When it comes to seeing and exploring some of the most iconic, old Hollywood homes in California, there is no better place to visit than Palm Springs. The city isn’t just known for its luxurious spas, golf courses, stylish hotels, and hot springs, but is also famed for being a home to many iconic celebrities from the mid-20th century. Most of these homes boast a retro style and open-design plan with floor-to-ceiling windows, swimming pools for cooling off, and wall-to-wall carpeting.
Even today, the area is popularized for accommodating some of the key celebrities of the past. Locals almost feel nostalgic when they recall seeing celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra spending their vacations there. The majority of these homes were built in Coachella Valley, which even now exists as one of the best places in Palm Springs to live in leisure, party hard, socialize with new people and enjoy life. Here are some of the most iconic celebrity’s homes in Palm Strings:
Marilyn Monroe’s Home
This 1950s, 2,978 square foot bungalow-style home was blessed with the presence of Marilyn Monroe in 1960-1961. Located in the Palm Springs neighborhood of Vista Las Palmas, her 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom abode is not far from Elvis Presley’s favorite vacation home.
The area was a prime location for celebs back in the day. It boasts an amazing garden with lush trees, evergreens, and wildflowers and is located in the same area where Johnny Hyde discovered Norma Jean playing by the pool at the nearby historic Racquet Club. Walking up the intricately-designed steps past the lush gardens and shrubs that stand guard along the pathway to the house, it’s easy to see why miss Monroe would have wanted to call this enchanting piece of Palm Springs real estate home.
Mountain Center Estate
Located in the Palm Desert, Patricia Gucci’s Mountain Center Estate was home to Patricia Gucci (granddaughter of Guccio Gucci). It is an expansive 11,000 square-foot compound with 10-bedroom, 10-bathroom. Features include a tennis court, hiking trails, a spa, a swimming pool, a movie theater, a large kennel, and guesthouses.
The estate spans a whopping 23 acres and overlooks the Coachella Valley in southern California. The exterior of the home almost resembles a luxury resort, while the interior is deeply influenced by Moroccan architecture, with lots of hand-painted walls that feature unique, exotic designs.
Piazza De Liberace
As the name implies, this home was blessed by the presence of master entertainer, Władziu Valentino Liberace. Built in 1952, Liberace lived in this 4-bedroom home from 1968 to 1972. Note-worthy features include a grand piano-shaped mailbox, painted cherubs on the ceiling of the home’s interior, Roman statues of lions sitting in front of men, a swimming pool, and musical notes on the garden fencing.
In 2010, the home was purchased for $625,000 and fully remodeled and restored by the new owners. The current incarnation of the home is far more toned down compared to the days of animal print patterns, candelabras, and mixtures of red velvet and gold throughout. While the new owners did make a lot of interior changes, they have also stated that they did so in a manner that was respectful to the famous pianist that once called it home.
Ann Miller’s Home
Currently owned by Robert Kramer and Toni Holt Kramer, this Spanish-style house was built in 1928. It remains one of the most expensive, and largest, lots in the Los Palmas neighborhood.
The home boasts a large yard, a swimming pool, and remarkable urban styling. The salmon-colored building accompanied by a Spanish ceramic roof blends perfectly with the tropical landscape that decorates the grounds.
Cary Grant and Betsey Drake
One of the most beautiful homes in Las Palomas was owned by Cary Grant and his wife Betsey Drake. Built in 1927, the 5,300 square foot home is the ditto of the Andalusian Spanish farmhouse. With a rested magnificent Spanish Hacienda, beautifully manicured grounds, a long driveway, a large swimming pool, and 1.5 acres of land, the home is breathtakingly gorgeous.
The original royal blue shutters on the windows of the home, as well as the wood burning fireplace, are still intact and beautifully preserved. Interior accents include a 40-foot ceiling in the great room, Terracotta floor tiles, and custom wood cabinets.
Dean Martin’s Home
This luxurious compound was a home to the legendary Rat Pack member Dean Martin. He bought this 2,342 square foot home way back in the 1960s with his gorgeous second wife Jeanne for $56,000.
The 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom home features a pool, spa, floor-to-ceiling glass sliding walls, and fruit trees on the quarter-acre lot. Though there’s nothing outwardly extravagant about the property, aesthetically speaking, its current value stands at over a million!
The Kennedy/Lawford Home
This mid-century home was originally built for Peter Lawford. It is in close proximity to Marilyn Monroe’s home, which caused controversy when President Kennedy visited Palm Springs and stayed here instead of at Frank Sinatra’s, one of his closest friends at the time.
If you’ve ever been interested in seeing how Hollywood legends lived back in the day, you can rent this home for $300 per night. The 3,410 square foot abode contains 3-bedrooms, 4-bathrooms, and a swimming pool.
