The phrase gay-friendly hardly describes the atmosphere and possibilities in Palm Springs. This small desert city is more than gay-friendly, it’s a complete community that’s open and has one of the highest concentration of LGBT residents in the nation. So why not spend your next vacation in Palm Springs with some of your best guy friends to enjoy the excitement, entertainment, relaxation plus so much more that Palm Springs has to offer.
Stay at an All Gay Resort
Gay resorts are abundant in this desert oasis. Below is a short list including some top favorites:
- East Canyon Hotel and Spa – While not clothing optional, it still affords visitors a great view, heated pool, fantastic music, fresh-baked cookies, high-quality treatment and a welcoming atmosphere. It's the perfect place to relax and unwind between shopping trips and bar hopping.
- InnDulge – a clean and welcoming place to stay with a great pool and friendly staff. Nice rooms with a great pool area and social happy hour included in the price.
- Escape Resort – Sparkling clean Jacuzzis, immaculately cared for grounds, scrumptious breakfasts that include Dunkin' Donuts, microwaves and mini refrigerators in every room; this clothing optional resort is nothing less than a peaceful paradise.
- The Hacienda at Warm Sands – a high-end place with stellar management staff and well worth the splurge. Partake in lunch by the pool or lounge around your room in the furnished soft and luxurious robes.
Note: Most gay men's resorts are clothing optional. Which, unless you're bringing along the whole family, is not necessarily a bad thing.
Where Is the Best Place for Brunch?
If you plan on hitting a drag show, you can kill two birds with one stone by attending the 11am Sunday Desert Divas Drag Brunch. Female impersonators perform Broadway music in a show that has not only taken Palm Springs by storm but is appropriate for the whole family. This brunch is presented by Rio Azul, a Mexican bar and grill.
Time to Explore Downtown Using the Local Buzz Trolley
Rarely on vacation do you find something for free, but the Buzz Trolley in California's Palm Springs is just that. If you're planning on staying a while and making the trolley your primary mode of transportation, consider getting a Perk Card. Every time you get on the trolley, you swipe your card. This gets you points which can put you in the running for big-ticket prizes.
Be Sure to Take the Gay Icons Tour
Tie your hair back because this tour takes place in an open-air Jeep and explores the city's LGBT heritage going back at least decades. The tour lasts 90 minutes and passes by celebrity homes, celebrates centuries of brave gay pioneers, discusses the important role played by residents of the LGBT community and introduces us to gay icons including some of those who were notoriously closeted.
Spend a Day in Nature and Explore
More open-air Jeep tours are available for those wanting to explore the adventures of the Palm Springs desert. Tours that show visitors everything there is to know about the desert are available everywhere you'd turn, so there will be no shortage of possibilities on any given day. If the actual desert is a little too wild for you, see gardens and nature in a more controlled setting at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens at nearby Palm Desert.
Don't Forget to Hit up Some of the Gay Bars and Clubs
- Toucans Tiki Lounge – open until 2am this nightclub features drag queens, theme nights and is undeniably gay.
- Tool Shed – great cocktails, bar games and perfect for tourists, this gay bar has dancers and DJs to accompany its cocktails and beer.
- Hunters Nightclub – located on possibly the gayest street in Palm Springs (Arenas Road), this nightclub features theme nights, DJs and is a gay club mainstay that opens at a bright and early 10am.
Take a Breather for a Day at The Spa
Palm Springs offers many different options for spas, including some gay specific venues. Here is a short list of a few options:
- The Spa at the Andreas – offering a full range of services including jacuzzi tubs and fireplaces that add a romantic touch to the experience.
- Azure Spa at Riviera – immerse yourself in a newly redesigned luxury spa resort. This facility provides full services including countless treatments, detoxifying massages and desert-inspired scrubs.
- The Men's Spa at La Dolce Vita Resort – get a body treatment, swim in one of the pools, or relax with a massage.
It's Time for Happy Hour!
It's always Happy Hour in Palm Springs but that aside, hit these gay bars for Happy Hour:
- Street Bar – Arenas Road gay bar with karaoke, live comedy and a laughable opening time of 10am.
- Spur Line – a video bar with something for everyone.
- Hunter’s– drink specials galore and friendly bartenders.
Wrap Up Your Gaycation with a Drag Performance
If Dessert Divas Drag Brunch (which really is one of the best drag shows in town) wasn't quite enough for you, then Toucans Tiki Lounge features drag queens as well as Retro Room Lounge, The Purple Room Supper Club, The Scorpion Room in Chili Bar, George E's Alibi and Oscar's Café and Bar.
Party up, boys!