The history of Greater Palm Springs dates back 2,000 years when the area’s earliest settlers, the Agua Caliente, made their home here. The first non-natives came to the area in 1774 when Juan Bautista de Anza guided an expedition through the region. By 1886, visitors had found their way to the region, so much so that the area’s first hotel, the Palm Springs Hotel, was built. By the 1930s, the desert region became a playground for Hollywood’s most elite celebrities. Hollywood legends including Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra and Marlena Dietrich and many more enjoyed the destination or made it home.
Tourism Facts & Figures
•Annual visitors: 13.6 million (day and overnight)
•Annual economic impact of tourism: $7 billion
•Total hotel rooms: 15,200 rooms
•Tourism employees: 51,866 employees
Meeting & Event Space
•The Palms Springs Convention Center, which underwent a $32 million renovation in 2005, offers 150,000 square feet of meeting space. Oasis Hall features 92,000 square feet of column-free exhibit space and can hold up to 617 8’ x 10’ exhibit booths; the Primrose Ballroom features 20,000 square feet of meeting space and can accommodate up to 1,668 attendees. A new state-of-the-art high-speed wireless internet throughout the facility offers 10 Gbps connectivity to serve the largest mega bandwidth needs, making this one of the most technically advanced convention centers in the United States.
•The Palm Springs Air Museum features 55,700 square feet of indoor space and 12,000 square feet for an outdoor event.
•The Palm Garden Patio at The Living Desert in Palm Desert was created specifically for special events and can accommodate up to 700 guests for a cocktail reception.
Getting Here & Around
•The Palm Springs International Airport, with its California-casual, open-air terminal, is located two miles east of Downtown Palm Springs and is served by 10 major airlines that connect to more than 500 cities around the world.
•Cab fare between the Palm Springs International Airport and Downtown Palm Springs costs about $12; several area hotels also offer complimentary airport transportation.
•The coolest month is December when the average temperature ranges from 44 to 69 degrees.
•The warmest month is August when temperatures range from 78 to 108 degrees.
Greater Palm Springs is home to nine distinct cities:
Tucked into the foot of the majestic San Jacinto Mountains, the City of Palm Springs exudes a village atmosphere with palm-tree lined streets and wide-open avenues. Visitors can explore boutique shops, art galleries, midcentury modern architecture and alfresco dining set along a stunning desert backdrop. The Palm Springs International Film Festival draws Hollywood A-listers here each January.
Desert Hot Springs
Desert Hot Springs is located in the foothills overlooking the Coachella Valley. It is the only valley city on the North American Tectonic Plate and this unique geology is the source of the city's world-famous mineral springs, which can be found at dozens of local independent hotels and spas.
Nicknamed the “Spirit of the Desert,” Cathedral City is located between Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage. A hub for family entertainment, Cathedral City offers scenic hiking through the area’s mountain canyons, new exciting events, from hot air balloons to music and art.
Unique for its designation as the “Playground of Presidents,” Rancho Mirage’s stellar golf courses, sprawling resorts, lushly landscaped estates, first-class shopping and fine dining remind visitors why the likes of Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, and Walter Annenberg chose to call this city home.
This dynamic, resort destination is renowned as the desert’s hub for shopping, commerce, recreation, dining, culture and higher education. Shoppers can enjoy El Paseo, a famed mile-long shopping avenue, as well as Westfield Palm Desert, Desert Crossing and Town Center Plaza.
Though Indian Wells is geographically small, it is home to four of the desert’s premier resorts as well as a number of challenging championship golf courses featuring views of the Santa Rosa and the San Jacinto Mountains. Some of the desert’s best spas also make their home here. The BNP Paribas tennis tournament draws the biggest players in tennis each spring to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Surrounded by the rocky peaks of the Santa Rosa Mountains, La Quinta is located 23 miles east of Palm Springs. La Quinta is home to several golf courses, including ones designed by Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Pete Dye. The Robb Report has named La Quinta the “Leading Golf Destination in the U.S.”
The Coachella Valley’s largest city offers a reason to celebrate any time of year. Known as the “City of Festivals,” Indio is home to some of the country’s top music festivals, including the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Stagecoach Country Music Festival and the Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival.
Although the insanely popular Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival actually takes place in Indio, the City of Coachella is one of the fastest-growing municipalities in California. Known as “The City of Eternal Sunshine,” Coachella is the valley’s easternmost city.