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‘Tis the season! The next three months in Palm Springs not only provide more local entertainment, but we have three huge events. Read on weekend warriors!

The Dinah

September 21-25: The Dinah is the largest queer, lesbian, non-binary party in the world. I’m very sorry I didn’t tell you about this back in August, but I was under the impression that the whole shebang had moved entirely away from Palm Springs. In a city that celebrates the LGBTQ community, that made me sad. I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again: Lesbians are underserved in Palm Springs. No lesbian hotels, and no lesbian bars. Even the Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Festival is now held in Cathedral City which, incidentally, is where gay bars originated. You can read all about the history of gay Palm Springs in one of my earlier blogs, but here’s a historical factoid from it: Gloria Green opened the first gay and lesbian bar in Cat City. Girls were also the first hoteliers and put Palm Springs on the map. They were the mothers of Palm Springs. And nothing got done without them. (Who run the world? Girls!)

As it turns out, Dinah just switched hotels — the events are now at Margaritaville, at the corner of Vista Chino and Indian Canyon. However, if you’re looking to combine a true Palm Springs experience with your party plans, check out our selection of boutique hotels. There may not be a lesbian hotel, but they’re all inclusive except, perhaps, the gay men’s resorts (and lesbians are likely to eschew that option anyway).

Having fun at The Dinah. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

Headline events

Sept. 22: 

Dinah’s official opening night party at AsiaSF Palm Springs

Sept. 23: 

Girl Spot Friday featuring Riela from noon to 5 p.m.

The Black and White Ball from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., with performances by ’80s music superstar Taylor Dayne and Haviah Mighty

Sept. 24: 

The L Word Pool Party from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with performances by IV4 and Cassidy King and the hottest DJs

The Hollywood Party from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., featuring Fletcher. The red carpet arrivals start at 9.

Sept. 25: 

Sunday Fun Day Pool Party from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with appearances by  Zolita, Siena Liggins, Fletcher, Haviah Mighty, Cassidy King, IV4,, IV Jay, Siena Liggins, and Taylor Dayne.

Modernism Week October

October 13 to 16 is Modernism Week October. Formerly known as Modernism Week Preview, they’ve rebranded because what happens in October is not what will happen in February. The bus tours remain the same, but the home tours and other events are different.

I was going to list all of the events here, but hoo boy, the list is looooong. So here’s a link.

A Modernism Week bus tour. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

Palm Springs Pride

November 4 to 6 is Palm Springs Pride, with the theme “Say Gay.” The biggest, bestest party around. I’m a cis-girl who doesn’t like crowds, but I always make it to the parade. Note: I have never liked parades, but I like this one. Why? Because everyone is just being, and when you’re just being, you’re happy.

FYI: Just prior to Palm Springs Pride, we’ve got Leather Pride from October 27 to 29, with multiple events at different locations. Here’s a link for you.

Although it’s two months away, you should book your hotel for Pride now. Might I suggest one of our men’s resorts? Most are clothing optional and all are lovely, but each one is unique: Here’s the inside scoop.

Book tickets and stays now — all of these events and rooms sell out super fast. While you’re in town, check out the best queer shopping in Palm Springs. Staying and shopping local keeps the best little oasis in the desert surviving, if not thriving.

Have fun, and stay safe!

Palm Springs Pride Parade. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

 

Holy Ned, October is jamming! We’ve got Modernism Week Preview plus Palm Springs Leather Pride. If neither of those float your boat, there’s HALLOWEEN! It’s a huge holiday here in Palm Springs, and Halloween on Arenas is sick (in the best way possible). Costumes are off the charts creative, and the whole town is one big party.  

And now that it’s cooling down, all of our venues are heating way up. Keep in mind many indoor events require a vaccination card and a mask. Hey, the world is a bit of a horror show these days, but Palm Springs knows how to be safe and party. 

So now, without further ado, say hello to October events:  

Jazzville Shows at Agua Caliente Casino Cascade Lounge  

MFUO Featuring Jacques Lesure — Thursday, October 7, 7 p.m. 

Rumproller Organ Trio at Jazzville Palm Springs — Thursday, October 14, 7 p.m. 

Dan Delgado Sextet — Thursday, October 21, 7 p.m. 

Agua Caliente Casino Caliente Comedy 

Craig Conant  — Friday, October 1, 8 p.m. 

Pablo Francisco Comedy — Friday, October 8, 8 p.m. 

Brian Scolaro — Friday, October 15, 8 p.m. 

Tom Arnold — Friday, October 29, 8 p.m. 

Lalo Guerrero Tribute Show — Thursday, October 28, 7 p.m. 

Cultural Center – Camelot Theatres 

Drag O Rama featuring Rosemary Galore
Sunday, October 3, 2:30 p.m. (repeating Sundays)
Tickets starting at $15

 

Presenting Drag O Rama

 

REPO! The Genetic Opera — special screening of the cult horror film
Thursday, October 7, 6 p.m. social hour, event at 7 p.m. 

Chip ‘N’ Dru: Our Favorite Sings
Saturday, October 9, 6 p.m.

