I’ve been to Palm Springs many times but the other day was the first time I went with the intention of taking photos. Travel and nature photography is something I absolutely enjoy and when I get out of the house and take the time to explore, I’m in my element.
If you haven’t been to Palm Springs before, here’s what you need to know:
Palm Springs was known as a playground to some of Hollywoods biggest stars back in the day, most notably the Rat Pack along with Bob Hope, Elvis, Dinah Shore and more. Interesting fact:
The Hollywood studios had a “two-hour rule” that required actors under contract to be available within two hours from the studio for any last minute film shoots. Palm Springs is about an hour and 50-minute drive from Los Angeles, so the “two-hour rule” helped put Palm Springs on the map. source
This desert city is surrounded by tall skinny palm trees as well as the coolest mid-century modern homes that you will ever find. Every house is more beautiful than the next, it’s truly the perfect place to come if you are a photography lover (and a fan of mid-century modern style) like I am!
My first stop was the Kaufmann House, an architectural masterpiece so famous it has its own Wikipedia page! Check it out:
In the late 1940s, architect Richard Neutra designed this vacation home for the Kaufmann family—clearly no slouches when it came to architecture, since they also commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design another icon, Fallingwater. The Kaufmann’s Palm Springs pad is now regarded as one of the most significant buildings of its time. Mixing steel, glass, and Utah stone, the structure blurs the line between indoors and out, blending with the land to complement and celebrate it. source
I feel sorry for the owners of the home who have to deal with tourists like myself who stop and gawk at the gorgeous home, but its truly something to appreciate!
From there, just around the corner is the Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway. Elvis & Priscilla Presley lived there during 1966-1967, its located on a quiet cul-de-sac and is another stunner. I took the time to look at as much as I could and take lots of photos, you can see more on my Instagram @CindyBokma.
I had often read about the Moorten Botanical Garden and was eager to check it out. Nature photography and being around trees and plants always makes me happy. This is a neat place that is worth your time to visit, its $5 for admission, worth it to check out the variety of plants and cacti. Developed in 1938, its both a garden and museum with over 3000 varieties of plants. The above photo is from their “Cactarium” which is the first of its kind!
At this point, I was starving so my friend and I stopped at Palm Greens Cafe, this is a place I’ve been to many times thanks to their gluten-free friendly menu and their really good coffee! If I discover a place to eat at where I don’t get sick and can get healthy foods, I will go back again and again!
After lunch, we drove over to the Ace Hotel, a former Howard Johnsons that’s been completely overhauled into a stylish hotel.
You’ve probably seen this sign on Instagram! From the Ace, we visited the famous “pink door” house, it’s another breathtaking place to take a photo though I tried to be quick and respectful of the private property.
I want to see inside these homes! I imagine they are all perfectly decorated with cool mid-century modern pieces.
We drove out to the Parker Hotel but were turned away before we got to the entrance, apparently, a company (Google? Facebook? Twitter?) had rented out the entire hotel plus five other hotels in Palm Springs for several days! Last stop was the Saguro, its a really fun and colorful place that you have to see to believe, a photographers dream!
The Saguro in Palm Springs. These photos haven’t been retouched, the colors are so bright!
Next time I visit, I will take the Palm Springs Aerial tram up to Mt. San Jacinto State Park. I plan on mapping out another route with must- see landmarks and homes, I need to find a way to see inside some of these places!
Have you been to Palm Springs? Let me know here!