Come for the movies, stay for the weekend.

Now in its 12th year, Cinema Diverse: The Palm Springs LGBTQ Film Festival will run from Thursday, Sept. 19 through Sunday, Sept. 22, at the historic Camelot Theatres. Cinema Diverse celebrates LGBTQ movies, presenting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender films from around the world.

The opening night film, For They Know Not What They Do, will screen at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 19, with special guests in attendance, including the Rev. Dr. Mel White, a Palm Springs clergyman and activist. For They Know Not What They Do is the latest film from Daniel Karslake, the director and producer of For the Bible Tells Me So. The movie focuses on families caught up in the campaign to limit the rights of LGBTQ citizens in the United States, and how the way to move forward is through love, acceptance, and reconciliation. 

Turn your trip to the film festival into a quick getaway by booking a room at one of our boutique hotels. All are gay friendly, and there are several men’s resorts (many clothing-optional!) catering to different communities, including leather and bear. The 32-room Canyon Club is within walking distance to the restaurants, shops, and museums in downtown Palm Springs, while Desert Paradise is in the center of Warm Sands, with 14 poolside rooms.

El Mirasol Villas is known for its spacious grounds, with two pools, an outdoor shower, a steam room, and a lanai with a fireplace, and the Hacienda at Warm Sands boasts unobstructed views of the gorgeous San Jacinto Mountains, a staff to guest room ratio of 1:1, and breakfast and lunch served daily.

“In August most of Europe goes on holiday.” ―Tony Visconti

In Palm Springs, just like Europe, many local shops/restaurants close, and take a vacation. That doesn’t mean we roll up the streets and close the blinds – we’re not a ghost town by any stretch of the imagination. We’re still mostly open, and have a ton of wonderful getaway hotels for you to have the perfect lazy break from the every day. Generally, prices go down a bit, so you can catch a real bargain.

And yes, Splash House is happening, but if you don’t already have tickets, you’re SOL. But I’ve still got some stuff you might fancy doing, so grab a coffee or a cocktail (I’m not judgy, it’s been a crap year.) and read on:

Gre Coffee House

Early mornings are still okay for a quick walk to a coffee shop; you can read about them here.

Want more than coffee? How about a breakfast-y, lunch-y, brunch-y situation? Here’s a great article about all of your brilliant choices. There is also newcomer, Sam’s Place, (now serving alcohol) where Ruby’s Diner used to be (2020 RIP).

Afterwards, wander up and down the strip. Most of it is enhanced with misters, so you’ll stay pretty cool while you do it. Don’t forget your hat and sunscreen though. And pay attention to where you’re walking, you might be stepping on one of your favorites on our Walk of Stars.

Stop in at Crystal Fantasy and have a reading (psychic, tarot, palm), or get a piece of jewelry with the latest TikTok must-have crystal, Moldavite. I’m told there’s a new girl in town that’s about to blow up on TikTok – you can ask their well-informed staff all about it, and what might work best for you. They also have woo-woo classes you should check out if you’re into the woo.

Time for a nap, right? How about a little sunbake (with sunscreen) by the pool. But not after 11 a.m., and don’t forget to hydrate your insides while you think about nothing until cocktail hour. We have some outstanding restaurants, and I’ve written another post about all of our international delights. We have outstanding American restaurants here, I just didn’t include them.

And…Wash. Rinse. Repeat. That’s what sane people do on a lazy getaway.

For those who are toeing the edge of sanity, aka anyone who needs to “do something”, then read on:

Shows:

PS Underground – see the full list here. They’ve got a new one, collaboration with Nickerson/Rossi Dance called Repertoire that looks pretty cool.

Music: 

Cascade Lounge in the Agua Caliente Spa courtesy of DJBaz

Wednesdays: Jazzville is back, and it has a new home! DJBaz brings in the best jazz players from around the country, so book these fabulous shows well in advance. At the Cascade Lounge in the Agua Caliente Spa in downtown Palm Springs.

