The City of Palm Desert is located bewteen Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells, in the heart of the Coachella Valley. A center for business and residential growth for the Coachella Valley, Palm Desert offers a growing arts scene, great outdoor activities, and some of the the best shopping found in the Valley.
Originally known as Old MacDonald Ranch, then later as Palm Village, Palm Desert was originally a master-planned community that was a midpoint in the desert landscape that stretched from Palm Springs to Indio. The first residential development in the area was an Army maintenance camp that was later developed into El Paseo Shopping District.
From the Art in Public Places Program to the 30+ art galleries, there are numerous ways to experiece the visual arts. The City of Palm Desert offers free guided tours of the public art displays during the primary season of September through May. The Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert is an exciting addition to the local visual arts scene, with over 8,000 square foot of space featuring ongoing exhibitions of noteworthy sculpture, painting, art glass, architecture, and design, including the additional 250,000 square foot of outdoor space that features meandering pathways among native plantings, water features, and major sculptures.
For those looking for theatre or live music, there is the McCallum Theater with its calendar of touring Broadway shows, concerts, and dance and music festivals.
Palm Desert offers 14 public parks, numerous public and private golf courses, plus an impressive Aquatic Center managed by the Family YMCA of the Desert. There are many hiking and bicycling trails that range from beginner’s level to more challenging routes for the experienced athlete. The Palm Desert Visitor Center is a great place to find maps of the local trails and information regarding other attractions in the Palm Desert. One of Palm Desert’s leading attractions is The Living Desert Zoo & Botanical Garden, a 1,200-acre preserve with 400 fascinating desert animals, Native American crafts and exhibits, hiking trails, and more.
From the annual Golf Cart parade to the Summer Concert Series, there is always something going on in Palm Desert. More than activities, Palm Desert is also home to most of the colleges and universities in the Coachella Valley, including College of the Desert, and extension campuses for California State University, San Bernardino, and the University of California, Riverside.