Palm Springs is a desert resort city in Riverside County, California, United States, within the Colorado Desert’s Coachella Valley. The city covers approximately 94 square miles, making it the largest city in Riverside County by land area. 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.
The City of Palm Springs has developed a program to identify distinctive neighborhoods in the community. Of the 45 neighborhoods, 7 have historical and cultural significance.
The city is noted for its mid-century modern architecture, design elements, arts and cultural scene, and recreational activities. The movement behind mid-century modern architecture (1950s/60s era) in Palm Springs is backed by architecture enthusiasts, designers, and local historians to preserve many of Palm Springs’ buildings and homes of famous celebrities, businessmen, and politicians. Stores sell furniture and gifts that feature a mid-century modern theme. The city holds a Modernism Week celebration every February, along with several related smaller events during the year.
Tourism is a major factor in the city’s economy with 1.6 million visitors in 2011. The city has over 130 hotels and resorts, numerous bed and breakfasts, and over 100 restaurants and dining spots. Events such as the Coachella and Stagecoach Festivals in nearby Indio attract younger people, making greater Palm Springs a more attractive area to retire.
Numerous hotels, restaurants and attractions cater to tourists, while shoppers can find a variety of high-end boutiques in downtown and uptown Palm Springs. With more golf courses than any other region in California, Coachella Valley is the most popular golf vacation destination in California. Early golf courses in Palm Springs were the O’Donnell Golf Club (built by oil magnate Thomas A. O’Donnell) and the El Mirador Hotel course, both of which opened in the 1920s.
Public education in Palm Springs is under the jurisdiction of the Palm Springs Unified School District, an independent district with five board members.