Woody’s Motown Monday nights, Saturdays is the Stanley Butler Band, Sunday night entertainment is happening but so far it’s TBD.

Comedy!

August 6: Off The Charts Dispensary and Lounge brings nationally touring comedians to their Williams Road dispensary. “Raffles! Prizes! And Goodie Bags!” says the flyer. Seating is limited. Take an Uber. I don’t know the parking situation there. Nor is the event on their website. But I have a flyer, dammit.

The Cascade Room is not only bringing jazz, but also comedians to Agua Caliente Spa Casino.

8/20: Jamie Kennedy

8/27: Deon Cole

You’re A Star:

Snazzy Sassy Songsational Summerific Sing-a-Long

If you’re a fan of musicals, drag queens, gay choruses, and movie sing-a-longs, you’re gonna love this. The All-Summer Sing-A-Long at the Palm Springs Cultural Center.  If you’re into lifting your voice with like-minded people, this is church. Hosted by the fabulous Rosemary Galore. Book here.

We’ve also got the Retro Room, where you can Karaoke the night away, and it’s all about you, up on stage, belting your heart out.

Michael Holmes and the Purple Room are returning on 8/31. His Judy Show is my favorite show in Palm Springs – he plays Judy Garland, Bette Davis, and Pearl Bailey and he’s hilarious. When I told Michael I was looking forward to it, he said, “I’ve gained so much weight during Covid, I may have to do Totie Fields instead.” I’ve seen him, he looks great. Judy will go on, as will the other great acts he brings in from all over the country.

I can’t say this loud enough, BOOK FOR PRIDE NOW! Book your hotels, and book your seats for the parade. Roly China Fusion has the trifecta on parade day: Drag Queens, Drag Brunch, and a rooftop spot to watch the parade. Make reservations here. Or you can wing it on the street. But the hotels?  Do that for sure now.

On a personal note: We are a tight knit community. We know how lucky we are to live here. Palm Springs is a very special place. We care about each other. To that point: If you have been vaccinated, please, come enjoy the mask-free environment. If you haven’t been vaccinated, for whatever reason, I have a 93 y.o. uncle I’m trying to keep alive and thriving, so please wear a mask.

 

Palm Springs’ busy season is underway, with great events happening during the month of November!

Greater Palm Springs Pride  11/1-3

This popular LGBTQ festival brings the community together for free events that celebrate diversity, equality and solidarity, including live musical performances, a block party and a parade, as well as a number of events that are new this year, including the Art of Pride party at Palm Springs Art Museum (https://www.psmuseum.org/events/art-of-pride-2019) and the Priscilla Queen of the Desert musical at the Palm Canyon Theater in Palm Springs. (http://www.palmcanyontheatre.org/event/341b41a6bbd15534351787458f468456)

http://www/pspride.com

Greater Palm Springs Pride parade

 

Palm Springs Vintage Market  11/3

The monthly Palm Springs Vintage Market, held at the Palm Springs Cultural Center on the first Sunday of the month from October through May, features vintage furniture, decor, art, clothing, jewelry and more from local and national vendors, as well as delicious food (try the Heyday burger!) and live entertainment. http://www.palmspringsvintagemarket.com

Vintage Market

 

Amazing Grace Gospel Brunch  11/9

Enjoy gospel music and brunch (including a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar!) in the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Meyerman Sculpture Garden before heading into the museum’s Annenberg Theater for a special showing of the Aretha Franklin performance documentary, Amazing Grace.

https://www.psmuseum.org/events/amazing-grace?date=2019-11-09

Amazing Grace - Aretha Franklin

 

Alohana: A Palm Springs Celebration of Tiki Culture  11/9

Tiki lovers will not want to miss this new event at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, featuring a tiki marketplace, hula performance and hula lessons, a tiki culture history talk, musical performances, and a special interactive screening of the film “South Pacific.” https://www.eventbrite.com/e/alohana-a-palm-springs-celebration-of-tiki-culture-tickets-75943851103

