Tours

The greater Palm Springs area has tremendous tour options. Consider tours of the city attractions, historic and architectural tours, or scenic outdoor sightseeing, Check the information below for our tour offerings to supplement your experience at Palm Springs Swing & Mix 2017, or see our printable PDF of our tour offerings.

Local Sightseeing Tours

Time is Short – Book Now to Reserve Your Seats. Some tours have payment deadlines of June 10th, so time is critical. See the summary table of all current tour offerings, minimums, deadline RSVP dates and capacity.

Otherwise, you may also scroll down for detailed tour information and descriptions of our exciting local tours guaranteed to show you well-known and obscure Palm Springs, and provide many memories and photos.

Fun Badge Tour

There are still tickets available to the Sunrise Fun Badge Tour.  The Sunset Fun Badge Tour is at capacity and is waiting list only. 

Tour 1: Sunrise Fun Badge Tour

5:30 am – 8:30* AM, Sunday, July 2nd - $50

  • Watch the beautiful color changes of the natural desert-scape in the early morning light
  • Enjoy the tour during the coolest time of day
  • Average temperatures are 20-30 degrees cooler than those at 10:00 am
  • Average daily mid-day temp in July is 105% at <20% humidity
  • Pre-Dawn temps average 78 – 86 degrees at 25% humidity
  • Unique stops showcasing nature, local LGBT history and famous modernist architecture
  • Minimal traffic
  • Enjoy the sunrise over the mountains as the fun badge tour culminates
  • Tour ends in time for breakfast. Don’t miss any convention activities or dancing

Tour 2: Sunset Fun Badge Tour (Wait List ONLY)

5:00 pm to 8:00* PM, Monday, July 3rd - $50

  • Sunset over Mt. San Jacinto
  • No direct sun – relief from the direct sun of the morning or afternoon
  • Temperatures may still be close to the day’s high for several hours after sunset
  • See Palm Springs at dusk and after-dark when the night life is flourishing
  • Be back in time for Closing Ceremonies

General Fun Badge Tour Information

  • Each tour will be hosted and narrated
  • Hydration will be provided on the tours
  • NOTICE: Due to city availability, some stops on the Sunrise Tour will be repeated on the Sunset Tour. Repeated stops will be highlight different features and related activities.

Tour Ordering/Payment Information

To order Fun Badge Tours or any of the Tours offered here, sign in at iagsdc.org, select “My Events” page and find your convention registration. Send payment in by deadline above. PayPal is also accepted for credit card payments. You may remit payment as a check (payable to PALM SPRINGS SWING AND MIX 2017) mailed to:
P.O. Box 245, Palm Springs CA 92263
-or-
Make payment via PayPal to "finance@palmsprings2017.org" as payee.

Local Sightseeing Tours

Time is Short – Book Now to Reserve Your Seats. Some tours have payment deadlines of June 10th, so time is of the essence.

Tuesday 27 June

Tour 27A: Architectural / Modernism Tours from PS Architectural Tours

(same tour offered Wednesday & Friday)
9:30 am – 12 noon
Cost $72* includes hotel pick up and drop off
Limited to the first 48 people to register
Minimum of 16 paid reservations needed by June 10; otherwise tour subject to cancellation or consolidation with same tour on Wednesday.

Tour Description:

Palm Springs has one of the largest concentrations of mid-century modern architecture in the world. You'll ride in air-conditioned comfort seeing and hearing about the hundreds of homes and buildings crafted by extraordinary modernist architects. Learn about a remarkable group of architects, builders and Hollywood celebrity clients, and listen to the back stories that add life, humor, intrigue and awe to Palm Springs' extraordinary modernist legacy. It's an in-depth exploration of an amazing city featuring fascinating information and stories about history, architecture and the Hollywood glamour years of the 1940s, 50s and 60s that made Palm Springs famous.
For more info, check Convention Website Tours Page or www.psarchitecturetours.com.
See booking and payment details above - make sure to send payment by deadline.

Tour 27B: Moorten Botanical Gardens

(also offered Thursday & Friday)
Address: 1701 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
Group Convenes at 9 am (flexible), arrival time and duration flexible
Cost $5/person, payable at the venue
Minimum of 3 people registered by June 26 for group transportation coordination; otherwise you may access this tour on your own.
Gardens open daily 9 am – 1 pm (closed Wednesday)
Transportation to/from not included. We will facilitate shared cabs or other shared ride transport at approximately $5 each way per person.

