Palm Springs’ colorful neighborhoods hold the gems of the city – historic structures, iconic homes, and plenty of tales only these midcentury walls can tell.
Read on to learn more about a few of these neighborhoods. Take a deeper dive into history by joining an informative tour during Fall Preview! For a comprehensive list of Palm Springs neighborhoods, click here.
Deepwell Estates received its name after scientist Henry Pearson drilled the deepest well on an apricot ranch he purchased in 1926. A few years later, the ranch was sold and converted to the Deep Well guest ranch and a subdivision was built and became known as the Deepwell Colony Estates in the 1950s. A few of Deepwell’s famous residents included Loretta Young, Jerry Lewis, William Holden, and Tippi Hedren.
Renowned architects like E. Stewart Williams, Donald Wexler, and Hugh Kaptur designed the midcentury modern and California ranch-style residences that Hollywood stars called home. Low slung roofs, beautiful pools, and thoughtful attention to the local landscape are just a few of the iconic elements that make this neighborhood distinctly Palm Springs.
In the early 1920s, Los Angeles businessman Edmond Fulford came to Palm Springs with the vision of creating a scenic, secluded escape on the eastern slope of the San Jacinto mountains. While his dream of a private community was never fulfilled due to his sudden death in 1936, The Mesa is now home to an architecturally diverse neighborhood filled with Spanish, contemporary, craftsman, and midcentury modern homes.
Clark Gable, Sonny Bono, Barry Manilow, Suzanne Somers, and Natalie Wood were just a few of the notable residents who found solace in this charming neighborhood. The Moorten Botanical Garden, a local favorite and home to the world’s first cactarium, is also located here. Stop by and pick up some native plants to take home a piece of the desert with you!
The Movie Colony
With the luxurious El Mirador as its centerpiece, The Movie Colony was developed in the 1930s and 1940s. This tranquil neighborhood is named for the Hollywood stars who called it home, including Cary Grant, Dinah Shore, Van Johnson, Tony Curtis, Gloria Swanson, and Jack Benny.
Frank Sinatra made it “his” neighborhood in the 1950s when his Twin Palms Estate became party central. A rich buffet of architectural styles, ranging from Spanish Colonial Revival to classic Midcentury Modern, offers a visual feast for anyone seeking to be inspired (and relive a little bit of that Old Hollywood magic).
Old Las Palmas
From humble beginnings as a citrus grove to becoming a desirable destination for the stars, Old Las Palmas has long been a prestigious area with a rich history. Developed in the late 1920s, the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Lucille Ball & Desi Arnez, Kirk Douglas, Leonardo DiCaprio, and other celebrities have all called this neighborhood home.
Spectacular views of the desert landscape, eclectic mix of architectural styles, and close proximity to downtown Palm Springs continue to make Old Las Palmas as desirable today as it was in the Golden Era of Hollywood.
Tennis Club Neighborhood
Make your way to this celebrity haven to discover an eclectic mix of boutique hotels and private sanctuaries that became hideaways for Golden Age stars like Errol Flynn, Lucille Ball, Doris Day and Gloria Swanson. Hollywood hipsters like Robert Downey Jr. and Reese Witherspoon continue to enjoy these unique resorts today.
Enjoy views of the San Jacinto Mountains while learning about the post-war structures and the neighborhood’s namesake: the Palm Springs Tennis Club (1940), developed by pioneer Pearl McCallum McManus.
Uptown Design District
Visitors entering Palm Springs can’t miss this world-class shopping district, featuring unique boutiques, galleries, and hip restaurants along a two-mile stretch of North Palm Canyon Drive. There is no better place than the Uptown Design District to see the best of midcentury and modern design in the span of just a few blocks.
Historic landmarks like the El Paseo Building (1926) and a 1961 Albert Frey structure house trendy destinations, like Workshop Kitchen + Bar and Trina Turk’s flagship store, respectively. Take a tour, grab a bite, and shop your vintage heart out!
Vista Las Palmas
With its trendy rooflines, avant-garde design, and famous neighbors (hello Elvis and the Rat Pack!), it’s no wonder that the trendy midcentury tract development of Vista Las Palmas was also known as the “Beverly Hills of Palm Springs.”
The firm of Palmer & Krisel, as well as architect Charles Dubois, designed approximately 330 homes now recognized for the iconic butterfly roofs, Swiss Miss A-frames, folded plate roof designs. Some of the desert’s most famous Modernist architectural treasures are also located in this neighborhood including the Kaufmann House, an architectural masterpiece designed by Richard Neutra.