Self-Driving Tours of the Midcentury Modern Architecture
that makes Palm Springs Famous

As Seen In...
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Premium Guided Self-Driving & Walking Tours

mExterior tours from the safety and comfort of your own car, plus the convenience and luxury of your own schedule. Tour routes are done in order and have integrated Google mapping. Find out more about how our tours work. 

Familiarity with Google Maps and your smartphone's internet browser are important to use our tours.

NEW TOUR! - Celebrity Mega Tour

The biggest and best self-driving celebrity tour you will find in Palm Springs.

See the homes of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, Elvis, Leonardo DiCaprio, a U.S. president and more.

Modernism Top 10 Tour

Explore the 10 best known, most iconic and most beautiful buildings that put Palm Springs on the map.

Enjoy stories, background and history from your expert local guide; all the best buildings in Palm Springs in just a couple of hours.

Celebrity Homes Tour – 10 Best

From Sinatra to Marilyn, to Leo and even the Kardashians, Palm Springs is a celebrity paradise.

Skip the crowds and enjoy this self-driving tour as we share the gossip, the gorgeous homes and Palm Springs's celebrity secrets.

Modern Architecture 101

Familiar with the Top 10, or looking for hidden gems & lesser-known but still fabulous buildings?

Dive deeper into modernism as an architectural style, via the stories of its founders & see its most striking examples.

Palm Canyon Walking Tour

Palm Canyon Drive is a bustling commercial area with gorgeous architecture, fascinating stories & surprising history.

This walking tour is ideal for both first-time visitors and those who'd like to learn a bit more about the city.

Modernism Mega Tour

A combination of our Top 10 Tour and the Modern Homes & Buildings 101 Tour, the Mega Tour boasts nearly double the number of tour stops than a regular tour. This is the tour for architecture lovers and those looking to learn all about Palm Springs.

Rancho Mirage Architecture & Celebrity Tour

Outstanding examples of modernist architecture and marvelous mid-century designs all on open display in the "secret" architectural hot spot of Rancho Mirage.

Downloadable Pocket Tours

Get started with these fun self-directed tours delivered instantly to your inbox. These tours provide information, lists and include addresses, but do not offer integrated mapping. If you'd like guided mapping or a planned route, please browse our premium tours above.

Fabulous Doors of Palm Springs

The colorful and stylish doors of Palm Springs are a modernist mainstay.

This 60-page e-book shares photos, exact addresses, and information about dozens of cool doors & modernist facades you can see for yourself in Palm Springs.

Seriously Selfie Tour

This chic and mod list of the most Instagram-able spots in all of Palm Springs will fill your Instagram feed with style.

Our ten-page PDF shares some of the best spots to snap iconic photos as you explore beautiful Palm Springs California and these spots make an amazing backdrop for your selfies too.

Breeze Block Bingo!

You see them everywhere in Palm Springs; gorgeous, sculptural breeze blocks!

Learn the different shapes, and keep tabs on the ones you see using our 1-page printable Breeze Block Bingo Card, created by a talented digital artist.

"The tour is easy to follow and on top, you get interesting information via the audio link and also pictures of the inside. I highly recommend it!”

V. Deussen - Verified Buyer

So worth $49!

Beth D'Addono, USA Today 10 Best

"...brilliant, engaging, fun, easy to use and a memory-making joy!

I’m so grateful you did this! 

Richard T, Architect

I took both my husband and mom on your tour Celebrity Tour (twice!) and each time was so amazing and really fun! You truly have made a safe and fun tour experience. I loved it and can’t wait to take the Rancho Tour soon. 

-Monica D. - Verified Buyer

"We found the education from our self-guided driving and walking tours ... a fascinating and beneficial addition to our architecture touring. Founder Erin Lawrence offers well-paced, easy-to-listen-to commentary on her audio tours, with accompanying photos ."

-Therese Iknoian, Travel writer,

"This tour was extremely interesting, and we loved the fact we could do it at our own speed, in our own car. Definitely recommend!"

K. Scully - Verified Buyer

"We liked that we could go when we wanted and spend as much time as needed at each stop. The tour is the perfect length."

B. Dolan - Verified Buyer

"We loved it! It was very educational and fun!"

Jerry M. - Verified Buyer

"Fascinating peek into architecture and history!"

R. Philips - Verified Buyer

"We’re not the tour bus type. This tour was right for us, and let us take the family along for a reasonable price."

S. Mowitz - Verified Buyer

"I don't know much about architecture, so it was very illuminating. We liked the variety of buildings it showcased."

N. Perez - Verified Buyer

We really enjoyed the celebrity home tour! It was done very well. Next time I’m in Palm Springs I will definitely take another of your tours.

Karyn M. - Verified Buyer

About Our Tours

Our Palm Springs architectural exterior tours are self-driven in your own car, meaning you can go at your own pace, and stop, look, and get out of the car to take photos any time you want, without worrying about holding up a whole tour group. Tours are exteriors only.

You can have as many people as you like in your car—all for the same price.

