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I hope you all made it through 2022 as unscathed as possible. No matter the reason, you absolutely deserve a getaway vacation to Palm Springs. The late night temps are in the low 50s, while it’s in the mid-70s by noon and the sun is warm on your skin. Perfect tanning weather, and a heated pool will bring all of the aaahhhs.

Whether you want to keep the party going, or you’re looking to unwind from party season, Palm Springs is a cure. Have a look at our boutique resorts to find your particular jam. There are A LOT to choose from, each one unique in its own way — on the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels website, you can use a filter to narrow down the choices. I’d do it for you, but you didn’t tell me what you were looking for, so I’m stumped. It’s pretty easy to navigate, so unless you’re a single cell organism, you’ll do fine.

The biggest thing going on this month is the Palm Springs International Film Festival, and I’m going to tell you about that in a different post, but you should get tickets yesterday if you want to attend. Other than that, we’ve got a lot of the usual suspects, a few one-offs, and a brand new nightclub. I’ll do a post about my favorite restaurants before Valentine’s Day so you can make a plan. But first, January 2023. Ready? Let’s go.

One and done

Jan 1: Vintage Market at the Palm Springs Cultural Center — First hour is $10 to get in (first pick!), $5 after 9 a.m. Vendors from all over the country.

Jan. 4: Leslie Jordan: Gone Too Soon. At Quadz Palm Springs, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Jan 5-16: Palm Springs International Film Festival Cruise the website yourself, or you can read about it here.

Jan 19-22: Palm Springs Winter Break — Line dance party.

Items for sale at the Vintage Market. Photo by Katy Carrier

Recurring tours

Historical Society Walking Tours — 14 different tour options, all spectacular.

Architectural Bike Tours — Your guide, Brennan, is all about mid-century modern. He is also a bus tour guide during Modernism Week. Many of our resorts have bikes available, so snag one for a few hours and book the tour.

Desert Tasty Tours — Get a taste of downtown Palm Springs with this fun walking tour. You get some great history, some adult beverages, and some delicious food from our locally owned spots. It’s a great mid-day adventure. Get $5 off when purchasing your tickets by using promo code “PSPHotel.”

MOGO Silent Disco — Get your boogie on with this dance tour. To be clear, you are the dancer. Curated music is pumped through your headset as you disco down Palm Canyon Boulevard. You won’t look weird — you’ll bring friends and make new ones. Use code “pspsh10” at checkout for a 10 percent discount for our readers!

Dance your way through downtown Palm Springs. Photo courtesy of MOGO Silent Disco Tour

Clubs with entertainment

Caliente Comedy at the Cascade Lounge on Fridays

Jazzville at the Cascade Lounge on Thursdays

The Purple Room — Rat Pack styled club with top notch entertainment from all over the country.

PS Underground — If you’ve read this blog before, you know I love this experience. Everything is spectacular, from the venue to the entertainment and the food. One of the most creative and fun events you will ever witness. Everyone becomes BFFs forever, including your hosts and creative team, Michael and Chef Dave.

Oscar’s — There’s a lot going on here, so peep the calendar. If you’re gay (or wanna hang with your gays), the T Dance is the best recurring party in town. If you’re straight, stay away from the bathrooms.

Oscar’s. Courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

PS Air — One-of-a-kind “speakeasy” masquerading as an airplane; it may even have a cockpit, I’m not sure (I mean, it is Palm Springs). But there is in-flight entertainment, and often a naughty stewardess.

Toucan’s — A drag queen institution and dance club on the north end of town near the very popular Boozehounds.

Come On Up Palm Springs Cultural Center (formerly known as — or concurrently, I’m unclear — the Camelot Theater) is stepping it up. They still show movies, and there are two theater companies during season (which is now), as well as Come On Up, featuring recurring musical acts on different weekdays. There’s a lot of parking, so you can bring a crowd.

Nightclubs

Reforma (brand new) — Right next to BevMo. It just opened, and I mean just, like yesterday.

Pretty Faces (fairly new) — I haven’t checked it out yet. LMK if you go.

