Palm Springs is a desert city suburb of Riverside and San Bernardino in Riverside County, California, approximately 37 miles east of San Bernardino, 111 miles east of Los Angeles and 136 miles northeast of San Diego. Golf, swimming, tennis, horseback riding and hiking in the nearby desert and mountain areas are major forms of recreation in Palm Springs. It is one of nine adjacent cities that make up the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs area). Palm Springs is in the 14th largest metropolitan area in the United States, called the San Bernardino-Riverside Metropolitan Area, also known as the Inland Empire.
Located in the Coachella Valley desert region, Palm Springs is sheltered by the San Bernardino Mountains to the north, the Santa Rosa Mountains to the south, by the San Jacinto Mountains to the west and by the Little San Bernardino Mountains to the east. This geography gives Palm Springs its hot, dry climate, with 354 days of sunshine and less than 6 inches of rain annually. The winter months are warm, with daily high temperatures ranging from 70 °F – 80 °F and low temperatures rarely dipping below 42 °F. The dry desert heat of summer pushes daytime temperatures well above 105 °F with overnight lows greater than 80 °F occurring often; however summer afternoon temperatures do frequently exceed 110 °F.
Though celebrities still retreat to Palm Springs, many today establish residences in other areas of the Coachella Valley. The city’s economy now relies on tourism, which occurs primarily during the winter months, and casino gambling. It is a city of numerous festivals, conventions, and international events.
The world’s largest rotating aerial tramcars (cable cars) can be found at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. These cars ascend two-and-a-half miles up a steep incline to reveal views of the entire Coachella Valley. The ascent from the desert floor to an altitude in excess of 8,500 feet is accompanied by a drop in temperature of 30 degrees Fahrenheit or more, giving riders a cool respite from the heat. A wilderness area can be explored at the top of the tram and there is a restaurant with notable views.
The Palm Springs International Film Festival presents movie star-filled, red-carpet affairs. The Palm Springs Follies stage-show features performers that are over the age of 55. Every Thursday evening downtown Palm Springs is transformed into Village Fest, featuring a diverse display of arts and crafts, a certified farmer’s market, food, and live entertainment on historic Palm Canyon Drive. The Palm Springs Convention Center underwent a multi-million-dollar expansion and remodeling in 2005
The Palm Springs Art Museum presents traveling art exhibitions plus a variety of entertainment in its Annenberg Theater. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is located downtown with the Spa Resort Hotel and Casino. There are other casinos in the Coachella Valley as well, notably in the cities of Rancho Mirage, Indio, Coachella and Cabazon.
Numerous five star hotels, restaurants and attractions cater to tourists, while shoppers can find high-end boutiques in downtown and uptown Palm Springs. There is a water park and several skateboard parks. There are also hundreds of diverse restaurants throughout the city.