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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.

“I try not to limit my madness to March.” — Maxine (a.k.a. John Wagner for Shoebox Cards)

For most of the world, March is a tempestuous mistress. Cold and blustery, then cold and sunshine-y. She’s a whole lot of brrrrrrrrr.

In Palm Springs, March is more of a minx: flirty and fun. Her daytimes are generally in the 80s and sometimes 90s, however she can give you the cold shoulder, too. Especially at night. The solution is to bring your swimsuit and a bunch of layers because in Palm Springs, March is a swinger. She gets a bit chilly at night but bounces back by 10 a.m.

Without further ado, we will now continue our fun streak of delightful Palm Springs activities, with one event that’s so cool I might have just peed a little reading about it. Read on while I change me undies:

New restaurant alert:

Osteria Palmina

Dinner and a show:

The Purple Room

March 3, 4, and 5: Lucie Arnaz: I Got The Job 

March 6, 13, 20, 27: The Judy Show 

If you’ve read this blog before, you know it’s my favorite show in town.

March 11 and 12: John Lloyd Young 

March 17, 18, and 19: Marvelous Marilyn Maye

March 25 and 26: Joe Pasa as Joan Rivers

AsiaSF 

Dinner and a lip sync show! The costumes are outstanding! Same producers as the one in San Francisco.

PS Underground

Pop 80s — Featuring The Gand Band

Gospel Brunch with Keisha D

Laurel Canyon — a tribute to those artists of the area, like Linda Rondstadt, Joni Mitchell, and The Doors (with music from The Gand Band).

The Mod Squad Variety Show — Another personal favorite, this one’s a brunch.

Ovation — A jazz-inspired Sunday brunch.

Light — I have always wanted to see this show! Described as an “unparalleled multi-sensory journey” that offers an “unprecedented dining experience through culinary art and technological innovation.”

Broadway BlindA musical Sunday brunch.

A Night at the Chi Chi — Mark your calendars, this one’s on April 1 and 2.

Courtesy of PS Underground

Oscar’s 

The Women Of Knots (that’s Knots Landing, people!)

Drinks and entertainment:

Cascade Lounge at Agua Caliente in downtown Palm Springs

Jazzville — Every Thursday

Caliente Comedy — Every Friday 

Latin Nights — Every Sunday

PS Cultural Center

Jazz on the Second Floor

Martinis & Moxie

Theater:

Palm Canyon Theater
Palm Springs Getaway! Runs until March 13.

Desert Rose Playhouse
Electricity
Brian Justin Crum 
Palm Springs The Musical: Born To Sparkle — World premiere!

Courtesy of Palm Springs The Musical

The Annenberg
The Anniversary — A full-length dance film event.
Coachella Valley Symphony Concerto Concert
Lilias White — White has appeared in cabarets and concert halls around the world, including the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House, and Lincoln Center. Her debut solo studio album, Get Yourself Some Happy!, was released in July.

Desert Ensemble Theatre
All This Intimacy Described as a sex comedy gone wrong.

Dezart Performs
The Mountaintop — A reimagining of Martin Luther King Jr.’s last day at the Lorraine Hotel and his encounter with a young maid. There’s a huge twist in this play, something you can expect to be handled brilliantly by Dezart. 

All the rest:

Palm Springs Chalk Art Festival
OMG!! I LOVE chalk art, especially from artists with a sense of whimsy. One of my favorite creators on TikTok is chalk artist David Zinn. This is a free event.

MOGO Silent Disco Tour
If anyone wants to do this, please include me!

Photo courtesy of MOGO Silent Disco Tour

Palm Springs Vintage Market
This Palm Springs staple will run on March 6 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

French Cooking Classes
In the chef’s private home — all reviews are spectacular!

Of course the old “musts” are still available, and if you haven’t, well…you must!

Aerial Tramway

Palm Springs Art Museum

Palm Springs Air Museum

Hiking at Indian Canyons — Please note: closed on March 11 for the Legacy Hike. 

Happy Palm Springs everyone! See you in April.

If you’re looking to plan the ultimate boys gaycation weekend with your besties, there’s no doubt that Palm Springs, California, is on your short list of places to go. It’s one of the few LGBTQ+ safe havens in the country that caters to the queer community year-round — and it’s a mid-century modern desert oasis of fun in the sun. In fact, the entire Coachella Valley is one of the most welcoming places for you and your boys to stay, play, and slay (yaaass, queen).

Ready to start making an itinerary? Here are a few of my suggestions for Palm Springs boutique hotels, restaurants, and activities:

Stay

Santiago Resort

The intimate and luxurious Santiago Resort is a paradise for men if you and your boys want to let down your guard – and your swimwear. If you haven’t yet experienced a saltwater (saline) pool, you’re in for a genuine treat at this ever-popular clothing-optional resort. If they happen to be all booked up, check out their brother resort Descanso for a similarly sophisticated experience. From their complimentary poolside lunch to the new friends you’ll meet poolside, you won’t want to stay anywhere that isn’t clothing-optional again after this.

