Located between Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage, Cathedral City sits in the Coachella Valley area of southern California. Unlike the name suggests, Cat City (as the locals call it) does not actually have a cathedral, the name instead originating from the ‘Cathedral Canyon’ rock formation to the south of town, which was said to have a cathedral-like appearance. Once a housing area for low-income families, since 1990 Cathedral City has undergone substantial regeneration to become a popular tourist spot and the home to some of the Californian Desert’s best holiday rental villas.
The Californian Desert is huge and diverse, and an increasingly popular holiday destination for a many different types of vacation. Although many people use Cathedral City as a commuter base from which to visit trendy Palm Springs, there are attractions in and around the city itself.
The late 1990’s saw a downtown regeneration programme in Cathedral City, which included the building of an IMAX Movie Theatre complex, the redevelopment of the entire shopping area, creation of a state of the art public library and business investment in the city in the way of more restaurants, cafes and bars.
Cathedral City is also a popular destination for sports lovers, with a number of golf courses being the highlight. These include the 58-par course at Date Palm Country Club, the former home of the Phil Harris Golf Classic. Amateur sports fans can also enjoy Minor League football, basketball and softball in the city, at the Big League Dreams Sports Park.
More family fun options can be found on the outskirts of the city, including the Boomers! Family Fun Park, the Ice Garden Skating Rink and the Mary Pickford Theater – the latter being a small museum dedicated to the famous actress.
Palm Springs is just 7miles from Cathedral City, and is the ‘Big Cheese’ of the Californian Desert. Walking, hiking, top shopping and fine dining are some of the highlights of this luxury resort, and a visit here is a must during any holiday in Cathedral City. Completing an almost perfect equilateral triangle with Palm Springs and Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage (7 miles away) has even more golf courses and a number of interesting children’s museums.
Unsurprisingly for a desert city, the weather in Cathedral City is hot for most of the year. A reported 360 days of sunshine a year mean summer temperatures that average around 35C, and winter temperatures that can still reach the 30C mark. Rainfall is almost unheard of in the region, and you can consider it hard cheese if you experience any during your stay.
Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) is just 5 miles from Cathedral City, though direct flights from the UK can be hard to come across, especially outside of peak season. An alternative option is to fly to the well-serviced Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and get a connecting flight or make the remainder of the journey over land.