In Palm Springs chances are you’ve walked on his star, strolled past the cafes and the Tiki lounge where the King hung out with his entourage. Even though Hollywood’s golden age celebrities and Elvis left long ago their memories live on in the playground oasis of Palm Springs. The city has preserved a walkway of the stars, home and historical tours abound and each year a handful of events commemorate the areas glittery past.
I hooked up with Best of the Best Tours for a leisurely ride around neighborhoods where the elite still meet. No towering, crowded bus, we cruised in a luxury van that was unobtrusive on the private streets. Even after visiting Palm Springs at least a dozen times, there were vast areas I hadn’t seen before. Our guide, Cynthia excitedly shared stories about how the other half lived and a bit about the city’s history.
Centuries ago, ancestors of the Agua Caliente Cahuilla (pronounced Kaw-we-ah
Once flash floods swept down the steep mountainsides just west of town. What was tragedy for early Indian families affected new housing developments as well. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers created a deep trench and used the terrain’s boulders as a buttress. They’re stacked just a few hundred feet from Elvis Presley’s Graceland West.
A row of rose bushes, a flower that Elvis’ mother loved, still thrive along the gated yard. Sadly other artifacts haven’t fared as well but if you look closely at the illuminated house number you’ll see a profile. A much larger one once hung on the chimney facing the street.
Earlier Elvis brought his new bride to Palm Springs and moved into a Mid-Century modern home on a Las Palmas’ neighborhood cul de sac. The house is a series of concentric circles and visitors can see more details of the property on tours and at one of many events held there yearly. Look below for more information.
Don’t despair because Elvis left the building* long ago. In Palm Springs you can still walk in his footsteps. I’m glad it was so easy with Best of the Best Tours.
*’Elvis has left the building” was an end-of-concert announcement to discourage audiences pleading for encore after encore.
Elvis left but experience his life here:
Elvis Presley on the Walk of the Stars: 100 South Palm Canyon Drive.
The Honeymoon Hideaway: Interior tours are available several times a day and there are several events held on the grounds each season. Address: 1350 Ladera Circle, Vista Las Palmas neighborhood.
Graceland West: The home where Elvis recorded eight of his hits. Graceland West in the Little Tuscany neighborhood: 845 West Chino Canyon.
Caliente Tropics Lounge: Renovated in 2012, the Tiki lounge was a match for Elvis who had filmed three Hawaiian movies by the time he and Rat Pack celebs made this a favorite stop. Caliente Tropics: 411 E. Palm Canyon Drive.
Elvis memorabilia: The Hard Rock Hotel displays several Elvis items from their vaults at 150 South Indian Canyon Drive, downtown.
Elvis Eats: Two places where the King would settle into a booth and order his favorite meals.
- The Original Las Casuelas: 368 North Palm Canyon Drive, downtown. Website for hours.
- Sherman’s Deli and Bakery: 401 Tahquitz Way, downtown. A famous desert deli that serves the King’s favorite sandwich – hot pastrami.
Riviera Palm Springs: Before Elvis purchased a home in the desert he’d often stay at the Riviera Hotel at 1600 N. Indian Canyon Drive.
Best of Best Tours: Take a ride on the Hollywood side, a guided hike, or visit the wind farm with Best of Best Tours.
Walk in the Stars Itinerary: Several options for self-guided and hosted walking tours from Visit Palm Springs.
Elvis Events: Visit the Elvis Honeymoon site for tickets
- January 4th, Elvis’ Birthday Tribute
- Weekend with the King: First weekend in May
- Annual tribute to the King: August 22nd
- Elvis Halloween Contest
- Rock-a-Holly Christmas: Various dates in December.
Thank you to Visit Palm Springs and Best of Best Tours for enlightening me about the the celebrity past and hosting my tour.
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Oh! My parents would have a ball at anything Elvis-y. Thanks for this!
The retro-glitz of old Hollywood and rocker stars is so much fun in Palm Springs. I can’t wait to return and find more.