The Santiago Resort at dusk. Photo courtesy of the Santiago Resort

INNdulge Palm Springs

INNdulge is a popular men’s resort in the Warm Sands district of Palm Springs, with a 24-hour heated saltwater pool and 12-man jacuzzi. It’s a more economical option as well if you and the boys are on a budget (or holding out for more of the fun stuff). They have 25 years of experience assisting men with their first time at a clothing-optional resort, but you can also watch the alluring videos on their website in advance if you’re curious.

The INNdulge grounds. Photo courtesy of INNdulge

Desert Paradise Resort Hotel

The Desert Paradise Resort Hotel is an intimate 12-room boutique hotel that strives to go above and beyond for their guests from check in to check out. Also conveniently located in the Warm Sands district, Desert Paradise is a beautiful, relaxing option for an attitude-free atmosphere with spectacular views.

The Desert Paradise’s pool and spa area. Photo courtesy of Desert Paradise

Eat

Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge

From its chic, colorful interior to fantastic music playlist, Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge is a must for any first-timer’s boys weekend. Their New American cuisine is as contemporary as their Pop Art atmosphere, and it’s a great option for brunch, lunch, happy hour, and/or dinner. It even has Miley Cyrus’ seal of approval, so need I say more?

Grab a drink at Eight4Nine. Photo courtesy of Eight4Nine

AsiaSF Palm Springs

Now with their second location right here in Palm Springs, AsiaSF is a cabaret dinner show that has been dazzling audiences for 23 years in San Francisco. Think of this as an elevated drag show, with the exception that all AsiaSF performers are transgender women, bringing the house down each night with legendary lip syncs, light shows, and choreography. Their Asian-fusion three-course meals are as memorable as their performers as well, so it’s truly a feast for the senses!

Blackbook Bar & Kitchen

Blackbook is located in the heart of the Arenas district and has a reputation among locals for having the best bar food in Palm Springs. It’s a great place to meet new friends during happy hour — and a great place to sober up if you’re bar-hopping throughout Arenas’ many gay watering holes. Try the cheese-stuffed Juicy Lucy burger (or the Juicy Lucifer if you want to add some heat).

Experience

Drag shows

What would a boys weekend be without drag shows, hunty? Luckily, there are drag shows all throughout the greater Palm Springs area. Drag brunch is a must, so check out the Mile High Boozy Brunch at PS Air Bar & Lounge, a playful airline-themed speakeasy inside the Bouschet wine store. Then check out Vanity’s Doll Haus every Friday night at One Eleven Bar in Cathedral City. You might even catch a Drag Race Ru Gurl there now and again. Here’s a complete list of drag shows from Gay Desert Guide for more ideas. Shantay, you stay!

MOGO Silent Disco

MOGO Silent Disco is Palm Springs’ latest event where you and the boys can turn up the volume on your headsets and dance your a**es off on a private parade through downtown. Kaftans, sequins, and stunning outfits are always encouraged!

Sunday Funday

Everything gay happens here in Palm Springs on Sunday, which is why the locals call it “Sunday Funday.” Start the day with drag brunch, naturally. Then lounge by the hotel pool or crash a pool party until it’s time for Oscar’s legendary tea dance. After you’ve had enough disco, strap on some leather gear and head on over to the Barracks for their legendary Beer Bust.

Explore

Mid-century modern tours

If you’re as big of a fan of mid-century modern as I am, consider Palm Springs Mod Squad Tours or Mid-Century Modern Tours. If a self-guided tour is more your jam, you and the boys can caravan around some iconic mid-century modern neighborhoods with The Palm Springs Guys’ MCM Architecture Self-Guided Tour Guide (Google Maps GPS-ready!). As a bonus, there are always open houses worth checking out here on the weekends that will have you feeling like you’re at Modernism Week.

The mid-century modern Visitors Center. Photo by Arthur Coleman Photography

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

If you’re looking to cool down, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway climbs up two-and-a-half-miles of Chino Canyon cliffs to the top of Mt. San Jacinto State Park — an elevation of 8,516 feet and temperature drop of nearly 20 degrees. This is the self-described “world’s largest rotating tram car” and riders enjoy spectacular views of the panoramic valleys below. There are 50+ miles of trails — after a hike through the butterscotch-scented Jeffrey pines, take to the observation decks for happy hour before a nice dinner at Peaks Restaurant.

Palm Springs Art Museum

The Palm Springs Art Museum has an incredible collection of 12,000 works of modern and contemporary art, architecture, and design, and is always inspiring to see. So are the installations surrounding the property, like Palm Springs Babies and the 26-foot sculpture of Marilyn Monroe located directly in front of the museum.

When your ultimate boys weekend in Palm Springs comes to an end, you’ll leave with plenty of memories and photos to post on the Gram — be sure to tag them with #gaycation and #ilovegaypalmsprings.

Marilyn Monroe in all of her glory. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

It will soon be easier than ever for people around the country to fly into Palm Springs.

