--> Palm Springs Tours Guide - Visit Palm Springs tag-img

Palm Springs Tours Guide

tamerisk neighborhood tour modernism week

Taking Palm Springs tours is a great way to explore and experience everything this amazing destination has to offer. Learn about the history and culture of the area, see the sights, get insider tips and meet new people.

With so much to see and do, a guided tour can help you make the most of your time in this desert paradise. Here’s a selection of Palm Springs tours by tour type.

By architect William Cody

Architecture & Design Tours

Palm Springs is known for its unique midcentury modern architecture and design, and several tour companies offer excursions that showcase the city’s most stunning buildings and homes.

Architecture Tours by Modernism WeekModernism Week and PS Architecture Tours have teamed up to provide the definitive modern architecture tour experience. Join them for a season-long series of carefully curated small group tours spearheaded by tour operator, Trevor O’Donnell, and a select team of knowledgeable professional guides. Tour runs October – May.

Trevor O'Donnell architecture

Palm Springs Mod Squad offers a number of architecture and design tours. Kurt Cyr, a local celebrity, designer and midcentury modern expert is your guide.  He is known for his affable personality, architectural knowledge and inspiring tours.

 The Modernism Palm Springs Tour and Icons tour from Five Star Tours offers an in-depth look into the architects’ visual expression that made Palm Springs world famous.

The Modern Tour is the luxury tour and the oldest architectural tour operator in Palm Springs. They are also the official tour of the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture + Design. Tour guide Michael Stern is the Author of the best-selling Rizzoli publication “Julius Shulman: Palm Springs, and the Director and Producer of the film “Julius Shulman: Desert Modern” which has aired on PBS.  He curated the exhibition “Julius Shulman: Palm Springs” which is the largest exhibition of Shulman’s work that has ever been done, and the largest exhibition exploring Palm Springs’ amazing collection of midcentury modern architecture and design.

There is also a self-drive map of Modernism Palm Springs you can purchase at the Palm Springs Visitor Center that was created by the Palm Springs Modernism Committee.

modernism map

Mid-Century Architecture Self-Guided Tour

Bike Tours

On the Palm Springs Historical Society biking tours, you will see midcentury gems up close, woven among a variety of architectural styles and stunning scenery. Stop for photos; hear fascinating tales and history of the famous architects, celebrities and pioneers. You will be provided a 7-speed bike, a helmet, and audio receiver with earpiece so you can hear your guide. Bike tours run October – May.

Bike Palm Springs

Big Wheel Tours offers an Indian Canyon Bike and Hike Tour. You will start riding from their shop in downtown Palm Springs. The bike route is 10 miles round trip and takes you through some of Palm Springs’s older neighborhoods. On this tour, you will enter Indian Canyons, the ancestral home of the local Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, and take the climb to the Andreas Canyon trailhead. From there, you will take an easy and scenic nature walk that includes several stream crossings, incredible rock formations, a canopy of native palm trees, and stark desert canyon scenery.

The Big Wheel Mountain Bike Tours are fully customized private tours reserved just for your group. They take you to a pristine desert landscape where you can choose from a multitude of trails. Their expert guides will cater the route to suit your ability level, from beginner to expert. The trails go through washes or along ridge lines and vary from sandy to rocky.

people riding bikes

Palm Springs Big City Loop Bike Tour

Deepwell Ranch Estates Bike Tour

Self-Guided Bike Tour – South Palm Springs

Cannabis Tour

CannaBus Express Tours is the very first Cannabis tour company in the Coachella Valley pioneering a 3- hour guided educational platform for those looking to understand the Cannabis Industry from seed to sale.

cannabus tour bus 2

Celebrity Tours

Over the years, Palm Springs has been home to many Hollywood celebrities, and there are several tours that focus on the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown. These tours often include visits to celebrity homes and other famous landmarks.

The Five Star Adventures Legends and Icons Tour takes you back in time to see over 50 move star homes of the past and present. It’s a comprehensive narrated tour that 1.5 – 2 hours in length. Places you will see include the homes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Kirk Douglas, Liberace, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and many more.

Travel through the beautiful Palm Springs on the Best of the Best Rich And Famous Tour and learn history and facts about the playground of the stars. Your entertaining guide will drive through the famous neighborhood of Las Palmas, regale you with stories and play a fun and often hilarious game of “Guess The Stars Homes.” Please note this tour is only available for groups of 10 or more, so please contact them to arrange your group tour.

Home Marilyn Monroe stayed.

There is also a celebrity self-drive map of the stars you can purchase at the Palm Springs Visitor Center. It includes a complete listing of the homes, addresses, and driving directions.

stars map

Culinary Tours

Visit 4-5 Palm Springs tasting stops along your three-hour, narrated walking tour on Desert Tasty Tours.  Enjoy a smorgasbord of samples — enough for lunch. Learn about each location, what makes them unique, and how they fit into the culinary tapestry and vibe of downtown Palm Springs. Eating your way through the tour is just one of the tasty ingredients… Add a dash of history, a cup of culture, and a dollop of famous resident name dropping, and you get a delicious day of fun! All tastings are included in your ticket price. Seasonal – does not operate in the summer.

lulu patio

Jeep Tours

For those who want to explore the rugged wilderness surrounding Palm Springs, a jeep tour is a great option. These tours take you deep into the canyons and mountains that make up the Coachella Valley landscape.

