traveling golf enthusiast, there are over 100 public and private golf facilities, including many of the finest works from the world’s best known architects & designers. The Golfers Guide to California figures there are more than 240 miles of fairways in the greater Palm Springs area, (that’s probably enough for any hacker to keep it on the short grass).
Excellent shopping facilities make this “other sport” one of the area’s greatest assets, and one of the main delights for visitors. Shops in the new Desert Fashion Shopping Plazas are equal those of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. The areas many boutiques also provide a high-fashion image as well.
Restaurants here offer a broad variety of fine dining facilities encompassing every taste imaginable from Southwestern Tex-Mex to the finest French Cuisine in all price ranges and presentations.
The Palm Springs area desert offers spectacular vistas and beauty. As for recreational activities, you won’t find more to do anywhere else!
The magical history of Palm Springs California
The magic of Palm Springs California and the Coachella Valley desert region has drawn visitors and residents for centuries. At twilight, as the sun sets behind Mt. San Jacinto, lights begin to flicker along the boulevards, and the moon glows over the valley, the powerful allure that defines Palm Springs history still reverberates.
The region has been inhabited for thousands of years, making it one of the oldest indigenous villages in the nation. Five hundred years ago a small band of Cahuilla Indians settled near bubbling hot springs, in the lush canyons of Mt. San Jacinto. When the first non-native explorers arrived on horseback or by stagecoach, they called the Indians the Agua Caliente – Spanish for hot water – and the name remained.
In the 1880’s the Southern Pacific Railroad opened up new possibilities for exploring exotic territories, and for making a home in the Wild West. The Honorable Judge John Guthrie McCallum of San Francisco was one such intrepid settler. McCallum established the Palm Valley Colony in 1884 on old reservation land that he bought from Southern Pacific. He brought his family to the desert hoping that the climate would soothe his son, who suffered from tuberculosis. Judge McCallum dreamed of creating a kind of paradise here, and without the luxury of electricity, automobiles, air conditioners or telephones, he built a series of aqueducts to improve water supply to the valley.
Early settlers to Palm Springs California
Anyone who’s spent a summer in this valley can appreciate the stamina and vision of settlers who forged the history of Palm Springs California. McCallum was joined by Dr. Wellwood Murray, who established the first Palm Springs Hotel in 1886. Dr. Harry and Nellie Coffman opened The Desert Inn, which originally served as a sanatorium for tubercular patients. These early facilities evolved into some of the famous Inns, restaurants and resorts that would later make Palm Springs, California a Playground for the Stars, and a haven for the elite.
The climate, the unique beauty of the landscape, the vast sense of space and possibility – this breathtaking synergy attracted artists, naturalists, entrepreneurs and celebrities from the beginning. Movie stars and industrialists discovered the desert in the early part of the last century. Airports, libraries and schools seemed to rise magically out of the sand throughout the ensuing decades.
Commerce comes to Palm Springs California
But the area has also been a remarkable source of agriculture, business and culture. Date farmers, for example, produce some of the world’s largest and finest harvests every year. The Palm Springs Desert museum ranks among the finest institutions of its size in the country. Palm Springs architecture and design has nearly redefined the modern experience. The prestigious Palm Springs International Film Festival draws the finest members of the film making community and showcases hundreds of foreign and independent films every year.
But perhaps the greatest change that has occurred in Palm Springs California over the last century has to do with residency. The area is now home to families and individuals from all walks of life and every location around the globe. We have become a rich and diverse community of part time and year round residents who relish the same magic that has captivated people for millennia.