Multi-talented singer Dru Rutledge and veteran Broadway pianist Chip Prince present Our Favorite Sings. Featuring a multi-genre selection of songs in the style of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Debussy, Puccini, Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, Broadway, Opera, Top 40 chart toppers, and more!  

Martinis and Moxie: A Society Social
Friday, October 15, 6 p.m.

A “My Way” society revue celebrating the life and music of Frank Sinatra.  

2021 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival
Thursday, October 21, 7:30 p.m.

Founded in 2000 by the late mystery author and Palm Springs community leader Arthur Lyons, the popular Film Noir Festival includes an eclectic mixture of prestigious and obscure black and white B movies from the classic film noir period. The festival is known for unearthing and screening rare films, restored classics, and for the special appearances of the stars who were in them.  

The Purple Room 

Tuesdays: Rose Mallett 

Wednesdays: Michael Holmes and Darci Daniels 

Thursdays: Sharon Sills 

Fridays and Saturdays: Ticketed events 

Sundays: The Judy Show   

PS Underground 

That’s Amore, an Italian feast set to music.
Saturday, October 2, 7 p.m. 

Gospel Brunch featuring great music and Keisha D.
Sunday, October 3, 11 a.m. 

Ovation! A Jazzed Up Sunday Brunch
Sunday, October 10, 11 a.m. 

Death by Cheese, a ghoulishly cheesy Sunday brunch.
Sunday, October 24, 11 a.m.  

420 Bank Dispensary and Lounge 

Cheech Meet & Greet
Friday, October 1, 3 p.m. 

Kottonmouth Kings with DLOC
Saturday, October 23, 9 p.m. 

Rabbit Country
Friday, October 15, 6 p.m. 

Open Mic Night
Thursdays — October 7, 14, 21 

Oscar’s House Parties 

Saturdays: Mimosa Men (Brunch) 

Sundays: Bitchiest Brunch 

Sundays: World Famous T-Dance  

Oscar’s Special Events 

Edie Las Vegas Showgirls: Unleashed (ticketed event) — Saturday, October 2, 7 to 9 p.m. 

Sandra Bernhardt — Monday, October 4 and Tuesday, October 5

Remembering The Golden Girls — Wednesday, October 6

An Evening With Cameron Ross — Thursday, October 14

Melissa Manchester outdoor concert — Thursday, October 21 and Friday, October 22

Theater 

Desert Rose Playhouse Presents Xanadu 

Thursday to Sunday, through October 17 

(Note: So far their season has been spectacular!)  

Palm Canyon Theater 

Sordid Lives — Through October 3 

Shrek The Musical — Beginning October 22 

More options 

Wind and Wine Paint Party
Saturday, October 16, 11 a.m.
Palm Springs Windmill Tours
Wine glass painting class and Windmill Tour  

Paint Splatter at Superbloom Studios
Thursday, October 14, 6 p.m.
Starts at $150.00  

The Gem Show at Palm Springs Convention Center
October 21 through 24   

Modernism Fall Preview
October 14 through 17
 

Halloween 

Palm Springs Cultural Center 

Jazzville Creepy Cocktail Party
Sunday, October 31, 3 p.m. 

Cinema Bizarro: Best of Retro Cartoon Halloween Specials
Sunday, October 31, 1 p.m.  

Jazzville Presents The Jazz Cartel Halloween Special
Sunday, October 31, 5 p.m. 

Hocus Pocus hosted by the Sanderson Sisters
Sunday, October 31, 5 p.m.

A screening of Hocus Pocus with special guests the Sanderson Sisters. Kids receive a (kinda) real magic wand from the spooky woods of Salem.  

Zombie Burlesque Cocktail Party
Sunday, October 31, 6 p.m.  

The Three Michaels playing the Halloween score live, plus private party
Sunday, October 31, 8 p.m. 

An ode to John Carpenter’s Halloween with the musical score, scares, and skits performed live in front of an abbreviated version of the film projected on the big screen. 

Dirty Little Secrets Presents Shock Theater Spooktacular
Sunday, October 31 8 p.m.

California’s longest running burlesque and variety show. From zombies to fire performers, this eclectic shock theater of sensational striptease will keep you laughing and howling all night! 

PS Underground 

BITE – a bloody vampire dinner
October 26, 27, 28, 31, 7 p.m. 

Halloween on Arenas Road – The Queen Of All Halloween Parties
The party starts at 4 p.m. and goes until 11 p.m.. Take an Uber/Lyft, parking will suck, and you’ll likely get pretty boozy. There’s too much to talk about, so I’m just sending you to the link. Prizes up to $1,800! 

For Gay Men Only

The Dirty Show with Skyler Gentry
Wednesday, October 6, 7 p.m.

$25 includes complimentary booze, snacks, pre-show and post-show party after every performance. The venue is outdoors with spaced seating. 

Hot Uncle at the Barracks
Saturday, October 16, 9 p.m.  
 

Palm Springs Leather Pride 2021: Unlocked: Full Release
Begins October 26 and runs through October 31. Multiple venues, starting at Eagle 501 bar.  SO MANY EVENTS! Event packages (too easy) here. Need some leather? Try Gear and Rough Trade Gear. 

