Discover Desert Modern Style in Palm Springs

Take a tour of outstanding mid-century modern architecture.

With its kidney-shape swimming pools, Jetson-style homes, and crushed-velvet lounges, Palm Springs swings with mid-century modern style. In-the-know fans of iconic architects like Richard Neutra and Albert Frey know that this desert getaway ranks as one of the best places to see the Rat Pack era epitomized in homes and buildings around town. In fact, the town has special commendations from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is a designated Preserve America city. Other architectural genres such as Desert Modernism and historic manors from the early 1900s

But even if you’re not savvy on the clean lines and materials of the genre, there are plenty of ways to easily tap into all this Palm Springs style. Here are some suggestions:

• Stay in a retro retreat. Many of the Palm Springs small hotels and vacation home rentals are mid-century classics.
• Guided tours are available year-round. Learn about the masters of mid-century modern architecture by taking a Segway or van tour of the desert’s most notable architecture.
• Pick up a map of mid-century modern landmarks at the Palm Springs Official Visitor Center, itself an architectural standout. Designed by Albert Frey and Robson Chambers, the site was once an astoundingly sleek Tramway Gas Station.
• Attend the annual Modernism Week (held in February) for special architecture tours, events, and programs.
• Take home your own touch of desert chic. Numerous home furnishings stores, selling mid-century modern pieces or high-quality reproductions, are scattered around town, especially along Palm Canyon Drive.