Alohana flyer

 

Props & Hops Craft Beer Festival  11/23

Props & Hops returns for its eighth annual celebration of craft beer and aircrafts at the Palm Springs Air Museum, featuring beer tastings from local breweries including Desert Beer Company, Coachella Valley Brewing and La Quinta Brewing Co., as well as top breweries from across the country. Attendees can participate in aircraft rides over Palm Springs in vintage planes.

https://palmspringsairmuseum.org/programs/8th-annual-props-hops-craft-beer-festival/

Palm Springs Air Museum Props and Hops Festival

Red Carpet Run

Start the new year off with some fun events in Palm Springs!

Backstreet Art District

Artwalk at the Backstreet Art District     1/1

On the first Wednesday of each month, the galleries of the Backstreet Art District in South Palm Springs open their doors for an evening of art, community, refreshments and fun.  https://backstreetartdistrict.com/

 

Palm Springs International Film Festival

Palm Springs International Film Festival     1/2 – 1/13

The Palm Springs International Film Festival is one of the largest film festivals in North America, held annually during the first week of January. The event kicks off with the Film Awards Gala at the Palm Springs Convention Center, featuring the presentation of awards to top stars in the previous year’s best films. Throughout the week, hundreds of film screenings are held throughout the city, including domestic and foreign films, along with educational talks and panels. https://www.psfilmfest.org/

 

Palm Springs Vintage Market

Palm Springs Vintage Market     1/5

The monthly Palm Springs Vintage Market is held at the Palm Springs Cultural Center on the first Sunday of the month from October through May, featuring vintage furniture, art, decorative items, clothing, jewelry and more from local and national vendors, as well as delicious food and live entertainment. http://www.palmspringsvintagemarket.com

 

Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway house

Elvis Birthday Celebration     1/11

The Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway House, where Elvis and Priscilla Presley spent their honeymoon in 1967, is hosting a special Elvis birthday celebration show, featuring acclaimed impersonator George Thomas. The event begins with a tour of the property, followed by a live performance. https://elvisinpalmsprings.com/tours/

 

Red Carpet Run

PSIFF Red Carpet Run     1/11

The Palm Springs International Film Festival Red Carpet Run includes both a 5K and 10K run/walk, beginning and ending on the red carpet and following a route that includes former Palm Springs homes of iconic Hollywood stars. Participants don gowns, tuxes and other festive attire during this fun and crazy race, and finishers are presented with their own Oscar trophies. https://organizations.hakuapp.com/organizations/3221744e287a6441c1dd/events/562099c3caa8cadca357

 

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Let’s Talk Speakers Series – The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow    1/23

Learn about one of the desert’s most treasured landmarks, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, during this informative and entertaining talk at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. Greg Purdy, the tram’s VP of Marketing and Public Affairs, and Cara Youngman, Public Relations Manager, will explore the visionaries who conceived of the tram, the people behind its design and construction, its importance to Palm Springs today, and plans for the future.

https://pshistoricalsociety.org/products/lets-talk-the-palm-springs-aerial-tramway-yesterday-today-and-tomorrow

PS Gay Men's Chorus - Modern Family Holiday

It’s holiday season here in Palm Springs and the town is buzzing with activity and fun events. Schedule a getaway and get in some room-side pool time and holiday shopping while you’re in town checking out these don’t miss LGBTQ events in Palm Springs:

Holiday Dinner Show: Judy’s Old-Fashioned Christmas  12/1/19 – 12/29/19

At Michael Holmes’ Purple Room, this special holiday show is a blend of hysterical comedy and outstanding music that explodes into an evening of nonstop belly laughs, glamour and high camp, as celebrated entertainer Michael Holmes parodies Judy Garland, who in her 1964 television variety show, played host to some of the greatest female icons of the Golden Age of Hollywood. The spirit of Judy Garland is alive and well and in Palm Springs! Find out more here.

