Like most US cities, you'll need a car if you want to explore any further than the hotel boundaries - not least for the air-conditioning. Alternatively, you could hire yourself a Harley (www.eaglerider.com).
There is an international airport at Palm Springs (www.palmspringsairport.com), but many of the airlines that fly there are domestic; you'll probably arrive at Los Angeles airport (LAX), 100 miles east of the city.
Amtrak (www.amtrak.com) connects Palm Springs to other US cities. There are two railway stations, Bakersfield being the best one for connections to LA.
Country code for the United States: 1. Palm Springs: 760.
Palm Springs Modern: Houses in the California Desert by Adele Cygelman; Rat Pack Confidential by Shawn Levy.
Do go / Don't Go
Palm Springs has sunshine and balmy temperatures year-round, which is what makes it such a popular winter destination; the population almost doubles during these months. If anything, summer temperatures are too hot, with temperatures way above one hundred degrees.
The dining options in Palm Springs are as diverse as anything you'd find in Los Angeles - you can have anything, from sushi to steaks. There is a strong Mexican influence here, so it's worth sampling the enchiladas and tortillas. Local wines are produced in the Temecula valley, about an hour southwest of the city, and are certainly worth a try (www.temeculawines.org). California has some great wine-producing regions, including Sonoma and Napa Valley.
From Palm Springs airport, order a cab from Airport Taxi (+1 760 321 4470) or Yellow Cab (+1 760 345 8398); your hotel can arrange taxis for you if you need a ride anywhere local.
Tipping is always expected in restaurants; 20 per cent is not unusual, and it's easy to calculate by doubling the amount of tax on your bill. You should tip a dollar for every drink at the bar, too. A few spare singles to dole out to bus-oys, bellhops and chambermaids is a good idea, too.
Don't forget to pack your golf clubs; it's a very serious matter in this town and the courses here come with some of the most beautiful backdrops in the world.
Palm Spring has some fantastic modern architecture. If you want to tour the city's mid-century Jetsonian heritage then pick up the Palm Springs Modern Committee's map from the Visitor Center (www.palm-springs.org) on North Palm Canyon Drive. For some good ol' fashioned razzamatazz, the notorious Palm Springs Follies (www.psfollies.com) has Broadway-calibre song, dance and comedy acts from the Thirties and Forties performed by 'a cast old enough to have lived it'; it's very good fun.
Palm Canyon Drive is the one of the best places to head to for boutique shopping. Here you'll find interior design and fashion stores all a strollable distance from one another; there's excellent Modernist and Hollywood Regency style furniture at Modern Way (www.psmodernway.com). Every Thursday from 6-10pm, the street is closed to traffic between Amado Road and Baristo Road to host Villagefest (www.palmspringsvillagefest.com), a lively open-air night bazaar with stalls, arts and crafts, live music and food. The Gardens on El Paseo (www.thegardensonelpaseo.com) in Palm Desert, about 15 minutes east of Palm Springs, is the city's most exclusive shopping area. Cabazon Outlets (www.cabazonoutlets.com) on Seminole Drive in Cabazon also has a wide choice of brands under one roof.
Take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway (www.pstramway.com) 1,800 metres up Mount San Jacinto. In just 11 minutes, it's possible to go from the desert floor to well above the snowline. The views on the way up and from the top are, ahem, highly spectacular.
Some of the best examples of Palm Springs Modernist architecture are easy to find; track down Albert Frey's futuristic City Hall complex, two miles east of Downtown at 3200 East Tahquitz Canyon Way, and E Stewart Williams' Coachella Valley Savings and Loan Building (Washington Mutual) on South Palm Canyon Drive and Ramon Road.
Early January Palm Springs International Film Festival (www.psfilmfest.org). Mid-January The Bob Hope Chrysler Classic celebrity pro-am tournament. Golf is a major draw to Palm Springs, and this one of the highlights. Mid-February Palm Springs' Modernism Week celebrates the city's design heritage with events, exhibitions and lectures (www.modernismweek.com). April Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (www.coachella.com) in Indio, 26 miles from Palm Springs, has drawn headline acts such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, Björk , Beck, Iggy Pop and Massive Attack. August The Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines festival (www.idyllwildjazz.com) provides an opportunity to escape to slightly cooler mountain surroundings in the midsummer heat. December The Indio International Tamale festival has some fantastic (and spicy) food to try (www.tamalefestival.net).