Since the 1980s, Palm Desert, CA has rapidly grown into one of the Coachella Valley’s top places to live and play. Today, this Southern California city’s population sits at 50,000 year-round residents, and thanks to its warm winter climate, population grows by about 30,000 from December to May.
Centrally located in the valley just 15 miles east of Palm Springs, the city offers visitors, residents, families and snowbirds a variety of year-round events, cultural sights and outdoor spaces to explore. Palm Desert’s El Paseo, for instance, has become a top retail district in the valley, and its high-end boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants beckon visitors every year. The city also has numerous outdoor adventures on tap, including golf and tennis, a network of parks, and the nearby San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.
Are you interested in real estate in Palm Desert? Our handy buyer’s guide offers a glimpse into Palm Desert’s housing market and all that the city has to offer.
Palm Desert: A Popular Destination in the Coachella Valley
Palm Desert’s relatively short history began in the 1920s. At the time, Palm Desert was known as “Palm Village” and it was only a small, isolated desert community. Modern Palm Desert began to rise in the 1940s, when realtors began developing the area.
Early in its history, Palm Desert built a reputation as a resort and golf mecca. In fact, in 1947, Palm Desert’s first golf cart parade was held – a tradition that continues today.
Palm Desert grew exponentially in the 1980s. The population in 1980 – just 11,000 – had doubled by 1990, and it doubled again by 2000. Today, Palm Desert continues to experience growth, as the city has become one of Coachella’s most popular destinations for snowbirds and retirees.
Palm Desert Neighborhoods
Due to its rapid growth over the last 30 years, Palm Desert’s neighborhoods offer homebuyers access to newer homes in gated communities, many of which feature Spanish Colonial, Mediterrean-style or mid-century architecture. Some of the city’s most popular neighborhoods include:
• Cahuilla Hills – Secluded Cahuilla Hills attracts many of Palm Desert’s celebrity residents, and the private neighborhood offers luxury homes on larger lots.
• Chaparral Country Club – The secret’s out about Chaparral Country Club. This private, golf community sits close to the El Paseo shopping district, and is anchored by an 18-hole Ted Robinson-design course.
• Lantana – A centrally located neighborhood, Lantana offers a mix of newer single-family homes, low HOA fees and proximity to great schools, recreation and shopping.
• Hidden Palms – A condo community located just north of Highway 111, Hidden Palms offers all the amenities, including swimming pools, a private lake and tennis courts.
• Bighorn Golf Club – Situated at the base of the Santa Rosa mountains, Bighorn Golf Club is home to private luxury estates that offer access to two 18-hole golf courses.
Palm Desert: An Ideal Desert Climate
Why is Palm Desert such a great place to buy a home? Beyond the numerous things to do, many choose Coachella Valley for the weather. The city’s unique desert climate boasts average winter temperatures in the 70s and 80s – making the city the perfect wintertime escape for snowbirds.
Overall, the weather remains pleasant throughout winter, early spring and fall, while hotter temperatures arrive in summer. From late May to August, temperatures climb into the 90s and 100s.
Another added benefit of the region’s climate: The Coachella Valley is renowned for its sunshine. The valley receives about 300 sunny days per year, and with low annual rainfall, Palm Desert is an ideal location for people who love to get outdoors.
Year-Round Events, Vibrant Arts and a Rich Cultural History
Considering buying a home in Palm Desert? Not only are the weather and beautiful scenery draws, Palm Desert is perfect for an active lifestyle.
Downtown, residents and visitors flock to the Street & Art Fair & Farmers Market – which is held Saturdays and Sundays, year-round. The weekly fair is held in Palm Desert’s retail district – El Paseo – which is the center of retail activity in the valley.
If you’re looking for golf, you can’t swing a nine-iron without hitting an award-winning course. Some of the top include the city-owned Desert Willow Golf Resort, the Shadow Mountain Golf Club, or the iconic Classic Club.
Looking for great eateries? Palm Desert is home to more than 150 restaurants, from casual Mexican joints to upscale fine dining establishments, and El Paseo is renowned for its upscale shopping – sometimes called the “Rodeo Drive of the Desert.”
The arts? There’s plenty here. The McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts hosts ballets, musicals and shows through the fall and winter, and the city was one of the first in the valley to introduce public art displays (you’ll notice sculptures in many public places).