Palm Springs is about 107 miles southeast of Los Angeles and 135 miles northeast of San Diego. Convenient to major interstates and highways, Palm Springs is an easy drive from these major cities; I-10 passes right by; I-15 (south to north), and I-5 (north to south), terminate at the I-10. Hwy-91 runs east from LA and Hwy-215 travels north to south, linking I-10 with I-15. The Palm Springs Airport connects the region with most major US cities including Atlanta, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Houston, Minneapolis, Portland, Salt Lake City, and Vancouver. Palm Springs is also easily reached by rail and bus.
Since prehistory, Coachella Valley has been home to the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. In pre-contact times the band spent their winter months at the hot mineral springs (where the Spa Resort Casino is at present), and in summer they moved into the cooler climate of the canyons. The Southern Pacific Railroad finished its line through the desert to the Pacific Ocean in 1877, bringing the first white men to the region. By Federal decree, the surrounding lands now belonged to the Railway or the Federal Government. The first non-Indian family moved to the current Palm Springs in 1884 and local Indians helped them to construct an irrigation ditch. As the 19th century wore on, numerous adventurers, settlers, and military came through the desert, but it was not until the first decade of the 20th century that Palm Springs became widely known, after Dr. Harry and Nellie Coffman started their sanatorium, The Desert Inn, in 1909. The Indian springs drew more and more people to the town and in time, the Inn became a world famous resort hotel catering to the likes of the Vanderbilts and the Hearsts. Palm Springs was incorporated in 1938 and the post-war boom saw new housing developments and businesses, schools, and a hospital being constructed. Much of this post-war architecture represented the best of its day; many are attracted to Palm Springs by these stunning designer homes. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians also regained about 3,000 land sections during the 1950s and they have used this resource to maintain their way of life. Hollywood discovered Palm Springs early on, as the desert was a popular place to make films and the town had enough quality hotels to house the stars. Today, many Hollywood celebrities have homes in the city or stay at its famous hotels.
Residents have access to an excellent range of educational resources—from kindergarten through to adult education. Preschools and kindergartens include a Montessori and a parent-participating school, two Jewish schools, and Reimer’s School of Music. The Palm Springs Unified School District is excellent. After-school activities abound, like the Palm Springs Boys and Girls Club. Higher education is offered at the Desert Career College; nearby LA and San Diego have some of the world’s top universities.
WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT AREA?
The answer to this is simple: the weather. With glorious sunshine an estimated 350 days of the year, the outdoor lifestyle is the only way to go. Recreational activities abound, from swimming and sunning poolside to golfing, hiking, biking, exploring, gaming, tennis, and eco-tourism. Palm Springs is a spa town; the hot mineral springs are complimented by world-class health resorts. Palm Springs is also aesthetically pleasing and culturally sophisticated. The beauty of the desert and surrounding canyons are complimented by the city’s stunning modernist architecture and sensitive town planning. Long a “Hollywood town”, Palm Springs has glamour—great shopping and nightlife, restaurants, and cultural events flourish.