Tour Description:
This trip involves walking outside. The Moorten Botanical Gardens and Cactarium is a great place to see the flora of the desert and the Palm Springs area without having to trek miles in the heat. You can stay as long as you want, between 9 am and 1 pm (closed on Wednesdays). It is outdoors, so be sure to bring water and wear a hat.
Sunset Magazine says: The Moorten Botanical Garden is a hidden treasure. You’ll find thousands of species of succulents and cactus growing together from all over the world. The “Cactarium”— a Quonset hut overflowing with exotic desert plants—is a must-see. The garden is run by Clark Moorten, a 60-something cowboy. If Clark takes a liking to you, he may let you snip off a little piece of a succulent to grow on your own.
The Botanical Garden was established by husband and wife Patricia and Chester “Cactus Slim” Moorten, back in 1939. This couple were Palm Springs celebrities, assisting Walt Disney with the design of Disneyland’s Frontierland. Their contribution to the cultural and horticultural life of their city is commemorated on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars. As you enter, look out for the family home, fondly known as Cactus Castle. Spend an hour exploring over a dozen arid biomes, such as the Baja California Peninsula, the South African-Succulent Karoo, the Mojave Desert and Mexico’s Gran Desierto de Altar. Not limited to cacti, the gardens also display agave, bombax, and South African aloe plants. An interesting collection of rocks, crystals, fossils and gold-mining relics break up the flora and enhance the desert themes.
See booking details above. Pay for tour at the Botanical Garden.

Wednesday 28 June

Tour 28A: Windmill Farm/Desert Landscape Tour

9 -11 noon
Cost: $40, includes tour bus pick up and drop off.
Limited to the first 28 people to register
Minimum of 18 paid reservations needed by June 18; otherwise tour subject to cancellation or consolidation with same tour on Tuesday.
Tour includes hydration and a Coachella Valley Date Shake or snack

Tour Description:

This tour in an air-conditioned bus will take us to windmill farms that you can see from the nearby roads. But this tour gets us up close and personal and tells the story of the history of windmill technology; what’s now successful and many failures of the past. They look quite different up close. We may even get an opportunity to dance a tip amongst the windmills. We will also see solar farms and natural gas power plants.
We will finish with a date shake.
See booking and payment details above - make sure to send payment by deadline.

Tour 28B: Architectural / Modernism Tours from PS Architectural Tours

(same tour offered Tuesday & Friday)
9:30 am – 12 noon
Cost $72* includes hotel pick up and drop off
Limited to the first 48 people to register
Minimum of 16 paid reservations needed by June 10; otherwise tour subject to cancellation or consolidation with same tour on Tuesday.

Tour Description:

See description on Tuesday’s Tour 27A

See booking and payment details above - make sure to send payment by deadline.

Tour TRM: “Tips at the Top” – Aerial Tramway Dinner-Dance (Waitlist ONLY)

Featuring Saundra Bryant & Kris Jensen
4 - 10 pm
Cost: $60 includes bus to/from hotel

Tour Description:

Travel by bus from the hotel to the Valley Tram station. Take the afternoon Tram up taking in fantastic mountain and valley vistas. Arrive at the Mountain Gram Station at over 8000 feet in elevation). There will be time for sightseeing, hiking trails, and taking in the State Park exhibits and nature film exhibits. Buffet dinner is included followed by “Tips at the Top” dance (MS to C) with Saundra Bryant (Chicago) & Kris Jensen (Albuquerque) calling.

See booking and payment details above - make sure to send payment by deadline.

Thursday 29 June

Tour 29A: Gay Icons of Palm Springs Bus Tour

8 – 11 am
Cost: $50* includes pick up and drop off at the hotel
Limited to the first 46 people to register
Minimum of 16 paid reservations needed by June 13; otherwise tour subject to cancellation.

Tour Description:

This tour will take us on a fun 2+-hour bus ride through “GAY” Palm Springs. We’ll see the homes, and hear stories about its earliest gay residents who began arriving in the early part of the 20th century. In its Hollywood heyday the city became the sun filled playground to an earlier generation of glittering stars...many of whom led “not­so­secret” gay lives out of the glare of the film going public. We’ll learn the factors that contributed to the area becoming one of the most sought after destinations for gay and lesbian visitors and residents alike, making it today one of the “gayest” cities in the world!
Along the way we’ll wind through the heart of the gay resort area and learn why most
post­Stonewall resorts and nightlife were actually located “down valley” instead of in Palm Springs and see the first gay men’s bar opened in the city as we cruise down the main thoroughfare of Arenas Street, the “Castro Street” of Palm Springs.
From there we’ll travel to the Las Palmas area of the city where you’ll see the over­the­top Palm Springs palaces that many gay stars, and gay icons like Cher, Judy Garland and Debbie Reynolds), called home. And, of course, what tour would be complete without hearing the details of the sensational (and often scandalous) lives lived behind the walls of their fabulous hide­aways.

