Palm Springs, California 2020
Palm Springs is a city in the US state of California. As its name suggests, it is home to natural hot springs. Originally inhabited by Native Americans for about two thousand years, Europeans first discovered it in the late 18th century. However, white settlements did not begin in the region until the mid-19th century. At the turn of the 20th century, Palm Springs became a favored destination among Hollywood’s elite, especially those seeking sanctuary from the constant barrage of media coverage. Today, Palm Springs remains popular with celebrities of all kinds. It is also popular with tourists and retirees who come to enjoy the city’s hot and dry climate.
Palm Springs Geography
Palm Springs is located in the Coachella Valley desert region of the Sonoran Desert in Southern California. A series of mountains surround it, including the San Bernardino Mountains to the north, the Santa Rosa Mountains to the south, the San Jacinto Mountains to the west, and the Lesser San Bernardino Mountains to the east. The city limits of Palm Springs include a narrow strip of land that extends south to the small communities of Alpine Village, Pinyon Pines, and Pinyon Crescent. The town of Desert Hot Springs is just north of Palm Springs. West of Palm Springs is Mount San Jacinto State Park. Several cities and towns lie east of Palm Springs, including Cathedral City, Palm Desert, Cahuilla Hills, Thousand Palms, and Rancho Mirage. Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument is located east of the elongated southern city limits of Palm Springs. The total area of the city is 246 km².
People of Palm Springs
As of 2020, the total population of Palm Springs was 48,844. Over 81% of the city’s population is white, of which 61.1% are non-Hispanic and 20.7% are Hispanic. Other Hispanic people make up about 5.5% of the population, Asians 4.75% and African Americans 4.28%. About 72% of Palm Springs residents speak only English, while about 20% speak Spanish. Over 80% of the city’s population was born in the United States. An estimated 38% were born in the city itself. People without U.S. citizenship, most of whom are from Latin America, make up 10.9% of Palm Springs residents. Naturalized U.S. citizens make up 9.06% of all Palm Springs residents. About a third of these naturalized citizens come from Latin America and another third from Asia. Almost a fifth come from Europe.
Economy of Palm Springs
The average household income in Palm Springs is $87,874 and the city’s poverty rate is 17.31%. Poverty disproportionately affects the city’s African American population, with 38.29% living in poverty despite making up only 4.28% of Palm Springs’ total population. The city’s economy is heavily based on tourism. The city’s largest industries by number of employees are health care and social assistance, accommodation and food services, and retail.
Palm Springs History
Native Americans of the Cahuilla Nation inhabited the area where Palm Springs is now located prior to European contact. They arrived in the region two thousand years ago. Their name for the area was Se-Khi, which means boiling water. Petroglyphs, irrigation ditches, dams, and pits made by early Native American inhabitants are found in the vicinity of Palm Springs. Today, streets and neighborhoods in the city are named using common Cahuilla surnames such as Andreas, Arenas, Amado, Belardo, Lugu, Patencio, Saturnin, and chinos.
The first people of European descent to visit present-day Palm Springs were Spanish explorers who arrived in the area in the 1770s. These explorers called the area La Palma de la Mano de Dios (The Palm of the Hand of God). In December 1823, the newly formed Mexican government sent an expedition led by José María Estudillo and Captain Brevet José Romero to present-day Palm Springs to find an overland route from Sonora to Alta, California. This expedition first recorded the presence of the region’s natural hot springs.
The first white settler to live in present-day Palm Springs was Jack Summers, who ran the stagecoach station on the Bradshaw Trail in 1862. However, it wasn’t until the early 1900s that Palm Springs would begin to attract waves new residents, many of whom came to take advantage of the dry, hot climate, which is particularly beneficial for people with tuberculosis. In the 1930s, Palm Springs became the number one desert getaway for Hollywood stars. One of the reasons the town became so popular with Hollywood figures was that it was isolated from Hollywood itself, 107 miles from Los Angeles. Thus, the city offered a nice refuge for all the stars who were the subject of unwanted gossip or scandal.
During World War II, Palm Springs served as the location of important US military installations, including Palm Springs Army Airfield and General Patton’s Desert Training Center. In addition, a hotel in the city, El Mirador Hotel, was transformed by the American government into a hospital. After World War II, Palm Springs became a center of architectural modernism. In fact, it has been argued that the city’s architecture became the model for mass-produced suburban housing, especially in the Southwest. From the mid-20th century until today, Palm Springs has continued to be popular with Hollywood’s elite and retirees. It has also become a popular spring break destination.
Attractions in Palm Springs
There are a multitude of different attractions in the Palm Springs area. Moorten Botanical Gardens, Indian Canyons, Joshua Tree National Park, Village Green Heritage Center and Wolf Mountain Sanctuary are some of the natural attractions. Museums in the Palm Springs area include Cabot’s Pueblo Museum, Palm Springs Air Force Museum, and Palm Springs Museum of Art. Another of Palm Spring’s most famous attractions is its Aerial TRAM, allowing passengers to ride over 8,000 feet in the world’s largest rotating trams. Palm Springs is also famous for its golf courses, including the Classic Club, a semi-private, upscale, pay-per-day golf course designed by the Arnold Palmer Company with input from the PGA Tour. Popular streets and neighborhoods in Palm Springs include the El Paseo shopping district and Palm Canyon Drive, home to the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.