Desert | California

Coachella Valley

Passionate golfers, tennis buffs, and sun seekers throng to the Coachella Valley, where plush resort playgrounds line up along the base of the stunning San Jacinto Mountains. Perhaps the best known is Palm Springs, but other havens for rest and relaxation include Palm Desert, Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, and Indio.

When you're not too busy with golf, tennis, or lazing by a sparkling pool - browse the elegant shops of Palm Desert and Palm Springs. At the Palm Springs Desert Museum, you'll find Western paintings, Native American artifacts, and desert dioramas. Palm Desert's Living Desert Wild Animal Park and Botanical Gardens offers native desert plants and wildlife. Get a splendid view of the valley on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, a 14-minute ride up 10,800-foot Mt. San Jacinto from the palms to the pines and cool mountain air.

For a closer look at desert life, take a walk into the Indian Canyons with a desert guide and naturalist. The oasis is the ancestral home of the Agua Caliente band of Cahuilla Indians. Just minutes from downtown Palm Springs, this beautiful, cool forest of California fan palms is the largest natural desert oasis in the world with over 3,000 native palms. Learn about the life cycle of the palm, Indian life in the canyon and see desert wildlife. Guided walks and hikes vary from easy to strenuous and are available year round.