Palm Springs is a desert town in Southern California that attracts people from all over the globe. Many residents first come to Palm Springs on vacation, and then fall in love with its easy lifestyle and warm winters. Some live here part of the year, while others enjoy it for year-round living — even during the summers.

For those who are wondering what it’s like to actually live in Palm Springs, here are three things you need to know:

1. Palm Springs is Less Expensive

For what you’re getting — a warm-weather, large town with a higher quality of life — Palm Springs offers more living, for less cost.

This is still California, so on-average the cost of living is higher than it would be in a small town in the Midwest, but certainly less than places like New York or Boston, and about 8% less than the California average.

Downside: You still need a car to live in Palm Springs. Even though there’s a good bus transit system, Palm Springs does not have light rail or subway trains, and the Coachella Valley is kind of spread out.

Downside: Air-conditioning bills in the summer can get pricey.

2. Palm Springs is Diverse

One of the things I enjoy most about Palm Springs is the diversity of its people. There is a vibrant gay community, and people from all kinds of religious and ethnic backgrounds. Liberals and conservatives both reside here happily with one another.

Downside: Economically, Palm Springs is not as diverse as it could be. The main industry is, as you might expect, tourism. The technology and manufacturing sectors could be stronger.

3. Palm Springs is Active and Casual

The weather makes Palm Springs an excellent place to live. Swimming, fitness studios, outdoor runs and, of course, tennis and golf are all passionately participated in, though perhaps the most popular activity is: walking.

Most neighborhoods here are very walkable, and it’s common to see people out for their evening walk as the sun starts to set behind the mountains, and even more common to see folks out for a morning walk before it gets too warm. Even the hiking is excellent.

Palm Springs has a dynamic extreme-health community, too — doctors, life-extension celebrities, and enthusiastic citizens who are interested in longevity and living the best, healthiest life possible.

What makes this all enjoyable is the low humidity. 100-degrees may sound like a lot to you, but if it’s very dry it feels quite comfortable.

Because of the weather, there’s not a lot of formality in dress. Even typically traditional industries such as banking tend to dress a bit more casually in their offices than they might in other large towns. Desert towns have a more relaxed vibe.

Downside: The month of August is usually intensely hot, so people generally try to stay indoors as much as they can during that month.

Downside: Not everyone thinks the desert is beautiful. It takes a certain type of person to appreciate the serene, simple landscapes of a desert. There are no beaches, though there are plenty of golf lakes and swimming pools.