Modern Homes & Buildings 101
Estimated Tour Duration
90 - 120 Minutes
Why Take This Tour
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.
- 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!
Health & Safety Standards
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.
Our tours happen in your own vehicle, so you are guaranteed to know the safety and cleanliness once you get inside, as well as the health of any friends or family you choose to invite along.
- Please wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer before entering and after leaving any businesses
- Maintain physical distancing and keep 6 feet / 2 meters between yourself and other people.
- Be friendly and kind but 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!
- 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
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.
Alternate Tour recommendations
If you want to see the best of the best of modernism in Palm Springs, check out our new our new Top 10 Iconic Buildings Tour . Looking to learn about the famous & fabulous Hollywood stars of yesterday & today? Our Celebrity Homes Tour is a must-do!
What’s the difference between Modern Homes & Buildings 101 and the Top 10 tour?
The Top 10 Tour will take you to see the most iconic homes and buildings in Palm Springs; the ones the locals would list for you or that might show up in a Google search, buy you’ll learn far more about them than you ever could from the internet! This 10-stop tour is easy to do in a couple of hours.
Modern Homes & Buildings 101 focuses on less well known (but still famous and important) buildings, but also delves deeper into modernism and the principals and traits of modern architecture, how it’s identified and how you can recognize it. This tour is moderately longer than the Top 10, and a great value for those who want to see the most modernism in just a few hours.
All of our audio tours are self-guided, which means you can set the pace yourself. We invite you to pause the tour whenever you want to stop and take a look around at the beauty that surrounds you.