Some of the stars whose homes you’ll see and hear about include Marilyn Monroe, Liberace, Mary Martin, Cary Grant, Rock Hudson & George Nader, Cher, Brian Boitano, Debbie Reynolds, Barry Manilow & Lili Tomlin. We may even get a chance to dance a tip at a current Hollywood super-star’s residence.

See booking and payment details above - make sure to send payment by deadline.

Tour 29B: Joshua Tree National Park / Pioneer Town

8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Cost: $79* includes pick up and drop off at hotel;
Limited to the first 25 people to register.
Minimum of 12 paid reservations needed by June 10; otherwise tour subject to cancellation.

Tour Description:
Enjoy the bus tour through windmill area. Overlook the famous San Andreas fault. Drive through the newest National Park (approved during the Obama administration). Arrive at the Joshua Tree Visitors Center for some education. We will then proceed into the Joshua Tree National Park to view Joshua Trees. Time and weather permitting, we will do a nature walk among the famous cacti in one of the most remote desert environments on earth. We will then proceed to the awesome Coachella Valley overlook. After leaving the national park, we will visit Pioneer Town. Pioneer Town is a western theme “ghost town” used in many western films over the years. We will then enjoy luncheon at Pappy’s Diner. We will do some impromptu “flashmob” square dancing with a noted GCA caller in the shaded patio area, providing our own entertaining for the other diners. We will then return to the hotel in time for some rest before the Thursday night Palm Springs Village Fest and the Thursday night FREE dance called by Terri Sherrer on Arenas Avenue, starting at approximately 6 pm.
See booking and payment details above - make sure to send payment by deadline.

Tour 29C: Moorten Botanical Gardens

(same tour offered Tuesday & Friday)
Address: 1701 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
Group Convenes at 9 am (flexible), arrival time and duration flexible
Cost $5/person, payable at the venue
Minimum of 3 people registered by June 26 for group transportation coordination; otherwise you may access this tour on your own.
Gardens open daily 9 am – 1 pm (closed Wednesday)
Transportation to/from not included. We will facilitate shared cabs or other shared ride transport at approximately $5 each way per person.

Tour Description:

See description on Tuesday’s Tour 27B
See booking details above. Pay for tour at the Botanical Garden.

Tour 29D: Vinny’s Palm Springs Art Museum Tour

5 pm (duration flexible; museum closes at 9 pm)
Cost $10/person*
Limited to the first 20 people to register
Minimum of 6 people registered and paid by June 26; otherwise tour subject to cancellation.
Transportation to/from not included. We will facilitate shared cabs or other shared ride transport at approximately $5 each way per person.

Tour Description:

Join fellow square dancer, Vinny, as your art museum docent for a 1 hour guided tour; then stay on longer and enjoy the art.

The Palm Springs Art Museum has very fine collection worthy of a much larger city. Vinny Stoppia (who will be dancing with us at the convention) has been giving docent tours for several years, and will be our guide. Highlights include:

  • Contemporary Glass: This exhibition brings together noted national and international artists who demonstrate the range and diversity of glass techniques and styles, including Dale Chihuly, William Morris, and Lino Tagliapietra. Other artists create innovative glass installations merging formal investigations of space, texture, and light with social and cultural commentary.
  • Modern Art: This exhibit includes works by internationally acclaimed artists from America, Mexico and Latin America, and Europe, such as Henry Moore, Picasso, and Chagall.
  • Photography Exhibit: This collection covers Modern and Contemporary Hollywood with portraits including Rock Hudson, David Hockney and Andy Warhol), as well as Architecture and Design.

The artworks on display change from time to time, so there may different works by other artists.

See booking and payment details above - make sure to send payment by deadline.

Tour 29E: Group Walk To Village Fest Street Fair & “Chill Out” Dance

Featuring Terri Sherrer, Caller, sponsored by Windmill Twirlers
5:30 pm
Cost: FREE
No Limitation on Participants
Tour Description: We will facilitate small groups to walk to the Palm Springs Village Fest Street Fair and to the “Chill Out” Free Dance. Street Fair is from 7-10 pm. “Chill Out” dance is from 7-9 pm (times subject to change).

