Palm Desert


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Palm Desert forms the heart of the Coachella Valley, and though only officially incorporated in the early 1970s, it's the area's fastest growing town.

Expansive gated communities and the upscale El Paseo shopping district have transformed Palm Desert into a rather elite slice of suburbia, with a slate of world-class sporting events, galleries, and performing arts centers to match its glowing reputation. But the true soul of this community lies in its dedication to its natural wealth. No matter how much this town has been tamed with mid-century modernist cool, life here is all about the desert.

Located on 1,200 acres in the Colorado Desert on the outskirts of town, The Living Desert zoo and botanical garden is dedicated to the preservation of its namesake ecosystem, with a collection of flora and fauna from both North America and Africa. Even the Entrada del Paseo, one of the city's busiest intersections, comes with a reminder of this town's desert surroundings: Built in 2006, the Eric Johnson Memorial Gardens are an urban oasis of landscaped waterfalls, arroyos, and sand dunes that attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

BNP Paribas Open

The name of Palm Desert's next door neighbor, Indian Wells, is likely to ring a bell with tennis aficionados. Each year, the town plays host to the BNP Paribas Open which is considered the biggest tennis event in the world next to the four Grand Slam tournaments. Though the Indian Wells Tennis Garden is one of the world's largest stadiums, the Open, held in March, has been known to fill every last one of its over 16,000 seats.

San Andreas Fault Nightwatch Tour

On summer nights the temperature hovers around 80 degrees. Local outfitter Desert Adventures makes the most of the pleasant summer nights with a stargazing tour of the desert landscape surrounding the San Andreas Fault. The tour features naturalist guides, sunset views, and transportation in the company's signature, safari-style red Jeeps.

The McCallum Theatre's Annual Choreography Festival

The McCallum Theatre Institute, an arts education and outreach program headquartered in Palm Desert, hosts the The McCallum Theatre's Annual Choreography Festival each year. Entering the 16th year of production, the festival brings some of the region's most promising young talent into the spotlight and awards over $20,000 in prizes to the standout contestants.

Jazzoo Concert Series at The Living Desert

The American Jazz Institute partners up with Palm Desert's popular wildlife and nature center, The Living Desert, for the Jazzoo Concert Series, beginning in December and held on select dates through March. Before the show, check out the exhibits at The Living Desert, which include cheetahs, giraffes, aviaries, and gardens featuring plants indigenous to the Coachella Valley and East Africa.