Palm Springs is a renowned spa resort destination that has gained international appeal, that offers residents and visitors alike a lively downtown and uptown district with an array of dining, shopping, and entertainment venues, as well as farmers markets, art fairs, social and cultural events. A variety of boutique and large hotels support a thriving hospitality industry, and the Convention Center hosts many annual award shows, events and expos that contribute to the nearly 2 million annual visitors to the area. Notable venues in the downtown district include the Spa Resort Casino, Art Museum, and Thursday Night Village Fest. Several new hotels and a shopping mall are being built, contributing even more to the city’s resurgence as an international resort destination.
Going back more than 100 years, the first public hotel was built in 1886. Since then, the area has continued attracting increasingly more visitors and residents. It was in the early 1900s with the influence of the historic Desert Inn, that Palm Springs was on the map as a tourist destination. By the time it was incorporated in 1938, the Village of Palm Springs had become a popular destination for Hollywood stars who influenced the culture and lifestyle for years to come, and helped to brand the city’s iconic Mid-Century lifestyle theme.
The history of modernist architecture goes back to the 1920s, with the design of sleek modern homes that embraced the surrounding landscape in a style that is referred to as Desert Modernism. This trend continued into the 1960s and gave way to the distinct Mid-Century Modern theme in Palm Springs, highlighted in many homes, neighborhoods, and shopping outlets. Mid-Century Modern architecture has thrived over the years and still influences the character of the city and is celebrated every February with the annual Modernism Week event.
Palm Springs also has a rich history as a recreational oasis that goes back as far as the 1890s. Whether golf, tennis, bicycling, swimming, or hiking, it is the ideal place for the active desert lifestyle. A trip to the world-famous Aerial Tram Station will take visitors up almost 9,000 feet overlooking the Coachella Valley below... with access to over 50 miles of hiking trails. Several Canyon areas also provide unique hiking opportunities, and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, having been settled by the Cahuilla Indians more than 2,000 years ago.