Friday 30 June

Tour 30A: Architectural / Modernism Tours from PS Architectural Tours

(same tour offered Wednesday & Friday)
9:30 am – 12 noon
Cost $72* includes hotel pick up and drop off
Limited to the first 48 people to register
Minimum of 16 paid reservations needed by June 10; otherwise tour subject to cancellation or consolidation with same tour on Wednesday.

Tour Description:

See description on Tuesday’s Tour 27A

See booking and payment details above - make sure to send payment by deadline.

Tour 30B: Vinny’s Walking Tour of Glamor Homes and Inns

9 – 11:30 am:
Cost $10/person*
Limited to the first 20 people to register
Minimum of 6 people registered and paid by June 26; otherwise tour subject to cancellation.
Transportation to/from not included. We will facilitate shared cabs or other shared ride transport at approximately $5 each way per person.

Tour Description:

How did a tiny agricultural settlement become a world renowned getaway for the rich and famous and a playground of the stars? Palm Springs is unique in that many of its “founding fathers” were women. Pioneer John McCallum’s daughter, Pearl McCallum McManus, alongside other forward-thinking women such as Nellie Coffman, Cornelia White, Julia Carnell and Zaddie Bunker created an enchanting vacation paradise.
Our guide, Vinny Stoppia (who is dancing with us at the convention), has been giving tours of historic Palm Springs for several years. We will start at the famed Palm Springs Tennis Club neighborhood. You could go early and have breakfast at Spencer’s restaurant in the Tennis Club, 701 W Baristo Rd; 760-327-3446 (reservations suggested) and taste the atmosphere of early Palm Springs.
Walk among the stars in Old Las Palmas, the oldest established neighborhood in Palm Springs. It began its development in the late 1920s and 1930s and has one of the highest concentrations of celebrity homes anywhere. Elizabeth Taylor, Kirk Douglas, Katherine Hepburn, Gene Autry, Lena Horne, Cary Grant, Judy Garland, Dinah Shore, Leonardo DiCaprio and many other Hollywood stars have been residents here. Closeted actors, like Errol Flynn, Rock Hudson, and Liberace also had compounds so they could party away from the prying eyes in Hollywood.

Here's where stars like Errol Flynn, Lucille Ball, and Frank Sinatra stayed and played in the spectacular beauty of its desert surroundings. Today's Hollywood hipsters (like Cameron Diaz, Robert Downey, Jr. and Reese Witherspoon) continue to use this neighborhood's boutique hotels as their private sanctuaries. See how Modernism took center stage in this celebrity haven. Many were designed after WWII when America's appetite for Modern design was the rage. It was "The Atomic Age" and Palm Springs captured the futuristic mood like no other place on earth.
Vinny will try to arrange for us to go inside Gloria Swanson’s home for a more intimate view of Hollywood stars’ lives. Be ready for your close-up. The home is now Amin Casa, a B&B owned by a gay couple who will show us around and tell stories from that era.
This is a walking tour starting before it gets too hot and lasts for 2 hours. Bring water and a hat. Vinny will end at the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, 300 South Palm Canyon Drive so we can see their architectural and historical exhibits.
See booking and payment details above - make sure to send payment by deadline.

Tour 30C: Moorten Botanical Gardens

(same tour offered Tuesday & Thursday)
Address: 1701 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
Group Convenes at 9 am (flexible), arrival time and duration flexible
Cost $5/person, payable at the venue
Minimum of 3 people registered by June 26 for group transportation coordination; otherwise you may access this tour on your own.
Gardens open daily 9 am – 1 pm (closed Wednesday)
Transportation to/from not included. We will facilitate shared cabs or other shared ride transport at approximately $5 each way per person.

Tour Description:
See description on Tuesday’s Tour 27B
For more info, check Convention Website Tours Page.
Book via iagsdc.org website, “My Events” page so that we can facilitate group transport
Pay for tour at the Botanical Garden.

Tour 30D: Windmill / Desert Landscape Tour (REPEAT)

(same tour offered on Wednesday) 9 -11 noon
Cost: $40, includes tour bus pick up and drop off.
Limited to the first 28 people to register
Minimum of 18 paid reservations needed by June 18; otherwise tour subject to cancellation or consolidation with same tour on Tuesday.
Tour includes hydration and a Coachella Valley Date Shake or snack

Tour Description:

See description on Wednesday’s Tour 28A

See booking and payment details above - make sure to send payment by deadline.

