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Beyond the green in Palm Springs: The desert is Coachella Valley’s true oasis

Flying into Palm Springs, I’m always reminded of a color-by-number painting — one short on both colors and numbers. Peering out of the small aircraft window, I see a palette of just green, for the exquisitely manicured golf courses, and brown, for the giant mounds of cocoa powder that turn out, unfortunately, to be mountains.

Two hours east of Los Angeles at the northern end of the Colorado Desert, the Coachella Valley in California is composed of a handful of cities, the most established of which is Palm Springs. Nearly surrounded by mountains, the valley is protected from all but the sunniest, warmest days.

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And let’s be honest, that’s pretty darn gay.