The Palm Springs Guide
Palm Springs was a wellness destination as far back as the early 1900s (all that dry heat), before evolving into a glamorous, Hollywood, Halston-wearing escape in the ’50s and ’60s. These days, both sides of its personality remain strong, as you can tell from its mind-boggling collection of healthy restaurants, preserved mid-century buildings, and retro diners. But the area continues to evolve every year as new generations discover the charms of this playground in the desert. Which is exactly why we’ve had our eye on the recent crop of hotel, restaurant, and store openings. Palm Springs (and nearby Joshua Tree, Pioneertown, and Yucca Valley) is unlike any other place in the world. It’s hard to believe that this convergence of past and present and style and wellness is only a couple hours from LA—depending on traffic, of course.
A La Mod844 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Movie Colony | 760.327.0707
Owners James Claude and Miguel Linares have curated one of the best—and biggest— home decor showrooms in Palm Springs. While the majority of their neighbors peddle mid-century modern wares, you’ll also find pieces from the 80’s and 90’s here. It’s also a great resource for having vintage lighting refurbished or if you’re looking to have something authenticated.
Desert Hills Premium Outlets48400 Seminole Dr., Cabazon | 951.922.3000
Technically, the outlets are about 30 minutes outside city limits, but anyone who’s been will agree that the drive to or from Palm Springs isn't complete without a stop here. So massive is this shopping complex that it’s actually resembles a small town, with designer stores lining the recently revamped “streets” (though we think they’d benefit from the addition of a few more restaurants). Here, you’ll find off-price outposts for Barneys New York, Frette, Bottega Veneta, Prada, YSL, James Perse and so many more.
Modernway2500 N. Palm Canyon Dr. | 760.320.5455
Come here for a great selection of gently loved furniture from decades past. As the name suggests, the bulk of the assortment is of the mid-century or modern variety so expect to see a healthy assortment of lucite seating, woven wall art, plush rugs, and retro patio furniture. The price points are steep, but a seasoned collector would know how to spot a hidden gem.
The Fine Art of Design73717 Highway 111, Palm Desert | 760.565.7388
This freestanding boutique is a treasure trove of super well-preserved vintage, which we’re sure will be even more enticing once it reopens after a lengthy renovation. Everything from beaded gowns to silk separates to shoes to rare designer pieces is neatly organized, which is nice considering there’s usually tons to get through. If you’re looking to clean out your closet, they also accept pieces on a consignment basis.
The Frippery664 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Old Las Palmas | 760.699.5365
The ideal Palm Springs wardrobe calls for airy caftans, loose, ’70s-style dresses, and wide-brimmed hats to ward off the unrelenting desert sun. The Frippery has all of the above in spades (that is to say, vintage clothes made for poolside lounging). Dig deep enough and you can find some real gems, like vintage Pierre Cardin and Pucci dresses.
The Shops at 13451345 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs
We would trek from LA to Palm Springs for a visit to 1345 alone. Aside from everything you can buy there, the building—a modernist structure designed by E. Stewart Williams in 1955—is worth a visit all on its own. Step inside and you’ll find a treasure trove of rare mid-century-inspired home items. Our favorites include wares from Double M pottery: The pastel-patterned, lead-free glazes are all handmade in California, and the mugs, plates, and bowls are all dishwasher-safe.
Thick as Thieves183 S. Indian Canyon Dr., Baristo | 760.832.8350
Midwest natives Jeremy Smick and Samantha Caltagirone opened their lifestyle boutique in 2017 and stocked it with the store’s own line of delicate jewelry, floaty dresses and rompers (godsends in the desert heat), hand-painted dishes, Italian ceramics, and decorative trinkets from their travels around the world. There are also antique rugs and furniture, making it one of our favorite one-stop shops for the home.
Vintage Oasis373 S. Palm Canyon Dr., Historic Tennis Club | 760.778.6224
While the assortment includes a little bit of everything mid-century modern, the main draw is without a doubt lighting. The suspended sunburst chandeliers are perfect and the wall fixture selection is virtually endless. This is also the ultimate spot to pick up kitschy neon signage or retro pinball machine, should you find yourself feeling nostalgic.