That’ll do it for October. Don’t forget to shop and stay local. See you in November!  

Looking for a serene resort in which to relax? A romantic getaway? A fun and fabulous hotel with high energy? Or a place to catch some sun on your buns?

Here’s the thing about boutique hotels in Palm Springs: they’re each so very different. 

So, how do you choose the one that best suits you? Here’s a tip:

Use PSPSH’s vibe sorter to increase your odds of landing in the perfect boutique hotel or resort. There are six vibes to choose from:

Stay in Style: Perfectly Designed Palm Springs Hotels: Palm Springs boutique hotels are known worldwide for their attention to style and design. So, if you’re intrigued by staying in a well-appointed hotel that places an emphasis on architectural flair, there’s a hotel for you. Palm Springs is a design hot spot, and modernism aficionados flock here year-round to stay in some of the finest and most authentic examples of desert-modern and mid-century design. But there are also prime examples of historical Art Deco, Mediterranean, and contemporary design. 

Les Cactus, a laid-back escape

Utterly Tranquil:  Forget the party scene — these hotels cultivate serene quiet environments where social interaction is minimal and staff can usually help you book an on-site massage or a delivered dinner from one of Palm Springs’ many amazing restaurants (some even have restaurants on site!). These hotels are small and intimate…just perfect for that writing, meditation, or personal rejuvenation retreat you long for. 

Do Not Disturb: These romantic Palm Springs hotels offer the ideal destinations for that anniversary celebration, honeymoon, or first — or 100th — getaway. These dreamy properties offer exquisite gardens and intimate spaces with plenty of comfort and indulgence for every beautifully love-filled vacation.

Korakia, one of the most romantic hotels in Palm Springs

Fabulous & Fun Palm Springs Hotels: Sometimes you just have to cut loose! These hotels are known for supporting their guests’ desire for a playful, unforgettable Palm Springs experience. They’re ideal for a bachelor party, a girl’s weekend away, or a reunion with college friends or family. Most of these hotels have less than a dozen rooms — perfect for property buy outs — so you and your party can have the whole place to your party-happy selves. 

Nakedly Confident: Clothing-Optional Desert Resorts: If you love a safe, body-positive environment that welcomes the sun on your skin, you’ll be in your element at these clothing-optional Palm Springs small hotels. Many of these clothing-optional resorts cater to gay men, but a few welcome the ladies and couples, too. 

The Santiago, a men’s clothing-optional hotel.

Culturally Queer: LGBTQ Palm Springs Hotels are Here  The gay community put Palm Springs back on the map. From the bearlicious to the salacious, fit for a queen or perfectly serene, you’ll find an extraordinary concentration of jaw-dropping resorts in Palm Springs that cater to gay men (but also welcome their sisters and allies). Find out why Palm Springs has been a desirable destination for the LGTBQ community for more than five decades.

Chaps Inn caters to the gay leather and bear communities

The Chaps Inn offers comfort and relaxation in a secluded environment.

Stuart and Ian have owned the resort for almost 20 years, coming to Palm Springs from the UK.

“We had nothing to do with the hotel business at all, we just went straight in cold turkey,” Ian said. “We woke up one morning and thought, ‘Now what?’ It’s been a very good experience.”

The Chaps Inn is a 10-room clothing-optional gay resort, with a saltwater pool and spa. Most rooms have kitchens or kitchenettes, some have private patios, and the hotel is within walking distance of downtown Palm Springs. It caters to the leather and bear communities, and sees a lot of return guests.

“They always tell us what a wonderful time they’ve had, and that they will be back,” Ian said.

When they purchased the property, it was a straight resort and not clothing optional, but Stuart and Ian quickly picked up a client base through word of mouth. The couple enjoys getting to meet their new guests and greet return ones, and they don’t mind when the temperature soars.

“The weather is fabulous,” Ian said. “We’re both from England, so we absolutely love the heat.”

There are tons of gay-owned gems and LGBTQIA+-friendly shops to explore in Palm Springs, which is great news if you’re in town for a getaway or live here in the Coachella Valley. Our desert oasis is a cornucopia of quirky gifts, mid-century modern household goods, thrift stores that give back to the queer community, and everything in between. So if you’ve got $500 that’s just burning a hole through your wallet right now, consider making some time for a little retail therapy. Here are my votes for the best queer shopping in Palm Springs:

Adult gifts (for men)

Gear Leather & Fetish

For men who like to play hard, Gear Leather & Fetish on East Sunny Dunes Road carries some of the best fetish products from the top manufacturers in the world. Go grab a beer at the Tool Shed next door for some inspiration first.

Rough Trade Gear Palm Springs

The Arenas District in Palm Springs is home to Rough Trade Gear, featuring some of the sexiest men’s street, fetish, sport, and play wear. It’s just one of many shopping options in the ever-popular Arenas District “gayborhood.”

Antiques shopping

Palm Springs Vintage Market

The Palm Springs Vintage Market features the best selection of Southern California vendors selling vintage and antique furniture, art, clothing, jewelry, and home furnishings. Experience it for yourself on the first Sunday of every month (October through May), from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Palm Springs Cultural Center (formerly Camelot Theatre).

