It was, however, in the 1920s and 30s that Hollywood royalty began to make the 100-mile drive from Los Angeles and in the process spread the city’s reputation beyond Southern California. Its mid-century modern buildings—many built as homes for Hollywood stars like Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra—continue to be a major draw for those interested in architecture.
- If you are passionate about midcentury architecture, Modernism Week with its busy schedule of lectures and exclusive house tours takes place in late February.
- Whenever you visit, the Architecture and Design Center of the Palm Springs Art Museum provides an introduction to the city’s remarkable buildings. The museum’s main location in downtown Palm Springs has nearly 30 galleries displaying everything from centuries-old Native American pieces to recent works by contemporary artists.
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway offers stunning views of the desert landscape.
A walk through Indian Canyons, an oasis dotted with palms, provides a glimpse of how the desert looked when the earliest Agua Caliente Indians arrived here.
- A very different stroll, along Palm Canyon Drive, can include stops at the lively bars and restaurants that are oases for today’s travelers.
- Desert Magazine
- The bookstore Just Fabulous has an extensive selection of guidebooks to the area, as well as coffee-table volumes of photos of mid-century modern buildings.
The Best Things to Do
- The Style and Design Tour of Palm Springs and the Desert
- Where to Go Off the Beaten Path in Palm Springs and the Desert
- The Perfect Midcentury Modern Weekend in Palm Springs
- Coachella Bound: A Dreamy Desert Roadtrip
The Best Restaurants
- Where the Locals Eat and Drink in Palm Springs