Unexpected Arts Destinations

From Waiheke’s Maori sculptures to Asheville’s pottery, Addis Ababa’s jazz clubs to Louisville’s theater community, nine lesser-known artistic hubs around the world.

© Steve King, courtesy of TheModernTour.com
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Palm Springs

Though balmy Palm Springs has long been cherished as a golf destination thanks to an abundance of world-class courses, this Southern California desert enclave has more to offer than manicured greens. A veritable open-air museum of midcentury modern architecture, Palm Springs embodies post-war optimism with buildings conceived with clear lines, futuristic furnishing, and an open, outward orientation that lets in the desert’s brilliant light. Swiss architect Albert Frey, trained by le Corbusier, left memorable monuments like the whimsical City Hall (with a circular opening in the roof to allow tall palms to grow), and the kite-shaped Aerial Tramway gas station, now a visitor center. The Modern Tour, a private guided trip run by author and scholar Michael Stern, takes visitors to notable midcentury buildings and inside private homes that are usually off-limits to visitors.

Starts at $150 per person; 760-904-0904; themoderntour.com.