The City of Palm Desert is located in the heart of the Coachella Valley, between Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells along both the Highway 111 and Interstate 10 corridors. A center for business and residential growth for the Coachella Valley, Palm Desert offers a burgeoning arts scene, great outdoor recreation facilities, and the best shopping available in the Coachella 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 the now famous El Paseo Shopping District, home to such signature Coachella Valley events as the El Paseo Fashion Week and the Desert Cancer Foundation’s annual Paint El Paseo Pink.
Palm Desert offers a wealth of cultural and recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. From the City of Palm Desert’s noted Art in Public Places Program to the collection of 30+ art galleries, a variety of unique opportunities to enjoy the visual arts awaits. 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. Located at the western end of the El Paseo Shopping District off Highway 111, the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert is an 8,400 square foot 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 in both abstract and representational forms. Performing arts fans flock to the McCallum Theater for the variety of touring Broadway shows, sold-out concerts and dance and music festival held there year round.
For the outdoors enthusiast, Palm Desert offers 14 public parks plus an impressive Aquatic Center managed by the Family YMCA of the Desert. A multitude of hiking and bicycling trails range from beginner’s level to more challenging venues for the experienced athlete. The Palm Desert Visitor Center, located in the heart of the El Paseo Shopping District, is a great place to find maps of the local trails and information regarding other attractions in the Palm Desert. The Living Desert Zoo & Botanical Garden is one of Palm Desert’s leading attractions. A 1,200 acre preserve, the Living Desert showcases 400 fascinating desert animals, Native American crafts and exhibits, hiking trails, and more.
Special events held throughout the year round out this special community. From the annual Golf Cart Parade to the City`s Summer Concert Series, there`s always something happening for all ages in the city of Palm Desert. Palm Desert is also home to most of the colleges and universities in the Coachella Valley; College of the Desert, the local community college, as well as extension campuses for California State University, San Bernardino and the University of California, Riverside.