Antique Galleries of Palm Springs

If you can’t catch the Vintage Market, you can discover all sorts of inspiring things at Antique Galleries of Palm Springs. They have one of the largest collections of antique, vintage, and retro everything in the Coachella Valley.

This is just one corner of Antique Galleries of Palm Springs. Photo credit: Gregory Douglass

Clothing (for men) 

GayMart USA

In the heart of the Arenas District, GayMart USA proudly refers to itself as “America’s Favorite Gay Superstore.” Their specialty is swimwear and underwear of all kinds, but they also sell entertaining cards, presents, and toys for adults.

GayMart USA has it all. Photo credit: Gregory Douglass

Division Palm Springs

If you really want to dress the part of a Palm Springs local, Division Palm Springs is the place to shop. Also nestled in the Arenas District, Division always has a beautifully curated contemporary collection of button downs, clever T-shirts, classy swimwear, and ever-popular short-shorts that practically every gay man in town wears with pride.

Division’s storefront gives you a hint of what’s inside. Photo credit: Gregory Douglass

Gifts

Queertique Palm Springs

There’s no shop more unique in Palm Springs than Queertique. They are a queer lifestyle shop dedicated to amplifying the voices of independent queer artists and their art and apparel. You can even take a selfie in the store’s fabulous dressing room (and be sure to tag them in your Instagram post if you do)!

There is so much to see at Queertique. Photo credit: Gregory Douglass

Just Fabulous Palm Springs

Just Fabulous Palm Springs is, well, … just fabulous! Located next to Koffi North in the Uptown District, Just Fabulous is a lifestyle boutique with artwork, original gifts, mid-century modern photo books, and modern home decor items that are as inspiring as they are entertaining. Their greeting card selection alone could keep you entertained all afternoon.

Home furnishings

Ace Hardware

Yes, you read that right. Palm Springs Ace Hardware isn’t just your daddy’s hardware store (or is it)? It’s every gay man’s ideal version of a hardware store, and then some. From beautiful mid-century modern patio furniture to a vast selection of HVAC air filters, Ace is the place (sorry, I couldn’t resist) for all of your desert household needs. And they are as LGBTQ+ community-focused as a local business can be.

PS Homeboys

PS Homeboys are primarily home-staging specialists, but they’ve got a stunning showroom in the Arenas District full of beautiful, reasonably priced indoor/outdoor furniture and home decor. You can even browse through their inspiring wallpaper library to find the perfect look for your desert dwellings.

Design inspiration abounds at PS Homeboys. Photo credit: Gregory Douglass

Thrift stores 

Revivals

Revivals knows how to put the “care” in health care! The most socially-conscious gay locals shop and donate their furniture, appliances, jewelry, artwork, and time at Revivals. This is because all four Revivals store locations in the Coachella Valley donate 100 percent of their revenue, amounting to more than $1 million annually, to support comprehensive healthcare at DAP Health (the Desert AIDS Project).

Mitchells Palm Springs

Mitchells Palm Springs offers contemporary designer clothing, shoes, and accessories from the 1970s through ’90s for men and women. Boasting carefully-curated vintage and iconic designers, like Gaultier and Versace, Mitchells always aims for sleek and sexy. Picture a day of shopping before passing through the velvet ropes to get into Studio 54 — that’s the Mitchells experience!

Fabulous vintage clothing can be found at Mitchells Palm Springs. Photo credit: Gregory Douglass

Just a few minutes from the thumping beat of the nightlife on Arenas is The Hacienda at Warm Sands, LUXlife magazine’s 2020 and 2021 Best LGBTQ Resort in North America. If you didn’t know, you wouldn’t know — it’s discreetly camouflaged by a perfectly manicured privacy hedge standing sentry over the Spanish villa-style artistry that waits inside. Carved into the hedge, a gorgeous wooden gate with lanterns on either side to show you the way.

Welcome to The Hacienda at Warm Sands. Photo courtesy of The Hacienda at Warm Sands

Inside, a rich tapestry of winding Saltillo tile pathways are surrounded by lush foliage and dotted with surprises along the way: an outdoor fireplace, an in-ground spa, a tranquil water feature, and the two clear blue pools that anchor the 10 suites surrounding them. And if you’re impressed with the outside of the property (if you aren’t, you’re dead inside), the rooms are gonna knock your socks off.

Before we get to that part of the tour, you should meet your hosts: Jim Moje and Maurice Minno. Jim is, as he puts it, “a frustrated architect” with a degree in finance, and Maurice has a master’s degree in hotel and restaurant administration from Cornell University. For the past 21 years, they’ve put all their hopes, dreams, and skills into turning The Hacienda at Warm Sands into the 5-star experience that it is.

The experience begins the moment you book your room — that’s when the Hacienda’s team begins to prep for your stay. Something special you’d like upon arrival? Would you like the food pantry stocked with specific items? Perhaps you’d like a private chef for a delicious dinner? If you can dream it, the team will do everything within their power to make it happen. 