Our premium self guided modern multimedia tours—like the Modern Architecture 101 tour—take approximately 90-120 minutes and use audio, interactive mapping and directions, and photos via our online platform so that you can learn about the fascinating history and bold architecture of Palm Springs, without needing to keep up with a tour group.

Want something a little quicker? Purchase the Seriously Selfie Tour or Door Tour e-book for a shorter, more simplified experience.

Modern Tour FAQs

How do the tours work, exactly?

Our tours are exterior-only multi-media audio and photographic tours that will take you on a self-driving route using your own vehicle.  You need to know how to use your smartphone's web or internet  browser as well as Google Maps, and how to switch between them.

Start up the tour online, and follow the guided directions, while listening to the tour audio.

When you buy a tour, you'll get the address and a Google Maps link that directs you to the starting point for the tour. Once you're there, press play and your "Tour Narrator" will tell you about this stop.

When you're ready to move on to the next stop, follow the directions from the included Google Maps link to the next address. Once you're there, return to the internet browser window and view the next stop and listen to the audio.

You'll repeat this process at your own pace until your tour is complete.

Homes are all privately owned and interiors are not available to view.

Some public buildings are included on our tours; these may or may not be open to the public on the date and time you choose to visit. We can make no promises about seeing the interiors of any public building; these tours are meant to be exteriors only.

Can we see the inside of any homes of buildings?

Homes are all privately owned and interiors are not available to view. It is important that tour goers not disturb the homeowners or trespass onto private property.

Some public buildings are included on our tours; these may or may not be open to the public on the date and time you choose to visit. We can make no promises about seeing the interiors of any public building; these tours are focused on exteriors only.

Do I need Wi-Fi or cellular data for a tour?

Taking one of our tours requires Wi-Fi or cellular data, as they run online. At this time they are not downloadable for offline use. It is possible to purchase or rent portable Wi-Fi Hotspots like the Skyroam device which will allow you to access data for much less than traditional cell phone roaming rates. (We're looking at you, Canada!) Read about that option on this blog, where there's also a promo code for a discount on the device. 

Do I have to take the tour in a specific order?

Modern Tours Palm Springs tours run in a specific order, but do allow for you to stop, explore, marvel at the beautiful homes and buildings, and make deviations along the way. Even stop for lunch!

How long will my tour take?

Before purchasing a tour, you'll see the estimated time to complete the tour.

Most of our tours are designed to take between 90 minutes to two hours, but since you’re in the driver’s seat, you set the pace of your tour. You can pause the tour at any time if you see something interesting.

Do I have to take the tour right after I buy it?

No. After your purchase, you’ll have 30 days to take the tour before your subscription will expire. If you like, buy it today, and you can flip through it to get an idea of what you’ll see, then drive it for real when you arrive in Palm Springs.

When are the tours available? Dates & Times
Because the tours are self-driving and run on your smartphone, tours are available at any time you choose, though they are best used during daylight hours. You can take a tour on any day of the week that works for your schedule.
What kind of tech knowledge do I need?
Our tours run on your smartphone, and use both your phone's internet browser (Safari, Chrome, etc) and Google Maps. It is important you know how to use both Google Maps and your phone's specific web browser. You will also need to know how to switch between those two apps. If you do not know how to do this, or are not familiar with these apps you may not enjoy our tours in the way they were intended.
If you need extra help, please email BEFORE you purchase your tour and we can send some more detailed instructions before you head out.   
What if my phone/cell service doesn't work?
Our tours run on your smartphone, and use both your phone's internet browser (Safari, Chrome, etc) and Google Maps. It is important that you have  cellular data or a portable Wi-Fi hotspot available to enjoy our tours to their fullest and to access the integrated real-time mapping. If you do not have cellular service or can otherwise not be connected to the internet, you will not be able to use our tours.
What happens when I buy a tour?

After you’ve purchased your tour, you’ll first listen to the tour introduction and then you'll make your way to the first stop where the tour will begin. 

How can I listen to the audio of the tour?

Any way you like! You’ll be able to listen to the tour audio on your phone, tablet or connected car speakers, or using a Bluetooth speaker if you want. 

What will I see on a tour?

In addition to the audio you can also read a written description of each stop, and look at photos. Of course, you'll be parked in front of each destination too, to be able to see it for yourself.

Whenever possible, our tours include interior photos, historical photos and documents, and historical facts and fascinating stories. 

How do I get to & from each stop?

Our self-guided tour uses Google Maps to navigate you from location to location. Once you've finished at each stop, you'll have Google Maps instructions on where to go next.

Is your audio tour accessible for the deaf & hard of hearing?

Absolutely! Each tour comes with an English transcript of the accompanying audio for accessibility. 

Directions to the next stop are given through Google Maps.

How much data will the tour use on my smartphone?

We estimate one of our tours will use approximately 0.02gb of data.

Please note all roaming fees, data charges and overages are your responsibility and we are not responsible for additional charges you may incur with your wireless provider.

Where do the tours start/end?
Each tour has a different start and end location; all beginning and end points are in Palm Springs (with the exception of the Rancho Mirage Tour).