A modern oasis awaits in Palm Springs, California, which was home to numerous Hollywood legends, including Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, and Frank Sinatra. In fact, they’re celebrating Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday in December with a series of festive events. And, there’s plenty of holiday cheer to help you celebrate the season in California’s premier resort, entertainment, golf and tennis destination. Here’s what to do when visiting Palm Springs.

visiting palm springs

If you enjoy classic Hollywood stars, and love trivia embark on a Celebrity Tour of Palm Springs Homes. Among the tour’s available is Sinatra on Saturday that takes you on a three hour tour to discover many of Sinatra’s hang out’s. Along the way you’ll also see home’s previous owned by star’s that include Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Marilyn Monroe, and many other Hollywood legends.

Sinatra’s Twin Palms Estate, built in 1947 by award-winning architect Stewart Williams, is a popular stop on tours. It features four bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and a state-of-the-art sound system, in addition an expansive backyard patio leading to a cabana, where you’ll find the two signature “twin palm” trees, along with a piano-shaped swimming pool.

Although, you cannot tour the inside of the Twin Palms property, those who want to live like Ol’ Blue Eyes can actual rent the house. Inside, you can imagine what it was like when Frank Sinatra, and his friends gathered. If you happen to spot a crack in the bathroom sink during your stay, don’t worry, it’s part of the house’s history; said to be caused by a wayward champagne bottle thrown at Sinatra by an incensed Ava Gardner.

While driving or walking around Palm Spring you’ll find several streets that honor Hollywood legends like Kirk Douglas, Bob Hope, Gerald Ford, and Dinah Shore. The most recognized street is of course Frank Sinatra Drive. The road begins at the hilltop entrance to The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage, and continues on around 8 miles east where it comes to rest at the far edge of Palm Desert.

To get an idea of the local history, and spots not to miss in Palm Springs, drop in at the Visitors Center at 2901 North Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs and pick up a map. You can also call (800) 347-7746 or (760) 778-8418, and they’ll send you a free Visitor’s Guide. While at the Visitors Center you can learn about local events and festivities to experience while in town. Speaking of festivities, there are several throughout the year, and one of the nation’s top 10 food festivals is the Indio International Tamale Festival in early December. In fact, the festival set a Guinness World Record for the “World’s Largest Tamale” and is a favorite event among locals.

The holiday’s are an especially exciting time to visit Palm Springs, when carolers stroll along the starlit streets, and you can join the Walk of the Inns Tour. This is an ideal way to enjoy the cheerful holiday
decor at the Inn’s, and sample some refreshments while listening to the live entertainment. For a unique experience, and more holiday cheer board the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, and join the Lighting of the Tree on the mountain in early December. Or, visit the Living Desert’s Annual WildLights Holiday Festival, which features over a million twinkling lights in their dazzling displays. And, you can explore the many exotic desert animals and lovely gardens while you’re there!

Art Events Thrive In Palm Springs

Modernism Week in mid February celebrate’s Palm Springs’ mid century modern art, architecture and culture. Festivities include the Modernism Show and Sale, architectural double decker bus and bike tours, festive theme parties at midcentury modern estates, expert lectures, live music events and more.

The Palm Springs Fine Art Fair runs around the same time as Modernism Week. And, is a anticipated event for acquisition-oriented art lovers curates museum quality post-war and contemporary art from 70 galleries around the world.

The La Quinta Arts Festival www.lqaf.com in early March is considered the #1 Fine Art Festival in the nation. The festival takes place within a beautiful 17-acre park amid a lake, fountains and waterfalls and spectacular Santa Rosa Mountain views. During the event you’ll discover over 200 award-winning artists, which showcase their works that range from painting, drawing, photography and sculpture to glass and wood, ceramics, jewelry and textiles.

If you cannot join the La Quinta Arts Festival, the next week in March is the SPECTRUM Indian Wells Art Show at Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa. The contemporary art show promises an exciting slate of top national and international artists and galleries.

Interesting Facts:

Frank Sinatra lived in Palm Springs for almost 50 years in a the mid century modern Twin Palms estate. He loved to get together with friends, and did so by raising a Jack Daniels flag to signal the start of cocktail hour for his neighbors that included fellow crooner Bing Crosby and baseball great Joe DiMaggio.

To pay your respects to Frank Sinatra visit the Desert Memorial Park at 69-920 Ramon Road in Cathedral City. The legend is buried in a family plot next to his parents. His grave is located near the entrance in front of the waterfall. Nearby are Frank’s closest friend Jilly Rizzo, his uncle Vincent Mazzola and composer Jimmy Van Heusen. His simple headstone reads, “The Best Is Yet to Come,” and is almost always adorned with fresh cigarettes, dimes, which were a favorite giveaway of Sinatra’s, and a reminder of tougher times, as well as mini bottles of Jack Daniels.

Did you know that family plots and graveyard’s are ideal place to research your family’s history. The grave’s of your relatives contain key information like date of birth and death that can help you look up information online. use this link to Explore Your Family History Through Genealogy.

Use the following link to explore area attractions, festivals, culinary delights, and plan your trip to the Greater Palm Springs region.

Are you planning on visiting Palm Springs?

With a passion for travel and creativity, Journalist and Photographer, Melody Schubert let’s her imagination guide her as she explores the world. For her, everyday is an opportunity to embrace something new, and explore intriguing and overlooked destinations that express the heart of a region, and share these discoveries with readers of Travel Freak. She is also Editorial Executive for USA Travel Magazine - http://www.usatravelmagazine.com/ where she shares more of travel interests.


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