It gets even better when you’re a repeat guest because it’s easier to anticipate your needs, and that’s what the resort is all about: offering “anticipated but unexpected Hacienda moments” to their guests. And they do it unobtrusively, like your guardian angel. The ratio of staff to guests is one to one with a turnover that’s nearly non-existent — even after a pandemic. That’s because Hacienda values their staff as much as they do their clientele and made provisions to take care of them while the resort was closed for about six months due to COVID-19. Now that they’re back open, every precaution is taken to keep you safe inside their hedges. 

The Deluxe Grand Suite. Photo courtesy of The Hacienda at Warm Sands

There are five styles of well-appointed suites. The smallest is just under 500 square feet, and the largest around 900 square feet — all with furniture and amenities chosen for functional elegance. Every suite has a kitchenette that is ingeniously disguised to look like an elegant wet bar, a sitting room, and a large luxurious bathroom with so many L’Occitane amenities it’ll make your body giddy with anticipation. 

The Deluxe Junior Suite bathroom. Photo courtesy of The Hacienda at Warm Sands

Multiple heads and horizontal water sprays turn each shower into a spa, with large plush towels waiting to dry you quickly once you’re done. In your closet, there are two robe options available: a waffle weave for daytime and a heavier-weight robe to provide extra warmth and comfort on cooler evenings by the fire.

The beds are fit for a king (or queen): thick comfy mattresses dressed in crisp linens with a variety of luxury pillows available from the resort’s “Pillow Menu.” It’s a bit like Goldilocks and the Three Bears — keep trying them until you find one that’s just right.

The continental breakfast spread. Photo courtesy of The Hacienda at Warm Sands

An expanded, seemingly endless continental breakfast and a restaurant-crafted catered lunch of wraps, sandwiches, and salads are served daily, along with your favorite beverage (red or white wine, fresh-brewed iced tea, or lemonade). You can enjoy your meals while languishing in the outdoor spa, by one of the pools, or next to the outdoor fireplace. Above you, only palm trees, breathtaking mountains, and blue skies frame this extraordinary 5-star oasis in Palm Springs.

It’s no surprise that no matter where you look, all the reviews of The Hacienda at Warm Sands are five stars. Jim and Maurice have spent 21 years cultivating the best staff and service known to mankind, as well as perfecting a luscious landscape of earth, water, and fire surrounding their spacious and exquisite suites, providing so much worldly comfort and pampering you’ll feel like a royal.

Night falls on the hotel. Photo courtesy of The Hacienda at Warm Sands

Triangle Inn Palm Springs

“You have some queer friends, Dorothy.” – The Road To Oz, Frank Baum

Drumroll! The Dinah Weekend has returned! The largest lesbian/queer/non-binary party starts on September 29, and runs through October 3. Bonus: It’s celebrating its 30th birthday!

Check out the link above for the 411- they continue to add. But before you book a room, check out options at Palm Springs Small Preferred Hotels. Side effects of a boutique hotels: sleep better, quiet time when you need it, romantic time when you want it, and then the big party after a disco nap. It’s also less crowded than the big hotels, which means you are a bit safer.

If you check out lesbian events in Palm Springs, you’d get the impression that book clubs and hikes are the only strictly non-stick activities, but I am 100% certain lesbians are interested in some slammin’ party events (see any photo taken at The Dinah). After all, girls just wanna have fun.

Even “MeetUps” has nothing for lesbians. When I asked a few of my sapphic friends, they said they mostly hang out with the boys on Arenas, or at 1501 Gastropub which is neither straight nor gay, just cool. Which makes me think lesbians are woefully underserved in Palm Springs, and it’s time to step it up! (I have no suggestions, just a protest sign. I’m an activist running on empty for this one.)

The gay guys, on the other hand, have everything covered. From hotels, to restaurants, to bars and events. Their cup runneth over. So, here are some of the great spots for gay men here in Palm Springs.

Photo: Linda Milks

HOTELS that cater to gay men

INNDulge – Well-named and floating with hospitality, this clothing-optional resort is delightfully indulgent in all the best ways.

Hacienda at Warm Sands – A longstanding Palm Springs favorite of discerning men, this resort boasts beautifully lush and tropical landscaped grounds,

Vista Grande Resort – This was the first gay, clothing-optional property in Palm Springs and its testosterone-charged atmosphere makes you feel alive.

Triangle Inn Palm Springs – Small and intimate, the mid-century Triangle Inn (designed by Hugh Kaptor, no less!) offers serenity in the desert.

El Mirasol Villas – Built in the 1940s by Howard Hughes, El Mirasol Villas offer men a blend of Spanish style and bygone Hollywood.

Desert Paradise Resort Hotel –  A lovely luscious sanctuary that routinely attracts repeat guests (who often view the hotel as a second home).

All Worlds Resort – Palm Springs largest gay men’s resort has something for everyone.

Santiago Resort – High-end and all-inclusive, the clothing-optional Santiago Resort boasts the largest pool of any boutique hotel in town.

Descanso Resort, a newly refurbished, completely reimagined men’s resort brought to you by the guys of the Santiago Resort…with the all-inclusive services and care you expect.

