Discover Greater Palm Springs
Conveniently positioned between four major gateways, Greater Palm Springs is just a two hour drive from Los Angeles (177km), two hours from San Diego (225km), approximately four hours from Las Vegas (373km) and Phoenix (431km). The approach to Greater Palm Springs is marked from the west by the iconic white windmills on Interstate 10 and from the east by the rugged, pink-shaded silhouettes of the Santa Rosa Mountains. The diversity of Greater Palm Springs offers something for everyone with experiences certain to inspire at every turn.
Greater Palm Springs actually consists of nine cities – Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Desert Hot Springs, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio and Coachella, each with their own distinct personalities and histories.
Palm Springs, on the western edge of the destination, has been Hollywood’s favourite playground since the late 1940s when stars including the Rat Pack, Elvis Presley, Liz Taylor, Bob Hope and Lucille Ball flocked here to unwind from the demands of show business. The charm and glitz of the 1950s and 1960s still resonate in the elegant historical neighbourhoods, chic resorts and hotels, excellent restaurants and glamorous events, including the Palm Springs International Film Festival and ShortFest. With dozens of houses and buildings designed by renowned architects after World War II, Palm Springs is considered the mid-century modern capital of the world and celebrates its architectural heritage each year during Modernism Week, an annual festival packed with tours, lectures, shows and martini parties. From beautiful canyons with miles of hiking trails to prestigious cultural venues such as the Palm Springs Art Museum, this lively resort town has both culture and beauty in spades.
Adjacent to Palm Springs, Cathedral City is home to fine resorts, eclectic shopping and a string of festivals, including the iconic Hot Air Balloon Festival. Meanwhile, Rancho Mirage is recognised for its luxurious ambience and is the escape of choice for U.S. presidents and international leaders; for example, Sunnylands, an historic mid-century residence recently turned into a summit retreat, as well as a visitor's paradise with art, tours and gardens. Sunnylands has hosted presidents, including Eisenhower, Reagan and Obama. This elegant city also offers fun and recreation at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa and The River – a shopping and dining outdoor complex.
Known for world-class shopping and culture, Palm Desert is the ideal destination for fashionistas and art buffs. Palm Desert’s mile-long El-Paseo boulevard is often compared to Beverly Hills’ iconic Rodeo Drive and features upscale boutiques, outstanding restaurants, myriad art galleries and public art. The city’s McCallum Theatre presents high-quality programming and brings top entertainers and performers from all over the world. While, adjacent Indian Wells is a sports paradise boasting the state-of-the-art Indian Wells Tennis Garden, that hosts the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in March, as well as a city full of excellent golf courses.
Home to the quaint boutique and restaurant filled streets of Old Town, La Quinta is known for the top-rated annual La Quinta Arts Festival, as well as catering for sports enthusiasts with picturesque golf courses and outstanding tee times. La Quinta also hosts the annual Desert Classic, a Professional Golf Association (PGA) event that draws both elite and non-professional players.
Indio is known for Shields Date Garden and is a polo mecca, but it’s perhaps best recognised for hosting the popular Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Perched at the easternmost edge of the valley, the city of Coachella features murals and authentic Mexican fare in the heart of downtown Pueblo Viejo. Located just across the valley by the San Bernardino Mountains, Desert Hot Springs sits on the world’s finest natural hot mineral water aquifers. Boasting in excess of a dozen health spas and spa hotels ranging from retro-hip motels to ultra-luxury resorts, it’s no coincidence that this town is dubbed California’s Spa City.
With nine cities, 350 days of sunshine a year and dining, outdoor and cultural activities to satisfy every discerning taste, this unique destination welcomes all visitors to the desert paradise known as the Oasis – a place where visitors can be as active or relaxed as they want, where nature awes and leisure defines daily life.