Southwest Airlines announced earlier this month that it will launch year-round service through Palm Springs International Airport later this year. The low-fare carrier flies out of more than 100 locations, and in a statement, Southwest Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly said Palm Springs is “a great California destination.” 

Palm Springs City Manager David Ready said local officials worked for years to get Southwest to the Palm Springs International Airport, and thanks to “our year-round sunshine, relaxed desert lifestyle, and multi-million dollar public and private reinvestments in our city’s hotel stock, Convention Center, and downtown, Palm Springs has experienced a sensational renaissance and we are now one of Southern California’s premier resort destinations.”

Allegiant Air also recently revealed that this fall, it will start offering nonstop flights from Palm Springs International Airport to Boise, Idaho, and Eugene, Oregon. Already, the low-cost airline has service from Palm Springs to Bellingham, Washington. Boise flights will begin on Nov. 19, followed by Eugene flights on Nov. 20, with fares starting at $49 each way. Allegiant said both routes will operate twice weekly.

While Los Angeles and Palm Springs are only about two hours away from each other by car, those who want to go back and forth faster can take Delta’s new year-round daily service between the two cities. The flight from L.A. will leave at 7:45 p.m., arriving in Palm Springs at 8:35 p.m., and the flight departing Palm Springs will take off at 7:15 a.m., landing in Los Angeles at 8:08 a.m. This service will begin on Nov. 20.

“We’re very excited to have that,” Palm Springs Mayor Geoff Kors said after announcing the news. “That obviously is good for people who prefer not to drive, especially on busy weekends.”

Additionally, Alaska Airlines is adding non-stop service to San Jose, Reno/Lake Tahoe, and Boise from Palm Springs starting on Dec. 17, and JetBlue will launch non-stop seasonal service to Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida beginning Dec. 17, with flights twice a week on Thursdays and Sundays. American Airlines is also adding a seasonal weekly flight to Philadelphia, starting Dec. 19. 

 

“April comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.” — Edna St. Vincent Millay

In the spring, nature’s theater doesn’t always mean “head to the storm cellar!” In the desert, spring stages an extravaganza of colorful wildflowers called the superbloom. But that’s only when we are fortunate to have had a rainy winter.

This year the clouds have been a bit stingy with the wet, so it’s gonna be a smaller, but still gorgeous show. There are a few well-known spots to experience them, which I’m gonna tell you about because I’m nice like that and, full disclosure, I like to talk.

Keep in mind, almost all of them include some level of walking, and some are definitely challenging. So make sure you find your own comfort level and don’t push it. Even people who are avid hikers can misjudge their stamina or not bring enough water. It’s the desert — you need a LOT of water.

Mom warnings aside, off we go!

The best known spot is called Anza-Borrego, and it’s a little bit of a haul. About an hour and fifteen outside of Palm Springs, it’s well worth the drive. It’s best to go during superblooms, but you can still see swaths of gorgeous color in drier times. These clever folks have a website/hotline to check on the situation. Hey buds, how you bloomin’?

Wildflowers in bloom. Courtesy of Anza Borrego Botany

Big Morongo Canyon Preserve: This one is why I said “almost all of them” require some level of walking. It’s about 45 minutes from Palm Springs. Per the website: “The preserve entrance is one block south of State Highway 62 in Morongo Valley, a community located between Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park. Several trails, including boardwalks through the marsh and stream habitats, meander through the preserve. The one-half mile Marsh Trail is wheelchair accessible. Open daily throughout the year, from 7:30 a.m. to sunset.”

Joshua Tree: It’s a national park, so make sure to hop on the site to purchase a pass before you go. Not only will it show you what blooms to expect, but the Joshua Tree itself should be blooming.

Coachella Valley Preserve, Thousand Palms: For those with sciatica (raises hand), I’m told there is a flat hike here. Hours: December 1 through April 30, Wednesday through Sunday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is an oasis, so you’re likely to see a lot of color. The trails are McCallum, Moon Country, Smoke Tree, and Herman’s Hike. Lots of critters too, so no dogs unless your pup is a registered service dog.

The Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center in Palm Desert is another group of trails with possible flowering flora. Everything you want to know can be found here.

The La Quinta Cove to Lake Trail: Their website mentions wildflowers and I believe everything I read on the internet.

South Lykken Trail: This is a very popular trail. It’s on South Palm Canyon, just after E. Murray Canyon Drive (on your left). The trail is a titch further up on your right. Hit up Moorten’s on your way (keep scrolling more info). It’s near the start of South Palm Canyon on your right.

Moorten Botanical Gardens is a plant lover’s paradise. Photo courtesy of Moorten Botanical Gardens

East Indio Hills Badlands: From their website comes this dramatic reading: “This trail enters the Indio Hills badlands and traverses the San Andreas Fault exposing twisted and tortured rocks that have been uplifted and moved over millions of years. The trail enters several narrow slot canyons and twists and turns in the sandy washes before climbing up to the ridge with panoramic views of the entire Coachella Valley.” Epic.

Sunnylands: If hiking is not your jam, Sunnylands is the place to go. The grounds are astounding, and it’s free to roam them.