And coming soon, another brother property, Twin Palm Resort. Watch for it!

You can also use the sort button on the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels website (I’ve already put in the search parameters for you. You’re welcome.)

La Dolce Vita Spa Entrance

Restaurants & Bars

All restaurants are all friendly, but this description cracks me up. Gay Desert Guide describes Rio Azul as a “Very gay tapas restaurant.” They have four-top swings at some of the tables, which is fun. It’s a great place to watch the Pride Parade too.

ON ARENAS

In Chicago there was a street lined with gay bars, just north of Belmont that we called “Boys Town”. Arenas is just like that. A small street packed with gay bars and restaurants. If you know where Lulu is, go east young man, away from Palm Canyon, and across Indian Canyon, where you will find party land. Not all of the gay establishments are on this street, but a good deal of them are. It is also a great place to shop for clothing. Please note that many of these places require proof of vaccination (smart!), so make sure you have it handy.

Bars/restaurants

Stacy’s Piano Bar

Chill Bar

Street Bar

Hunters Nightclub

Eagle 501

Blackbook Bar

Quadz

Stores

Bear Wear

GayMart

Division

Men’s Waxing

Rough Trade Leather and Gear

Off Arenas Bars and Restaurants

Oscars – Home of the Sunday night T-Dance.

Tool Shed – on Sunny Dunes

Q Trading Company – on Sunny Dunes where you can pick up a copy of local writer, David Eugene Perry’s book, Upon This Rock – a twisty, gay, thriller set in Orvieto, Italy.

Toucans Tiki Lounge

Beginning September 16 is Cinema Diverse, which is streaming with, it seems, a few drive-ins that are not included with the passes.

Lastly, BOOK FOR PRIDE NOW! Check out our resort hotels for great options. I’d hate to see you sleeping in my bushes. They’re not comfortable. I may or may not have first-hand knowledge.

Created by ArtsTank Greater Palm Springs grant winner Peter Tigler and attendees of the 37th La Quinta Arts Festival

Welcome to Palm Springs, where the sun shines 360 days of the year. We’re fun, fashionable and Instagram ready, and hoo boy do I have a lot to share. And thank the Stars (Walk of Stars), a lot of wonderful friends helped me with this particular blog. So, big shout outs to Francesca Amari, one of our finest vocalists in the valley; and Nick Singleton, Desert War Veteran, and the social media man who never misses an event.

We’ve got a bit of walking ahead, and it’s okay to bring the dog. But make sure she’s wearing shoes, and you should put on some comfy ones, too. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen and treat yourself to an umbrella. It covers those bare arms and shoulders better than a hat. You can get one at Destination PSP, one of the best places to get Palm Springs swag and after you browse (and you will) we’ll get to Instagramming.

Murals & Art Installations:

The Sandbox: Amanda Gorman by MisterAlek, and The Babies, sculptures by David Cerney. Photo courtesy of Jim Powers.

We’ve got a lot of murals in Palm Springs. Some are easy to get to, like the Greetings photo, but some – like the ones next to it in the pit with The Babies by David Cerney – are not. Not because they’re difficult to find but because no one seems to know if you’re allowed in the sandbox yet. After calling four places, I finally got an answer: you’re not. Yet. BUT you can see all of the installations from above and there are more in that general vicinity between the Art Museum and the Kimpton Plaza (KP).

In the Plaza, you can find the Angel Wings, and the PS I *Heart* U installation; they’re just around the corner from each other. The Desert Glow mural can be found on Palm Canyon Drive in the strip of retail stores attached to the KC Mall.

Isabelle by Julian Voss-Andreas

This is my favorite piece of art in Palm Springs. Created by artist Julian Voss-Andreas, Isabelle is different from every view, and with every drop of sunlight, or moonlight. From some angles, she seems to disappear completely.

Heavily-filtered shot of Graffiti Park

Behind the Plaza, is a plethora of art. Let’s start a little north of the Plaza, across from Stout Burgers and Beer and Haus of Poke on the corner of Museum Way and Belardo. It’s called Graffiti Park, and it is teeming with street art.

Courtesy of Jim Powers and Palm Springs Art Museum

On the other side of the Sandbox (where the babies are) is a brand new installation: Gonzalo Librija’s History of Suspended Time. Presented in the lot across from Palm Springs Art Museum’s main campus, it will remain on-site for a year. In this piece, a car appears to defy gravity and time as if hanging suspended over a pool of liquid approximately 40-feet in diameter.

Palm Springs takes pride in their storied history, and Lucille Ball called it her home away from Hollywood for years. She can be found on the northeast corner of Palm Canyon and Tacquitz. Her statue looks a little sad. Stop by and give her some Insta-love.

Scattered throughout the valley is a series of more than 50 benches funded by the Palm Springs Public Arts Commission. The previous link will show you where they all are, and this article, by my colleague, Kathy Condon, tells you all about them. Also, keep your eyes peeled for the new art installations that are going up all over town to beautify our electric boxes and trash cans.

