"Presidential Repose" Top 5 Page for this destination Palm Desert by atufft
Palm Desert Travel Guide: 124 reviews and 232 photos
Palm Desert is the newer shiek country club community in the Coachella Valley. Originally, Palm Springs attracted attention, Bob Hope and his golf classic, Sonny Bono as mayor (and later congressman from the district), Frank Sinatra, Diana Shore, and other hollywood generated celebrities created the image of this desert region as a easy going winter retreat for the elite. Now overgrown, Palm Springs has become a seedy downtown filled with transients, while the celebrity focus has shifted southeast from I-10 to newer upscale Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage. It's here that Presidents Eisenhower and Ford spent the last days of their lives safely away from the public limelight. Just two hours east of Los Angeles, Palm Desert and other cities within the Coachella Valley provide a wonderful winter country club oriented retreat that's also close to the urban action of arguably America's greatest city for private celebrity filled parties. As a result of the concentration of the retired rich and famous in Palm Desert, the city's wealth in golf course can only be matched by it's wealth in art galleries, museums, restaurants, and an easy to walk downtown.
The boom in growth, particularly for retirement condos, continues today, doubling the city's population at least every decade over the past 30 years. But the transition from remote a desert landscape had it's surge mostly after World War II under the influence of realestate tycoon Clifford Henderson, whose bronze statue sits on the main drag, El Paseo. This several block long downtown of upscale shopping, galleries, and restaurants resembles at least in concept the three block shopping district known as Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Surrounding the El Paseo are a series of broad boulevards of fast moving traffic that lead to a large number of gated "country clubs" that each typically include a golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool, and a large number of homes and condos. Originally almost exclusively a racially white demographically, Palm Desert has in recent years attracted the upper class from any of a number of American and international elite regardless of racial or cultural background. In recent years, Palm Desert has even been a cradle of the stoner rock movement, with the group of musicians known collectively as the Palm Desert Scene.
The wildlife and botanical haven Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is one example of a such a heavily endowed city. The zoo contains a substantial number of endangered desert species from around the world, and the carefully irrigated botanical backdrop features a wide range of desert plant specimens. In addition, the mountains that surround Palm Desert and other cities of the Coachella Valley provide ample opportunity for hikers interested in the desert. Palm Desert has a renowned warm winter/hot summer climate. Its' average annual temperature is 88F (26C) but summer highs are above 100F (30C) and frequently exceed to 120F (40C). Because the valley has under 5 inches of annual precipitation and over 330 days of sunshine per year, it will continue to remain a wonderland for those who love the sun.
- Pros:Great winter get-away within the borders of the USA
- Cons:Overly relaxed senior citizen and golf course scene
- In a nutshell:Palm Desert is an easy to appreciate town for a long winter weekend
Saint Margaret's Episcopal Church where President Gerald Ford's family and community funeral occured is located in Palm... more travel advice
For those on a budget looking for bargains, there's no better place than the community college flea market. The market... more travel advice
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