There is no better way to learn about a place than visiting it with an “indigenous” tour guide!
Nothing like seeing a new place with a local!
Such a cool tour!! I still haven’t been to Palm Springs, would be cool to take this tour 😀
Thank you for linking up with #MondayEscapes 🙂
Thanks for having me. I learn so much from my fellow bloggers.
I have only toured Palm Springs on my own but a tour looks like a fine way to spend my next trip there. How fun!
I’ve been the same but this was a chance to let someone else lead the way. Glad I did and I look forward to returning for more.
This looks like an exciting tour. Never knew about it! I am glad you had fun, and yes, I would love to visit sometime too.
Thanks for dropping by, Shraddha. It was a delight. I hope you get a chance to explore the desert area of Palm Springs one day.
Not only do we love Elvis, but we love Palm Springs for being ever so Modern! Like Elvis’ Honeymoon Hideaway and Sinatra House…we just love the vintage Hollywood glamour of Palm Springs! Thank you (Thank you vrrry much) for the scoop on all things Elvis. #WeekendWanderlust
Isn’t Palm Springs the best with all the Mid-century modern remnants and the access? I hope you can return and step into Elvis trail.
It has been forever since we visited Palm Springs and this tour makes me think it is high time to revisit – and take a tour like this one. Loved Elvis and this sounds great.
I hope you get a chance to see Palm Springs again soon. There’s so much going on there.
We fell in love with Elvis during a visit to Graceland in Memphis. We always liked him, but didn’t know by half all the cool stuff he did. This is a marvelous tour. Palm Springs is so unique and you get that retro vibe in so many places just as if time stopped. Love the photos!
Thanks, Betsy. I wish I’d seen Graceland in Memphis before but still am tickled by discovering more about Elvis now. If you get a chance search out his home movies. He was a sweet, talented and absolutely gorgeous man.
Love all things Elvis, we were even married on his birthday. (Not intentionally though, we’re not that crazy about the king.)
Pretty funny that you were married on the King’s birthday!! Serendipity.
I’ve never visited Palm Springs and until reading this post, I never associated Elvis with Southern California. I guess if you’re the King, you have to visit many parts of your Kingdom.
The studios made their stars, under contract at the time, remain within 100 miles of Hollywood. Palm Springs is just within those limits, so Elvis found lots of star-studded company within that.
Would love to visit Palm Springs and are hoping to add it to our list of destinations for 2016 so this was perfect for planning! The tour looks incredible and such a great way to explore a huge part of the history and (star) culture of the area!
I think you’d enjoy the tour, Carolann. It was a low key way to see the neighborhoods and learn about the area.
I visited Palm Springs for the first time recently. What a pretty place. I was there with my husband’s business so our time was pretty full, but would love to go back and check out this Elvis history! As a lover of tidbits, I especially love knowing where the phrase, “Elvis has left the building” came from!
Glad you liked the tidbits. I just wished I’d made it to the Tiki Bar but there’ll be a next time if I have any choice.
Wow I never knew Elvis went on a honeymoon in Palm Springs. Thanks for sharing this guide!
It was a surprise to me too. He lived in that house until his daughter was born. The architecture alone makes me want to return to see the inside.
Interesting tour! I love that you’re not traveling around in a bus which stands out as touristy – I feel like it’s more of an immservie experience that way, and you’re not intruding as much on the locals as you travel through private streets. Thanks for the Elvis facts!
Right about the big bus experience. Not my cuppa tea either but this was fun, a small group and great information. I’m a voyeur!
Aww how cool! I love Elvis. It’s my dream to be married by ‘him’ in Las Vegas. The tour sounds really good and I definitely want to go to ‘Elvis Eats’ to see where he dined 😀
That’s quite an ambition to be married by ‘Elvis,’ Alice! The tour was fun. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the hangouts myself.
