10 Communities in Palm Desert
A warm and active community, Palm Desert is an in-demand retirement destination in Southern California. With plenty of parks, national forests, and wildlife areas, the city is perfect for the active adult looking for outdoor recreation. Palm Desert is complete with museums, a bustling shopping district, and popular theater as well.
Climate & Geography
Palm Desert is located in the Coachella Valley, part of the Inland Empire of the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metropolitan area. With high mountain ranges and a south-sloping valley, Palm Desert experiences year-round high temperatures and is generally considered the warmest region in the U.S. Hot and dry summers are followed by warm and dry winters.
The city is surrounded by several national parks. Joshua Tree National Park is directly west, the Coachella Valley Preserve is just north, and the southwest of the city borders the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
Active adults seeking outdoor recreation have many opportunities in Palm Desert. The Bump and Grind Trail and San Andreas Fault have hiking trails, and there are nearly 30 golf courses. Nearby national parks also offer camping and horseback riding.
The El Paseo Shopping District is a nine-block area with boutiques, large name-brand stores, restaurants, and art galleries. It also hosts many events throughout the year, including jazz concerts, holiday events, and cruise nights. Residents can also visit the very popular Living Desert Zoo and Gardens and the Palm Springs Art Museum, which has a large outdoor sculpture garden.
There are also shows at the McCallum Theater that span music, comedy, dance, and drama. Outside of all of this, the city recently broke ground on a new pedestrian area downtown, bringing more walkways, bike paths, and landscaping to the city center.
Cost of Living & Taxes
Though California has one of the highest costs of living in the U.S., Palm Desert averages a lower cost of living than the state. Housing and transportation are the biggest contributors to the cost of living, but are still less than the state’s average. Groceries, utilities, and health care are lower than the national average.
California does not tax Social Security, but it does fully tax pensions and other forms of retirement income at some of the highest rates in the country. Property taxes are lower than the national average. The city of Palm Desert has a 7.75 percent sales tax, which is average for the U.S.
As part of the Riverside metro area, Gallup’s Well-Being Index rates Palm Desert relatively high. It was most recently ranked in the top 70 communities.
Though there are no nationally ranked hospitals in the area, there are several high performing hospitals within twenty miles of Palm Desert. The Eisenhower Medical Center is ranked No. 1 by U.S. News in the Riverside area as well as No. 21 in California. Also nearby are the Desert Regional Medical Center, No. 5 in the area, and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital.