We put perfect on the map
Springs is the jewel among desert cities and rightly so. Its village atmosphere
has been preserved and embellished over the years. The downtown area with
its quaint lamppost, benches and Mexican tile paved enclaves invites strolling
among the shops, galleries, eateries and coffeehouses. Rich in history
and blessed with glorious weather, it is a prime destination of travelers
from all over the world.
Palm Springs is the ancestral home of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla
Indians. They knew the area as "la palma de la mano de Dios",
the palm of God's hand, and their ancient healing mineral waters are still
a part of the success story of Palm Springs, showcased at their Spa Resort
Casino. The Agua Calientes continue to be a major force in the cultural
and economic enrichment of Palm Springs. The tribe has just built a second
casino, the Agua Caliente Casino, in Rancho Mirage with all the accoutrements
of a Las Vegas gaming facility.
The world famous Indian CanyonsPalm, Murray, Andreas and Tahqitzare
tribal lands, made a part of movie history by Frank Capra's classic 1935
film, Lost Horizon. Today, after being closed to the public for more than
30 years, Tahquitz Canyon is now open for guided tours. From a simple
hike to picnicking by a peaceful stream, to adventurous Jeep excursions
and horseback riding deep into the canyon, the Indian Canyons are not
to be missed.The sleepy village of the late 1800s drew pioneers after
the Southern Pacific Railroad came through the desert and these settlers;
spirit and efforts created an oasis on which their descendants are still
leaving their mark. They could not have known that the '20s and '30s would
bring the elite of Hollywood to "The Springs" and make this
remote desert the international playground of the stars. These adventurers
played hard and many bought hideaway homes here, Gable, Garbo, Jack Benny,
The Marx Brothers, Janet Gaynor and even Albert Einstein loved to come
here. When Charlie Farrell and Ralph Bellamy couldn't get a court at the
El Mirador Hotel (now Desert Regional Medical Center), they built their
own and the famed Racquet Club became a haven for every mover and shaker
and star in Hollywood.
So many luminaries made the desert their home. Some have made an especially
indelible contributionFrank Sinatra, Dinah Shore, Sonny Bono, Bob
Hope, George Montgomery, Kirk Douglas, Ambassador Walter Annenberg and
so many more whose generosity is legend.
A new generation of Hollywood hit-makers has succumbed to the lure of
the desert and the relaxing privacy it offers. Now, Palm Springs is being
rediscovered by todays generation of Hollywood stars. Unlike their
predecessors of earlier times, this new breed of star much prefers the
private quiet of the desert and its many walled estates to the public
nightlife that those early pioneers enjoyed. And in Palm Springs, that
quest for privacy is universally respected despite the occasional star
sighting in the supermarket, restaurant or boutique.
Palm Springs is a happening place. A stroll on Palm Canyon Drive with
its Walk of Stars, honoring both pioneers and entertainment celebs, offers
shops, galleries, coffeehouses and when you turn the corner at Tahquitz
Canyon way, theres Lucille Ball holding court on her bronze bench.
Just down the avenue is the historic Plaza Theatre, the scene of many
Jack Benny radio broadcasts in the '40s as well as a Hollywood premiere
or two. Today it is the home of The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies, with performances starring top guest stars,
hilarious variety acts and a company of long-legged lovelies, all over
In January, the Nortel Palm Springs International Film Festival, founded
by the late Sonny Bono, brings the gifted filmmakers of the world to our
theaters to show their wares and to pay tribute to the legends of the
silver screen during a gala evening. In July, the Palm Springs International
Short Film Festival showcases the industrys talented filmmakers
The mission-style architecture throughout the village is a big part of
the charisma one feels in moving about Palm Springs. There is still another
aura here brought about by famed mid-century modern architects such as
the late Albert Frey, a long time resident and designer of Palm Springs
City Hall, many homes in the posh Smoke Tree Ranch, the Tramway Gas Station
(renovated into a plant and sculpture gallery) and many more.
Palm Springs has an eclectic, adventurous architectural style, which
is drawing significant attention worldwide.
Feeling stressed out? Start your day with a visit to one of the famous
spas. On the site of the original Agua Caliente mineral springs is the
Spa Hotel & Casino, where you can luxuriate in a full-service spa,
mineral baths and the peaceful sounds of Native American music. There
is also the elegant Givenchy Spa at Merv Griffins Resort Hotel,
offering a complete European spa experience. The Palms at Palm Springs
promises the ultimate in spa treatments and exercise therapy.
At the edge of Palm Springs sits the Knotts' Oasis Water Park, where
visitors will find a beach with private cabanas, a wave pool for body
surfing, thrilling waterslides, a kiddie area and a wonderfully relaxing
Whitewater River inner tube ride.
But Palm Springs is not without its cultural side. The Palm Springs
Desert Museum is the cultural centerpiece of the community with renowned
traveling exhibitions and an extensive permanent collection.
The Village Green Heritage Center on Palm Canyon Drive houses the McCallum
Adobe and the Cornelia White House with memorabilia of local pioneers;
the charming Ruddys 1930s General Store Museum and the Agua Caliente
For a look back at aircraft of the World War II era, visit the awesome
Palm Springs Air Museum. The many programs and flight demonstrations bring
this era to life.
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway has been delighting visitors for 30 years
with a short trip from the desert floor to an alpine forest at 8,516 feet.
Snow sports in winter and cool activities in summer, great views and a
mountaintop restaurant make this trip at the top of every list. The tramway
features two new, state-of-the-art tramcars with rotating floors designed
to give spectacular views of the mountains and valley below to every rider,
on every trip!