Barry Manilow (The Kaufmann Home)
One of the most popular estates in Palm Springs, the Edgar J. Kaufmann home was built in 1946 and was purchased as a vacation home by Barry Manilow in the early 70’s. The modern, international-style property features a tennis court, a pool house, a swimming pool (because it would be weird to have a pool house with no pool), and a viewing pavilion, all which sits on 2.5 acres of prime land.
As for the interior, the home boasts 6 bathrooms and 5 luxurious bedrooms as well as lots of sliding glass walls that allow for easy outdoor access. The design of the home was intended to embrace the surrounding desert landscape while also offering shelter from the harsh climate at the same time.
Elvis’ Honeymoon House
This 5,500 square foot home was leased by Elvis Presley and his wife Priscilla in 1966 for $21,000. The couple spent a year in the mid-century home, throwing infamously lavish parties.
Later on, the home was rented by Helene and Robert Alexander, who were friends with many local celebrities. Look Magazine even visited the home to take pictures of the socialites. It features 4-bedrooms, 5-bathrooms, a lush garden, a tennis court, an in-ground pool, a chef’s kitchen, and 2 fireplaces. In the 1990s the home was carefully restored back to its original splendor. Interested in seeing the interior for yourself? Well, for a small fee, you can! There’s guided tours hosted at the home daily.
Sonny Bono’s Estate
Sonny Bono became the mayor of Palm Springs in between 1988 and 1992, after his famous duets like “I Got You Baby”. He lived in this home, built in 1940, with his wife Mary for quite a long time. The estate features three separate buildings. The main house has three bedroom suites and features a formal dining room, a large kitchen, and a formal living area that looks out onto the swimming pool and the mountains beyond.
The two other houses on the property are used as guest houses. The more spacious guest house of the two is around 1,600 square feet and boasts 2-bedrooms, a dining room, a living room, a full kitchen, and a fireplace. As for the smaller guest house, it features a cozy 1-bedroom and 1-bathroom housed within 740 square feet of living space. Some of the more opulent features to the estate include a full tennis court and a massive 4-car garage.
The Elrod House – James Bond Classic
The Elrod House boasts immaculate aesthetic appeal, and for good reason. The entire project took nearly 7 years to be completed, with over 700 tones of hand-cut quartz stones, from Idaho, used in the construction. It is located in the prestigious Southridge of Palm Springs and became famous after hosting the filming of the classic James Bond movie, “Diamonds are Forever”.
Currently, the property is for sale at $9.5 million. The 8,901 square foot home features 5-bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms, an indoor/outdoor swimming pool, sliding-glass walls that open up to the terrace, and a gym.
Described as “some decorator’s dream come surrealistically true” by Sports Illustrated, this home was bought by Steve McQueen and Neile Adams in 1963. It is also located in Southridge and boasts an incredibly attractive appearance, inside and outside with gold-plated accents, zebra skin pillows, and a wide range of one-of-a-kind works of art.
The home boasts 4,493 square feet of living space as well as 4-bedrooms and 4-bathrooms. The swanky pad also features glass walls in the living room with panoramic views of the San Jacinto Mountains, and a swimming pool.
This estate was bought by Bing Crosby and his first wife Dixie Lee in 1952. It is located on a hillside in the neighborhood of Thunderbird Heights. It boasts five luxurious bedrooms and 6-bathrooms.
Other features to the 6,700 square foot home include a salt-water pool and an in-ground spa. For those hoping to use the the place as a venue for a party or large gathering, be prepared to spend some serious dough, since it’s $3,000 per night to rent!
Frank Sinatra and Nancy Barbara’s Home
Designed by Stewart Williams, Nancy Barbato and Frank Sinatra’s 4,500 square foot home (Twin Palms Estate) boasts 4-bedroom and 7-bathrooms. Built in 1947, the classy abode features lots of lush landscape as well as a spacious pool house and grand piano-shaped swimming pool.
The mid-century style home still includes Sinatra’s original recording and sound system. Currently, the home is available to rent for the low low price of $2,500 per night.
Gene Autry Estate Palm Springs
Once owned by the late Singing Cowboy, Gene Autry, this home is incredibly luxurious. It has a huge kitchen, terrace, dining room and living room, a private enclosed patio, two bedrooms, floor-to-ceiling windows, and modern-style decor.
The home is located on the grounds of The Parker Palm Springs, one of the finest hotels in the city. Since the two well-manicured lawns on the property can facilitate 300+ people at once, it is often used as a venue for weddings and other big events.
Bob Hope House Palm Springs
Built by the famous American Architect John Lautner, the home of Bob Hope definitely has an unusual futuristic design. It resembles a volcano and features a concrete roof with a hole in the center. It’s been compared to a giant mushroom and even a spaceship.
Originally listed for around $50 million in 2013, the home later sold for $13 million, a huge bargain for the 23,366 square foot estate, in 2016. Some features to this architectural oddity include 10-bedrooms, 13-bathrooms, several fireplaces (including one outside), a pond, two swimming pools, a tennis court, beautiful gardens, and a waterfall.