Sunday 2 July
Tour 5:30AM: Sunrise Fun Badge Tour – SEATS STILL AVAILABLE

5:30 to 8:30 am
Cost $50 includes snacks and hydration
Deadline for booking: June 16 or once buses are filled

Tour Description:

Convene at the PS Convention Center Lobby (not the Hotel Lobby) for a fun sightseeing and dance tour of Palm Springs. Destinations are always a surprise.
See booking and payment details above - make sure to send payment by deadline.

Monday 3 July
Tour 5:30PM: Sunset Fun Badge Tour - WAITLISTED ONLY

5:30 to 8:30 pm
Cost $50 includes snacks and hydration
Deadline for booking: June 16 or once buses are filled
LATEST NEWS: This event is currently on “wait-list” status.
Tour Description:

Convene at the PS Convention Center Lobby (not the Hotel Lobby) for a fun sightseeing and dance tour of Palm Springs. Destinations are always a surprise.
See booking and payment details above - make sure to send payment by deadline.

Tour 73A: Casino Tour with Gambling Credits

9 pm (flexible departure):
Cost $35
Limited to the first 48 people to register.
Minimum of 12 paid reservations needed by June 16; otherwise tour subject to cancellation.

Tour Description:

Includes bus transport to/from the casino, casino tour, gaming instruction. Gambling credits will offset the cost of this tour, making this tour a bargain. Some casinos offer fireworks on this day in honor of Independence Day weekend.
See booking and payment details above - make sure to send payment by deadline.

Tuesday 4 July

Tour 74A: Temecula Wine Tour

8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Cost $130; includes hotel pick up and drop off
Limited to the first 48 people to register.
Minimum of 12 paid reservations needed by June 16; otherwise tour subject to cancellation.

Tour Description:

Enjoy the company of your square-dancing friends on a tour of Southern California’s version of the Napa Valley. After a casual 90-minute guided ride with commentary provided by the witty personalities of Anna Fyllaxis and Eppi Nefrin. Your convention drag culinary tour guides will once again introduce you to some of SoCal’s tastiest treats among the rolling hills of the Temecula Valley.
Learn about the Temecula Wine History; its roots before becoming the stellar wine region of Southern California and its humble beginnings of the 1850’s. Though Temecula (formerly Rancho California) is a relatively young community (incorporated in 1989), the region officially became an American Viticultural Area in 1984. Modern Temecula Wine Country sits east of the “Rainbow Gap” in Riverside County and the wine community has grown considerably since those humble beginnings.
Wine Stop #1 will provide sparkling wines, crisp Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc, from grapes harvested on property for production. We’ll enjoy a box lunch at Wine Stop #2 on the winery’s outdoor patio and vineyards as well as a sampling of the winery’s “big reds” – perfect for enjoying the company of friends, tasty food, in a relaxed, friendly, rural lifestyle. At Wine Stop #3, we’ll introduce you to Southern California’s first Wine Cave. Since their doors first opened in 2000 the demand for more of their Bordeaux style wines allowed them to expand to a 2nd tasting room and since then have installed a subterranean wine cave for the storage and aging of their fine wines.
We will return to the hotel after a sunny day, well fed and with a lovely wine-induced glow, and maybe some will take home some wine treasures from our featured wineries.

For more information see the Wine Tour Description.
See booking and payment details above - make sure to send payment by deadline.

Tour 74B: Group Fireworks Viewing

8 pm:
Cost $0
Limited to the first 48 people to register.
Minimum of 3 reservations needed by June 26; to coordinate shared taxi; otherwise you may make arrangements on your own.
Tour Description: Join a group to head to a nearby fireworks viewing venue.
Transportation to/from not included. We will facilitate shared cabs or other shared ride transport at approximately $5 each way per person.

See booking details above.

Tour 74C: Casino Tour with Gambling Credits

11am (flexible return):
Cost $35
Limited to the first 48 people to register.
Minimum of 12 paid reservations needed by June 16; otherwise tour subject to cancellation.

Tour Description:

Includes bus transport to/from the casino, casino tour, gaming instruction. Gambling credits will offset the cost of this tour, making this tour a bargain. Some casinos offer fireworks on this day in honor of Independence Day weekend.
For more info, check Convention Website Tours Page.
Book via iagsdc website, “My Events” page.

DISCLAIMER: All times and tour durations are approximations, and may vary due to number of participants, traffic patterns and other conditions not in the control of PS S&M ’17 or the tour operators. Tours subject to cancellation or consolidation as per the tour descriptions above.

 

* Tour Guide or Bus Driver Tips Encouraged

 

 

This page revised on June 4, 2017.