The next time you’re traveling through Southern California, think about making one of these fab mid-century modern pads your home base:

> The Horizon Hotel in Palm Springs

The Avalon Hotel's mod exterior (Photograph by Muy Yum, Flickr)

The Avalon Hotel’s mod exterior (Photograph by Muy Yum, Flickr)

This two-and-a-half-acre compound surrounded by palms and the San Jacinto Mountains was built in 1952 as a private getaway for a Hollywood mogul.

Distinguished by the era’s trademark sharp angles, floor-to-ceiling windows, and low-slung walls, the property abounds with nods to its past (check out the black-and-white photos in the lobby). A complimentary breakfast is delivered to your room or patio. From $109

> Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills

Originally constructed in 1949 as the Beverly Carlton, this refurbished gem features geometric patterns and furniture by mid-century masters such as Charles Eames.

The Pearl in San Diego (Photograph by mindimer, Flickr)

The Pearl in San Diego (Photograph by mindimer, Flickr)

Visitors come not only for the distinct style but also for its storied past—Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were frequent guests. Spend downtime at the cabana-lined, hourglass pool, where complimentary yoga is offered on Saturday mornings. From $240

> The Pearl Hotel in San Diego

With its shag rugs, bubble lamps, and vintage furnishings, this retro motel turned stylish boutique is a mid-century time capsule, two blocks from the San Diego Harbor.

A jelly-bean-shaped swimming pool surrounded by butterfly lounge chairs is the setting for weekly “dive-in” movie screenings, while in the 23 guest rooms, platform beds and mirrored ceilings are cheeky references to the swinging ’60s. From $129

This article, reported by Jackie Caradonio, appeared in the November 2013 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine.