Palm Springs, an oasis in the desert, has been a favorite gay getaway spot for decades. Just shy of a two-hour drive from Los Angeles, this resort city has plenty to offer those seeking sun and relaxation. On your next desert visit, check out Palm Springs’ magnificent outdoor scenery, mid-century architecture, a newly revamped fine-dining scene and lively LGBT nightlife.
The main gay drag of Palm Springs, Arenas Road and the surrounding neighborhood has several gay places for you to bar hop. Chill is a hip bar that welcomes a diverse crowd for sipping drinks and socializing. On a mild day, you can sit out on the patio and check out the street action.
If you prefer an attitude-free zone, Streetbar is the place for you. This friendly bar has great drink specials and a cocktail program, plus nightly entertainment, including karaoke. For those who like to get down and dirty, Hunter’s, the local gay video bar, has great DJ lineups on the weekend that’ll keep you on the dance floor.
Downtown Palm Springs
Gay-friendly restaurants like Tropicale (featuring a beautiful outdoor sitting area) are everywhere in Downtown Palm Springs. For Friday happy hour, you’ll find locals at Wang’s in the Desert sipping cocktails after a long workweek. Don’t forget to check out the huge Buddha sitting in the courtyard, and rub its belly for luck when you pass.
For the desert’s hardcore leather crowd, Tool Shed is about three minutes away from Arenas Road. The bar offers different nightly events like Leather Tuesday and Sunday’s Beer Bust, and it’s the perfect hole in the wall for a little dirty fun.
Events & Festivals
Palm Springs has become a popular hub for international events and festivals. Coachella, America’s biggest and most popular music festival, attracts thousands of people every April for two weekends of outdoor fun.
Another signature event, White Party Palm Springs, follows immediately after. Since 1990, this party—organized by SoCal’s “King of Nightlife” Jeffrey Sanker—has hosted world-famous DJs and performers (from Lady Gaga to Jennifer Lopez) and has entertained thousands of fun-seeking guys.
Finally, Palm Springs Pride takes place in the late fall (once the weather has cooled from temps in the 100s), with a parade, performances and multiple parties scheduled. With plenty things to do, there’ssimply never a dull moment in gay Palm Springs.
Feature image via Richard Thomas/Flickr