Palm Springs Celebrity Homes Tour | Free Map & Guide
Rejoice with this celebrity home tour of Palm Springs! Walk, bike or drive past 27 homes of classic Hollywood royalty, from Marilyn Monroe to Cary Grant. stay socially distanced and travel at your own pace with this self-guided tour.
For places to eat, play and stay while you’re in town, check out this guide to Palm Springs.
why was palm springs a celebrity hotspot?
After World War II, Palm Springs became a popular winter getaway for Hollywood royalty and wealthy East Coast industrialists. Movie industry lore tells us that Hollywood studios booked their stars to be available within two hours. Palm Springs filled the need for a desirable resort town just a short drive from Los Angeles.
Where the glamorous went, the rich followed, and everyone wanted to look as cool as their neighbors! Custom vacation homes were commissioned from leading architects, using the latest gadgets and most modern designs.
Recently, Palm Springs has seen a resurgence as a new generation of Hollywood influencers and elite embrace the desert destination. In addition, the resort city’s outstanding architectural history is being recognized on a broader scale, attracting Mid-Century Modern fans from around the world with events such as Modernism Week. If mid-century modern design is your thing, also check out my self-guided tour of Palm Springs architecture here.
about this tour of the houses of the famous
The residences of former and current celebrities can be found in Palm Springs. Many of today’s stars stay in gated communities and even some of the older homes are in gated communities (no, you won’t be able to go through the Kardashians’ house). therefore, this tour is limited to public access streets where it can be viewed from the sidewalk.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, dear reader, but I remind you to be respectful of the owners and their properties. imagine it to be your front yard and treat it accordingly. Let’s not be the people who use strangers’ front doors for instagram photo shoots or walk through their gardens. just be cool, okay?
Furthermore, the scope of “celebrity homes” in Palm Springs is virtually endless whether to include film directors, film producers, homes used as filming locations, authors, etc. In order to make this tour less than a couple of hours I have eliminated out of the way properties and concentrated on those in the little tuscany, vista las palmas, las palmas and movie colony neighborhoods where there is a high concentration of residences from a-lister in a relatively condensed area. If you have the time and enthusiasm, I’ve marked some of the additional properties on the map below.
finally, it’s about a 6 mile (9.6 km) self-driving bike/skateboard tour, which would take 25-30 minutes to drive without stopping.
pal spring celebrity homes self guided tour
1. elvis presley estate – 845 w chino canyon road (little tuscany)
Head over to our first property at 845 W Chino Canyon Road, one of two properties often associated with Elvis Presley in Palm Springs. The performer recorded nine songs at the residence that some refer to as “Graceland West.” The West Chino Canyon House was owned by Presley at the time of his death and four years after his death, it was sold to Frankie Valli.
The house was designed by star architect Albert Frey in a Spanish colonial ranch style that he did not often employ. Elvis reportedly bought the house from Richard “Dick” McDonald, co-founder of the McDonald’s fast food chain.
2. zsa zsa gabor – 595 w chino canyon drive (little tuscany)
Traveling east on West Chino Canyon Drive, not far from Elvis’s abode, you’ll find one of several residences Zsa Zsa Gabor is said to have occupied in Palm Springs, although this one was not owned by her. The 4-bedroom home was built in 1968 and may have belonged to Los Angeles interior designer Hamilton Garland.
3. kaufmann house (barry manilow) – 470 chinese view (little tuscany)
kaufmann house is a “celebrity” house on many levels… the original owner, edgar j. Kaufmann, was a department store magnate whose other vacation property is the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Cascade House in Pennsylvania. He commissioned noted architect Richard Neutra to design this custom desert home, a modernist masterpiece, which he later sold to Barry Manilow. Whether you realize it or not, you’ve probably seen the famous poolside gossip photos taken by Slim Aarons in 1970 by the Kaufmann House pool.
4. jack benny estate – 424 w. chinese view (little tuscany)
turn right on n via norte and again on w vista chino, and the blush house right there on the corner is our next stop. Previously owned by vaudeville, radio and film entertainer Jack Benny, the 1950s home was remodeled in the mid-1990s and retains its mid-century charm with a shade of millennial pink.
5. alan ladd – 323 north west road (old las palmas)
follow w vista chino which turns left and take the second left onto north road. On the right-hand side, you’ll first pass actor Alan Ladd’s former home, which he shared with his wife, Sue. Ladd was an actor known for his roles in the cowboy classics This Gun for Fee and Shane. He also established the Ladd Hardware Store which for many years was located in Building Five Hundred at 500 South Palm Canyon Drive.
ladd’s mid-century modern house has serious design credibility. donald wexler design featured at palm springs modernism week 2019 a peek behind the hedges tour. In a nasty twist, Ladd was found dead in this house in early 1964 after overdosing on sedatives and alcohol.
6. Dinah Shore & george montgomery – 317 north west road (old las palmas)
right next door you’ll find number 317, the former home of singer and actress dinah shore and her husband, actor george montgomery. The house’s design is believed to be the work of famed architect William Cody, who was responsible for a number of impressive modern buildings in Palm Springs, including the Marcos Hotel.
7. liberace house – 1441 north kaweah (former las palmas)
a few steps away, on the corner of north kaweah rd, let the statues and piano-shaped mailbox lead you to liberace house, also known as piazza di liberace. This is one of four homes owned by the man who was once the highest-paid pianist in the world, and one of six properties he owned in the broad Coachella Valley. The artist’s former neighbors remember hearing him play the piano at night, and on Halloween night he gave away silver dollars to those who asked for candy.
8. marilyn monroe – 1326 north rose ave (vista las palmas)
Continue on west stevens road and turn left onto north rose avenue. At number 1326 you’ll find the bungalow Marilyn Monroe once rented. the house built in the 1950’s has four bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. It wasn’t far from here, at Charlie Farrell’s racket club, where Marilyn (still Norma Jean at the time) was spotted poolside by talent agent Johnny Hyde.
9. nat “king” cole – 1258 north rose ave (vista las palmas)
A few houses down you’ll find Nat “King” Cole’s former vacation home, which was also owned by his daughter, Natalie. you won’t see much here due to the lush front garden of the house.
10. elvis honeymoon retreat – 1350 ladera circle (vista las palmas)
Take three left turns and you’ll find yourself on a small cul-de-sac where the House of Tomorrow is located, also known as Elvis’ honeymoon hideout. This house is known for having a cutting-edge design of the mid-century with the most technological comforts of the moment. It’s also where Elvis Presley and his wife, Priscilla, spent most of 1966. The couple reportedly threw lavish parties at the four-bedroom, five-bathroom abode with an in-ground pool, tennis court, and chef’s kitchen. the house of tomorrow sold in 2020 for $2.6 million. house tours are available.
11. lawford-kennedy estate – 1295 north via monte vista (vista las palmas)
This mid-century home was originally built for actor and rat pack member Peter Lawford. apparently his brother-in-law, president kennedy, stayed here when he visited palm springs. the house can now be rented, starting at $300 per night.
12. Cyd Charisse & tony martin – 1197 n via monte vista (vista las palmas)
Two houses down from the Lawford-Kennedy Estate is the former home of actress and dancer Cyd Charisse and her husband, actor Tony Martin. the residence built in 1957 was last sold in 2020 for $1.535 million.
13. dean martin house – 1123 n via monte vista (vista las palmas)
another member of the rat pack lived just a few houses down. He bought this house with his second wife, Jeanne, in the 1960s for $56,000 (the equivalent of about $525,000 today). the couple’s grandchildren were often seen with a lemonade stand in front of us. Jeanne got the house when Here and Dean got divorced.
14. kirk douglas – 515 west via lola (old las palmas)
turn left on south cam, right on mission road and right again on west via lola. On the left you will see number 515 which once belonged to actor Kirk Douglas. Douglas is known for roles in movies like Gunfight at the O.K. barnyard, lust for life and spartacus, and as the father of actor michael douglas. He bought the house at 1069 East Marshall Way in 1955, before purchasing this five-bedroom property designed by Richard Harrison and Donald Wexler.
15. Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell – 550 W Lola (Old Las Palmas)
Continue west via lola and just before you turn left onto north patencio road is the winter getaway built in 1974 by actors goldie hawn and kurt russell.
16. dinah shore estate – 432 beautiful place (old las palmas)
a short distance up north patencia road on the left into beautiful spot. To the left you will find the Dinah Shore Estate, now owned by Leonardo DiCaprio. $4500 per night rental is set on 1.3 acres, has six bedrooms, 7.5 baths, a tennis court, pool, and grand piano. The house was a 1964 Donald Wexler design noted for enthusiasts of mid-century modern architecture.
17. elizabeth taylor – 417 beautiful place (old las palmas)
Directly across the street is a large Spanish Colonial-style estate built in the 1930s by a Las Vegas businessman. its most famous resident was elizabeth taylor.
18. liberace – 226 alejo road/501 belardo road, palm springs
go back on beautiful and turn south on north patencio rd. turn left on vine avenue and again on west alejo road. To the left, on the corner of Calle Belardo, is another Spanish Colonial-style Liberace property nicknamed Los Cloisters when it was a boutique hotel in the 1960s. This house was purchased by the Grammy winner in 1967 and remodeled with several rooms. themes. the artist is said to have died here in February 1987.
19. frank sinatra – 1145 e via colusa
Crossing palm canyon drive towards movie colony estate, our first stop is 1145 e via colusa, the direction of frank sinatra’s twin palms estate. if he could see through the fence, he’d be stuck in 1947e. stewart williams, mid-century design and piano shaped pool.
20. hedy lamarr – 1232 east of el alameda (cinema neighborhood)
You can’t see much of this home once rented by Hedy Lamar, actress and inventor, the pink azalea-framed door is worth a look.
21. bob & Delores Esperanza – 1188 Oriente El Alameda (Cinema Colony)
Across the street is the house Bob and Delores hope to buy before launching their futuristic John Lautner-designed residence (located in a gated community). the five-bedroom house on the alameda was built in 1935.
22. Bing Crosby – 1101 East El Alameda (Movie Colony)
singer bing crosby bought this house with his first wife dixie lee and lived there with their four children. the four-bedroom Spanish colonial-style home was built in 1934.
23. kirk douglas – 1069 east marshall way (film colony)
the aforementioned kirk douglas property that he owned before moving to the old las palmas neighborhood.
24. truman capote – 853 paseo este el mirador (cinema colony)
The author of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood rented and then bought this house in 1968.
25. Lucille Ball & desi arnez – 1194 north via miraleste (cinema neighborhood)
Sometimes called “Lucy’s House,” the six-bedroom abode now rents out for events and as a vacation home starting at $876 a night. from the outside, you won’t see much more than a ficus hedge and a gate. Inside, it’s a beautifully restored Spanish Colonial home.
26. cary grant – 928 north avenida palmas (cinema neighborhood)
Also known as “The Pigeons,” this 1927-built movie colony home belonged to Cary Grant and his wife Betsey Drake. Inspired by Spanish country houses, the property features the original royal blue shutters and wood burning fireplace.
27. to jolson – 570 north short road (movie neighborhood)
Interestingly, Al Jolson owned this property twice in his life. He commissioned the house to be built with his wife Ruby Keeler in the 1930s. After spending most of his time at the El Mirador Hotel, he sold it. Later, in the mid-1940s, after Jolson had divorced Keeler and remarried, his wife, Erie Galbraith, selected the house by chance.
more celebrity hotspots in palm springs
Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes our tour for today. again, check out some of the purple and orange pins on the map for additional properties off this route. These include homes along with clubs and restaurants that were known celebrity hangouts, namely:
- copley’s restaurant, located in the guesthouse of the former cary grant estate.
- melvyn’s where the rat pack liked to party.
- willows historic palm springs inn that has housed albert einstein among other celebrities.
- the purple room, another rat pack hangout.
map of palm springs celebrity homes
Click the top right corner for this celebrity home tour map and save a copy for later use. maps are saved to your google drive, so you need to sign in to your google account to do this.
If you’d like to nominate a missing property or share your favorite, please leave a comment below.
peace, love & inspiring journeys,