Welcome to California’s oasis of style, with an arid mountain backdrop, rows of towering palms and sleek 1950s architecture.
Palm Springs is a resort city set in Coachella Valley, just a 90-minute drive from Los Angeles. Here you can spend the day on a golf course, go biking or horseback riding in the mountains or, in winter, hit the ski slopes near Big Bear Lake. In the afternoon, try bowling or browse the galleries and boutiques. When the sun sets, mingle with locals at Palm Canyon Drive’s cocktail bars, clubs and restaurants.
The Palm Springs story begins with the local Native American Indians, the Cahuilla people, who lived on the desert floor during the winter and retreated to the cooler mountain canyons each summer. Learn about the history and contemporary lives of the Cahuilla at the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum.
Explore more of the city’s history at the Palm Springs Art Museum. Palm Springs was first settled by Europeans in the mid-19th century. It developed into a fashionable health retreat, but it wasn’t until Sinatra, Liberace and Elvis built their palatial homes here that Palm Springs started to grow. Throughout the 1950s and ’60s the city became the epicenter of modernist style. Each year, design lovers from all over the world descend on Palm Springs for the architectural tours, films and symposiums at Modernism Week.
Palm Springs is also blessed with some of the USA’s most dramatic natural scenery. Ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to San Jacinto Peak and marvel at the vast areas of forestland and mountain ranges stretching north towards Las Vegas and south to the Salton Sea.
Follow the trails of Indian Canyon and look for rare birds, Peninsular bighorn sheep and black bear. If your time is limited, spend an hour in the Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium, which brings the desert flora to the city.
At the end of the day, relax at the bar of a retro hotel and toast Palm Springs’ perfect blend of nature and style.