I’ve lived here for seven years now, and I’d never been to The Corridor. Boy, was I missing out. I knew the shops were there, but didn’t realize through their actual corridor there is a “secret garden” with whimsical art installations. It’s beautiful. Truly. And you can enjoy a coffee and then browse the shops.

Nick Singleton with all the neon at Boozehounds

At the north end, just south of the iconic Toucans, is a new place called Boozehounds. If you’ve been walking with your pup, or even if you’re not, stop in for a bite and grab a few snaps while you’re at it. Be forewarned, it’s a bit of a hike in distance, not topography.

Nick Singleton at V Wine Lounge

Time to head back south, and a cocktail is likely in order. Stop into V Wine Lounge and take a photo with the umbrella, and have a nice glass of wine or try Hunters and take a photo with their never-ending mural, and pull up a seat while I spill some tea, and tell you about the chair.

The Tea on Forever Marilyn

Forever Marilyn, created by Seward Johnson, is a representation of one of the most famous images of Monroe, taken from Billy Wilder’s film The Seven Year Itch. She was here for a few years, but left in 2014, and now she’s back! However, there’s quite a bit of furor over her location.

The Palm Springs Art Museum is unhappy that when visitors leave their museum they’ve got a direct eyeshot of her…up-skirt. There is a faction in Palm Springs that is talking #metoo, Some don’t consider it art, and others want it moved where it’s supposed to be, in the park next to Museum Way that’s still being built. There is a pedestal where she is supposed to go, and someone, I have no idea who, put an empty chair on the pedestal.

For sure, she’s coming, But, in the meantime, sit in the chair and Instagram away.

Forever Marilyn and the Chair

Don’t want to overload ya’ll (why, yes, I do have some southern roots) with Insta-ops, so we’ll get to those when you come back. And, you know, you will. #ILOVEPS

As always, please shop and stay at locally-owned businesses. And if you go to any of our hotels or enjoy our recommendations, please be sure to tag us with your photos on IG, or @palmspringspreferredsmallhotels (yeah, it’s a lot to type, but we appreciate it!)

By Linda Milks

Palm Springs is home to one of the largest Pride parades in the country where the entire community—queer and straight—celebrates diversity, authenticity, and civil liberties. It’s also just a great time!

For 39 years, Palm Springs, CA, has celebrated Palm Springs Pride with uncommon style and swagger. Each year promises to be bigger and better. Palm Springs Pride 2019 will take place from November 1-3 and is themed “Millions of Moments of Pride.”

Photo: John Warden

And this year, Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels’ committee chair, Michael Green, is the Community Grand Marshal. He’s also the executive Director of the Palm Springs Cultural Center, chair of the Desert Gay Tourism Guild, and owns the iconic Triangle Inn Palm Springs with his husband, Stephen.

Media Grand Marshal is Alexander Rodriquez.

November 3 will be a great time at the Block Party on Arenas Rd. The event is loaded with DJs, music stages, food vendors, entertainers, and a glorious parade. New for this year is the Pride Stage located at Hermosa and N. Palm Canyon Dr. You will find local royalty to emcee the parade from the reviewing stand, including Dottie DuBois, Maude Chapeau, and Mannie, the Movie Guy. All the action in this area starts at 9 am.

To start things off in brilliant colors, on October 31 attend the Rainbow Flag Unfurling from 10 am – 10:30 am at 1140 N. Indian Canyon Rd. This giant flag will be unfurled from the top of the Stergios Tower at Desert Regional Medical Center.

The Equality Kickoff is November 1 from 6 pm – 11 pm to celebrate strength, equality and self-determination of the LGBTQ community.  This is guaranteed to be a massive downtown street party with three stages for entertainment, the Arenas Stage, the Pride Stage, and the KGAY Dance stage. There will be performances by Kristine W (queen of 90’s dance music), That 80’s Band, and DJ Autumn Leilani.

One of the main acts during Pride will be LA-based electronic music artist Madame Ghandi and also UK-based, multi-platinum artist and songwriter DYSON. Other entertainers to look for are TLC, Heather Small, BETTY, and Ada Vox.

Photo: John Warden

The Palm Springs Art Museum will display The Art of Pride, Make an Exhibition of Yourself, and is a brand new official Pride event to be held on all three levels of the museum from 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm on November 1.

An exciting Pop Up event in Downtown and Uptown Palm Springs will be part of the weekend with food, art, music, fashion, and prizes. Businesses in Downtown and Uptown will be creating their own pop-up events. There will be a passport to fill out as you visit these businesses so that you are entered for a prize. The pop-up event will be from 3pm – 8 pm on November 1. The final deadline for businesses to sign up is October 25 at www.PopUpPalmSprings.com

Then, on November 2, take part in the Pride Festival happening from 11 am – 10 pm in Downtown Palm Springs and check out the Arenas District Block party from 6 pm – 11:30 pm.

November 3 is  the date of the big Pride Parade from 10 am – noon which steps off at Tachevah and Palm Canyon Dr.

To find out exactly where everything is happening, go to: www.pspride.org.

Don’t forget to grab your favorite adult beverage because for the first time ever you can stroll down Arenas Rd. and sip while being fearlessly authentic.

