DISCOUNT DESIGNER DUDS
In search of a premiere-worthy outfit? Stop by the Desert Hills Premium Outlets (premium) on your way into town. But wear comfortable shoes, as there are about 130 shops -- including Barneys New York, Prada and YSL -- to trawl.
BLASTS FROM THE PAST
The racks at Celebrity Seconds (333 N. Palm Canyon Drive,  416-2072) are dripping with sequined and bugle-beaded finery worn by Ann-Margret, Ginger Rogers and other glamour gals. The Frippery (2005 N. Palm Canyon Drive, B1;  864-9390) in the 111 Antique Mall has vintage duds at vintage prices, while the recently opened Retrospect (666 N. Palm Canyon Drive,  416-1766) carries antique jewelry and accessories from the 1920s to '70s.
NOURISHMENT ON THE GO
A great spot to refuel between epic shopping excursions and epic movie screenings is the brand-new gourmet deli Jake's Ready-to-Eat (664 N. Palm Canyon Drive,  327-4400), which serves comfort food with a twist. Try the pork tenderloin sandwich topped with wine-poached pears and Gorgonzola on ciabatta bread. For dessert, walk a few blocks to the old-fashioned candy store in the Village Green Heritage Center (221-223 S. Palm Canyon Drive) and order a frosty date shake.
THOROUGHLY MODERNIST MILLING
Palm Springs has some of the world's finest examples of mid-20th century Modernist architecture, such as John Lautner's Elrod house (pictured below). PS Modern's 2 1/2 -hour narrated jaunt is highly recommended ($55;  318-6118), but if you prefer to check out the numerous groovy pads designed by masters Lautner, Richard Neutra and Albert Frey on your own, pick up a copy of the Palm Springs Modern Committee's map and driving guide at the Palm Springs Visitor Information Center -- which is itself located in an iconic building, Frey's Tramway gas station (2901 N. Palm Canyon Drive, palm-springs.org).
HERE, YOU CAN LOOK DOWN AT THE WORLD
You can also buy tickets at the visitor center for a ride to the top of nearby Mt. San Jacinto on Palm Springs' Aerial Tramway (pictured above). Don't forget a jacket, as the temperature can drop by up to 40 degrees en route. The 10-minute trip from the desert floor to the 10,834-foot peak via cable car is at times terrifying, but the views are worth it. ($21.95, adults; $14.95, kids; pstramway.com) Soothe your nerves with a stiff drink at the Lookout Lounge, one of three dining establishments at the top.
A NEW DESERT HIDEAWAY
The whimsical Jonathan Adler-designed Parker Hotel is still a hot property, but the new Colony Palms (572 N. Indian Canyon Drive, colony) has stepped into the limelight after receiving a $16-million revamp by Martyn Lawrence Bullard. Originally a mobster's speak-easy, brothel and gambling establishment, the 56-room boutique hotel features French tiles, Uzbekistani textiles and vintage photos. Like many hotels, it's offering discounted rates for film festival attendees.
BUNK DOWN IN A BUNGALOW
Still, why book a mere room when you can get an entire house? For several years, über-Mod design store Room Service (625 N. Palm Canyon Drive, roomservicestore.com) has been buying classic midcentury bungalows and turning them into vacation rentals. Among the properties available for $500 a night is a three-bedroom/two-bathroom house designed by architect Donald Wexler.