Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Five great reasons to visit Palm Springs, California

There are many reasons why you should visit Palm Springs, California, especially since it's one of the most popular vacation destinations in the US.

1. Palm Springs has the largest concentration of mid-century modernist architecture
Since the 1920s, modernist architects have designed sleek and modern homes that sparkle in the dramatic desert landscape of Coachella Valley. Architecture buffs will definitely have a field day exploring the buildings and homes of Palm Springs.

Glass and clean lines create an elegant yet informal assemblage of residential, commercial, civic, educational, cultural, and religious buildings, as well as hotels, creating a character that is uniquely Palm Springs. The city's heritage was recognized by National Trust for Historic Preservation which included Palm Springs in its list of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2006. In 2009, Palm Springs was designated a Preserve America City.

To experience the architecture of Palm Springs, stay at one of the modernist hotels or luxury vacation homes. There are also guided tours, especially during Modernism Week every February.

2. Palm Springs and its environs play host to several popular music and arts festivals
There's the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Modernism Week, and the Coachella and Stagecoach Music Festivals, to name a few. And these festivals are big!

The Palm Springs International Film Festival is held every January and features international cinema as well as American independent films. Modernism Week every February features the modernist architecture of Palm Springs. The mission of the event is to "celebrate and foster appreciation of midcentury architecture and design, as well as contemporary thinking in these fields, by encouraging education, preservation and sustainable modern living as represented in the greater Palm Springs area."

Held every April at the Empire Polo Club, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is attended by more than 250,000 people. The festival features various artists covering rock, indie, hip hop, and electronic dance music. There are art installations as well. Stagecoach Festival is an outdoor country music festival, also held every April at the Empire Polo Club.

Other festivals include Desert Trip, Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert, Frank Sinatra Celebrity Invitational, Tour de Palm Springs, and Fashion Week El Paseo.

3. The area around Palm Springs is a perfect place to enjoy nature, explore the desert, and experience Native American Culture
Explore the Coachella Valley Preserve or Joshua Tree National Park. The reservation lands of the Agua Caliente host the Indian Canyons, namely Palm Canyon, Murray Canyon and Andreas Canyon, which all offer hiking trails. You can go horseback riding as well. Tahquitz Canyon is the best place to experience Native American history and culture.

For those who want extra adventure, you can take a hummer tour of Joshua Tree National Park and ride a dune buggy through the desert. If you're not the hiking type, there's the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which offers grand views of the snow-topped peaks if the San Jacinto Mountains.

And there's the Living Desert if you want to see the local flora and fauna, including mountain lions, bighorn sheep, and meerkats, and more than 1,400 species of plants.

4. You can rent your own luxury villa in Palm Springs
No doubt, the perfect way to experience the real Palm Springs is by vacationing in a luxury villa. There are so many luxury villas in Palm Springs that are available for vacation rentals. You can find one that fits your needs, for a private group of friends or family.

Villas usually range from three to six bedrooms, some have up to eleven, and can house from six up to twenty six people. If you are a Hollywood fan, among the Palm Springs villas available for rent are the former homes of Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe.

If you don't have a group, you can always stay at one of the many modernist hotels. There's Del Marcos in the Historic Tennis Club district, designed by William Cody in 1947. Other hotels in the district,  are Hideaway, Orbit In, and Desert Riviera, all designed by Herbert Burns. Then there is Howard Lapham's Desert Star is in South Palm Springs.

5. It's one of the more popular winter destinations in the US
Winter is coming! And vacationers in the US will be flocking to Palm Springs, where winter temperatures average 20ÂșC during the day. The city gets more than 350 days of sun with less than five inches of rain. How's that for consistency?

Soak up the sun during winter and make sure to explore the city! Downtown Palm Springs is the area of Palm Canyon Drive, lines with many galleries, restaurants, and shops. Every Thursday evening, the city has the Palm Springs Village Fest, which hosts artists, artisans, entertainers, and stalls selling fruits, vegetables, flowers, jewelry, snacks, and sweets. There are also a lot of fine dining options available.

The city has many museums and galleries including the Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs Air Museum, and Agua Caliente Cultural Museum. The weather is also very pleasant for a round of golf at the many golf clubs around Palm Springs.

If you're with kids, they'll enjoy the Wet n' Wild Water Park, Living Desert Zoo, Children's Discovery Museum, Cabazon Dinosaurs, the Palm Springs Tram, and the many adventure activities available in the city and its environs.

And it's very accessible. While Palm Springs has its own international airport, the city is just an easy two-hour drive from Los Angeles and San Diego, and a host of other airports. So getting there will not be an issue.

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