Modern Homes & Buildings 101

About the Modern Homes & Buildings 101

When you want to go a bit more in-depth, this self-guided tour takes you to see inspiring modern architecture in the heart of Palm Springs. Marvel at how the mid-century set lived, worked and played in the golden age of Palm Springs. This tour is for the visitor who wants to explore architectural modernism as defined by some of the most definitive architects of the day; the basics and principals of modernism and modern architecture are explored in this tour, which guides you effortlessly to homes and buildings you wouldn’t otherwise see or hear about. Snap photos of the largely unknown modernist homes, commercial buildings and public facilities.

Tour Highlights

  • 15 stops
  • Estimated Tour Duration: approximately 90 minutes – 2 hours
  • Explore some of the most iconic buildings on Palm Canyon Drive and learn how they came to be
  • See stunning converted banks and find out where the architects’ inspiration came from
  • Marvel at quirky Tiki architecture
  • Learn about an iconic family home that may be cursed!
  • See Palm Springs’ little-known first ever modernist building
  • Reflect on the architectural beauty of the city from up close
  • Explore buildings many visitors and even some locals don’t know about in Palm Springs
  • Get to know hidden gems in the heart of mid-century Palm Springs with visits to some stunning homes & buildings.
  • Learn how these homes and buildings came to be so important—and why Palm Springs wasn’t always the modern architectural and celebrity playground it is today.
  • Navigate iconic neighborhoods like Vista las Palmas, Old Las Palmas and Deepwell Estates, and you’ll see plenty of other amazing homes and architecture as you travel through these areas. Have your camera ready!

What to Know Before You Go

You will need your own vehicle for this self-driving tour (car, van, or bicycle, unicycle, skateboard). This tour features an audio tour guide with interactive real-time mapping and directions that guide you from stop to stop, plus many photos of interiors and exteriors, so you’re fully able to appreciate Palm Springs modernism—at your own pace.

All of our audio tours are self-driven so you can go at your own speed.

In some cases you will see the home or building facades and outdoor spaces, in others, we will get you as close as possible to private, gated or other spaces. We are unable to grant access to gated communities, and some homes are off limits, but we want you to enjoy great spaces and great stories. Please note, some public buildings including hotels may restrict access at any time due to COVID-19 and/or private events and we are unable to predict or remedy this.

This Tour Includes

  • Guided driving tour
  • Detailed directions to some of the most interesting architecture in Palm Springs
  • Integrated Google maps to help you get around
  • Enjoy clear voice narration from your guide
  • Factual and fascinating information about mid-century architecture
  • Original photographs of iconic buildings

Health & Safety

We take the health and safety of our guests and all Palm Springs residents seriously. We have set a series of standards that we hope you’ll welcome in the spirit of ensuring everybody is safe and comfortable and can courteously enjoy the lifestyle of the desert together.

  • Please be safe while cycling or driving.
  • In your car, obey all traffic laws.
  • On a bike, use recommended safety gear.
  • Don't drive or cycle while distracted; use your phone only while stopped.
  • Please do not trespass or bother the homeowners.
  • Be sure to drink plenty of water. Desert heat can sneak up on you. While fainting was cool back in old Hollywood, it’s not today, so stay safe!