Theater

Jan 20-29: Palm Canyon Theater: Palm Springs Getaway

Jan 13-22: Dezart Performs: A Bright New Boise

Jan 17-29: CVRep: Dirty Blonde

Jan 27-29: Desert Ensemble Theater: Kill the Editor

There’s a new theater company in town, The Bent. I’m not sure if they’re doing anything in January yet, but peek their website. There are rumors that their very popular show, The Lincoln Debate, will be back in February. For those of you not in the know, Lincoln shared a single bed with another man for four years. The show uses that information as a jumping off point.

If you’re new to PS and you are a gay man looking for the action, you’re looking for East Arenas Road (fun article), two blocks of gay Shangri-La. Pair that with a men’s clothing optional boutique resort, and you’ve reached nirvana.

Okay, that’s it for January. Hope to see you around town enjoying our delicious weather. And as always, please shop and stay local, have a blast, and I’ll see you next month.

“I used to jog, but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.” — David Lee Roth

Buckle up, the party is still going in Palm Springs this March with the Red Dress/Dress Red Party (sold out), the BNP Paribas Open, film festivals, free concerts, art festivals, and tiki time. And that’s just for starters.

The weather is outstanding, so you’ll likely be out, but not standing (I’m groaning with you). The Tahquitz Canyon waterfall is flowing, but if you’re gonna do the hike, go early. It was already kinda crowded when I went at 8 a.m., and by the time we left they weren’t letting anyone up or in the lot to park. As gorgeous as Tahquitz Canyon is, if that happens to you, Indian Canyons has more trails, so it won’t be as crowded. It is also stunning. I think there is at least one trail with a waterfall, and there are snakes, rattlers in particular, so don’t hike with the headphones on. Keep the channels to your ears open. 

Let’s get to the things, then we’ll chat about a few other things.

What’s happening in Palm Springs this March

March 2: Wine tasting at Bouschet — Great little shop in south downtown, just past Ramon where Indian and Palm Canyons do the Beatles thing and come together. They also serve food, and PS Air Bar is just a ramp up to the second floor. 

March 3: Vintage Market — The first Sunday of every month from October through May. Vendors from all over come to sell their mid-mod wares. There’s a small fee to get in, but there are also food options and sometimes entertainment.

March 5: Movies in the ParkGoonies, at Downtown Park next to Marilyn. Free!

March 6: Rock the Park — ABBA tribute band, at Downtown Park next to Marilyn. Free!

March 7: Billy Dee Williams meet and greet opportunity and book signing at Palm Springs Cultural Center. Williams’ memoir, What Have We Here?, was published in February. The book will be available to purchase during the event. VIP attendees will receive a copy and be the only ones able to get their books signed. Meet and greet at 6 p.m., main event at 7:30 p.m.

March 9 and 10: Palm Springs Art Festival at Frances Stevens Park on Alejo, Indian Canyon, and Palm Canyon. We’ve got really good artists, check it out after breakfast.

March 21-25: Sean Penn will open AmDocs at Palm Springs Cultural Center. It’s the place to be for all the documentaries and animated films, in the best cinema for hundreds of miles. 

March 21-23: Just a heads up — the Spring Cue Convention, a teachers convention, is in town. Last time this happened everything was packed, so make reservations for restaurants when you book your hotel stay at one of our small hotels. There are a lot of conventions in March, but this one is BIG.

March 27: Family Fun Fest at Palm Springs Power Baseball Stadium. Games, activities, and lots of information and giveaways.  9 a.m. to noon, outside, at the Palm Springs Stadium. 

March 31: Alohana at Palm Springs Cultural Center

Palm Springs Air Museum — March 1, 20, 27: Explore cutting-edge aviation at the exclusive Darkstar Rising Experience. Step into the realm of the iconic aircraft, straight from the minds of Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works.

Ongoing entertainment venues

V Wine Lounge: Live entertainment and karaoke Wednesdays.

Purple Room: Weekday happy hour and local music, weekends are ticketed events.

PS Underground: Themed dinner shows with some of Palm Springs’ finest entertainers. Lots of laughs, great food, great music, new friends.

PS Air Bar: It’s in an airplane! Okay, not really, but it feels like it. Kitschy and fun, it’s a must.

