Mad for Modern in Palm Springs

Thanks to its trove of midcentury modern buildings, Palm Springs earned designation as one of the country’s top architectural destinations from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Leading architects (think Richard Neutra and Albert Frey) designed buildings here, and as “desert modernism” came back into vogue in the 1990s, it spurred Palm Springs’ revival as a visually striking destination, a popular gay and lesbian enclave.

 

Pick up an architecture guide at the Palm Springs Visitor Center , located in a onetime gas station with a soaring roofline designed by iconic architect Albert Frey. 


Elvis Presley honeymooned at and often retreated to an estate built by noted developer Robert Alexander. The Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway is open for tours. 


Sip a cocktail poolside and then retire to your sleekly appointed room at the meticulously restored Orbit In


Shop for trend-forward furnishings and house wares at stores along North Palm Canyon Drive, including Studio One 11


Take a break from California modern, and go for traditional ribs and fixings at Tootie’s Texas Barbeque


An Albert Frey–designed terminal serves as a gateway from the desert to pine forests, as the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway climbs nearly 6,000 feet into the San Jacinto Mountains.


No ersatz diner, Formica-clad Keedy’s Fountain & Grill, which opened its doors in 1957, serves up diner classics, like waffles and date shakes, as well as carne asada and other unexpected dishes, in style.


Cool, white, and retro, The Mod Resort stands as a modern oasis near shopping and dining along El Paseo.