The Desert Sun
Local News

25 cool things about Desert Hot Springs

Bill Byron
The Desert Sun


Desert Hot Springs' most famous attribute is right in its name. The city was founded because of its plentiful spring water and those natural springs long used by Native American tribes are still its most popular attraction.


Quick to use the springs as a draw, spas soon sprung up around town, the most famous of which is Two Bunch Palms Resort.

It is rumored that this expansive, high-end resort was used as a hideout by Al Capone during his heyday.

Cabot's Pueblo Museum may be one of the most overlooked, yet important archives of the Coachella Valley's history. It is named for Cabot A. Yerxa, a homesteader, who in 1913 was drawn to the hot and cold waters which the city grew around.


Arguably the city's most famous eatery, Capri Italian Restaurant, offers up an extensive menu of Italian items and steaks. The family atmosphere and converted house edifice can give a real flavor of the city's down-hominess.


Some famous star sightings around town include Tim Robbins taking a mud bath at Two Bunch Palms Resort in the film "The Player." Steve McQueen, Katharine Hepburn and Tyrone Power all frequented Capri's.


A certified farmer's market is open every Thursday at Mission Springs Park, featuring homegrown wares from California farmers.


For the kids, there is a skate park that is used frequently and occasionally has sponsored competitions.

Located between the city's fire station and Carl May Community Center, it is even lighted for night riders.


Desert Hot Springs is one of only a few places where the natural hot mineral water is free from the sulfurous odor that usually accompanies it. The city's aquifer provides about 40 hotels and spas with water ranging in temperature from 120 to 180 degrees.


Fed by snowfall and filtered through hundreds of feet of sand, the city's municipal water supply is fed by a cold-water aquifer.


The hot water is known for its soothing qualities, and the cold water is known as some of the most drinkable in the country.

The town's tap water has won several medals at the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting competition in West Virginia.


The always-snowcapped Mt. San Jacinto can be seen from every part of the city, dominating the town's expansive views.


The reason for the majestic vistas is that Desert Hot Springs has an elevation of about 900 feet above the valley floor.


The city was incorporated in 1963 and is run by a city manager and city council style of government.


Desert Hot Springs is the closest valley city to Joshua Tree National Park. Situated in the foothills of Joshua Tree, you can hike or ride horses to the park via several rustic canyon trails.


It is also the only city in the Coachella Valley to be located entirely north of Interstate 10, giving it a somewhat remote and other-worldly feel.


"The Spa City," as it is known, has no shortage of the resorts to compete for your attention. The clothing-optional Living Waters Spa is a popular, independent destination for those wishing to experience a less constricted vacation.


The Beat Hotel specializes in memorabilia from the beatnik era, especially that of author William S. Burroughs. There is also a pool and spa, but the primary attraction is the writing regalia.


The city is one of only three out of the nine in the Coachella Valley to boast its own police force, which has approximately 40 sworn personnel.


The city's newest golf course is a Johnny Miller-designed course slated for the Tuscan Hills development.


The Desert Hot Springs High School football team had its best record ever in 2005, finishing 8-3 overall and making the De Anza League playoffs for first time in school history.


Another interesting sporting tidbit is that the father of Boston Red Sox outfielder Coco Crisp lives in Desert Hot Springs.


A fan of local art? Check out the Carl May Community Center, where the city council meets twice a month. For every meeting the room is covered in several new paintings from a featured local artist.


The wind. Love it or hate it, it's a part of life in Desert Hot Springs. Most times of the day it is blowing, and gusts can reach 40 to 60 mph. Many locals say it keeps the air clean and the temperatures down.


Counterculture author Paul Krassner, co-founder of the Yippies, lives in town.


The only Boys & Girls Club in the valley with an outdoor swimming pool is located in Desert Hot Springs, where membership can be had for only $10 a year.