Mixed bag of tricks

The Revolution Stage Company: Everything from Avenue Q, new musicals, new plays, and cabaret. This is Palm Springs’ hottest new theatrical adventure.

Palm Springs Cultural Center:

Broadway Best of the West — Big names in the big theatre.

Movies — Screwball comedies and more.

Live entertainment — Music upstairs, two theaters: The Bent (back in April) and Desert Ensemble Theatre.

Oscar’s: Jack Donahue on March 21

Drag brunches

Oscar’s Bitchiest Brunch

Reforma — Beyonce, Britney Spears/Kesha, and Lady Gaga Drag Shows on Saturdays

PS Air Bar — Broadway Boozy Brunch served in a mock airplane. Emcee Tod Macofsky

March Madness 

If you’re into sports, there are a few places to watch the games: 

Hair of the Dog

360 Sports Palm Springs located in the Agua Caliente Casino

Fireside Lounge

Smokin’ Burgers

Shamrock’s Irish Pub

Looking out for the lesbians

Palm Springs has been a real dust bowl when it comes to lesbian events. This month we’ve got two! (Although not dedicated events, Monday and Tuesday nights at V Wine Lounge have a large, fun lesbian crowd.)

March 7: Lez Out Comedy at The Revolution Stage Company. Comedian Mina Hartong brings her comedic talents to the RSC with host Max Mitchell and featured comedian Amanda Michelle.

March 17: Sunday Ladies T-Dance at Low Desert from 3 to 7 p.m.

Tours

Desert Tasty Tours — A 3-hour tour, six spots, art walk, and Palm Springs history from fun, friendly and informed guides.

Palm Springs Historical Society — Walking tours, biking Tours, private tours (car).

Legends and Icons of Palm Springs Bus Tour — This is through Five Star Adventures. Their website is a mess, so I sent you to TripAdvisor. You’re welcome.

Jeep Tour — Get in a Jeep and tour the San Andreas Fault lines. In their words: “Experience the twisted and tortured landscape of an active earthquake fault system as your guide describes the geology of the area and you explore the bones of the earth. Don’t forget your camera — the photo opportunities are endless.”

There’s also Village Fest (a diverse array of artists, artisans, entertainers, and purveyors of fresh fruits and veggies, flowers, jewelry, snacks and sweets) every Thursday. We shut down Palm Canyon from Amado to Baristo so you can walk our streets free of those pesky cars from 6 to 10 p.m. Plenty of street vendors, buskers, and all the shops and restaurants are open, too. If you’re a fan of museums and art, the Palm Springs Art Museum is free from 5 to 8 p.m. Don’t forget to pay homage to Marilyn, and check out The Muse Cafe in the museum for a bite to eat. 

News alerts

The Pantry at Holiday House launched brunch service on its sunny patio with a South of France flair. Executive Chef Shawn Applin has created a sweet and savory menu and it pairs perfectly with a special selection of rosé wines and Champagnes. Highlights include the photogenic and delicious Shellfish Plateau for sharing, Dutch baby pancakes, fried chicken and waffle, ricotta-stuffed French toast, and much more.

Served Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

It’s BNP Paribas Open time March 3-17, so if you’re preparing to step out down valley, plan for extra time. 

Coachella is in April followed by Stagecoach.

When you come visit (and you will), please stay, shop, and eat local. (That means local food — please do not eat the locals. You’ll find us a little dry.) Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels has over 70 choices of excellent hotels and resorts, each a different experience with a variety of price points. Check them out here.

See you next month! 

Happy New Year!

The holiday season has gone its merry way, and we’re all feeling a little less flush in the pocket and a little more snug in the waistband. And that’s okay! We’ve got a full year to refill the coffers and pare down the pooch so screw it, let’s put it all on the back burner and have some glorious “it’s all about me” time basking in Palm Springs’ hospitality. You worked hard all year and you deserve a break, damnit. 

It’s hot tubbing, spa treatments, and hot toddies time! Come on. You know you wanna.

