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Palm Springs Travel Guide


Palm Springs Introduction


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The Palm Springs, California, area is like a giant sandbox where adults play their favorite games (the most popular is golf). Palm Springs itself is actually only one of several adjacent communities in the Coachella Valley, though all offer a similar type of vacation experience.   Click here to see the full Palm Springs travel guide on Travel42 »

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Palm Springs Geography


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Palm Springs lies at the north end of the Coachella Valley, 100 mi/161 km east of Los Angeles. The valley extends for approximately 45 mi/72 km along a northwest-southeast axis between the San Jacinto Mountains and Santa Rosa Mountains on the west and the Little San Bernardino Mountains on the east. Palm Springs sits at the base of Mount San Jacinto (10,834 ft/3,359 m), towering over the city on its north side.   Click here to see the full Palm Springs travel guide on Travel42 »

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Palm Springs History


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The Palm Springs region was first settled about 2,000 years ago by Native American communities who made good use of the natural springs at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains. When prospectors arrived in the mid-19th century, they found a highly evolved society—the Agua Caliente (Hot Water) Band of Cahuilla Indians. In 1876, the U.S. government deeded 32,000 acres/12,950 hectares in trust to the Cahuillas, and an equal amount to the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, which put a track through the land in 1877. Soon enough, visitors began arriving for the curative powers of the natural springs. In 1884, settler "Judge" John Guthrie McCallum built the first permanent homestead and general store. By 1915, the first hotel was built.  Click here to see the full Palm Springs travel guide on Travel42 »

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Palm Springs Sightseeing & Things to Do


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Begin with exploring downtown Palm Springs, including the Palm Springs Art Museum. Then take in the nearby residential districts and the homes of famous people, from Elvis to Liberace. Although many of the celebrity residences lie within easy walking and/or bicycling distance of downtown, you should sign up for a guided tour for a broader overview. Aviation and military-history buffs should be sure to take in the Palm Springs Air Museum.   Click here to see the full Palm Springs travel guide on Travel42 »

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Palm Springs Nightlife


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The Palm Springs region has a vivacious nightlife especially on weekends, with plenty of dance clubs, bars and live music venues. In Palm Springs proper, many of the venues are geared to the city's large gay population, while most of the upscale clubs are down valley in Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert. Most live music venues double as lounge-bars, many of them throwbacks to the heyday of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack.  Click here to see the full Palm Springs travel guide on Travel42 »

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Palm Springs Restaurants & Dining


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Palm Springs is renowned for fine dining. In fact, some of California's top chefs are there, conjuring recherche dishes that draw epicureans from far and wide. Options span the globe. The area is known for its top-class steak houses and fusion restaurants, but French, Italian, and even Chinese and Japanese restaurants earn raves. The produce is always fresh—much of it grown locally in the Coachella and Imperial valleys—including dates, which find their way into many dishes, notably during the annual California Date Chef Competition each April.   Click here to see the full Palm Springs travel guide on Travel42 »

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