Looks like a wonderful day trip! I’ve always been interested in Hollywood’s Golden Age and the history of Elvis is so interesting. I love the architecture of the buildings. I appears that the city has done a good job of preserving the historically significant buildings. I’ll be sure to look up Best of Best tours if I happy an opportunity to visit Palm Springs.
Thanks, Heather. There are pictures that I didn’t include full of gates and arches, mailboxes and signposts all remnants of the Hollywood elite who once partied in Palm Springs. I need to do another post!
sounds like a must for Elvis lovers to Visit Palm springs. So much history with the king and the Rat Pack in this town. The tour seems to hit all the right spots and the fact that Elvis’s mums roses are still going strong is impressive
The roses were a nice touch and I thought spoke volumes about the man that Elvis really was. I hope to return and visit more of the celebrity spots before too long.
I’ve been to Graceland and Palm Springs, but had no idea there was a Graceland West! Looks like an interesting tour. It’s always fun to walk in the footsteps of celebrities, especially ones as iconic as the King! Music is culture and fan or not, a tour like this gives you a memorable cultural experience.
Thanks, Jackie. Calling the house Graceland West I thought was a bit of a reach but still significant as one of the last homes that Elvis lived in. Music is culture and too often we don’t get to match the individual life behind the notes.
Sounds like a fun thing to do for Elvis fans! 🙂
There’s lots to see in Palm Springs for sure, Elvis fan or not.
This would be a field day for a massive Elvis fan! It’s interesting (and cool) that the Mirador is now used as a hospital.
I agree. What’s especially cool is that the new owners of the Mirador property found and used the original blueprints when they rebuilt after the big fire destroyed the original building.
I have never done a tour like this, it’s something that you always see in the movies though! Looks like a blast, and would be so cool to see where Elvis lived!
For as many times as I’ve been to Palm Springs the tour really opened my eyes to a new way to appreciate the city. It was fun to see where the stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood, the Rat Pack, Elvis and Leonardo Di Caprio have lived or still do.
What a very extensive guide! Never been to Palm Springs but this will really help! Xx
There’s so much to enjoy in Palm Springs. Looking at it and exploring through the lens of where Elvis hung out is a trip.
I’m not an Elvis fan in the slightest, but I’m such a sucker for good tours and fun sights. We’ll be in PS this spring, so I’m thinking we can hit one of these sights.
I’m not a fan per se either but I appreciate his place in Rock n’ Roll history. Good tours and fun sights with the edge of cultural history make traveling so much more interesting than just hanging out by the pool (great by the way too but not for this sun-averse complexion!)
That’s a very cool house. I’d never seen it before!
Seeing it from the street is impressive. I’d love to tour the property sometime and see how it’s really a layer of circles. No sharp corners in any of the rooms I’ve heard!
Loved this post! I’ve only been to Palm Springs once, but thought it was such an awesome place. It’s been years, so I guess I’ll have to go back!
You can enjoy Palm Springs and the desert on so many levels. I hope you get to return and play.
I may have been only 7 when Elvis passed but I have always enjoyed his music and watched his movies. As a result I am still drawn to anything Elvis – I would love these tours.
That’s cool that you’ve seen his films. What I found fun is that he had completed three Hawaiian themed movies and liked to hang out at the Palm Springs Tiki Bar (which was part of the trend he helped promote!)
Oh, I would like to visit Elvis’s honeymoon house! I think he would have been 81 this year, right? If I go to Palm Springs I think I will hire Best of the Best Tours too. You seem to have been very happy with them. I don’t like big, crowded vans.
Right, Elvis would’ve been 81 this year. Imagine the King in his 80’s! You’d like the small tour groups that Best of the Best offers. I don’t usually do bus tours but this was a fun way to see another side of Palm Springs. Lots of history there.
Love your recount of the Elvis facts and your tour of Palm Spring Elaine.
Thanks, Lyndall, it was a fun post to put together. Thought I knew the city but seeing it through the Elvis mystique was a new experience.