Modernism Week—one of my very favorite events of the year—is upon us, and I couldn’t be more excited to not only take part in the festivities but also to share it with those who might not know a lot about it or who have never been to the Palm Springs Valley during this time of year.
This happening is an outgrowth of a combination of unrelated gatherings that celebrated the area’s iconic architecture and the preservation of these great homes and buildings in the communities of the greater Palm Springs Oasis. It is now the second-largest draw to the area after the Palm Springs International Film Festival, with more than 50,000 visitors and locals participating in the hundreds of events throughout eleven days. We’re talking non-stop parties, lectures, open air double-decker bus ride tours, and visits to some of the most stunning examples of midcentury modern architecture in the world!
Now, the bad news: Sadly since this annual favorite has become such a popular draw—visitors to the desert routinely plan almost a year ahead of time to make sure there’ll be room for them during this week—many of the most well-liked parties and tours have long since been sold out. For example, the Sunnylands tours in Rancho Mirage literally ran out of tickets in a blink. (Don’t be disappointed though, as there are plenty of other tours of this spectacular estate available other times of the year. www.sunnylands.org) And the opening night party at Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palms Estate is filled to capacity. But the good news is that there are still lots of fun and exciting things to do, including a number of home tours, concerts, lectures, and exhibits. And don’t miss the Pan Am Show, with old-fashioned stewardess uniforms and beautifully preserved memorabilia. Don’t even get me started on the vintage trailer show!
Also, open every day, you’ll find the Modern Living Expo and the Prefab Showcase, located next to the Hilton Hotel in downtown Palm Springs. Here you’ll find available information on all the latest materials, technologies, and furnishings for the home, as well as a variety of affordable prefab housing, solar and green technology, and eco-friendly trends. Just some of the elite manufacturers and retailers exhibiting at the MLE include Poggenpohl, Sub Zero, Herman Miller, and the desert’s very own purveyor of high-end outdoor furniture and accessories, Hayman and Summers, located on El Paseo.
This is one of the most fun must-see happenings in the desert. Plan to stay a few days, and while you’re here, play some golf, eat in some amazing restaurants, and luxuriate in one of the best resorts on earth!