27 Things You Need To Know About The Coachella Valley Before You Move ThereThere is nothing deserted about this desert valley.
1. Hydration Is Very Important Here, So Keep the Cocktails Coming
Source: Flickr user regan76The weather in the valley stays temperate year-round, but you can expect the heat to hover in the triple digits during the summer. Record highs in July and August have surpassed 120 degrees, making the need for poolside cocktails all the more urgent.
2. Palm Springs Is Coachella Valley’s Paradise Oasis
Source: Flickr user Randy HeinitzWhile all of the cities in the valley have their charms, Palm Springs may be the area’s most popular hub. With a Hollywood A-list history and mid-century architecture, Palm Springs is where retro-chic reigns. But it’s also a city where retirees, hipsters, and an LGBT community keep the city from feeling too kitschy.
3. And It Has Some Serious Hollywood History Cache
Source: Flickr user kate gabriellePalm Springs has been a road-trip destination for Hollywood celebrities since the 1920s, and the list of legendary names is impressive. The Rat Pack’s Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dean Martin all had homes here, while Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Ava Gardner had all visited.
4. Who Needs Sin City When You’ve Got Spa City?
Source: Palm Springs Spa Massage via FacebookSpeaking of Desert Hot Springs, this area is also known as “Spa City” because it’s built above a natural hot mineral water aquifer. These waters can get as hot as 180 degrees, and are known to be medicinal—or at the very least, relaxing.
5. Start Your Day In Earnest At Ernest Coffee
Source: Ernest Coffee via FacebookMinimalist, modern, and all around too-cool-for-school, Ernest Coffee is Palm Springs in coffee shop form. Walk past tiki torches from Don the Beachcomber – the original home of this property – and order up a cup of Stumptown Coffee with a fresh pastry.
6. The Coachella Music Festival Is An Even Bigger Deal Than You’ve Heard
Source: Flickr user AlanpaoneThis three-day, two-weekend festival in April has become as synonymous with the valley as it has with the music industry. Here at Indio’s Empire Polo Club is where you’ll find up-and-coming DJs performing within earshot of household names, where you’ll spot today’s Hollywood set dancing alongside their fans, and where you’ll marvel at trippy art installations that set the cutting-edge scene.
7. People In The Coachella Valley Have A Very Wild Sense Of Style
Source: Flickr user License to BootIf you’ve been to the Coachella Valley, or just scrolled through photos, you’ll notice that free-spirit attire seems to be as vital as water. Flower crowns, cut-off jeans, and fringe may get your face on the fashion blogs, but you don’t have to wear this uniform to fit in. In fact, think outside this crochet box to stand out.
8. And Their Musical Taste Is Just As Eclectic
Source: Flickr user WEZL Charleston’s Best CountryOnce the dust settles on Coachella, this music festival takes over the same polo fields to deliver the best in country music. Known for being more relaxed than its pulsating counterpart, Stagecoach has spotlighted artists including Carrie Underwood, Willie Nelson, Tim McGraw, and Keith Urban. Cowboy hats and plaid are a must for this festival.
9. Folks Here Are Total Architecture Snobs
Source: visitpalmsprings.comThere are several ways to tour the mid-century buildings In Palm Springs, but a ride with Scoot Palm Springs is the most fun. Hop on a pastel-colored scooter and ride through the neighborhoods to see where Hollywood legends took their own catnaps.
10. They’re Art Snobs, Too
Source: Flickr user Joe WolfHome to more than just mid-century modern art, the Palm Springs Art Museum is where you can find Native American and Mesoamerican collections alongside contemporary photography and sculpture. You’ll be well-rounded in just one afternoon.
11. People Here Aren’t Afraid To Let Their Rainbow Flag Fly
Source: Flickr user merriFlying more under-the-radar than Coachella and Stagecoach, the White Party is an annual event that takes place in Palm Springs during the month of April. As the largest gay dance party in the world, expect to leave your best moves on this sun-soaked dance floor. This event has also booked names that have gone on to be huge talents, including Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande.
12. Meet The Creatures That Go Bump In The Desert Night
Source: Flickr user Evangelio GonzalezThe Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert will give you an up-close look at animals from Africa and North America, such as a giraffe, jaguar, and roadrunner. Once you’re finished making friends, walk through gardens comprised of local flora and fauna.
13. Forget Deep Dish Or New York Pizza, In The Coachella Valley Its All About Wood-Fired PIzza
Source: Flickr user avryWood-fired in a masonry oven, the pizzas of Matchbox Palm Springs are local legends. Stick to classic pepperoni pie, or be a little more adventurous and order the steak and wild mushroom concoction. While there are other items on the menu, the pizza list may be the only thing that catches your eye.
14. Folks In Coachella Valley Know How To Take Advantage Of Warm Summer Nights With Villagefest
Source: Flickr user Orin ZebestTo shop for more personal items, Downtown Palm Springs has Villagefest, a Thursday night outdoor event of more than 200 booths. Try on handcrafted jewelry, peruse one-of-a-kind art, or try locally-sourced food. Galleries and shops lining the street also stay up late to keep the fun alive.
