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Palm Springs is a desert city suburb of Riversidemarker and San Bernardinomarker in Riverside Countymarker, Californiamarker, approximately 37 miles east of San Bernardinomarker, 111 miles (177 km) east of Los Angelesmarker and 136 miles (225 km) northeast of San Diegomarker. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 42,807. Golf, swimming, tennis, horseback riding and hiking in the nearby desert and mountain areas are major forms of recreation in Palm Springs. It is one of nine adjacent cities that make up the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs area). Palm Springs is in the 14th largest metropolitan area in the United States, called the San Bernardino-Riverside Metropolitan Areamarker, also known as the Inland Empire. The area code for Palm Springs is 760marker. The ZIP codes for Palm Springs are 92262 through 92264.

Geography and environment

Palm Springs is located at (33.823990, -116.530339) .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 95.1 square miles (246.3 km2), of which, 94.2 square miles (244.1 km2) of it is land and 0.8 square miles (2.2 km2) of it (0.88%) is water.


Located in the Coachella Valley desert region, Palm Springs is sheltered by the San Bernardino Mountainsmarker to the north, the Santa Rosa Mountains to the south, by the San Jacinto Mountainsmarker to the west and by the Little San Bernardino Mountainsmarker to the east. This geography gives Palm Springs its hot, dry climate, with 354 days of sunshine and less than of rain annually. The winter months are warm, with daily high temperatures ranging from 70 °F – 80 °F (21 °C – 27 °C) and low temperatures rarely dipping below 42 °F (6 °C). The dry desert heat of summer pushes daytime temperatures well above 105 °F (41 °C) with overnight lows greater than 80 °F (27 °C) occurring often; however summer afternoon temperatures do frequently exceed 110 °F (43 °C).

The highest temperature on record in Palm Springs is , recorded on July 10, 1979, and August 1, 1993. A night time low temperature of 105°F, was recorded on July 13, 1985, one of highest night time lows in the western hemisphere. There are an average of 179.4 days with highs of 90°F (32°C) or higher and an average of 5.9 days with lows of 32°F (0°C) or lower. The average annual temperature is 74.5°F (23.6°C), while the average annual high and low temperatures are 89°F (32°C) and 60°F (16°C) respectively.


The locale features a variety of native desert flora and fauna. A notable tree occurring in the wild and under cultivation is the California Fan Palm, Washingtonia filifera.


As of the 2000 census , there were 42,807 people, 20,516 households, and 9,457 families residing in the city. The population density was 454.2 people per square mile (175.4/km2). There were 30,823 housing units at an average density of 327.0/sq mi (126.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 78.33% White, 3.93% African American, 0.94% Native American, 3.83% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 9.78% from other races, and 3.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 23.72% of the population.

16.3% of households had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.0% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 53.9% were non-families. 41.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.05 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the city the population was spread out with 17.0% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 24.2% from 25 to 44, 26.4% from 45 to 64, and 26.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females there were 107.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 107.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,973 and the median income for a family was $45,318. Males had a median income of $33,999 versus $27,461 for females. The per capita income for the city was $25,957. The relatively low income reflects the presence of a large retired population and a large population of owners of second homes whose income is not reported. About 11.2% of families and 15.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.2% of those under age 18 and 6.8% of those age 65 or over.



The Agua Caliente band of Cahuilla Indians is composed of several small groups of Indians who were living in the modern day Palm Springs area when the Agua Caliente Reservation was established by the United States Government in 1896. Archaeological research has shown that the Cahuilla have lived in the area for the past 350-500 years. The reservation occupies 32,000 acres (130 km2), of which 6,700 acres (27 km2) lie within the city limits, making the Agua Caliente band the city's largest landowner. The reservation land was originally composed of alternating squares of land laid out across the desert in a checkerboard pattern. The alternating, non-reservation squares, were provided by the United States Government to the Southern Pacific Railroad as an incentive to bring rail lines through the open desert. Tribal enrollment is currently estimated at between 296 and 365 people. The Cahuilla name for the area was "Se-Khi" (boiling water). In the early 1800s, Spanish explorers named the area "Agua Caliente" (hot water). One possible origin of palm in the place name is revealed in the November 1992 issue of Art of California. At least one Spanish explorer referred to the area as la Palma de la Mano de dios or "The Palm of God's hand," (page 45). The current name for the area is "Palm Springs" which likely came into common usage in the mid-1860s when the land was first surveyed by U.S. Government surveyors who noted that a local mineral spring was located at the base of “two bunches of palms". By 1884 when San Franciscomarker attorney John Guthrie McCallum settled in Palm Springs, the name was already in wide acceptance.

