Called “Camp David of the West,” due to having hosted numerous presidents over the years, Rancho Mirage, CA is well-known for its exclusive communities, lush golf courses, and famous residents. Former president Gerald Ford was a long-time resident, as were Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and many other Old Hollywood and business luminaries.
Today, this central Coachella Valley city of roughly 12,000 residents, offers the ultimate in luxury living. Four- and five-star resorts dot the landscape, as do 12 award-winning golf courses. Rancho Mirage also offers access to upscale retail shops, restaurants and luxury homes for sale.
Interested in Rancho Mirage real estate? Our guide offers a look at the city’s unique attractions, neighborhoods and interesting history.
Rancho Mirage: A Desert Oasis
Due to its proximity to Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage earned a reputation for exclusivity in the 1950s. Many of Palm Springs’ celebrity residents chose the more private Rancho Mirage to buy homes and vacation, and with the construction of the tory Thunderbird Country Club in the 1950s, the secret was out.
Rancho remained a mostly undeveloped, quiet desert oasis until the 1970s, when new housing developments, golf resorts and country clubs sprouted up across the city. By 1980, Rancho Mirage’s population had grown from about 1,300 in 1970 residents to nearly 6,500.
Today, Rancho Mirage has stayed true to its origins. It remains smaller, and more exclusive than other Coachella Valley cities, and golf is still a favorite pastime of residents. Top clubs and resorts like the Rancho Mirage Country Club, The Club at Morningside and The Springs Country Club are renowned for their beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and masterfully designed courses.
Rancho Mirage Neighborhoods
Rancho Mirage offers a mix of homes – some dating from the 1970s and 1980s building boom, to newer, contemporary developments. Almost all of the city’s homes and condos feature Spanish Colonial and Mediterranean-inspired architecture, although a few mid-century modern homes – a popular architectural style in Palm Springs – also dot the landscape.
Residents in Rancho Mirage tend to choose homes at golf clubs and resorts. A few of the city’s most well-known neighborhoods include:
• Sunrise Country Club – Built in the 1970s, Sunrise Country Club offers Spanish and Mediterranean-inspired condos and single-family homes with beautiful mountain views.
• Mission Hills – The Mission Hills Country Club is a more recent development, known for its contemporary homes and incredible facilities.
• Desert Island – Built in the 1970s and 80s, Desert Island is a community of mid-rise condos and single-family homes featuring classic Spanish architecture.
• Rancho Las Palmas – Another community built in the 1970s, Rancho Las Palmas is located near El Paseo and the College of the Desert. Single-family and condos are available in the community.
• Morningside – One of Rancho Mirage’s top clubs, Morningside is known for its high-end contemporary homes on larger lots.
What to Do in Rancho Mirage
Beyond fabulous golf and world-class tennis clubs, Rancho Mirage offers a vibrant landscape of culture, arts and outdoors opportunities. There’s something for everyone:
• Arts: The city is home to a world-class theater – the Coachella Valley Repertory – and numerous art and artisan galleries. Annual events like the Art Affaire showcase works by the valley’s top artists. And you can find one of the world’s largest collections of golf-inspired art at the Graeme Baxter Golf Galleries.
• Entertainment: Nearby Agua Caliente Resort and Casino offers table games, as well as one of the region’s premier concert venues. Acts like Sting and Steven Tyler have been featured at “The Show.”
• Outdoors: The city is home to numerous parks, including the Rancho Mirage Community Park, which features a 1000-seat outdoor amphitheater that features a packed calendar of shows. Other attractions like Indian Canyons, offer horseback riding and hiking. And Joshua Tree National Park, a once-in-a-lifetime destination, is just an hour away.
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