Wildflowers aren’t the only thing blooming. The cacti are absolutely bonkers with blooms this year. The little cactus in front of my house has buds where she never bloomed before. And you don’t have to leave town for that, you just go where the cacti are, which is everywhere in my park. But if you prefer something more structured, Moorten Botanical Gardens is for you. The cost to get in is minimal: $5 for adults, $2 for kids 6 to 15, and free for children 5 and under.

Kay’s cactus. Photo courtesy of Kay Kudukis

Here’s a little blurb about cacti: “The greatest diversity of spring-flowering cacti species can be seen in April. Some also stretch into May with some species such as the prickly pears cactus blooming well in early May. Saguaros tend to flower from mid-May to mid-June.”

The Ocotillo, a shrub that’s so fancy Palm Springs named things after her, has orange-red flowers and that girl doesn’t care if it was wet or dry, she’s showing off. You can blink all you want, you’re not going to miss her.

The world is a bit serious right now, so it’s even more important to reset and enjoy a fleeting moment brought to you by nature. As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Earth laughs in flowers.”

Have a giggle.

The Ocotillo bloom. Photo by Pixabay

This past year has presented us with amazing opportunities to get delicious food delivered directly to our doorsteps.  But the grandaddy of delivery, the classic that stands above the rest, is of course, pizza!  Palm Springs is fortunate to have several pizzerias offering some truly awesome pies.  Check out some of the staff at Santiago’s favorites here.

Bill’s Pizza – Definitely one of the best-known pizza’s in town, this is a local and tourist favorite. Famous for their thin crust pizza, they offer a huge selection of toppings as well as famous house combinations like ‘the Elton John.’ They serve up vegan and GF options as well. You can find Bill’s on several delivery apps.

http://www.billspizzapalmsprings.com/

Giuseppe’s – This is a local hot spot for pizza. Both their thin crust and deep-dish pies are delicious. They offer a nice selection of salads and traditional Italian dishes, but pizza is the star of the show! They serve vegan and GF options and have an in-house delivery service.

https://giuseppesps.com/

Birba – This beautiful outdoor Italian restaurant makes some amazing pizza. They offer 6 to 7 pizza options nightly, all rustic and delicious. Add a few of their very tasty ‘small dishes’ to spice things up. You can find Birba on several delivery apps.

https://birbaps.com/

Blaze Pizza – This national chain makes great and affordable single sized pizzas and you can customize every bite – from crust, to cheese and toppings.  For a great GF option, they offer a terrific cauliflower crust. Their home page connects to a food delivery app.

https://www.blazepizza.com/location/blaze-pizza-palm-springs/menu

Spaghetteria – This hole-in-the wall, vinyl table cloth Italian restaurant, run by a mom and her two daughters is beloved by locals. They have a great selection of pizza, all made with love. Their calzones are awesome as well! Pick up or delivery from their yelp page.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/spaghetteria-palm-springs

Palm Springs’ vibrant vibes are attracting more and more people from around the world. Outdoor restaurant patios are filled and lovely shops cater to a wide variety of budgets and tastes. Listen closely and you’ll hear happy visitors discussing their great finds or raving about the small boutique hotels they’ve discovered, which serve as a base to launch their Palm Springs explorations.

During the 1950s and ’60s, small boutique hotels flourished as getaways for Hollywood stars. Then, as the economy changed and celebrities discovered other places to spend their time, some hotels languished. But in the early aughts, new hoteliers with creative design ideas and a desire to create a welcoming environment became a significant driver for revitalizing the Palm Springs economy.

Now fast forward to 2022. AvantStay, a premier next-generation hospitality organization, has arrived in Palm Springs. They manage and/or partially own four iconic boutique properties: The Monkey Tree Hotel, The Wesley, The Marley, and Hotel El Cid.

What can be expected from AvantStay? 

AvantStay is not a newcomer to running vacation properties — the company manages or owns more than 1,000 properties around the globe. Its goal is to make each lodging a highly curated experience. They recognize that time is valuable, and won’t waste yours with unwanted or unnecessary interactions. 

Guest support is offered 24 hours a day, with concierge service available via an 800 number. Agents are always available to help and are rarely more than 15 minutes away from a property.

Hotel El Cid  

A family that parties together stays together. Okay, there’s no scientific proof this is the case, but there is a way to plan a reunion that offers amenities for all members of the family. Hotel El Cid is an ADA-approved facility that accommodates one select group at a time, allowing guests of all ages to come together for a relaxing getaway. It’s reminiscent of the experience of Hollywood royalty.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to bring everyone together for a catered dinner under the cabana by the pool, or hire a masseuse for Uncle Joe when he has a pain that won’t go away? With AvantStay’s concierge services, they can help make these things happen.

There is a caveat: Fufo the dog isn’t allowed on property, but maybe that family member needs a break from pet duties anyway.