Year-round living

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 shutter for the months of July and August instead remained open all summer. As commerce grew, so too did the number of families with children.


Palm Springs is noted for its mid-century modern architecture, a tradition that grew out of the aesthetics of the German Bauhaus and is reflected in the work of Albert Frey (who designed the Palm Springs city hall, aerial-tram (cable car) station, Movie Colony Hotel and airportmarker), Donald Wexler, Richard Neutra, E. Stewart Williams, and others.

A home developer, Alexander Homes, popularized this post-and-beam architectural style in the Coachella Valley. Alexander houses and similar homes feature low-pitched roofs, wide eaves, open-beamed ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Restoration projects are now being undertaken to return these homes and businesses to their original condition.

Image:palmspringsdesert.jpg|Palm Springs DesertImage:palmpsringswindmills.jpg|San Gorgonio Pass Wind FarmmarkerImage:palmspringsmountain.jpg|San Jacinto MountainImage:mountsanjaunito.jpg|Mount San Jacinto Mountain LandscapeImage:Palm springs wind turbines2.jpg|San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farmmarker outside Palm Springs


Though celebrities still retreat to Palm Springs, many today establish residences in other areas of the Coachella Valley. The city's economy now relies on tourism, which occurs primarily during the winter months, and casino gambling. It is a city of numerous festivals, conventions, and international events.

The world's largest rotating aerial tramcars (cable cars) can be found at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramwaymarker. These cars ascend two-and-a-half miles up a steep incline to reveal views of the entire Coachella Valley. The ascent from the desert floor to an altitude in excess of is accompanied by a drop in temperature of 30 degrees Fahrenheit or more, giving riders a cool respite from the heat. A wilderness area can be explored at the top of the tram and there is a restaurant with notable views.

The Palm Springs International Film Festival presents movie star-filled, red-carpet affairs. The Palm Springs Follies stage-show features performers that are over the age of 55. Every Thursday evening downtown Palm Springs is transformed into Village Fest, featuring a diverse display of arts and crafts, a certified farmer's market, food, and live entertainment on historic Palm Canyon Drive. The Palm Springs Convention Center underwent a multi-million-dollar expansion and remodeling in 2005

The Palm Springs Art Museum presents traveling art exhibitions plus a variety of entertainment in its Annenberg Theater. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is located downtown with the Spa Resort Hotel and Casino. There are other casinos in the Coachella Valley as well, notably in the cities of Rancho Mirage, Indiomarker, Coachellamarker and Cabazonmarker.

Numerous five star hotels, restaurants and attractions cater to tourists, while shoppers can find high-end boutiques in downtown and uptown Palm Springs. There is a water park and several skateboard parks. There are also hundreds of diverse restaurants throughout the city.



The City of Palm Springs is a charter city, with a charter adopted by the voters in 1994. It consists of a Council-Manager government, with a five-person city council that hires a city manager and city attorney. The mayor is directly elected and serves a four-year term. The other four council members also serve four-year terms, with staggered elections. The City is considered a full-service city, in that it staffs and manages its own police and fire departments including a jail, parks and recreation programs, public library, sewer system and wastewater treatment plant, international airport, and planning and building services. The city council also serves as the Community Redevelopment Agency, the Housing Authority, and the Financing Authority.

The current mayor is Steve Pougnet, but the best-known mayor in the city's history was Sonny Bono.

State and Federal

In the state legislature, Palm Springs is located in the 37th Senate District, represented by Republican John J. Benoit and in the 80th Assembly District, represented by Democrat [V. Manuel Perez][458823]. Federally, Palm Springs is located in California's 45th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +3(Republican +3%) and is represented by Republican Mary Bono Mack.


