Rancho Mirage

Rancho Mirage, one of the nine cities of the Coachella Valley, is located between Cathedral City and Palm Desert in the geographic center of the Coachella Valley. Only ten miles from Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage lies in a sheltered cove, spreading across the desert floor from the Santa Rosa Mountains on the south toward the snow-capped San Jacinto range on the west. The community rises above the surrounding valley at an elevation of 246 feet above sea level. Rancho Mirage is known as the oasis of gracious living.

From the Civil War until the early 1920s, about the only human activities in Rancho Mirage were travelers headed to Yuma on the Bradshaw Trail. Although the first modern settlements date back to the 1920s and 1930s, Rancho Mirage got its claim to fame after World War II. After the Second World War, Rancho Mirage saw a new era of development that would create the predominant image as a world-class resort and residential community, characterized by high-quality planned residential golf course developments.

The community of Rancho Mirage is a leader in luxury residential developments. It started in the 1940s with Thunderbird Country Club which housed the Coachella Valley’s first 18-hole golf course. Early members of the club included Ambassador Leonard Firestone, Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. Ford Motor Company named the “Thunderbird” after this exclusive country club. Then came Tamarisk Country Club in 1952 where residents like Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack friends, producers, studio executives, and the captains of industry escaped to the desert to play golf and relax at their homes.

Major contributions to the entire Coachella Valley have been made by its wealthy and powerful residents. Located in Rancho Mirage are three very notable centers which are present and thriving today. The Annenberg Estate, also known as Sunnylands, owned by philanthropists Walter and Leonore Annenberg had long been popular with the wealthy and powerful. Frequent guests to Sunnylands included Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Queen Elizabeth II, George Bush, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and scores of corporate presidents and other chief executive officers from countries around the globe. The Betty Ford Center founded by desert resident Betty Ford, a world-renowned addiction rehabilitation center, is located in Rancho Mirage at the Eisenhower Medial Center campus. The Eisenhower Medical Center is one of the country’s leading hospital and medical facilities, located in Rancho Mirage and is named after another special desert resident and contributor, President Dwight Eisenhower.

Rancho Mirage has also become a mecca for dining and entertainment. There is a dining experience to appeal to every palate on “restaurant row” along the highway 111 corridor, which features over 40 restaurants. Another popular desert destination, The River in Rancho Mirage, features meandering water features and lakeside dining. The River is a colonnade of shopping, dining and entertainment and features an amphitheater which presents live music from local artists, movie theaters, fountains and cascading waterfalls. The River has become the mid-valley hub for shopping, dining and movie going in the Coachella Valley.

The Agua Caliente Resort Casino and Spa caters to those who favor the fast pace of gambling excitement and world class entertainment. The resort features a casino, full service spa and miles of sparkling pools to soak up the desert sunshine. Evening poolside parties each weekend, an energetic night club and concerts by internationally famous artists, provides an exciting and eclectic nite-life found no where else in the Coachella Valley.

The leaders of the city of Rancho Mirage meticulously oversee the both the function and esthetics of the city and strive to protect its natural beauty. The city enhances this image by designing and maintaining visually distinct entry monuments, public signs, and architectural elements. To keep Rancho Mirage’s sense of place as a unique, unparalleled haven in the desert, the City maintains many of the major streets and thoroughfares with lush, drought-tolerant median landscaping and street designs.

Incorporated in 1973, Rancho Mirage has become the leader in luxury residential developments, exclusive country clubs and famous residents behind guarded gates. It’s views of surrounding mountains, attractively landscaped streets, and golf course communities make it a truly special place and has earned it the reputation as the oasis of gracious living in the Coachella Valley.