15. Folks Here Know There Is Only Way To See Palm Springs: Hundreds Of Feet In The Air While Hanging From A Wire
Source: Flickr user PrayitnoNot one for hiking? No problem. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway takes you to an elevation of nearly 10,000 feet during an eight-minute ride–it’s one of the steepest climbs in the world. Enjoy temperatures that are about 30 degrees cooler than where you started, and stunning views of the wilderness.
16. “You Too” Can Visit The Joshua Tree
Source: Flickr user TobiasJoshua Tree is an 800,000-acre national park that comprises the low Colorado Desert–where the Coachella Valley is located–and the high Mojave Desert. If you’re a bird watcher, about 240 bird species have been spotted here. If you’re just here for the sites, other-worldly geological formations make this park a popular spot for hikers.
17. It’s An Easy Escape From (or To) L.A.
Source: Flickr user Sam HowzitLocated two hours from the congested streets of Los Angeles, where the open desert makes way for peace of mind, the Coachella Valley has long been a getaway town for these city locals. But the reverse is also true–you can always flee to the coast when the temperature rises!
18. Get The Best Produce At The Certified Farmers’ Market
Source: Flickr user kaybee07The Certified Farmers’ Market in Palm Springs takes place every Saturday, and it’s the best place to find organic and local produce in the area. Keep a look out for the “fresh picks of the week” and stay after shopping to listen to featured musicians.
19. People Here Love A Good Road Trip
Source: Flickr user FredmikerudyBlue skies and good tunes may be all you need on a drive around the valley, but a cruise down these roads is made even more special by their celebrity names. Keep a look out for streets like Bob Hope Drive and Frank Sinatra Drive, or park your car and stroll down Palm Springs’s own Walk of Stars.
20. Almost As Much As They Love Scoring A Great Deal On Vintage
Source: Flickr user Orin ZebestThe Coachella Valley has a plethora of vintage stores to choose from, and you can very well spent more time hunting for a unique find that lounging at the pool. If you want to make the most of your shopping spree, limit your search to the Collectors’ Corner in Rancho Mirage or Gypsyland in Desert Hot Springs.
21. When They Are Craving A Blast From The Past Folks Here Head To The Viceroy
Source: Viceroy Palm Springs via FacebookThe Viceroy Palm Springs looks like a hotel of a bygone era, thanks to upscale décor that would make a 1930s film star feel right at home. This is the place to be pampered, either at its three pools, outdoor cabanas, or spa.
22. Or If They Crave A Little Polychromatic Whimsy There’s The Saguaro
Source: The Saguaro Palm Springs via FacebookThe rainbow-hued Saguaro Hotel in Palm Springs is where the cool set comes to cool down. Painted stripes of neon colors that pop under the shade of the mountains, this hotel’s Technicolor appeal has made it a mainstay for that little-known music festival no one has heard about.
23. Folks In The Coachella Valley Get Tee’d Off—A Lot
Source: Flickr user pasa47Even though you’ll be living under the desert sun, the Coachella Valley area has more than 100 golf courses to play on. Get up early, when the sun isn’t as strong, and make a name for yourself in the unofficial “Golf Capital Of The World”–even if it’s as a sand-trap artist.
24. Dinosaurs Still Roam These Parts
Source: Flickr user jcracowLocated 13 miles west of Palm Springs, the Cabazon Dinosaurs are a quirky roadside attraction that you may remember from “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.” Built by Claude K. Bell, a one-time Knott’s Berry Farm model sculptor, these two dinosaurs were intended to lure people to his restaurant. Now, they’re beacons to a creationist museum.
25. Who Says There’s No Water In The Desert?
Source: Flickr user Mitch BerryThere are more than 140 trails to choose from in the Coachella Valley, but this one in the Palm Springs Indian Canyons includes sights of waterfalls and pools. Come here in October through May to see it at its best.
26. Coachella Valley Is Also Home To The Grounds Where Scarface Found Solace
Source: Two Bunch Palms Resort & Spa via FacebookAl Capone, the 1920s gangster known as “Scarface,” is rumored to have stayed in a bulletproof house in Desert Hot Springs, which is now on the property of Two Bunch Palms Resort & Spa. Curious visitors can make a reservation, although having the same notoriety isn’t necessary.
27. Do A Fly By Of The Palm Springs Air Museum
Source: Flickr user Marc van der ChijsNot only does the Palm Springs Air Museum feature the world’s largest collection of flyable World War II planes, but also, some of the museum’s volunteers are veterans of that war. Listen to their stories as you learn about the planes, and you’ll have a much more personal understanding of this point in history. Feature Image Source: Flickr user jaredeberhardt What do you love about living in the Coachella Valley? Leave a comment and let us know!