Legendary entertainer Bob Hope had quite the love affair with Palm Springs. His sweeping volcano mansion is one of the most iconic landmarks on Highway 111, and he was also the tour de force behind the desert's largest golf tournament for decades. Hope was even a longtime honorary mayor of Palm Springs. For a look at Hope's lasting impact on the Coachella Valley, head to these desert attractions.
Indian Wells Country Club — Photo courtesy of Indian Wells Country Club
The Humana Challenge is the largest PGA golf tournament held in the Coachella Valley, but before it was the Humana Challenge, it was the Bob Hope Classic. Hope signed onto the golf tournament in 1965 and hosted the event for decades to come, bringing an all-star celebrity turnout to golf courses throughout the area. To see one of the backdrops for Hope's former tournament, grab your clubs and head out for an early morning tee time at Indian Wells Country Club, one of the original host sites for the Bob Hope Classic.
Bob Hope's former home in Palm Springs — Photo courtesy of On the White Line/flickr
Another great way to see a slice of Bob Hope's history in the Coachella Valley is with a hike along Araby Trail in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Monument. The trail head is about two blocks east of Araby Road and East Palm Canyon Drive at the entrance to the Rimcrest/Southridge development. This scenic desert hike takes you right past Bob Hope's John Lautner-designed volcanic house, which you can see from Highway 111. This is a not-to-be-missed photo opportunity for those on a Bob Hope pilgrimage.
Bob Hope Stage at the Palm Springs Air Museum — Photo courtesy of Palm Springs Air Museum
Outside of the Coachella Valley, Bob Hope was beloved for his U.S.O. performances to entertain U.S. troops who were stationed abroad. Hope spent 48 Christmases overseas with troops, and he was the first person to be named an honorary veteran of the Armed Forces. The desert pays homage to Hope's U.S.O. traditions at the Palm Springs Air Museum, where a Bob Hope exhibit features U.S.O. history and even a replica U.S.O. show stage in Hope's honor.
In the evening, you can enjoy performances by dancers, orchestras, entertainers and musicians at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert. This desert venue was funded by Bob Hope and his wife, Delores, who wanted to entertain, educate and enrich the desert with national shows and concerts. In fact, the McCallum opened in 1988 with an all-star tribute to the beloved entertainer. Today, his love for entertainment and the performing arts lives on at the McCallum Theater, where everyone from Johnny Cash to Kathy Griffin have taken the stage.
Thanks for the memories, Mr. Hope!