36 Hours in Palm Springs, California

When Hollywood stars were contractually restricted to a residential radius that allowed for spontaneous meetings, Palm Springs, just over 100 miles east, offered both escape and access, drawing A-list residents like Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra. Moneyed clientele met celebrated architects in an era when modernism was the rage, perfect for indoor-outdoor desert living, at least in winter when temperatures hovered in the balmy 70s. The city’s midcentury legacy has lately attracted a new generation of fans like Leonardo DiCaprio, who bought Dinah Shore’s 1963 Donald Wexler-designed house in 2014. The fashion designer Trina Turk was among the preservationists who enabled the Palm Springs Art Museum to convert a former 1961 bank into the new Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion. Though many travelers spend weeks reveling in Palm Springs modernism, surrounding communities from soak-centric Desert Hot Springs to Indio, site of the growing Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, expand the appeal of the valley, which, like the best midcentury modernist buildings here, effortlessly blends desert and design.

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