Since 1988, Desert Adventures has provided the most highly regarded outdoor adventures in the Palm Springs area. On the San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour , you will learn about the plants, animals, geology, and seismology of the California Desert and San Andreas Fault Zone. This tour also explains how and why the Cahuilla Indians lived in the fault zone and how they built and maintained a vibrant culture in this arid and inhospitable environment.

red jeep tour

Big Wheel Tours offers a San Andreas Fault off-road Jeep Tour. You will see first hand what geologists have called ”the most tortured landscape on earth” as you visit the backcountry trails of a Bureau of Land Management Wilderness zone. Sheer canyon walls, fascinating geology, and abundant native desert plant and animal life are highlights of this tour. This is the most colorful portion of the San Andreas Fault in all of California. The spectrum of layers and colors will dazzle you.

Online Tours

Palm Springs Modernism Committee has created a Midcentury Modern Tour Mobile App. which you can download for the app store. The guided tour includes over 80 midcentury landmarks in Palm Springs, 12 intimate profiles of leading architects, and videos of interiors and exteriors, among other things. It’s written and narrated by top architectural historians and experts. The cost is only $4.99.

palm-springs-modern-comittee-modernism-phone-copy

Palm Springs Modern Tours are self-drive and walking tours from the safety and comfort of your own car, plus the convenience and luxury of your own schedule. One you download the tour, routes are integrated with Google mapping for directions.

Modern Tours Palm Springs

The Grand Tour

If you want a general overview, the All About Palm Springs Tour is offered through Five Star Adventures Tours. You must call to book this tour and it only runs on Thursday. This will include stars homes, designated historic districts, landmarks, a ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, and a visit to VillageFest. This tour begins at 2 pm.

Walking Tours

History

Palm Springs Historical Society offers walking tours and biking tours.  The walking tours focus on historic neighborhoods, distinguished by a combination of the celebrities and local pioneers who called them home. It also includes information about the architects and builders who shaped the city’s development. Due to the heat, the walking tours operate October – March.

PalmSprings Historical Society

San Andreas Fault

Desert Adventures offers a San Andreas Fault Hiking Tours. They offer three hikes, from easy to moderate in difficulty.

The Four Posts Canyon Trail starts out in a wide level wash that narrows to intermittent high walled canyons, revealing interesting geologic formations as you round every corner. Near the back of the canyon, the trail rises gradually, leading to a great view of the valley floor and Santa Rosa Mountains below. (Difficulty: Easy)

On the Gem Canyon Trail, a winding foot trail takes you through a slot canyon. From there, you will climb up at 10 foot ladder to reach the next level of the canyon. The hike continues through more slot canyons until you reach the top and are rewarded with expansive views of the valley below. (Difficulty: Moderate)

On the Esophagus Canyon Trail, a little boulder scrambling will bring you to an overlook area after hiking through a mostly flat, winding canyon. (Difficulty: Easy to Moderate)

Indian Canyons

Red Jeep Tours offers the Indian Canyons Walking Tour by Jeep. Journey to the ancestral homeland of Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians where stunning rock formation and the contrasting greens of magnificent California fan palms and more than 150 species of plants beckon travelers to these lush oases. Along the way, your naturalist guide will engage and entertain you with stories about the lifestyle, culture, and beliefs of the Cahuilla Indians, our local Native American Tribe.

Best of the Best Indian Canyons Tour is approximately 2.5 hours and includes a 30-minute nature hike in Andreas Canyon.

hiking in Indian Canyons Palm Springs
Andreas Canyon

Disco

Yes, you read it correctly! Have fun on the MOGO Silent Disco Tour as you turn up the volume on our headsets and take an exhilarating strance (that’s “stroll” and “dance”) through town. You’ll be boogeying down every block on your own private parade.  It runs on Fridays & Saturdays at 6:30 pm, covers about 1.25 miles, and lasts approximately 60 minutes.

Mogo Silent Disco Tour

Custom Tour

The Big Wheel Hiking Tours are customized to your needs. Our highly trained naturalist guides will provide entertaining commentary for your tour, hotel pickup, drop-off, and refreshments to ensure that your Palm Springs area hike will be a memorable and enjoyable experience.

Windmill Tour

The Palm Springs Windmill Tours take you on a journey to learn about wind energy, how wind turbines work, and the history of the wind farm.

Their seasonal Bus Tours offer an energy tour that starts on a private wind farm and concludes with a drive around the San Gorgonio Pass, which has become an important energy corridor. Included in the tour is a presentation video, a short walk through artifacts from 40 years ago, and close-up views of the sleek modern operating wind turbines we see today. The tour continues on a perimeter drive to see utility solar farms, the Devers substation where energy is added to the electrical grid, and the new Desert Peak Energy storage facility. They also offer a year-round self-driving tour.

palm springs windmill tours

All Tours

You May Also Like:

Outdoor Adventure Awaits You on a Red-Jeep Tour

Meet Michael Stern, Owner of The Modern Tour

More From Architecture

View All Posts

Take A Tour of Frey House II

A Masterpiece of Modernism in Palm Springs Above the downtown landscape lies an architectural gem…

Read More
Twin Palms home exterior

Architects Who Built Palm Springs: Dan Palmer & William Krisel

Palm Springs owes much of its unique charm to the vision and creativity of architects…

Read More
aluminaire house

The Aluminaire House

A Modernist Marvel Finds its Forever Home at the Palm Springs Art Museum In 1931,…

Read More