Before we get started, a wee bit of bad news: Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) has canceled its gala due to the new and highly unwelcome Omicron coronavirus variant. Keep an eye on PSIFF’s website for schedules and possible changes. So far, it’s the only event to (wisely) take that precaution, but these are strange times. Everything can change in a nano.

And now, it’s time to plan that “me” time!

Courtesy of PS Air Bar

Starting January 2, check out Disco Boozy Brunch at PS Air Bar. Recurring weekly on Sundays until March 27. Also, check out their Saturday night movies and grab yourself some fine wine from their downstairs parent, Bouschet. And by grab, I mean pay for it.

Desert Rose Playhouse has the world premiere of a new musical, Mid-Century Moderns. Set to the music of 1966, it’s the story of a plucky Wisconsin widow who transforms from frump to fabulous when she finds herself at the center of modernity in Palm Springs. Featuring the music of Tom Jones, Petula Clark, Lesley Gore, Frank and Nancy Sinatra, The Association, The Monkees, and many more. Sounds fun!

Palm Springs Air Museum has tons of great events coming up, including a show about Amelia Earhart. They also still have the Warbird Experience.

PS Underground 
Lots of fun. You never know what to expect. All of their shows are delightful, delicious, and wildly entertaining.

The Purple Room. Photo courtesy of The Purple Room

Purple Room offers entertainment six days a week, with ticketed shows on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Always Rat-Packy, and always classy. I’ll say it again: You’ve gotta see The Judy Show.

Palm Springs Tramway
Wear layers and heavy coats for the top.

Cascade Lounge at Agua Spa in downtown Palm Springs offers Caliente Comedy every Friday night, and Thursdays belongs to Jazzville.

Oscar’s is always coming up with innovative entertainment, so make sure to check their website. Every Sunday is the T Dance and Bitchiest Brunch.

Toucan’s Tiki Lounge is known for the city’s longest continuously running drag show, Tommi Rose & The Playgirls, as well as weekly theme nights, ranging from Latin Fever Monday to Neon Thursday to Dirty Pop Saturday. The club also brings in top tier cabaret and performance talent as part of Toucans Live on Stage.

CannaBUS Express Tours Canna-Sprinter. Photo courtesy of CannaBUS Express Tours

CannaBUS Express Tours
Greater Palm Springs is basically the Silicon Valley of cannabis. This is a very lively and informative 3-hour tour behind the scenes of the big business.

V Wine Lounge has music on Mondays, tacos and margaritas on Tuesdays, and karaoke on Wednesdays. Plus, they have a bomb selection of unusual wines. The lounge has a super cool vibe, so check it out.

Keep an eye out for a new franchise restaurant opening at 190 E. Indian Canyon later this month. Although these restaurants can be found all over Florida and in many other states, this will be the first I Heart Mac and Cheese in California. Comes with a side of Lipitor. (I’m kidding. It’s extra.)

Every Thursday is the Village Fest, every Saturday is the Certified Farmers Market, and the first Sunday of the month is the Vintage Market. If you’re craving vintage items on a day that is not the first Sunday of every month, then head on over to Sunny Dunes and Industrial Place and the Antiques Mall.

Oasis Music Festival is brand new event, and man do they have a lot of great acts during their five-day run. January 26 to 30 are the dates, and the venues are all over Palm Springs. What a great way to hear some great music and check off some of those venues you’ve been meaning to try. 

The Shag poster for Modernism Week 2022. Photo courtesy of Modernism Week

Notes to your future fun selves:

February is Modernism Week. It is likely many events have sold out (enthusiasts be enthusing), so get cracking on signing up. If you’re too late, you can always scratch your mid-mod itch with a copy of their new Shag poster here, or pop into Shag’s store to get an original. This is the fifth poster for Modernism Week by the local artist.

BNP Paribas Open is in March, so start planning now.

It’s never too early to prepare for Coachella or Stagecoach. Start booking rooms and getting tickets now. Looks like Coachella is already waitlisted!

Reminder: We love you and every single one of our neighbors, which means indoor events require a vax card. I got an electronic copy of mine here, then told Siri to take a screenshot and saved it in my iPhone’s Notes. Super simple.

