"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust
Gary Orfield Director of Tourism Development
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September 2023: The main water sources for the Coachella Valley include groundwater, recycled water, and imported water from the Colorado River via the Coachella Canal, a branch of the All-American Canal. Hidden beneath the vast desert expanses of the Coachella Valley lies a natural treasure most would hardly expect: a colossal reservoir of pure, drinkable water. Stretching 65 miles from the Whitewater River to the Salton Sea, this incredible underground aquifer contains a storage size equal to more than 30 million football fields. Though unknown to many, these waters have long served as the main water source for Greater Palm Springs.
July 2023: Small-batch, Mojave Desert, tight-knit community, eclectic desert culture...are not necessarily phrases one might associate when describing a coffee company. However, those are precisely accurate reflections when discussing my favorite local roaster, Joshua Tree Coffee. A can’t miss pink bag with a Joshua Tree logo is easily found in a handful of specialty retailers but finding the “HQ” is a bit more of a challenge. Nestled down an alley in between two other businesses and across the street from the Joshua Tree National Park Visitors Center, you will find the perfect place to sit, relax and shake off last night’s delicious food coma after having dinner at Pappy and Harriet’s. Locally, I only know one coffee shop, IW Coffee in Indian Wells, who brews Joshua Tree coffee. Honorable coffee mentions also go out to 6th Street Coffee in Coachella and Everbloom Coffee in Indio.
May 2023: Situated high overlooking Greater Palm Springs, the City of Desert Hot Springs is dotted with boutique resorts and spas, known worldwide for natural, healing, hot mineral water. The pure and odor-free mineral waters have drawn visitors from all over the world to soak up the therapeutic mineral waters. In addition, Desert Hot Springs’ groundwater is ranked among the nation’s best. The storied waters have multiple awards in the past nine years in the International Water Tasting Competition at Berkeley Springs, West Virginia with submissions from dozens of countries. Honors include the 1999 and 2004 Gold Medals for the “Best Tasting Municipal Drinking Water,” three Silver Medals, and one Bronze.
March 2023: Looking for a VIP, private bar, and backstage hangout experience at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival? Well, drop that idea and head over to Little Bar in Palm Desert. Skip Paige, the former COO of Goldenvoice, the company behind Coachella, is the curator. A small, intimate venue serving hand-crafted cocktails and casual food, this is a popular local hangout with little fanfare and no roadside billboards. Accommodating only about 30 people, the walls are lined with concert memorabilia including old ticket stubs, hotel room keys, and posters while exposed ductwork lends to an industrial feel. It is easy to feel the casual vibe and intimacy, which was Skip’s original vision when you visit – and on many nights, you will most likely see Skip behind the bar or mingling with his guests.
December 2022: Arts & Culture in Greater Palm Springs is part of the landscape across all nine cities. If gazing at art inside a museum is not your style, drop the top of your convertible and take a self-guided Greater Palm Springs art tour and see the outdoor pieces on public display. Your adventure will take you all the way through Greater Palm Springs as you stop pass everything from a large roadrunner sculpture to a 25 foot statue of Marilyn Monroe.
September 2022: Like you, I'm always on the lookout for authentic, local experiences when I travel and I'm willing to share one of my favorite hangouts in Greater Palm Springs. In the City of Coachella, you will find a rich Hispanic heritage in full display and if you can follow directions, I'm going to make it simple. Step 1: Order your favorite beverage from 6th Street Coffee.
Step 2: Visit Las Tres Conchitas Bakery next door.
Step 3,: Take a walking tour of more than a dozen wall murals, otherwise known as the Coachella Walls. An ongoing, arts-driven community revitalization project in downtown Coachella’s Historic Pueblo Viejo District. It is produced by artist Armando Lerma and curator Medvin Sobio and supported by the City of Coachella. A walking, self-guided map is even provided.
Finally, Step 4: Sake your claim on one of the many park benches in front of City Hall to absorb the ample sunshine.
June 2022: I was just as surprised as many first-time visitors when I originally questioned the very large “ditch” running down the center of the Greater Palm Springs. Well, this is a 50-mile / 80-kilometer storm channel starting at the San Gorgonian Pass ie: where you see the windmills, to the Salton Sea. This large storm channel is the backbone of the Coachella Valley Water District's (CVWD) 16 storm water protection channels totaling 135 miles / 217 kilometers. This project- was designed to withstand a 100-year flood and capture rainwater as it pours from the adjacent mountains onto the valley floor. As you travel throughout Greater Palm Springs, you will notice the main channel filled with everything from concrete lined walls, natural desert landscape or in some cases, incorporated into the routing of fairways by local golf courses.
April 2022: One of my favorite ways to see the valley is a quick drive-up Highway 74 to Vista Point. Heading West on Monterey Avenue or as many refer, the Palms to Pines Highway, you begin your ascent on Highway 74 snaking up the mountain to arrive at Vista Point, which is about 5-miles / 8 kilometers from the Monterey Avenue, El Paseo cross street. Use caution as you turn into the parking area of Vista Point and mind the ledge! Once there, you will be rewarded with great views looking across the communities of Palm Desert, Indian Wells and La Quinta. On a clear day, the Salton Sea will be visible about 40-miles / 64 kilometers away to the southeast.