Palm Springs: 7 Essential Tours

PALM SPRINGS, CA – If you are looking for things to do in Palm Springs – check out this crib sheet on the essential tours to take while in town.  Consider this the Cliffs Notes about our architecture, design and natural beauty – perfect for those who want a broad stroke overview of what our fab fab city is all about.
The Sol Lesser Estate, Old Las Palms, Palm Springs
The former Palm Springs estate of Sol Lesser, legendary producer of the Tarzan movies of the 1950s, is on many tours of Old Las Palmas. It is now available as a Vacation Home Rental through Acme House Company.
Acme House Company surveyed one hundred of our local taste makers asking what tours they would recommend to their Mother if she were coming to town (and of course everyone who lives here has very hip parents). The results are in and our staff concurs – these really are the best tours to take if you want a crash course on our neighborhoods, our land, and the people who have lived here.


Kurt Cyr of Palm Springs Mod Squad Tours The Essential Palm Springs TourHosted by Palm Springs Mod Squad – Kurt Cyr and his intimate Mod Squad tours are the big hit everyone in town is talking about.  This Essentials tour focuses on the six Mid Mod architects who we locals love to celebrate: William Cody, Albert Frey, Hugh Kaptur, William Krisel, E. Stewart Williams and Donald Wexler. These iconic creatives all lived and worked here – shaping the look of Palm Springs during the 1950s and 60s. They continue to have a lasting effect on the aesthetic of Palm Springs today.  If You Go: 5 Guest Maximum Per Tour.  90 Minute Tour by private van. $60. Reservations Required. Advance Reservations strongly advised. Click here to learn more.


Ronert Imber of Palm Springs Modern ToursPalm Springs Modern Architecture TourHosted by Robert Imber and his Team  Robert Imber is an undisputed authority when it comes to the talented architects, designers and builders who contributed to our city’s modernist legacy. This Modern Architecture Tour will reveal our hidden masterpieces while the guides share stories about who has lived here.  If You Go: 6 Guest Maximum Per Tour.  90 Minute Tour by private van. $85. Reservations Required. Advance Reservations strongly advised. Click here to learn more


Historical SocietyHeart of the City Tour – Hosted by the Palm Springs Historical Society – Learning for a good cause! We really appreciate the The Palm Springs Historical Society and everything it does to chronicle the timeline of our city through the preservation of photographs, memorabilia, periodicals and all sorts of other very cool stuff. While all of their tours are worth your time – this Heart of the City Tour focuses on the part of town where the idea of Palm Springs as an international resort destination was born.  All proceeds from this historical walking tour benefit The Palm Springs Historical Society. If You Go: 1.5 Hour Walking Tour. $20. Reservations Required. Click here to learn more


Jade Old Las PalmasLegendary Old Las Palmas Tour – Hosted by Jade Thomas Nelson – Explore the Palm Springs connection to Old Hollywood as you take this  P.S. Walk With Me Tour through Old Las Palmas – one of our city’s most impressive neighborhoods. Palm Springs native Jade Thomas Nelson will guide on this leisurely two-mile stroll with stops outside 30+ addresses with celebrity history and unique architecture. If You Go: 2 Hour Walking Tour. $25. Reservations Required. Click here to learn more


Palm CanyonPalm Canyon Tour – Hosted by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians – Fifteen miles long, Palm Canyon is one of the great beauty spots in Western North America. Its indigenous flora and fauna, which the Cahuilla peoples so expertly used, and its abundant Washingtonia filifera (California Fan palm trees), are breathtaking contrasts to the stark, rocky gorges and barren desert lands beyond. A moderately graded, paved foot path winds down into the canyon for picnicking near the stream, meditating, exploring, hiking or horseback riding. If You Go: Park admission is $9. Optional guided tours ($3) are approximately 1.5 hours long and cover about 1 mile of the park. Click here to learn more


Palm Springs Aerial Tramway – Hosted by the Mount San Jacinto Winter Park Authority  Ride the World’s Largest Rotating Tramcar up the sheer cliffs of Chino Canyon to an elevation of 2,643 ft. Enjoy spectacular views, hiking in a pristine wilderness, or just hanging out enjoying temperatures that may be as much as 30 degrees cooler than the desert floor below.  If You Go: Park admission including Tram is $24.95. Optional guided nature walks available for free. Purchase tickets online or onsite. Click here to learn more

red jeep tourSan Andreas Fault Zone Tour – Hosted by Red Jeep Tours  Big on scenery and high on history – this tour winds its way through the labyrinth of geological cuts and canyons of the San Andreas Fault Zone. Enjoy spectacular views as your guide describes the geologic forces and local history that shaped the Coachella Valley and the lives of the resident Cahuilla Indians. You’ll get to walk between the deep canyon walls created by the powerful forces of plate tectonics, water, wind, and time. You’ll also explore a natural palm oasis where crystal clear water bubbles up from the underground aquifer.  If You Go: 7 Guest Maximum Per Jeep.  3 Hour Tour by jeep and foot. $135. Reservations Required. 48 Hour Advance Reservations strongly advised. Click here to learn more

Palm Springs: 7 Essential Tours
Vintage Movie Poster Exhibit at The Five Hundred Building. Jim Cook of Nostalgia Palm Springs. Courtesy of Jim Powers and Palm Springs Life magazine.

BONUS TIP: The Vintage Movie Poster Exhibit

While this special limited engagement tour didn’t make it into the top picks by the local taste makers – the Acme House Company team highly recommends stopping by The Five Hundred Building to check out Jim Cook’s Vintage Movie Poster Exhibit and Sale.  The Exhibit returns to Palm Springs for a brief showing (February 10 – March 6). Each piece of movie memorabilia shown has its roots in Palm Springs. The research ties the stars who lived and played here, and the locations where they were filmed with the iconic art of Hollywood’s heyday.

If You Go: The self guided exhibit is free to the public through March 6th, 2016, during The Five Hundred building’s normal business hours, seven days a week: 7 AM – 6 PM. No reservation is required for the self-guided exhibit. 500 South Palm Canyon Drive at Ramon Road.

Meet The Collector Tours are also free but do require a reservation. Thursdays thru Sundays at 11 AM and 1 PM. Meet The Collector Tours begin at Ristretto for Coffee Lovers on the building’s main floor. To reserve: call Nostalgia PS at (760)459-5191 or email [email protected] To view the entire collection: visit

Acme House Company manages Luxury Vacation Home Rentals in Greater Palm Springs and the surrounding desert cities, catering to those looking to travel to the world-renowned desert destination for the season, week-long stays and extended weekends. Visit Acme’s Website to explore more homes.

Read the Condé Nast Traveler article that included Acme House Company in their list of Top 10 Vacation Rental Managers to Trust.



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