The desert oasis of Palm Springs lies at the western edge of the Coachella Valley in California. Just under two hours from Los Angeles, Hollywood A-listers have flocked here since the 1920s to escape the dizzying pace of showbiz.
With many golf courses, hotels, and spa retreats, it’s no wonder the rich and famous are drawn to this place. Actors, musicians, and politicians continue to be glorified, and their names are embedded into the city’s very own walk of stars. Of course, where there are celebrities, there’s bound to be gossip. The city is rumored to have been the secret rendezvous point for many alleged affairs, including Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy.
Unfortunately, Hollywood’s greats often steal the limelight of a story which is less often told, the area’s fantastic natural wonder. Few are aware that Palm Springs is a haven for abundant life surrounded by miles of scorching plains and rocky mountain wilderness… A place which welcomed Native Americans into its bountiful arms a thousand years ago.
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
Start exploring the flora and fauna of Palm Springs, at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Dedicated specifically to species from arid environments, the zoo is home to hardy creatures from all over the globe.
Watch as the Desert Bighorn Sheep effortlessly traverse the rocky mountain slopes. These graceful animals are a favorite here, as they are native to this region.
The miniature model train display in Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
Mother Nature is not the only headliner at this zoo. Enthusiasts will also be delighted by a miniature model train display.
Sunnylands Centre and Gardens
Palm Springs is not simply a playground for Hollywood stars, but also a city devoted to cultivating change.
Visit the Sunnylands Centre and Gardens. Here, national and global issues are peacefully discussed by world leaders at the onsite conference center. And after talking business, VIPs often indulge in a friendly game of golf or a stroll through the immaculate gardens.
Delve deeper into the history of Palm Springs, by visiting Indian Canyons. Admire the thriving fan palms, which are prolific throughout the rocky gorges, fed by cool mountain streams.
Their fruit once provided rich sustenance for the area’s earliest inhabitants, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. The clan also wove the leaves into huts, baskets, and sandals. Fan palms provide habitat for much of the local wildlife too. Birds, small rodents and insects all live beneath their shady skirts.
Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium
Make your way to Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium, which is home to over 3,000 species of prickly, spiky and furry desert plants. Lucky visitors may even glimpse a feathered critter here too!
Mt San Jacinto Peak
Take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway up into the misty wilderness of Mt San Jacinto Peak. At the top, kick back with a cocktail and take in the view that John Muir once declared “the most sublime spectacle to be found anywhere on this earth.”
Mt San Jacinto Peak hiking tracks
If you’re feeling energetic, venture out onto some of the 50 miles of hiking tracks. Remember to bring a coat though. On these trails, you could be greeted with a dusting of snow.
Palm Springs Art Museum
When you’ve got your feet firmly planted back on the ground, visit the Palm Springs Art Museum. The region is not only home to natural wonders, but it also provides a fertile ground for creative expression. Wander the exhibits and discover the creativity that this spring-fed city continues to inspire.
Palm Springs has long been a sanctuary amid a barren desert of rock and dust. The Agua Caliente Band were the first to be enticed by its plentiful natural resources, then came the stars of Hollywood, and today travelers from all nations congregate to this sun-soaked escape, chasing its unique story, peaceful seclusion, and spellbinding scenery.