Judy's Old Fashioned Christmas

 

Sanctuary’s Holiday Spectacular  12/8/19

‘Tis the season to support the fourth Annual Holiday Spectacular – Holiday Socks, benefiting the Sanctuary Palm Springs. On Sunday, December 8 from 5 to 7:30pm, at the iconic Spencer’s Restaurant, this fun-filled cocktail reception, smashing hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment, not-so-silent auction and a rousing live auction benefits LGBTQ+ youth who are aging out of the foster system. Hear a grand performance from Broadway veteran David Burnham; celebrity emcee – comedian, actor and adoptive parent and star of Desperate Housewives Alec Mapa; and Dottie and Maude (aka Les Dames du Soleil) will add flair to the auctions. Limited tickets available. Find our more here.

Sanctuary's Holiday Spectacular

The Skivvies – I Touch My Elf  12/13/19 & 12/14/19

For two nights at The Purple Room, enjoy dinner and a show: “Alt-cabaret, new burlesque: Whatever you call it, the jolly musical comedy of the Skivvies, a troupe of entertainers who perform in their underwear, joyfully rock.” – New York Times. Acclaimed undie-rock stars, THE SKIVVIES, head to the entertainment capital of the world for “PALM SPRINGS STRIPPED”! Special guests to be announced. Presented by The Purple Room in association with Chris Isaacson Presents. Enjoy dinner at 6pm and a show at 8pm. Find out more here.

The Skivvies - I Touch My Elf

Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus “A Modern Family Holiday” at The Annenberg Theater  12/20/19 – 12/22/19

“A Modern Family Holiday” will be a showcase of traditional favorites along with new music from some of today’s most talented composers and lyricists. The theme of the evening is all about embracing our new modern families. Ticket prices range from $25 – $55. Shows at 7pm on Friday and Saturday and 3pm on Sunday. Find out more here.

PS Gay Men's Chorus - Modern Family Holiday

31st Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival – Gay!La (Date TBA)      1/1/20 – 1/13/20

The famous Palm Springs International Film Festival is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming over 135,000 attendees each year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Gay!La event, honoring the LGBTQ community and film industry. This event is an annual highlight during the Palm Springs International Film Festival. With lots of great music and lots of great fun, you won’t want to miss this evening’s vibrant event. The full festival offers 12 days of events and film screenings featuring over 200 films from 60+ countries. We welcome you to join us at our venues in Palm Springs and Cathedral City. See you at the movies! Find out more here.

Palm Springs International Film Festival - Gay!La

Walk of the Inns

The holidays have come to Palm Springs. Just because the weather is warm (and beautiful) doesn’t mean that you can’t find the holiday spirit. One way to do that is to go on the Walk of the Inns on December 12, where you can enjoy a festive holiday vibe while going on an exclusive tour of many of the area’s lovely small boutique hotels. This self-guided tour is free and runs from 6 to 9 p.m.

Amin Casa for Walk of the Inns

The charm of these small hotels, many of them historic, creates the warm ambiance of the holidays with their twinkling lights and other decorations. The mid-century modern, Spanish, and Mediterranean architecture of many of these hotels enhances their appeal.  You can just imagine how Hollywood celebrities in the 1940s and 50s savored the holiday season in these magical retreats away from the buzz of Sunset Boulevard.

Palm Springs Museum interiorIf you want to participate, you can begin your walk at the Palm Springs Art Museum or the Palm Springs Women’s Club, where you will receive a map of participating hotels, enjoy live entertainment, and pick up a flashlight to illuminate your walk. At these two locations, you can also drop off gifts and toys for the annual fundraiser, Well in the Desert, which donates gifts to those in need in the Greater Palm Springs area. What better way to get in the holiday spirit than by giving to others.

