Frank, Lucy and Elvis

By | Category: Travel destinations
jeep and flowers in Palm springs

the Palm Springs surrounding area

Palm Springs in California was – and still is – home to some of the biggest named stars of the film and television industry. Is it any wonder then that tours of the homes of celebrities is big tourism business?

Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Cary Grant, Dean Martin, Elizabeth Taylor, Kirk Douglas, Marilyn Monroe and Sammy Davis Junior were just some of the Hollywood crowd who had houses there alongside such lesser known figures like Albert Einstein, Dwight Eisenhower, Herman Wouk and Truman Capote! In all there are some 360 people on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars. At least three showbiz people have been mayors of the city.

But the sun-drenched city out in the desert is hanging out the memories next month in honour of one of the twentieth century’s biggest stars – Frank Sinatra. In just one month’s time, on the 12th of December, he would have been 100.

Sinatra fans can tour his old haunts, including the Twin Palm Estate, the former home where he spent time with Ava Gardner; (which you can still hire but not on December 12th:) dine on “Steak Sinatra” at Johnny Costa’s, still owned by Frank’s one-time personal chef; party at the Purple Room, once a Rat Pack hangout where Sinatra proposed to his fourth wife; sit in “Sinatra Corner” at Melvyn’s and meet owner Mel Haber who will share stories of the crooner’s legendary life.

But it isn’t just his haunts that can be seen here. The biggest television star in the 1950’s and early 1960’s was a red-haired housewife character conceived by Lucille Ball. Even today, I can see episodes of I Love Lucy being seen on hotel television at places I have stayed. You can pass her old home on a walking tour of Old Las Palmas; stay at the Lucy House, a desert hideaway where Lucille was rumoured to have spent a weekend with Groucho Marx; drink at Bootlegger Tiki, the venue she took her co-stars after each episode of her 1960s TV show Here’s Lucy wrapped; and grab a photo with the famous redhead on The Lucy Ricardo bench in downtown Palm Springs.

Photo Courtesy of Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism

Photo Courtesy of Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism

You might not associate Elvis with Palm Springs but it was here that he spent his honeymoon. You can also explore Graceland West, a rumoured love nest where he sunbathed nude by the pool; search for the Elvis star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars; check out The King’s memorabilia at the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs; spend a night at The Riviera, where Elvis often stayed with his “Memphis Mafia”; try his best-loved hot pastrami sandwich at Sherman’s Deli & Bakery; and dine at his favourite Mexican eatery, Original Las Casuelas.

But it is “old blue eyes” himself who will attract most attention. People will go out to where he is buried at Desert Memorial Park and leave miniature bottles of Jank Daniels there – his favourite tipple and remember the man who revultionised music in the 1940’s

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: ,