The Marley’s spacious pool. Photo courtesy of The Marley

The Marley 

Searching for a place to hold a corporate retreat or bachelorette party? Here’s an idea to consider: Rent an entire property with nine bedrooms that sleep 22 people. If that sounds intriguing, The Marley could be your answer.

With The Marley’s modernism architecture, one of the stalwart styles of Palm Springs, you will be able to experience one of the more iconic buildings designed and built by the Alexander Company. Today, their homes demand a hefty price and are often the site of open houses during February’s Modernism Week. When you stay at The Marley and get to sit around the pool, soaking up the warm Palm Springs sun, you’re making memories in a place few people get to experience.

Guests love to float in The Monkey Tree Hotel’s pool. Photo courtesy of The Monkey Tree Hotel

The Monkey Tree Hotel

Visitors come to Palm Springs from around the world to learn about the modernism style of the 1950s and ’60s. What if you could stay in a place designed by one of the city’s famous architects, Albert Frey? If that’s your dream, consider booking The Monkey Tree Hotel.

With its iconic architectural design — a pool surrounded by rooms, brightly colored umbrellas, and lounge chairs strategically placed to catch the sun rays so you can go home with a golden tan — you won’t be disappointed when you arrive at this pet-friendly hotel. Located in North Palm Springs, the 16-suite Monkey Tree Hotel is a cheerful place, with sunshine yellow dominating the color scheme.

The Wesley’s rooms are known for their fun decor. Photo courtesy of The Wesley

The Wesley 

A 10-minute ride from the Palm Springs International Airport, The Wesley is a tranquil, private, and gated oasis. Visitors come here to rejuvenate, and every self-contained suite beckons you to slow down. Most have fully equipped kitchens, so it is a great place to practice cooking some of our Southwest cuisines.

The patio, part of your suite, is surrounded by lush landscape and provides the perfect place to sip a cocktail while you finally sit down and take time to read the book that’s been on your list. Louis, your adorable pug, is welcome to accompany you. When the urge strikes, head out to the heated pool and meet other guests under the cabanas scattered throughout the grounds.

If you want privacy and an environment you can call your own, one of these hotels just might be the right fit.

Kay Kudukis Paints Palm Springs Red

Glorious September in Palm Springs, often offering the perfect balance between sun worshipers and those preferring a more sun-kissed look. With the lower temps and evenings cooling down substantially, the nights are delightfully dreamy. Leisurely strolls down Palm Canyon are back in style, and dining al fresco is de rigueur.

VillageFest courtesy of VillageFest

With the evenings cooling off, the VillageFest is definitely heating up! Our Thursday night street fair/party partially closes Palm Canyon Drive to traffic. Vendors are usually scattered from Amado to Baristo. Palm Canyon Drive is filled with buskers; pop-up restaurants and stores; and artisans of every ilk. Palm Springs is home to a ton of incredibly talented artists and crafters. Downtown businesses remain open, so it’s scads of fun. Even though it’s outdoors, it’s a large event and masks are required. More about that at the end.

And now, onto some most excellent adventures. Some big, some small– you can have it all in Palm Springs:

Dinah Weekend

This is for all the Sappho Sisters who have been waiting for their turn to throw a party. And this is a great one. I will talk more about it in my article All Gay, All Day. It has been my observation that lesbians are underserved in Palm Springs. Although everywhere is all-inclusive, gay bars mean mostly for men. I’ll tell you more about it in the next blog. But

If you’d like to skip my next article, you can go straight (“Never!” said every lesbian) to their website here.

Desert Rose Theater Upcoming Shows and Venue

Theater

Desert Rose Playhouse is just off its massively successful run of The Great American Trailer Park Musical (TGATPM). I saw it, and I laughed uncontrollably throughout the whole show. Those who hadn’t stopped at a dispensary prior laughed just as hard. The Rocky Horror Show will be up on stage until September 12th. Trust me when I say that this LGBTQ+ friendly theater company is full of surprises (the leads of TGATPM were in drag) so I’m looking forward to meeting their Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

Latin Nights at The Cascade Lounge courtesy of Cascade Lounge

Entertainment

Jazzville is back at The Cascade Lounge. If you wear the name jazzbo proudly (as you should) this is where you want to be on Thursdays. Book in advance. Their shows sell out pretty quickly and start at 7:00 PM.

Sunday nights get steamy at Cascade with Nacho Bustillos and Quinto Menguante’s Latin Nights. Their music ranges from salsa, cumbia, banda, bachata, reggaeton to pop. Dancing shoes are highly encouraged.

Melvyn’s Sunday Jams at the famous Ingleside Inn begin at 3pm on Sundays and go until the musicians get tired, aka dinner time. Led by Mikael Healey, it’s a lineup of the best of the best players in PS and beyond. It’s a $30 cover, it’s in Melyvn’s Casablanca Lounge, and – oh no! It’s only running through 9/26! Once again, calling all jazzbos. Also, it’s a pretty fun experience. You get to do a little bit of dress up, and drink martinis just like in the Rat Pack days.

