Under the Desert Sun: Discover the Treasures of Palm Springs

Palm Springs may conjure memories of celebrities, piano bars, endless golf, tennis, date plantations and maybe even vague spring break memories. Located only 1 hour 45 minutes east of Los Angeles and Orange County, Palm Springs offer wonderful unique getaway opportunities. 

This desert oasis vacation destination is returning to its glory days as a Hollywood oasis, and is becoming a gathering spot for modern architectural design connoisseurs, as well as musicians and artists inspired by nature. The Rat Pack lived, loved and played here in the golden days. Stars such as Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Lucille Ball built homes here and you can now rent these homes!

Parker
A whimsical Modern living room at the Parker Hotel

Here are 5 treasures to explore in the Palm Springs area:

1.       Modern Architecture: In the fifties and sixties the mountains and the deserts of Palm Springs inspired a Modern Movement in Architecture, which became known as the Desert Modernism. The architecture embraced mountain views and the warm climate, defining a lifestyle of informal elegance, often designed for celebrities and Hollywood socialites, but still seems very appropriate and desirable for today’s living. Recognizable by its use of walls of glass, deep roof overhangs, horizontal lines, screens, and a mixed use of natural and manmade materials, much of this architectural legacy still exist. You can buy a map of Modern Palm Springs listing 82 architectural gems, for $5 at the Visitor Center, to explore legendary hidden jewels of architecture and desert acclimatized, sustainable architecture by great architects of the past (most of them have passed away). Palm Springs Visitor Center: Palm Springs Visitor Center: www.visitpalmsprings.com  Tel: 760.778.8418 2901 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA 92262

Former Coachella Valley Savings & Loan, now Chase Bank designed by Stewart Williams in 1960
Former Santa Fe Federal Savings and Loan – now Palm Springs Architecture & Design Center, designed by Stewart Williams in 1960. Metal screens were adjustable to be able to modulate and control lighting during the day

2.       Uptown Palm Springs Design District in the northern end of Palm Springs, at North Palm Canyon Dr. between Vista Chino and Alejo Rd, is a delightful up-and-coming lifestyle shopping area lined with vintage and modern shopping, great restaurants, galleries, vintage furniture shops and a few well-known fashion designers, such as Trina Turk, who started out in Palm Springs, when this area was run-down. Take the time to stroll down the street, chat with the vendors who love the special “air” about Palm Springs, and duck inside every so often for a refreshment as it does get hot, or stay at one of the renovated hotels such as Skylark Hotel or the new ARRIVE Hotel to be in walking distance. If you love Modern Design, visit Palm Springs during Modernist Week, February 16-26, 2017. www.modernismweek.com

 IMG_1888Sunnylands

3.       Desert Gardens at Sunnylands: Nine acres of desert gardens surround Sunnylands Center. Definitely a place to visit if you appreciate stunning, contemporary desert landscaping and if you love photography. Designed by landscape architect James Burnett, the gardens include more than 53,000 individual desert plants. The gardens are located at the historical Annenberg Residence (Camp David of the West) in Rancho Mirage, designed by Architect Quincy Jones, which is now a museum, but you need to buy tickets one month ahead for the museum. Visit the gardens for free, Thursdays-Sundays, from 8:30 am to 4 pmwww.sunnylands.org. 37977 Bob Hope Dr., Rancho Mirage, CA 92270 Tel: 760. 202.2222   

4.       Shopping: If you are looking for amazing discounted deals, the biggest Outlet Shopping Mall in California at Desert Hills Premium Outlets is located just 20 minutes outside Palm Springs off the 103 freeway. Here you will find a stunning collection of almost any of your favorite fashion designers, ranging from Jimmy Choo to Polo, Rags and Bones, Vince, Barney’s, Yves Saint Laurent – just to mention a few – in a delightful new mall, with discounted prices ranging from 20%-65% or more. www.premiumoutlets.com. 448400 Seminole Dr., Cabazon, CA 92230  Tel: 951.849.6641

Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park

5.       Joshua Tree National Park: Located about 40 miles North East from Palm Springs, the Park is a daytrip which covers 2 distinctly different desert areas: the lower Colorado Desert (part of the Sonoran Desert), covers the eastern half of the park, best known for creosote bushes, spidery ocotillo and cholla cactus. The Mojave Desert is higher, and slightly cooler, best known for its unruly Joshua trees. Rugged mountains, arroyos, and playas form a mosaic of immense beauty and complexity in nature. The fragile desert environment provides space for self-discovery, and can be a refuge for the human spirit. www.nps.gov/jotr Tel: 760.367.5500  74485 National Park Dr., Twenty Nine Palms, CA 92277

 Tile floor at Parker

Palm Springs is very hot and arid, especially during the summer months, where you can get amazing deals on hotels. Winter months January to April is peak season with more comfortable temperatures for most, but much higher prices. Also famous for spas, hot springs and a vibrant alternative lifestyle.

Author: admin

Trailblazing international interior designer and architect with a deep passion and zest for exploring, designing and traveling. An avid appreciator of art, design, architecture, fashion and nature. Designing luxury resorts and urban hotels worldwide, documenting and sharing experiences through blogging and photography.

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