While Palm Springs may be best known for its sunny skies and daytime activities — such as hikes and walks, bike rides, shopping sprees, and leisurely swims in gorgeous pools —its nightlife is just as abundant and enticing. There are many fabulous bars and nightclubs open until the wee hours, but here are five ideas for your nighttime excursions — from the inspiring and romantic to the hopping and rocking. These are all classic Palm Springs experiences.
The Purple Room Supper Club is one of my favorite spots for both stellar entertainment and delicious food and drinks. Located in the Trinidad Hotel, the Purple Room will carry you back to the rat pack era of the sixties, when celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Junior crooned on its stage. There are live shows every night (except Mondays) and all the ones I’ve seen have been wonderful. On Sundays, owner Michael Holmes presents the Judy Show, a wildly popular parody of Judy Garland’s television show. Other nights feature a variety of talented performers. You can enjoy the shows while savoring classic supper club fare (shrimp cocktails, prime rib, etc.) and specialty cocktails that are reminiscent of days gone by.
Seymour’s is an iconic speakeasy secretly hidden within Mr. Lyon’s, a popular upscale steak house. The secret entrance and dimly lit ambiance harken back to Prohibition days when patrons could sneak in to enjoy illicit alcoholic beverages in an intimate setting. This clandestine bar serves original craft cocktails as well as classic Prohibition-era cocktails, such as my favorite, the Last Word, made with gin, Green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and fresh lime juice. Vintage film clips above the bar add to the feel of days gone-by. This is the perfect place to wind down after a night on the town in Palm Springs. I’ve met the most interesting people at Seymour’s and the bartenders are personable and full of entertaining stories.
The Casablanca Lounge at Melvyn’s, adjacent to the charming Ingleside inn, is another special place where you can immerse yourself in the Hollywood glamour of the fifties and sixties. After a classic dinner at Melvyn’s, where tableside cooking is featured, you can adjourn to the lounge for an after-dinner drink, a lively piano bar, and perhaps a little dancing. You can just imagine Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe sipping martinis at this favorite getaway from the hubbub of Hollywood.
Moxie’s on Sunday nights is the place to go for a rocking, hip drag show called Foxie at Moxie — widely celebrated as one of the best drag shows in Southern California (also featured during a Sunday brunch). The rotating, talented cast of gorgeous, talented queens will entertain you while you sip on craft cocktails and nibble on delicious appetizers. There is also live music and dancing on Friday and Saturday nights. The casual rooftop bar is a great place to relax and soak up the midnight skies. For a memorable, authentic Palm Springs experience you can’t miss Moxie’s.
Toucan’s Tiki Lounge is another swinging nightclub where something is hopping every night of the week. This trendy spot features Palm Springs’ longest continuing drag show, Tomi Rose and the Playgirls. Each night has a different theme, such as Latin Fever, Jungle Boogie and Pop Diva Karakoke, and, if you’re lucky, the “Go Go Boys” dancers may make an appearance. The drink specials are creative and fun.