About the Tour
Palm Springs has plenty to offer fans of architecture, but knowing where to go and what to see can be a challenge – especially for those with limited time. On this personally guided small group tour (maximum 6 guests), you can sit back and relax as Palm Springs' acclaimed and knowledgeable guides take you through the city's diverse neighborhoods, reveal their many treasures and tell their fascinating stories in a relaxed conversational setting.
The tour includes the history of Palm Springs, the people who lived, worked and vacationed here, the Hollywood stars who played and built homes here and the architects, builders and designers who, from the late 1930s through the early 1970s, developed the "desert modernism" style for which Palm Springs has become famous.
You'll see distinctive homes by noted architects, celebrity hideaways, familiar film locations, revolutionary modern tract developments, beautifully preserved commercial buildings and civic buildings that influenced public architecture throughout the world - plus a variety of notable older and newer structures that provide context and character to the city's eclectic built environment.
“A staggering wealth of knowledge behind the wheel."
- Dwell Magazine
South Palm Canyon Neighborhoods
Palm Springs' south end is a purist's dream – an endless maze of mid-century resorts, apartment complexes, country clubs and fabulous custom homes lining emerald-green fairways. From cool modernism to Hollywood regency to rustic ranch and roadside kitsch, the South Palm Canyon area of town warrants a tour all its own.
Palm Springs Civic Center
Modernist's love Palm Springs Civic Center buildings for their purity, simplicity and subtlety. Similar structures from the 1960s can be found around the world, but these 1950s originals are prototypes that spawned a revolution in essential and economical, but nonetheless profound, civic architecture. (Left: City Hall's iconic sun screens)
A quirky historic outpost in a mountain cleft at the southeast end of town, Araby Cove contains a handful of surprises like this mid-century "cottage" (left), a tri-level mini-estate built by aviation/media tycoon and legendary germ-o-phobe Howard Hughes with foot-controlled electrical switches.