Palm Springs, a city in the Sonoran Desert of southern California, is known for its hot springs, stylish hotels, golf courses and spas. It's also noted for its many fine examples of midcentury-modern architecture. Its core shopping district along Palm Canyon Drive features vintage boutiques, interior design shops and restaurants. The surrounding Coachella Valley offers hiking, biking and horseback riding trails.
The city covers approximately 94 square miles, making it the largest city in Riverside County by land area. With multiple plots in checkerboard pattern, more than 10% of the city is part of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians reservation land and is the administrative capital of the most populated reservation in California.
Although the population of Palm Springs was 44,575 as of the 2020 census, because Palm Springs is a retirement location, as well as a winter snowbird destination, the city's population triples between November and March.
The city is noted for its mid-century modern architecture, design elements, arts and cultural scene, and recreational activities.
Palm Springs remained popular with the rich and famous of Hollywood, as well as retirees and Canadian tourists. Between 1947 and 1965, the Alexander Construction Company built some 2,200 houses in Palm Springs effectively doubling its housing capacity.
As the 1970s drew to a close, increasing numbers of retirees moved to the Coachella Valley. As a result, Palm Springs began to evolve from a virtual ghost town in the summer to a year-round community. Businesses and hotels that used to close for the months of July and August instead remained open all summer. As commerce grew, so too did the number of families with children.
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.
Following the 2008 recession, Palm Springs revitalized its Downtown, "the Village". Rebuilding started with the demolition of the Bank of America building in January 2012, with the Desert Fashion Plaza scheduled for demolition in 2013.
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.