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Palm Springs

About Palm Springs

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Palm Springs California

Palm Springs California

Palm Springs California

Palm Springs California

Palm Springs California

San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm

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A tourist destination since the late 19th century, Palm Springs evolved into an ideal hideaway for early Hollywood celebrities. They could slip into town, play some tennis, lounge around the pool, attend a party or two, and, unless things got out of hand, remain beyond the reach of gossip columnists. But the place really blossomed in the 1930s after actors Charlie Farrell and Ralph Bellamy bought 200 acres of land for $30 an acre and opened the Palm Springs Racquet Club, which soon listed Ginger Rogers, Humphrey Bogart, and Clark Gable among its members.During its slow, steady growth period from the 1930s to 1970s, the Palm Springs area drew some of the world's most famous architects to design homes for the rich and famous. The collected works, inspired by the mountains and desert sands and notable for the use of glass and indoor-outdoor space, became known as Palm Springs Modernism. The city lost some of its luster in the 1970s as the wealthy moved to newer down-valley, golf-oriented communities. But Palm Springs reinvented itself starting in the 1990s, restoring the bright and airy old mid-century modern houses and hotels, and cultivating a welcoming atmosphere for gay visitors.You'll find reminders of the city's glamorous past in its unique architecture and renovated hotels—for an overview, pick up a copy of <i>Palm Springs: Brief History and Architectural Guide</i> at the Palm Springs Visitor Center—and you'll see change and progress in the trendy restaurants and upscale shops. Formerly exclusive Palm Canyon Drive is now a lively avenue filled with coffeehouses, outdoor cafés, and bars.

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  • 107° / 78°
  • Avg Temp in August
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Things You Can't Miss

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Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Glide 2½ miles up the sheer Chino Canyon. Hike — or snowshoe — through the wilderness at the top, or dine at one of two restaurants.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Image Credit: Ian Dagnall/Alamy

Rodeo Drive of the Desert

Window-shopping and people-watching will fill an afternoon in the El Paseo Shopping District, with its array of big-name designers, art galleries and boutiques.

Rodeo Drive of the Desert

Image Credit: Richard Broadwell/Alamy

A Must for Airplane Buffs

The Palm Springs Air Museum houses one the world’s largest collections of World War II aircraft. Get up close to the vintage beauties.

A Must for Airplane Buffs

Image Credit: Stephen Saks/Alamy

Palm Springs Modern Tours

Hark back to the days of the Rat Pack on a three-hour driving tour of the stunning mid-century homes of such stars as Frank Sinatra.

Palm Springs Modern Tours

Image Credit: Hemis/Alamy

Catch a Camel Ride

At the Living Desert zoo and gardens, take in a palm oasis, a sage and cactus garden, Gila monsters and bighorn sheep. Bring water and a hat; it’s hot!

Catch a Camel Ride

Image Credit: Alamy

Samantha's Pick How About a Swanky Meal, Babe?

You have to have at least one Rat Pack experience, so head to Melvyn’s, where Sinatra ate. His favorite dish? Steak Diane.

How About a Swanky Meal, Babe?

Image Credit: Ingleside Inn

Samantha's Pick Puts Some Gravel in Your Travel

Desert too hot for a hike or bike tour? Take a great Jeep tour instead with Desert Adventures. A three-hour ride through surreal scenery.

Puts Some Gravel in Your Travel

Image Credit: age fotostock/Getty Images

Samantha's Pick This Is Where People Come to Party

A lot of hotels in Palm Springs have become nighttime hangouts. If you don’t like the noise, make sure to stay far away from the pool and bar.

This Is Where People Come to Party

Image Credit: Getty Images

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