We took a long weekend and headed out of town on Friday to one of our favorite destinations, Palm Springs. It’s a short 2 hour drive, and you feel like you’re a world away from the traffic and crowds of Los Angeles. I had been looking forward to this trip because it was the annual fall preview to Modernism Week, which is held mid-February.
Palm Springs has undergone a complete transformation in the last 5-10 years, with many of the old mid-century modern homes being snatched up and refurbished, highlighting the modernist style that came to Palm Springs in the 1940’s. Modernism Week began about 9 years ago to showcase the architecture and design in Palm Springs during that era. We’ve been attending for 3 years, and always enjoy the Modernism Show. Plus, there are walking tours, double-decker bus tours, a lot of smaller events, and our favorite – the plentitude of open houses that abound. Palm Springs is on our short-list for retirement, so we’re always interested in keeping up with what’s out there!
The above photos were taken in my favorite neighborhood, Vista Las Palmas, which was one of the first communities built and included many celebrity residents in the 1940’s – 1960’s.
But, by far, my favorite home is Kaufmann House, which was designed & built by Richard Neutra, and later renovated by the architectural firm, Marmol Radziner. It’s a gorgeous example of modernist architecture, and we have to drive by it every time we visit (yes, I am a stalker.).
Even though there are fewer events in October, it’s a great excuse for a trip! This time, we toured Sunnylands, the Annenberg Estate in Rancho Mirage. It’s virtually impossible to get tickets in February, so when these went on sale, I pounced.
We were only allowed to take photos of the grounds, not the interior of the house, but there are many photos on the site, which I encourage you to visit. It was one of the most spectacular tours (there were only 7 of us!) and the art collection is astounding, as is the photographs of the dignitaries that visited the residence (and continue to).
I put together a little list of our favorite hot spots should you decide to visit our little oasis in the desert 🙂
I’d add all my favorite shops as well, but if you end up on North Palm Canyon Drive, where Birba, Jake’s & Cheeky’s reside, just start walking. The best shops line this area of the downtown design district. The area south of here is much more touristy, and in dire need of a makeover (i.e. tee shirt shops).