Palm Springs

Windmill Farms along the highway to Palm Springs
Photo by: prayitno, Creative Commons

Located within the Coachella Valley in Southern California, the city of Palm Springs offers a desert retreat for people who really want to get away from it all – it is only a two-hour drive away from both Los Angeles and San Diego, a perfect getaway for residents of those cities.

The city boasts more than 350 days of sunshine every year; its year-round hot and dry climate a consequence of its location in between four mountain ranges. Palm Springs is surrounded on all sides by the San Bernardino Mountains, the Santa Rosa Mountains, the San Jacinto Mountains, and the Little San Bernardino Mountains – the nearly 11,000 foot tall peak of Mt. San Jacinto rises high above downtown Palm Springs – making for a striking clash between the white high mountain snow and luxuriant green desert palm trees which line the city streets.

Such an environment makes tourism the main draw to Palm Springs. In fact, around a million visitors stay in the city’s numerous hotels while another half a million go for other accommodations like vacation homes and inns in the city every year. The city also makes for a second home for other people during winter – the city’s population nearly doubles during the winter months. Besides being a great holiday destination, Palm Springs is also home to other visitor attractions.

Palm Springs is home to the world’s largest rotating aerial cable cars. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway ascends two and a half miles from the floor of the Coachella Valley up to near the top of San Jacinto Peak. The aforementioned clash between desert palms and mountain snow is highlighted in the eight-minute ride towards the peak, as rider’s transition from hot desert to cool mountain air during the trip. Besides a respite from the heat of the desert, riders are also treated to a magnificent view of the mountains and the valley and city below.

Besides a ride in the Tramway, visitors may also go hiking or horseback riding, play golf, swim, and explore the many shops, boutiques, galleries, and museums which can be found within the city.

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