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Palm Springs

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About Palm Springs

Palm Springs is a large resort city tucked away in the Coachella Valley Desert. It's just over 50 miles from San Bernardino but offers a much different lifestyle than the big cities of Southern California. In Palm Springs, golfing, horseback riding and hiking are among the most popular ways to enjoy the warm desert weather. The city is home to a thriving collection of restaurants and shops and has earned national recognition for its mid-century modern architecture.

The History of Palm Springs

Palm Springs has a history that dates back well over 2,000 years. The first people to settle in the land were the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Native Americans. During the winter, they stayed warm by living in a village that surrounded the natural hot mineral springs that are the current site of the Spa Resort Casino. During the summer, they moved to the canyons at a higher elevation to stay cool and get away from the hot temperatures at the desert floor.

Throughout the 19th century, colonizers and explorers came through the desert. It wasn't until 1853, when the U.S. Corps of Topographical Engineers talked about an oasis of palm trees in the desert called Palm Springs, that the area got its first official name. However, the name didn't last, and the area was known by several other names, including Agua Caliente and Palm Valley, throughout the years.

In 1884, Judge John Guthrie McCallum and his family became the first non-natives to settle in the area. With the help of local tribe members, McCallum built a stone-lined ditch from the Whitewater River into Palm Springs. This 19-mile ditch brought much-needed water to the area for irrigation.

Finally, in 1890, when Harry McCallum referred to his post office address as Palm Springs, the name took hold. Palm Springs incorporated in 1938 and today enjoys tremendous growth because of its resorts, tourist attractions and scenic natural environment.

Living in Palm Springs

Over the decades, Palm Springs has been a popular retreat for many well-known figures, hosting the likes of Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Estée Lauder, Clark Gable, Barry Manilow and Bing Crosby. There are over 30 distinct neighborhoods in the city, seven of which are preserved historic districts. Palm Springs has seen rapid growth in recent years, with many people attracted by the city's many amenities and opportunities for recreation.

As a Palm Springs resident, you'll enjoy a tight-knit sense of community despite the city's fairly large size. A large number of festivals, community events and celebrations contribute to the welcoming feel of the city. The annual Modernism Week is a celebration of local architecture, with over a week dedicated to tours of notable architecture in the city, as well as films and educational lectures.

The Palm Springs economy is supported largely by tourism, offering a variety of jobs in hospitality, food service and retail. Because the city is the site of many well-known festivals and conventions, there's constantly a high supply of jobs in these industries.

Palm Springs Schools

The Palm Springs Unified School District manages the schools in Palm Springs, with campuses ranging from early education to high school. The district provides a number of special programs as well, including gifted and talented programs and alternative schools. There are also a few private schools in the area, mostly faith-based campuses served by local churches.

Resources for Moving to Palm Springs

Here are a few quick resources to help you plan your transition to Palm Springs:

  • Utilities: Southern California Edison and The Gas Co. are the central energy providers in Palm Springs. The Desert Water Agency facilitates residential water services.
  • Garbage and Recycling: Weekly trash collection is provided by the city for most areas of Palm Springs.
  • Transportation: The BUZZ trolley system provides free transportation on a fixed route through Palm Springs, with over 30 different stops. You can also utilize the public bus line, run by SunLine Transit Agency.
  • Pets: Every dog over the age of 4 months must have a Palm Springs pet license and an up-to-date rabies vaccination.

Palm Springs Housing

As Palm Springs continues to grow in popularity, the home prices are on the rise. However, the median home price is still relatively affordable compared to the other media in parts of California. You'll find a full range of housing options to choose from, including retro single-family homes, compact apartments and resort-style condominiums.