Playground Of The Stars
Three hundred-plus days of sunshine a year. Spectacular orange-pink-red-purple sunsets. Star-studded nights. Hiking through unspoiled land. Dry, soothing air. The ability to play outdoor sports year-round. These are just a few of the reasons people move to desert cities. But the best reason of all is this: When you buy a primary or secondary home in a desert oasis, you get so much more for your money than you do in crowded urban coastal areas. Land, land, land! Enough for the pool of your dreams, a tennis court, a horse corral...or all three!

Palm Springs is one such oasis and features fantastic restaurants, theater, and entertainment thanks to its decades-old reputation as the "playground of the stars." The thriving Coachella Valley is also home to a number of other communities — such as Palm Desert, La Quinta, Indian Wells, and Rancho Mirage — that are also attracting upscale buyers of primary and secondary homes.

Approximately 120 miles from both San Diego and Los Angeles, Palm Springs is flanked by the San Jacinto Mountains to the east and the Santa Rosa Mountains to the south. The greater Palm Springs area has been exploding with growth since the end of World War II. Today, there are 15,500 hotel rooms to serve the 3.5 million annual visitors. The area also boasts 600 tennis courts and more than 10,000 pools.

Golf
In 1945 there was only one golf course; today, there are 101, which explains Palm Springs' claim that the area is the golf course capital of the world. One of the most legendary courses is the Dye-designed La Quinta Resort & Club, which has both dunes and mountain courses and has hosted the World Cup, the PGA National Cup Pro Championships, and the California State Open.

Other popular courses include the two championship courses at Bighorn, named for the battle that took place there and that is now dotted with luxury homes; the PGA West Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course; the Rancho Las Palmas Country Club; Indian Wells Golf Resort; and the Mission Hills Resort Pete Dye Course.

Shopping
Residents and visitors are also attracted to the area because of its two major boutique districts — Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs and El Paseo in Palm Desert. Yet another attraction is the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The world's largest single-span lift, its cable cars take riders from the desert floor to the 8,516-foot Mt. San Jacinto mountain station, where they can enjoy hiking, fine dining, and cocktails.
House Prices
While the median price for a single-family home in the city of Palm Springs itself is $528,000, the median price for a single-family luxury home in Greater Palm Springs is about $2,495,000.
Story by Jacqueline Shannon
Photography by Latara Dragoo

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Print Date: 5/27/2019
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