Oscars has some special shows coming up, including evenings with Linsday Wagner and Sandra Bernardt – not together, that would be a bit “too too” even for Palm Springs. Heads would explode from nostalgia overload if the Bionic Woman and Madonna’s ex-bestie shared a stage.

Me and some of my favorite Queens

Drag Shows

Toucans – OM Stars, far too many shows to list. Check the website, prepare to stay out late, and prepare to dance your “katushies” off.

Roly China Fusion Sadly, the Drag Brunch ends on 9/5 (as of this typing). HOWEVER they have a great party planned for Pride, so give it a look-see. More in my next blog.

Bitchies Brunch at Oscars – Like you need me to tell you anything at all about this event.

PS Air Saturday Night Flight – Naughty stewardess, drinks, while you “fly” the friendly skies. Special experience.

The Judy Show starring Michael Holmes at The Purple Room

Dinner Shows

Guys– The Purple Room is back! That means The Judy Show is back! I may have just peed a little. Upcoming guests are Jane Monheit, and Lee Squared: Liberace and Ms. Peggy Lee Coming Out (of covid). Keep checking the website for updated acts, and if you’ve never been, go to The Judy Show. If you’re like me and gained the COVID ten-ish, you’ll laugh a few pounds off.

There are some returning shows and some new forms of musical and culinary insanity from the wildly creative minds of Michael Fietsam and David Horgen of PS Underground. They, too, keep adding shows, and sell-out fast, so you’ve gotta be fast on the click.

Fun and Games

Monday nights Wilma and Frieda’s turns into Ethyl’s Place and Atomic Bingo! Doors open 5:30pm, Bingo! Starts at 6:30pm.

420 Bank and Dispensary Lounge has some events coming up, so check out their events. They also have a sort of “Palm Springs’ Got Talent” show with a recording contract at Melrose Recording Studio here in PS. Hosted by Derek Jordan Gregg, you can email JayBirdBookings@yahoo.com for more info and to sign up. Every Thursday, 5:30pm-8:00pm.

Summer Sing Along is still happening at the PS Cultural Center.

Don’t forget about The PS Tramway. Super fun ride to the top of the mountain with plenty of trails to hike. Speaking of hiking, don’t forget to check out our great preserves at Indian Canyons. Tons of trails and they’re all absolutely GORGEOUS. Take water, and wear hiking shoes and socks. We got rattlers.

Scavenger hunts. I know. You were not expecting that. But what fun! It’s a bit more of a group activity, so if you don’t work and play well with others, earbuds by the pool! There are two here in Palm Springs, Viator and Let’s Roam. They are a fun addition to a walking tour, so you get to stroll through history and Palm Springs landmarks while playing a game.

In October, there’s one to support our fantastic, no-kill, Palm Springs Animal Shelter. Here’s the info on the Scavenger Hunt. If you can’t play, a small donation goes a long way. I was going to put a team together, but I only have one friend–and they’re mad at me.

Comedy

Oscars is bringing Last Laugh Comedy to the last Wednesday of every month. Comedian and host Max Mitchell is bringing his funniest friends to entertain us. I’m a comedy ho, so – see ya there.

Upping their Friday game, Cascade Lounge has Cascade Comedy. Presented by Comedy Madness, each show is 90 minutes and features a roster of comedians with past appearances on Tonight Show, Conan, Netflix, America’s Got Talent, Comedy Central, Showtime and more.

One-Off Event

Dîner en Blanc – COMING IN OCTOBER

You really need to do some planning for this one. Everything except your skin color needs to be white. Your outfit, your table and chairs (which you bring) – and your picnic basket (which you also bring…with food in it). You will not know where you will be dining until you get there, but you will be eating your own food – so no allergy issues there. You can learn all about it on their website (which I believe might also be white) where you can also sign up,

Now that our lights are back on, we’re doing our best to keep them that way. The City of Palm Springs requires that all of the clubs require proof of vaccination, so you can either whip out your card, or show them your QR code from the State of California. And, at the time of this writing, masks are required indoors, so when you put on your shoes and your shirt, stick a mask in your pocket. And then–you know what? I’m not your mom, and you’re a responsible adult, right? You know what to do.

Viva Palm Springs!

“Too much of a good thing is wonderful.” — Liberace

When you Google “best gay cities,” my results did not include one single listicle mentioning Palm Springs. What? People, our entire city council is LGBTQIA, and from Wikipedia’s entry for Gay Village: “An estimated 33 to 50 percent of Palm Springs, California, are gay male or other parts of the LGBTQ community; this statistic makes them the largest percentage community in the US.”

In 2016, Palm Springs received a final score of 100 points in the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index Scorecard. Our city exceeded the highest possible final score of 100 with a raw score of 109, and we’ve kept that score through their last report of 2020.

