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Palm Springs: cool spots to stay, eat, and shop

A 1957 butterfly house in Palm Springs. A 1957 butterfly house in Palm Springs. | Photo by Marcy Black Simpson

If you're headed to Palm Springs for Modernism Week (typically held mid-February), why not immerse yourself in all things mod? These places to shop, eat, and stay allow you to revel in midcentury modern style 24/7. 

What to do

Elvis and Priscilla Presley's Honeymoon Hideaway

Elvis and Priscilla Presley's Honeymoon Hideaway | Photo by Eric Van Eyke

Tour Elvis and Priscilla Presley's Honeymoon Hideaway. "The House of the Future" was originally built in 1960 for architect George Alexander's son, Robert, and his wife, Helena. After Elvis and Priscilla Presley honeymooned there in 1967, the house became a tourist destination. Located in the Las Palmas neighborhood, the impressive space-age house is available for daily tours and special events. (A number of  mid-mod homes are open to the public for tours. Find tour information at visitpalmsprings.com.) 

Where to shop

A mid-mod scene in Palm Springs by Josh Agle, a.k.a. Shag.

A mid-mod scene in Palm Springs by Josh Agle, a.k.a. Shag. | Courtesy Josh Agle

Spruce up your home with midcentury modern pieces.

At The Shag Store, you'll find brightly colored and whimsical prints of the mid-mod scene in Palm Springs by Josh Agle, a.k.a. Shag. (See his work pictured above.) 

H3K Home, known for its bold designs that blend customization with classic mid-mod style, is laid out to make you feel as if you're touring a home. Browse Sputnik chandeliers, Tulip chairs, and a pillow boutique. 

Dazzles, a treasure trove on the main street of Palm Canyon Drive, sells vintage jewelry, decor, furniture, and more. The knowledgeable and passionate owners will help shoppers browsing their collection or looking for a statement piece. 

Destination PSP partners with local companies to create beautifully designed clothing, bar ware, home furnishings, and midcentury modern souvenirs, such as mid-mod house shaped tissue box covers. This is your go-to place for artsy coffee table books about Palm Springs, midcentury modern, and California lifestyle. 

Small but well-curated Echo showcases neon artwork, Lucite furniture, and fur-trimmed ottomans. 

At the Antique Galleries of Palm Springs, more than 40 vendors, each with their own room, sell a mix of modern and vintage goods in a two-story building.

Where to eat

Though not mid-mod in decor, these restaurants offer eclectic meals.

A local favorite, Rooster and the Pig offers diners complimentary starters of cháo, a surprisingly satisfying rice porridge. Among the best dishes is a bowl of egg noodles with tangy, delicately crispy shards of beef. Vibrant, eclectic art enhances a space that is trendy but casual and inviting. Beware: There is often a wait for tables at this 48-seat restaurant, and it doesn't accept reservations.

With a globally inspired menu, Eight4Nine Restaurant and Lounge captures the spirit of Palm Springs' revitalized uptown design district in a funky, upbeat setting. A sophisticated riff on a comfortable American staple, the fried chicken is lightly breaded and served over white corn-mashed potatoes. The four-course dinners are a great value at $46. 

Lulu California Bistro is a flashy restaurant with flamboyant crystal chandeliers wrapped in pastel acrylic shades, a prominent underlit bar, and a quieter mezzanine level atop a winding staircase. The menu features a couple of hundred breakfast, lunch, and dinner items. Pass on the lobster rolls in favor of another comfort food icon, chicken potpie (Sundays only), or pork chops. 

Where to stay

The Arrive hotel. | Photo by Marcy Black Simpson / Courtesy Arrive

The courtyard at the Arrive hotel. | Photo by Marcy Black Simpson / Courtesy Arrive

These mid-mod hotels might be booked during Modernism Week, but you can still swing by to check out the architecture and enjoy the ambience.

Ace Hotel and Swim Club, a hipster haven, is a favorite among locals and tourists. Snap a picture in the vintage photo booth or shop for seriously cool souvenirs from local artists in the lobby's gift shop. Want to beat the heat? Mellow out with an organic facial or massage at Ace's on-site spa. You can listen to live entertainment most nights, but check the website's calendar before you go. Rates from $169. 

Grab a cocktail from the bar at Arrive and roam the property, which boasts clerestory windows, butterfly roofs, and other sleek midcentury modern elements. Bring your appetite, too: Arrive offers two spots to grab a bite. The newest (and more unusual) addition, Wexler's @ Arrive, serves spruced up pastrami sandwiches, latkes, and matzo ball soup. Rates from $169. 

Kick back on the lobby couch with an oversized coffee table book in Holiday House, a blue-and-white paradise. The on-site Pantry, known for its Fried Chicken Fridays, serves some of the best brunch in Palm Springs. Nosh on chilaquiles, avocado chicken salad, and eggs Benedict. Rates from $279.

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AAA Travel Alert: Many travel destinations have implemented COVID-19–related restrictions. Before making travel plans, check to see if hotels, attractions, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, and local authorities have issued health and safety-related restrictions or entry requirements. The local tourism board is a good resource for updated information.

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