From vintage shopping to retro hotels and cocktails, Greater Palm Springs is a haven of midcentury modern history and experiences. Embark on a journey through the decades with this itinerary inspired by all things mid-mod.
Parker Palm Springs
Parker Palm Springs, originally designed by renowned architect Jonathan Adler, effortlessly marries the chic sophistication of the mid-20th century with the luxurious amenities of today. As you wander through its sprawling gardens, you'll encounter striking architectural elements, from clean lines to organic shapes, that pay homage to the era's design aesthetic. Inside, the interiors are a mixture of vintage and contemporary furniture, where every room is a curated masterpiece. If you have an opportunity, check out Norma's at Parker Palm Springs, the on-site trendy restaurant known for its bright ambiance and open-air terrace.
The Desert Wave
This award-winning home was originally built in 1955 as a getaway and sculptor’s studio for Miles C. Bates. Designed by Walter S. White, a Southern California-born architect, Desert Wave Vacation Rental is a remarkable tribute to the enduring allure of midcentury modernism. This architectural gem seamlessly combines the iconic designs of the era while also paying homage to the surrounding San Jacinto Mountains (reflected in the unique shape of the roof). The Desert Wave is a perfect stop for design enthusiasts, history buffs, or anyone simply seeking a unique experience on their getaway.
Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion
In 2011, the Palm Springs Art Museum purchased the Santa Fe Federal Savings & Loan building designed by modernist architect E. Stewart Williams in 1960. Located in downtown Palm Springs, the building was reopened as the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion in 2014. You'll be in awe of the beautiful exterior midcentury design and the fantastic rotating art exhibits featured in the museum.
At The Frippery, step through the door and into a treasure trove of vintage finds that will make your heart skip a beat. From swanky '60s frocks to mod clothing and accessories that would make any flower child swoon, The Frippery is a must for fashionistas seeking one-of-a-kind pieces that dance between decades.
Bootlegger Tiki & Tiki Culture
At Bootlegger Tiki, it's all about sipping colorful cocktails from ornate mugs, surrounded by Polynesian-inspired decor that transports you straight to the South Pacific. The tiki culture here is alive and thriving, where every drink is a work of art and every corner of the bar tells a story of exotic escapades and hidden treasures.
The roots of tiki culture in Greater Palm Springs can be traced back to the mid-20th century when tiki bars blossomed. Tiki culture first became popular in the Western world during the post-World War II era; people embraced the idea of a tropical, carefree escape from the seriousness of everyday life — and it made waves in Southern California when Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt opened “Don's Beachcomber” in Hollywood right after Prohibition ended.
In Greater Palm Springs, you can tap into the midcentury's love of tiki culture by sipping a creative cocktail at one of these four local bars: Bootlegger Tiki, Tonga Hut, The Reef and Toucan's Tiki Lounge. You can also find tiki items for sale at the Shag store, featuring artwork and merchandise by Greater Palm Springs artist Josh Agle.
To explore everything about Midcentury Modernism, don't miss Modernism Week.