Speaking of the ’20s, 100 years ago, Palm Springs began its journey as a playground for celebrities and the LGBTQ+ community thanks to Dr. Florilla White and her sister Cornelia. The two “independent and eccentric women” (code: lesbian) purchased the Palm Springs Hotel and spiffed it up a bit. Rudolph Valentino spent his second honeymoon there (it was escandalo!), and Greta Garbo demanded the premiere of Camille be held at the new Plaza Theater while she stayed at the hotel. Side note: if it weren’t for the founding mothers of Palm Springs (the White Sisters, Nellie Coffman, Lois Kellog —she was a wild one! — and Pearl McCallum McManus), it might still be a dusty little town. And the Cahuilla likely wouldn’t be where they are today without the 1950s all-women tribal council. Historically, in Palm Springs, men beat the drum of awareness while the women quietly made history. Sisters, amirite?

Liberace.

Palm Springs is so gay Liberace, Rock Hudson, Tab Hunter, Barry Manilow and gay icons Cher and Carol Channing had/have homes here. Not to mention the other “maybe they were, maybe there weren’t” plethora of stars. Although there is speculation, it doesn’t really matter, because Palm Springs has always offered personal privacy. No one is getting “outed” if they don’t want to be out.

Courtesy of CV Independent

In the 1980s, two anti-gay and AIDS-related bills were soundly trounced and, according to a 2017 article in Palm Springs Life, in 1991 club owner Gloria Green opened the first gay bar on Arenas Road, A Streetbar Named Desire (now known as Streetbar). I qualify that with the Palm Springs Life article because most accounts attribute the bar to Dick Haskamp and Hank Morgan, who apparently purchased it in the same year. So something is a little sketchy about the origins — however, Arenas would soon build up to become an all-gay city block with clubs and stores catering to gay men.

Pride was first celebrated in Palm Springs with a showcase called Sizzle. It wasn’t well received or advertised, and Sizzle fizzled out until 1992. By 1997, The Desert Sun estimated 30,000 people watched the (now) Pride parade.

Our gayness isn’t limited to Arenas. Oscar’s is alive almost every night with gay-leaning entertainment and Sundays is all about celebrating your gayness at the T-Dance. You can hear the party from blocks away.

We have so many drag queens they could hold court for an entire generation of royals, and they’re damn fine. Late night entertainment at The Copa and Toucans include long-running drag shows that pack the rooms, and drag brunches abound in our exceptionally inviting cozy town.

The San Francisco establishment of transgender performers AsiaSF chose Palm Springs as its second home. They opened just before the pandemic, and I’m told will reopen again in November — maybe December — of this year. I went to the opening in early 2020 (before you know what): these ladies are hot AF.

Some of the finest dining in Palm Springs is brought to you by gay restaurateurs. Roly China Fusion, Tropicale, Eight4Nine, Trio, PS Underground (an exciting take on dinner theater), The Purple Room (supper club), and 533 Viet Fusion to name just a few not on Arenas.

Desert Rose Playhouse is the one and only LGBTQ theater company and venue in the Coachella Valley. Now in Palm Springs proper at the old Zelda’s Nightclub space, they produce, support and elevate LGBTQ stories, actors, playwrights, and musicians. I have never been disappointed by their productions. So far this year I have seen The Great American Trailer Park Musical and Rocky Horror, and have tickets to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It’s a great space with a great vibe and the shows are delicious.

We have an LGBTQ+ community center, PFLAG (for supporters), and a retirement community for gays called Stonewall Gardens. We have two gay radio stations, the Gay Desert Guide, and the Palm Springs Cultural Center, with a mixture of artsy blockbusters and showcasing gay-themed films.

If you check out our website (already sorted for you!), you’ll find we have 11 resort hotels catering to gay men, some clothing optional. The Warm Sands area is generously dotted with gay boutique hotels.

One of my favorite things that hasn’t yet returned in the pandemic is our star drag queen Bella da Ball (aka Brian Wanzek) reading stories to kids at the Palm Springs Library. Bella even has her own star on our Walk of Stars.

There’s DAP, Desert AIDS Project, a terrific medical establishment that not only caters to gays living with AIDS but also administers to MediCal patients. I was on MediCal for a bit and they provide stellar care (I was sad when my insurance switched). They also run the resale stores Revivals which have terrific bargains on gently-used items, and some brand-new stuff too. Profits benefit DAP.

And of course there is the big event, Palm Springs Pride.

Some “must” events sent to me by Bella Da Ball:

November 1, 6 to 7 p.m.: George Zander Candlelight Vigil and March, 101 N. Museum Dr.

Beginning at the new downtown park (Museum Way and Museum Drive), this rally and march is in honor of George Zander. Six years ago to the day, George and Chris Zander were attacked in downtown Palm Springs, resulting in George’s death on December 10, 2015. This remembrance of George’s life keeps his memory alive, so that no other individual falls victim to a crime of hate.

November 7, 5 to 10 p.m.: Effen Vodka main stage, near the Hyatt Hotel on North Palm Canyon Drive. Party. Huge stage. Special video screens.

But wait, there’s even more eye candy than the parade! On November 5 and 6, enjoy the West Coast premiere of Global Rainbow by American artist Yvette Mattern. Specially designed lasers project a large-scale abstraction of a natural rainbow (the same colors in Gilbert Baker’s rainbow flag) celebrating the diverse LGBTQ+ communities and symbolizing hope and peace. Beamed high above Palm Canyon Drive at Amado Road, as far as the eye can see, until finally diminishing to a colorful glow over South Palm Canyon.  

