Palm Springs thrives on travellers who visit the valley to relax and indulge. Many visitors eventually become residents. Much like Florida, Palm Springs is a retirement hotspot.
Only two hours from Mexico, there's a large Hispanic population here. You can find plenty of authentic Mexican cuisine with tamales, enchiladas, chiles rellenos and, of course, margaritas.
Palms Springs is also a spa mecca. Almost every resort and hotel offers a lengthy treatment menu, from simple pedicures to lava shell massages to natural healing treatments.
Interestingly, Palm Springs' healing powers are a part of its history. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians lived along the canyons of Palm Springs for centuries. They were allegedly named by a Spanish captain who came through the area, dipped his foot in one of the bubbling hot springs and exclaimed, "agua caliente!" or "hot water!" Since then, these same hot waters have attracted many visitors to the Palm Springs region.
In the late 19th century, Dr. Welwood Murray opened Palm Springs' first hotel, simply named The Palm Springs Hotel. Conveniently located across the road from an Agua Caliente Indian bathhouse, Murray's guests often took dips in the hot, curative waters warmed by the underground earthquake fault zones of the San Andreas Fault.
A few decades later, Dr. Harry and Nellie Coffman opened The Desert Inn, originally a sanatorium for patients whose recoveries were thought to progress better in the dry, desert climate. Later, the inn became a world-famous resort hotel catering to the wealthy, including millionaires like the Vanderbilts and the Hearsts.
Today, life in Palm Springs is still pretty relaxed. Maybe it's all the sunshine that keeps the locals warm and welcoming.
For years, Palm Springs has also been home to a large gay population, making it a very gay-friendly city and top destination for gay travellers.