Speaking of staying authentic, stay at one of the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels  gay resorts where you will be beautifully enveloped by community and relaxation and pride is always in style.

Photo: Linda Milks

Palm Springs’ newest boutique resort for men exceeded all of my expectations. 

Descanso Resort is a fully refurbished and thoughtfully reimagined Palm Springs paradise with a “California garden patio” motif that somehow manages to weave its way through every detail of your experience. And after my recent three-day staycation there, I’m almost giddy to report that it’s brimming with pleasant surprises.

Spoiler alert: if you want to first experience these surprises in person, you should stop reading here.

Gregory Douglass and Glen Nadeau at Descanso Resort. Photo credit: Gregory Douglass

Much like its brother Palm Springs property Santiago Resort, there is an immediate sense of familiarity as soon as you arrive. The property’s 16 charming suites wrap around you like a much-needed hug from a friend you haven’t seen in ages. The Descanso website proclaims General Manager Kent Taylor and his team “hold advanced degrees in pampering,” so you know you’re in for a treat.

If you check in before your room is ready, you’re actually in luck. Go ahead and lounge by (or in) their saltwater swimming pool, heated to a perfect 90 degrees at all times. You can also enjoy their saltwater spa, rinse down in the outdoor shower, or just retreat under the light mist of their outdoor cooling system. There’s even a communal fire pit to enjoy if the desert heat (or your fellow gaycationers) aren’t hot enough for you already.

The Descanso Resort’s pool area. Photo credit: Gregory Douglass

Every poolside guest lounger has a fresh beach towel, rolled up like a bright green tube pillow. You won’t need a swimsuit either, because clothing is optional here. The 24-hour cantina is always stocked with snacks and beverages — picture a perfect Arnold Palmer and various coffee options, depending on your taste. It’s a Type A personality’s paradise.

The Pamper Patrol (aka the Descanso team) will happily hold your bags while you are busy melting into your favorite new desert oasis. Once your room is ready, you’ll have forgotten you were even waiting for it.

As you might have guessed, my husband Glen Nadeau and I arrived an hour before our room was ready. As we lingered by the pool, I sensed an unpretentious sophistication that made me feel like I could finally take a breath. In English, the Spanish word “Descanso” means “break,” as in “you deserve a break,” so I’ve since learned that was exactly how I was supposed to feel.

Descanso guests can enjoy iced tea or lemonade throughout the day. Photo credit: Gregory Douglass

When we checked into our Balcony Suite, we were met with flush views of the majestic San Jacinto mountains and the Descanso’s magnificent landscaping, consisting of Mexican flame bushes, birds-of-paradise, lime trees, and vines that envelop the hotel’s exterior. Every detail of Descanso is old Hollywood architecture meets mid-century modern decor, but the landscaping is truly the focal point, serving you lush greenery that looks like it is painting an elegant white canvas. Various shades of green are the only “pop” colors that accent Descanso’s interior motif, echoing the symphony of greenery like a standing ovation.

The suite amenities include all you would expect of a place this deliberate — each room has a king-sized bed, Gilchrest & Soames luxury bath products, a mini portable fan, complimentary snacks and water, and a couch you can sleep on (should you have any expected — or unexpected — guests). There was even a “book” by the bed that opened to reveal a small treasure box containing some fun adult amenities for your (or his) pleasure.

The treasure box. Photo credit: Gregory Douglass

After settling into our room, it was time for a complimentary “stay & splash” poolside lunch, provided by Aspen Mills Bakery. We could have then meandered around the neighborhood on Descanso’s complimentary bicycles, exploring the many restaurants and shops in the Palm Springs Uptown District, but we decided to stay poolside to see what else we had in store.

It wasn’t long before someone from the Pamper Patrol circled around the pool, offering each guest a popsicle from a silver platter (literally and figuratively speaking) to accompany their retreat. Soon after, the same rotation served a tray of rolled up frozen washcloths that had been dipped in eucalyptus, and I spent 10 blissful minutes breathing in the cool arctic vapors.

Descanso Resort General Manager Kent Taylor. Photo credit: Gregory Douglass

As the sun changed position, so did the shade. But since Descanso’s lily-white umbrellas are also on wheels, the shade was always in reach. There’s even a bathroom within steps of the pool, with framed swimwear hanging on the walls (you can find this signature look in every bathroom at the resort). All of the property’s artwork is stunning, but the swimwear upstages its company because of its unexpected uniqueness, almost implying that bathing suits should remain a relic here.

When I finally dipped in the pool, it was difficult to get out. The salt water absolutely blankets you with minerals, acting like a natural moisturizer as opposed to the skin-drying effects of its evil stepsister (a.k.a. chlorinated water).

Once I retired to the outdoor saltwater spa, I had a simmering feeling that there were still subtle surprises around every corner. Sure enough, I looked down at the small rocks surrounding the tub and caught a glimpse of this one lone stone wearing a pair of painted underwear.

An unexpected rock at Descanso Resort. Photo credit: Gregory Douglass

As potential new friends began to get friendlier throughout the evening, I couldn’t wait for what other pleasant surprises the night would reveal. But that’s a story for another time.