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Palm Springs, California is an old resort city located 114 miles east of Los Angeles California. It is located in the upper Colorado Desert just east of the 10,804 foot San Jacinto Mountain Peak.
Palm Springs is sheltered by the Little San Bernardino Mountains to the north, the Santa Rosa Mountains on the south, and the San Jacinto Mountains to the west. This geography gives Palm Springs its famed warm, dry climate. Known for 354 days of sunshine and less than 6 inches of rain annually, winter temperatures average in the 70s with nights in the low to mid-40s.

Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs is a resort city in the Santa Rosa Mountains, just south of Interstate 10 at the foot of 10,000-foot Mt. San Jacinto on the westernmost edge of the Sonoran Desert. The city is named for the palm trees that line its streets and for its natural hot springs. These features along with a warm climate, fashionable hotels and private homes, golf courses, parks, and swimming pools, make Palm Springs a major, upscale tourist attraction.

The entire Coachella Valley sits atop a large underground lake. Palm Springs is one of nine adjacent communities in the Valley, each offering a similar, yet unique, vacation experience. Most visitors stay in country-club-type resorts that have transformed the desert into a semitropical oasis. Recreational opportunities include golf courses and tennis courts, as well as lavish spas and horseback riding.

Art galleries, antique stores, and many specialty shops line Palm Canyon Drive. There is an abundant supply of gourmet restaurants. Many that are less imposing offer Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Italian, and other cuisine.

Among the most popular attractions are the Aerial Tramway, Oasis Water Resort, Moorten Botanical Gardens, and the spectacular Indian canyons. The Palm Springs Desert Museum presents desert dioramas and collections of art and Native American artifacts.

The Living Desert Museum is an outdoor facility that has a large variety of plants and animals native to the Palm Springs area as well as more exotic species. The Palm Springs Aerial Museum, located at the regional airport, houses fully restored World War II-vintage aircraft.

The southwestern-style Mercado Plaza in downtown Palm Springs features upscale galleries, boutiques and restaurants. Nightlife in the city includes fine dining and an assortment of bars and nightclubs, as well as gambling at nearby Native American-owned casinos.

Day trips from Palm Springs offer exciting possibilities. Close to Palm Springs is the community of Desert Hot Springs, famous for its hot-springs resorts: some the private domain of Hollywood celebrities; others open to all.

Highway I-10 leads to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway which climbs 2.5 miles up the San Jacinto Mountain Range, over Chino Canyon, providing breathtaking views from circular cars. Once at the top, enjoy a mule ride, a hike through the wilderness or a meal in the restaurant that overlooks the desert.

The scenic Palms to Pines Highway 74 south from Palm Desert leads to a pine-scented setting near Idyllwild, a popular mountain vacation area with a relaxed lifestyle. At the southeastern edge of the Coachella Valley are the communities of Indio, Coachella and Thermal, where the date palm gardens, tours, and samplings are the main attractions.

While in the Palm Springs area, consider a side trip to eastern California's Joshua Tree National Park where the Sonoran and Mojave deserts meet. In the higher, Mojave portion of the park, a forest of Joshua Trees and a number of unique granite rock formations called Inselbergs can be seen. In the lower, Colorado portion, the Pinto Basin exhibits the beautiful native plants of this hotter Sonoran Desert. This is an area gaining international recognition for its winter-season rock climbing. Hiking and mountain biking are other recreational possibilities, along with back road jeep trips.

The Nature Conservancy's Coachella Valley Preserve in Thousand Palms includes 13,000 acres of palm oases and high desert bisected by California's San Andreas Fault. Cecil B. DeMille filmed The King of Kings there, in and around the Thousand Palms Oasis. Area hiking is permitted, and visitors can also experience a covered wagon tour.

Despite the presence of celebrities in Palm Springs and the wealth that is in evidence, the area can also be affordable as a family destination. Many reasonably priced accommodations can be found year-round, and those willing to visit in the summer months can find unexpected bargains. Palm Springs is a vacation destination of rare beauty and tranquility in any season of the year.
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