Public education in Palm Springs is under the jurisdiction of the Palm Springs Unified School District, an independent district with five board members. The District has fourteen elementary schools, four middle schools, three comprehensive high schools, one continuation high school, one independent study program, eight headstart/state preschools, three full-day headstart programs, four childcare programs, and an extensive adult education program. The PSUSD serves the Desert Communities of Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage and Thousand Palms. [458824]

The Palm Springs Unified School District has four middle schools: Desert Springs Middle School, James Workman Middle School, Nellie N. Coffman Middle School and Raymond Cree Middle School. The largest middle school in the Palm Springs Unified School District, Desert Springs Middle School, [458825] is located in Desert Hot Springs and serves approximately 1,800 students in grades six through eight.

James Workman Middle School [458826] is located in Cathedral City and serves the north side of Cathedral City and a small portion of Palm Springs. James Workman serves approximately 1,500 students in grades six through eight. Nellie N. Coffman Middle School [458827] is located in Cathedral City and serves approximately 1,200 students in grades six through eight.

Raymond Cree Middle School is located in Palm Springs and is the smallest middle school in the Palm Springs Unified School District. Raymond Cree [458828] serves approximately 1,000 students in grades six through eight. Public school (kindergarten through twelfth grade) enrollment within Palm Springs itself has steadily declined since the early 1990s, due to an exodus of families from the city and the resulting demographic changes.

Private schools in Palm Springs and nearby communities include Desert Adventist Academy (K–8), Desert Chapel (K-12), St. Teresa's (K–8), King's School (K–8), Desert Christian (K–12), and Marywood-Palm Valley School (K–12), an independent, non-denominational, college-prep school. The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino has recently built a Catholic high school called Xavier College Preparatory High School

The Desert Community College District, headquartered in Palm Desert with its main campus, College of the Desert located there. California State University, San Bernardinomarker and University of California, Riversidemarker used to have satellite campuses available within the College of the Desert campus, but now have their own buildings a few miles away.

Sites of interest


Palm Springs International Airportmarker is in Palm Springs.


Palm Springs is home to the Palm Springs Power, a semi-pro league baseball team composed of college all stars. It has a winter league baseball team, the Palm Springs Chill of the Arizona Winter League. The Palm Springs Stadiummarker, was once the spring training site of the California Angels (now Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) American League baseball team from 1961 to 1993.

The Palm Springs area features a number of sporting events including the Pacific Life Openmarker, one of the most significant tennis events in the world, after the four Grand Slam tournaments; the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, and dozens of boxing events held throughout the valley. Palm Springs has also hosted the Easter Bowl, the national junior tennis championships, where America's top juniors in the nation go and compete for a grand prize, and several NCAA golf tournaments.

As of January 2009, the number of golf courses in the Palm Springs area is 125.

The Palm springs AYSO American Youth Soccer Organization region 80 starts mid-September and ends mid-February.


Palm Springs is the 144th largest TV market as defined by AC Nielsen. The Palm Springs DMA is unique among TV markets as it is entirely located within only a small portion of Riverside County. Also, while most areas received their first local television stations during the 1950s, Palm Springs did not receive its first TV stations until October, 1968 when stations KPLM-TV (now KESQ) and KMIR-TV debuted almost simultaneously about three weeks apart. Prior to that time, Palm Springs was served by TV stations from the Los Angeles market, which were carried on the local cable system that has been in operation since the 1950s and predated the emergence of local broadcast stations by more than a decade.

TV stations serving the Palm Springs and Coachella Valley area include:

The CW, Fox, My Network, PBS and other networks are covered by low power TV stations in the market.

Additionally, Palm Springs and the surrounding area is served by a multitude of AM and FM radio stations including KBXOmarker, KCLB, KCRImarker, KDES-FM, KDGL, KESQmarker, KEZN, KFUTmarker, KGAMmarker, KHCSmarker, KJJZ, KKUU, KLOBmarker, KMRJ, KNWQ, KNWZ, KPLM, KPSC, KPSHmarker, KPSImarker, KPSI-FM, KPTRmarker, KRCK, KUNA-FM, KWXY, and KXPS.

The Desert Sun is the local daily newspaper serving Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley region.

TRAVELHOST of Palms Springs & Desert Cities a magazine and .com serving visitors to Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley region with important maps and information of the area.

The Desert Daily Guide is largest resource for Gay (GLBT) residents, vacationers and professionals in working, living or visiting in the Palm Springs and other Desert City areas.


  1. C. Michael Hogan. 2009. California Fan Palm: Washingtonia filifera,, ed. Nicklas Stromberg

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