Above: Entrance to the Palm Springs Art Museum

Sightseeing in Palm Springs

Exterior, Palm Springs Art Museum

Spending at least one day sipping cocktails by the resort pool seems all but required in Palm Springs. But when you want to get out and about, there’s plenty to see and do, no matter the time of year. Here are some of our favorite ways to get to know this diamond in the desert.


Faye Sarkowsky sculpture garden, Palm Springs Art Museum - David Blank

Modernism Week

With more than 350 events taking place over 11 days, February’s Modernism Week is probably Palm Springs’ biggest draw. But there’s another chance each year to celebrate and appreciate midcentury-modern art and design. Just like its predecessor, the “Fall Show,” in October, features home tours, cocktail parties, educational talks and shopping events, just with fewer people. Last year, highlights included interior tours of Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palms estate and Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s honeymoon house, plus a “Cocktail Clinic” mixology class and tours of vintage hotels.

Architectural Tours

Many companies offer exterior home tours throughout Palm Springs. We booked a three-hour bike tour with the Palm Springs Historical Society and covered a lot of ground in various notable neighborhoods. We also really enjoyed the private Interior Tour with Palm Springs Mod Squad, because it’s one of the few ways to see what’s behind those colorful doors outside of Modernism Week. Kurt Cyr, a local designer and midcentury expert, gave us a great foundation for understanding the fundamentals of desert-modern design and construction — and seeing the midcentury furnishings inside was a bonus. Read a complete review of our home tour experiences.

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Above: Entrance to the Palm Springs Art Museum

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