2019 will mark the 30th anniversary of The International Symposium on Human Identification, and to celebrate, we’re going to a city where we’ve never been before – Palm Springs, California! For those who have never been to Palm Springs, you may want to plan a couple of extra days in this sunny, desert oasis.
Written by: Tara Luther, Promega Corporation
Palm Springs, California, is located on the western edge of the Coachella Valley, within the Colorado Desert. With more than 350 days per year of sunshine, and average September temperatures ranging between 70 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, it’s almost guaranteed to be beautiful during ISHI!
Over 2,000 years ago, the first residents of Palm Springs were ancestors of today’s Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. Later, when the village was incorporated in 1938, it had become famous world-wide as a winter playground for such Hollywood stars as Frank Sinatra, Marlene Dietrich, Bob Hope, and Loretta Young. During World War II, the desert climate of Palm Springs made it the perfect training ground for General George S. Patton’s troops as they prepared to invade North Africa. After the war, Palm Springs became a tourist hot-spot as attractions and resorts flourished, and today it continues to be a favorite for both Hollywood stars, European royalty, and those looking to relax in the sun.
Palm Springs is very pedestrian friendly, with most hotels within walking distance to dining, shopping, museums, and entertainment. If you’re looking to do a little shopping while you’re in town, visit Downtown or the Uptown Design District for mid-century modern retailers, fashion boutiques, consignment dealers, art galleries, or antiques shops.
There is one aspect of Palm Springs that you’ll be sure to notice – the 3,000+ windmills that line the Valley and surrounding hills in the San Gorgonio Wind Farm. Used for the backdrop of countless movies and photo shoots, this wind farm was was developed in the 1980’s and is one of three major wind farms in California. If you’re interested in learning more, consider booking a tour while you’re in town.
If you’d prefer to explore the outdoors, visit Mount San Jancinto State Park by riding the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Beginning in Chino Canyon, the tram transports passengers from Valley Station at an elevation of 2,643 feet to Mountain Station at an elevation of 8,516 feet. Featuring a restaurant, gift shop, snack bar, and the state park visitor center, Mountain Station will give you a great view of the valley below. A short walk away, you’ll find the Long Valley Ranger Station, where the hiking trail systems begin.
If you’re not a hiker, but still want to experience the natural beauty of Palm Springs, visit the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. With more than 1200 protected acres, 450 wild animals, tranquil gardens, and live animal shows, the zoo and gardens are guaranteed to be fun for the whole family.
For those interested in local museums, architecture, nightlife, or other local area attractions, the Visit Palm Springs website has an abundance of ideas that will keep you busy for days.
The 30th International Symposium on Human Identification will be held in the Palm Springs Convention Center. Just two miles from the Palm Springs International Airport, and with over 1,600 hotel rooms within walking distance, convenient is an understatement. Save the date for September 23 – 26, 2019 and be sure to help us celebrate 30 years!
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