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Rancho Mirage The RiverRancho Mirage

With 80 percent of the homes located in gated enclaves, Rancho Mirage is among the most affluent and well-managed communities in the desert.

The city boasts a fine roster of celebs, families and vacationers. Many flock to Restaurant Row and The River to shop, drink, dine and enjoy new films. Game lovers love Agua Caliente Casino | Resort | Spa for 24-hour entertainment. The literati enjoy the architecturally significant Rancho Mirage Public Library for special events, lectures and exhibits. The city also offers some of the best medical care in the country with distinguished facilities like Eisenhower Medical Center and Betty Ford Center.

Rancho Mirage has seen its hospitality properties pour more than $750 million into upgrades and renovations.

Also on the horizon is Sunnylands, the spectacular Walter and Leonore Annenberg estate that will open to the public for tours, conferences and special events in early 2012.

*Desert Publications Inc. (Desert Guide September 2011 Annual Edition)

 

Palm Desert El PaseoPalm Desert

While living in or visiting the Coachella Valley, it’s nearly impossible to miss Palm Desert, the Geographical center of the nine desert communities. With unobstructed mountain views, 350 days of sun a year and an environment that encourages an active lifestyle, the city is a magnet for retirees, families and snowbirds alike.

Consumers enjoy options such as the fabled El Paseo: a shoppers’ paradise and home to such retailers as Saks Fifth Avenue, Apple, Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Lucky Brand Jeans, Coach and Cole Haan. Also available is Westfield Palm Desert, the only regional mall in the area.

Palm Desert is also “education central,” with three college campuses: College of the Desert; California State University, San Bernardino; and University of California, Riverside.

The city’s must-see attraction in The Living Desert Zoo and Botanical Garden, a wildlife park devoted to desert flora and fauna from around the world – and the proud exhibitor of a collection of model trains that will delight the whole family.

Add to this the arts and culture offerings of McCallum Theatre and it’s easy to see why many consider Palm Desert the heart of the Coachella Valley.

*Desert Publications Inc. (Desert Guide September 2011 Annual Edition)

 

Indian Wells IW Golf ResortIndian Wells

Home to an inordinately high percentage of our nation’s most well-off retirees, Indian Wells is akin to a private club.

With a property owner I.D. card, residents enjoy an array of perks from discounts at Indian Wells Golf Resort, hotels, spas and restaurants to special invitations to parties at the BNP Paribas Open, The Living Desert Zoo and Botanical Garden’s WildLights and more.

Thankfully, Indian Wells shares its wealth, including the Indian Wells Tennis Garden (host of the BNP Paribas Open and Indian Wells Arts Festival), Indian Wells Golf Resort and IW Club and Desert Town Hall Indian Wells lecture series.

Four deluxe hotel properties lie within the city’s borders: Hyatt Grand Champions Resort, Villas and Spa; Indian Wells Resort Hotel; Miramonte Resort & Spa; and Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa.

*Desert Publications Inc. (Desert Guide September 2011 Annual Edition)

 

La Quinta ResortLa Quinta

Almost surrounded by the Santa Rosa Mountains, La Quinta serves as the backdrop for such world-class events as the Humana Challenge (formerly Bob Hope Classic) at SilverRock Resort’s Arnold Palmer Classic Course, Concours d’Elegance and La Quinta Arts Festival.

The city’s fairy tale started in the 1920’s with the creation of La Quinta Resort & Club, which now includes restaurants, golf courses, tennis courts, a spa and more.

Old Town La Quinta, located within the La Quinta Village, is alive with sidewalk cafe’s, concerts, art shows, a weekly organic farmer’s market and Moonlight Movies on the lawn.

La Quinta Museum features traveling and historical exhibits, and La Quinta Public Library boasts one of the top circulations in Riverside County. The city is know for arts and culture, natural beauty and Old World atmosphere with a distinctively 21st century focus on health and wellness.

*Desert Publications Inc. (Desert Guide September 2011 Annual Edition)

 

Palm Springs ResidencePalm Springs

More than 300 years before Palm Springs became a hideaway for celebrities, the area was the home to the Cahuilla Indians. Their presence is still felt, especially when visiting downtown’s Spa Resort Casino or hiking in the canyons they once called home.

As early as Hollywood prospered, Palm Springs grew into a destination with a worldwide reputation for first-class hotels, modern architecture and year-round fun.

The city offers a variety of events, including Palm Springs International Film Festival in January, Modernism Week in February, and Village Fest every Thursday night on Palm Canyon Drive. And no visit would be complete without a ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to enjoy the refreshing beauty of the San Jacinto Mountains.

For those who love to shop, retailers of every stripe comprise the Uptown Design District on North Palm Canyon and along the downtown strip. The restaurant scene continues to grow with newcomers such as Trio, LuLu California Bistro, Cheeky’s and Zini Cafe Med joining long-standing establishments such as La Vallauris, LG’s Steakhouse and Las Casuelas Terraza.

As one of the first, and arguably the most famous resort destinations in the United States, the celebrity vibe of Palm Springs in hard to beat.

*Desert Publications Inc. (Desert Guide September 2011 Annual Edition)