Casa Cody poolOne of the oldest inns participating in the walk is Casa Cody, which includes lovely villas and cottages that were originally built to house athletes during the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. Other enchanting boutique hotels will be featuring a cheerful holiday atmosphere during the walk.

Village Fest Palm SpringsWhile you are walking around, you can also enjoy Palm Springs’ Thursday Night Village Fest for enticing food, entertainment, and shopping for the holidays.  There’s no better way to launch the holiday season in Palm Springs.

By Brian Garrido, La Serena Villas

Located in the heart of glamorous Palm Springs, Azúcar, the charming restaurant within the luxury boutique hotel, La Serena Villas, couples with the delicious, estate-crafted tequila, Azuñia tequila. For one evening, starting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16, four tequila cocktails will be paired with carefully prepared dishes by the chefs at Azúcar.

The cost per person is $60 and includes all food and tequila pairings. Gratuity and tax not included.  Reservations can be made via Opentable.com or by calling (844) 932 – 8044. Azúcar is located at 339 South Belardo Road, Palm Springs, CA, 92262, inside La Serena Villas.

To learn more about this exclusive event, follow Azúcar on Facebook and Instagram or visit the website at www.azucarpalmsprings.com. Breakfast is served from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; lunch is from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.; happy hour is only at the bar from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.; and dinner is 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Sunday – Thursday and on Friday and Saturday until 10:00 p.m. Light appetizers served from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. This is a 21 and over establishment. Reservations are strongly suggested.

Since opening late 2017, Azúcar Palm Springs has become a culinary star in Southern California’s desert dining scene with enticing food and handcrafted cocktails. A 2019 OpenTable Diners Choice awardee, the 110-seat restaurant, showcases modern contemporary cuisine with an emphasis and focus on flavor while utilizing exceptional local ingredients. Located on the second floor, Sugar High is a cozy Boho chic meets cool Palm Springs retreat where area locals are often gathering for the perfect slice of heaven sipping on amazing cocktails, noshing on appetizers while being surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the San Jacinto mountains.

About Azuñia Tequila

Azuñia is smooth, clean craft tequila with authentic flavor from the local terroir in every sip. It is the exclusive export of Agaveros Unidos de Amatitán and its second-generation, family-owned-and-operated Rancho Miravalle estate, which has created exceptional tequila for over 20 years. Made with 100% pure Weber Blue Agave grown in dedicated fields of the Tequila Valley, we harvest by hand and roast the organic agave in traditional clay hornos to ensure authenticity and depth of flavor. We then finish with a natural, open-air fermentation process and bottle onsite in small batches using a consistent process to deliver field-to-bottle quality. For more information, please visit Azunia.com. For media inquiries, contact Jenn Barber, jbarber@azuniatequila.com, 760-331-7914.

About La Serena Villas: 

Originally built in 1933, La Serena Villas is a luxury boutique property with 18 rooms, a serene pool and an intimate spa called Whispers. The historic hotel sits on more than an acre of beautifully landscaped grounds in the heart of downtown Palm Springs. Set a peaceful block away, but within walking distance to the famous Palm Canyon Drive, guests will find the resort city’s local restaurants, boutiques, and galleries.

Our 18 guest rooms are uniquely different in design with several offering outdoor tubs, fireplace, plunge pool, or a private spa. Many also feature private front patios with a swing or large back deck for privacy. Villa 18 offers a full kitchen and can be joined with Villa 16 for a two-bedroom retreat. The stunning San Jacinto Mountains provide a dramatic backdrop for La Serena Villas and visitors to the restaurant. All rooms are well-appointed featuring luxurious Frette linens and towels. Amenities include L’Occitane, La Serena Villas robes, hairdryers, Keurig coffeemakers, and 40-inch flat screen televisions.

La Serena Villas is located at 339 South Belardo Road, Palm Springs, CA, 92262. Phone is (844) 932-8044. You can find us on social media at Facebook and Instagram.  This is a non-smoking, pet-friendly and 21 and over only hotel.