Just a few hours of driving south of Hollywood, you’ll find California’s Palm Springs (not to be confused with Florida’s Palm Springs) in the Coachella Valley, surrounded on each side by mountains and desert lands.

Incorporated in the late 1930s, the city became known as a vacation spot for celebrities in the entertainment industry. Today, the Southern California city of 47,000 isn’t too far removed from its origins, chiefly residing on a thriving tourism industry surrounding its famous architecture, international cinema festivals, and breathtaking natural scenery. The average price for a home in Palm Springs is $300,000. The average price to rent a one-bedroom apartment in Palm Springs is $1000 per month.  These averages are expected to increase by 4% each year.

Priceless architecture and inspiring homes

The city is well known for its mid-century architecture, so much so that there are quite a few books written about the “oasis of progressive design” and “bastion of idiosyncratic modernism.” Though the flowing praise of Palm Spring’s structures and homes often comes at the cost of attacking Hollywood royalty, these same people made the design work possible through construction orders, eventually inspiring architects to create “desert modernism”.

Among the architectural sights are Alexander Homes, the first mass produced Desert Modernism homes, the Kaufmann Desert Edris House Palm Springs House, William Krisler’s House of Tomorrow, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Edris House, Donald Wexler’s Dinah Shore Residence, and William Cody’s Del Marcos. You can tour some of these sights, as well as more of the city’s architectural history at Michael Stern’s Modern Tour.

With such stellar architecture and history, finding out that renting and buying a home here is a delight. Though the cost of living here might be higher than some areas of the country, Palm Springs is a less expensive place to live than other California cities, including Los Angeles.

The one aspect of homeownership you might pay more for living in Palm Springs compared to some of California’s more expensive cities is patio furniture. Desert winds armed with beads of sand drastically decrease the life span of most outdoor items. Constant sunshine also compounds on that problem, but also leaves you with an increasingly appealing option of investing in solar roof tiles.

Living healthy in a desert city

If you’re at all concerned about having a healthy lifestyle in Palm Springs, let’s end your worries here. There’s a wide assortment of health-conscious grocers and restaurants, as well as a certified farmers market. In addition to the city’s fine grocers, you’ll find that there are plenty of gyms, and recreational facilities that you can become a member of. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, you’ll be sure to find your fit.

Being a getaway location, there’s also great interest in quality hot springs and spas, a municipal feature many other cities aren’t privileged enough to benefit from. One of the more popular resorts, Desert Hot Springs, has a number of locations with a variety of styles and services for clients to enjoy.

There are also plenty of activities to take part in, from hiking the San Jacinto Mountains to visiting the zoo and gardens of Living Desert. Because Palm Springs has so many natural elements in the area, the cost for many of these activities isn’t high and invCost Live Palm Springsolves a negligible amount of travel. Neighborhoods like Warm Sands and Baristo are considered fairly walkable, and the city bus system is remarkably cheap and uses alternative fuels.

In keeping with living healthy, make sure you drink plenty of water and frequently apply sunscreen! Palm Springs may be an oasis, but it’s still in the desert. Summers can get uncomfortably hot and the changing landscape has increased humidity.

Festivities and nightlife

Obviously, Palm Springs is no stranger to a party, especially since much of the city’s economy is dependent on tourism. While some long-time residents might sneer at efforts to strengthen and attract tourism dollars, the city’s government has succeeded in making Palm Springs the site of many national and international events and attractions, including the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films, the Palm Springs Aerial Tram, the Palm Springs Convention Center, and Modernism Week.

What does all of this tourism mean for the year-round residents of Palm Springs? Great deals at local bars, restaurants, and other attractions without needing a hotel room! You’ll reap the benefits of having popular events without having to pay the cost of travel or lodging, and you’ll have the home-field advantage of knowing the best restaurants, clubs and bars. If you’ve ever wanted to become known as a regular, now’s your chance.

Welcome to Palm Springs!

Interested in moving to Palm Springs? If you’re just starting to raise a family, take a look at the local school system and recreation centers. Alternatively, the relative seclusion and easy access to a healthy lifestyle (including golf courses) makes Palm Springs a good candidate for older folks who’ve considered the costs of retiring.