DOUBLE-DECKER DELIGHT: When we say that Modernism Week's Premier Double-Decker Bus Architectural Tours are popular, we are not pussyfooting around. Running four times daily during the February event, the tours fill up, full-to-bursting, with lookie-loos and house scholars and mid-century mavens who want to get an eyeful of the Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway and the Neutra Kaufmann Desert House and the former casa of the Chairman of the Board himself, Mr. Frank Sinatra.
BUT... some people might arrive in Palm Springs, ready to buy a ticket and ride, only to find out that their chosen tour filled up to maximum capacity months before. No, literally, no hyperbole, months. Because if you call Los Angeles home, or any other big city that features double-decker tours daily, you can get a little cavalier, assuming there will always be a seat. Nope. We implore you to move on a tour ticket, not simply because it provides an overview of some of the desert's most deliriously detailed homes, but because you get a nice lay of the Palm Springs land from atop the bus. Also? A tan, too, perhaps. Plus? Advance purchase is a thing, so getting ahead of time is a must, not an option.
ONCE THERE... though you'll eye all of those vibrant rock walls and 1950s cacti gardens and all of the houses that look like they could be film sets (and sometimes are). Yep, there is plenty to do during Modernism Week off the bus, too -- cocktails and talks and in-house tours and such -- but we'd call the double-decker experience the true first stop of the sprawling and stylish spectacular. Tickets are $75 each.