Hitting the stage on November 5:

5:30 p.m. — Charles Herrera 

6 p.m. — Steven Michael’s Dance Machine, dancers, flaggers, drag

6:15 p.m. — Jason Stuart

6:30 p.m. — Shannon 

7:15 p.m. — Sassy Ross

7:30 p.m. — Jeanie Tracy

8 p.m. — Jody Watley

8:45 p.m. — The Perry Twins

The unadulterated joy and magic the Palm Springs LGBTQ+ community brings to our little town is unparalleled. That’s right, I said it: unparalleled.

Not gay? No one cares, we are a mecca for all who want to be included…unless you’re homophobic, then according to the website Abodo, you should vacation in Buffalo, New York.

See you at Pride!

The Triangle Inn is like a charming man with a cheeky wit and a very sexy smile. Who wouldn’t want a second date?

Let’s start with a few fun facts, rated Hollywood-style.

The Triangle Inn spans the corners of San Lorenzo (très exotique, non?) and Random Road, a flirty wink from the street naming committee.

Rating: R for randy randomness

When it was built, the hotel was called The Impala Lodge. The year was 1958, and the architect was notable mid-century modernist Hugh Kaptur. 

Kaptur apprenticed for mid-mod darlings Harrison and Wexler, and Wexler apprenticed under the man they called the Desert Maverick, William Cody. In a 1958 Desert Sun article, Kaptur described the architectural design of the Lodge as the highly non-PC “Indian Modern.”

Rating: Winner, best documentary

Then, like the rest of us, the lodge went through some changes. From lodge to apartment building and into disrepair, the modernist gem was badly in need of an image overhaul.

Rating: Elizabeth Berkley

In the late 1980s/early 1990s, Matthew Robinson and Kevin Rice purchased the property, restored the original architecture, remodeled the rooms, and when the flag finally flew it was a rainbow flag, waving high above the newly named Triangle Inn, an eight-suite, men’s clothing optional resort. 

Rating: Kal Penn

The Triangle Inn’s entrance. Photo courtesy of The Triangle Inn

In 2000, Robinson and Rice were looking for someone to love the inn as much as they did, and ran into some wicked good luck. Two frequent Palm Springers from Atlanta (let’s call them Michael and Stephen because those are their names) decided they wanted to live in paradise and purchased the classy little mid-century revival gem.

Its massive glass-paned walls let the sunshine in and provide an endless view of our gorgeous mountains. Angular steel beams and the slanted roof are punctuated by lush tropical foliage; there are fruit trees all over the property —  mango, lemon, blood orange — making it feel as remote and as exotic as Gilligan’s Island without Ginger, Marianne, or the Howells (they’re so pretentious), but with way better amenities. 

But it’s not remote; it’s intimate. The hotel is actually only five minutes from downtown Palm Springs. That’s five by car, 15 if you’re biking. Drinking and biking renders various results, but generally longer durations and is not recommended.

Rating: A Star is Born

The living room in one of The Triangle Inn’s suites. Photo courtesy of The Triangle Inn

Consistently garnering five-star ratings and rave reviews, it shouldn’t surprise you that The Triangle Inn has a very long history of repeat guests. There are many reasons for this — the lovely suites, the fine amenities — but also because there is zero judgment. They’re very light on the rules, and then there’s that southern hospitality: warm as the sun and cool as the night air. 

Breakfast offers an assortment of breads, fruit, yogurt, and cereals, as well as coffee and tea — all gratis — on the covered patio by the pool. If you’d like a White Claw (again, no judgments, you’re on vacation) they’re $3 and you can drink them poolside. It’s all very chill.

The suites echo the style of the exterior, all in the mid-mod aesthetic, dressed in earthy tans and browns; light, sky blues; and rich sunset oranges. Even the Tarocco bath amenities are in burnt orange. 

The bathroom in one of The Triangle Inn’s suites. Photo courtesy of The Triangle Inn

The bed linens are crisp 500-count cotton, and all the accommodations have either a kitchen/dining room or a kitchenette depending on room size. Instead of a dishwasher in each of the suites, the houseman takes care of the dishes when he tidies your room.

Of all the places you can choose to stay in Palm Springs, The Triangle Inn is, perhaps, the most social. The intimate setting provides an opportunity for guests to become lifelong friends, not just with Michael and Stephen, but with each other, flying in from all over the world to meet up for a repeat performance.

Yet, because the rooms are all down the corridor, away from the outdoor activities, festivities, and laughter, guests can work from their suites before they go out to play. Some book for a month at a time, several times a year. It’s their home away from home. And because Michael and Stephen live on property, guests experience family-style hospitality that’s all rom-com and zero drama. 

Rating: All the stars

P.S. The Triangle Inn welcomes friendly canines. Inquire within.

The pool at night. Photo courtesy of The Triangle Inn