Stay safe, and I hope to see you around town! 

Day tripping is a fun way to get out and play at some of the super cool spots around Palm Springs. That’s what Dwight D. Eisenhower did in 1954, when he slipped away for many hours under the cover of having an emergency dental appointment. It is speculated that he was taken to Edwards Air Force base to talk to some aliens. The tall gray ones called Nordics

Believe it or not, we do have some actual history with “space aliens” — and I’m not talking about the energy vortex of Desert Hot Springs, where many have claimed to have had UFO sightings. Although now that I think about it, that counts.

What I am talking about is the Integratron, located an hour outside of Palm Springs in a town called Landers. The Integratron was built by George Van Tassel, and funded, it is said, by Howard Hughes. Van Tassel claimed he got the plans from Venusians, aka inhabitants of Venus. He claims the Integratron was capable of rejuvenation, anti-gravity, and time travel.

Integratron

The Integratron. Photo by Kay Kudukis

Today it is used as a sound bath, and it’s fabulous — 45 minutes of quartz singing bowls played at different frequencies while you lay on a mat with your eyes closed. Rejuvenating. I grew a whole new limb. (No, I didn’t. That’s regenerating, and another story.) Go a little early and check out the gift shop and hang out in their outdoor area. It’s pretty sweet.

Not far away is Giant Rock, an ancient tribal ritual site where Van Tassel held Interplanetary Space Conventions to raise money to keep building the Integratron. You can read the whole fascinating story at The Mojave Project.

The Integratron is booked waaaaay in advance, but if you do get in, on your way back to Palm Springs stop for a bite at the world-famous Pappy and Harriet’s.

Behind Pappy and Harriet’s is an old Hollywood Western film set called Pioneertown. You’ll feel like you traveled back in time to the Wild, Wild West (not the Will Smith movie, that was baaad.) There’s even a staged shoot ’em up at high noon.

The Salton Sea: It smells. Real bad. But there are reasons to go. It has a great history with the Hollywood types, and there’s actually stuff to do. Sheephole Oasis (thumbs down to the naming committee) and Hidden Springs are said to have a nice bloom of wildflowers.

The Salton Sea at sunset. Photo by Catherine Garcia

While you’re in the area, check out the art installation known as Salvation Mountain, then continue on to Borrego Springs for lunch, art, and scads of hikes.

Joshua Tree: I’m sure Joshua Tree is on your list already. It’s a national park so there is a fee to enter, but it’s hella worth it. If you happen to be there on April 22 or 23, there will be a free concert called SoundcheckEarth. Warning: The rocks are higher than you think. Do not jump off them. Someone I know may have done this. It may have been me.

Joshua Tree National Park. Photo by Catherine Garcia

Idyllwild, Lake Arrowhead, and Big Bear Lake: All adorable mountain towns that are great little day jaunts.

Whitewater Preserve: Very short ride down a very long road to a very secluded place with a ranger’s station/museum, beautiful picnic areas, a natural wading pool, and a longer hike to the swimming hole. Very relaxing day.

Redlands: Less than an hour from Palm Springs is the adorable city of Redlands. Lots of old architecture, and this article tells you all about the museums, theaters, parks, and places to eat. They seem to like making beer here — there are quite a few little breweries around town.

Umbrellas provide shade and public art in downtown Redlands. Photo by Catherine Garcia

This last one is going to take all day, but if you’re into ghost towns, Calico is where you want to go. There’s an old railroad, a mine, and more. It’s a regional park so you do have to pay to get spooked. Dress in layers.

And that’s all I’ve got for you this time. Hope you enjoy your stay in one of our chill boutique resorts, and that no matter where you go, you have a gas.

Stay cool everyone, and keep on keeping on.

Big Bear Lake. Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Tune in on Saturday, April 8 at 4 p.m. PT for the latest episode of “Palm Springs Sunshine Stays,” the show that’s all about things to do and see in Palm Springs.

In this episode, “Spring in Sunny Palm Springs,” Big Blend Radio’s Lisa Smith and Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels’ Kimberli Munkres will chat about April events in Palm Springs, the new Frisky Business Cat Cafe and Boozehounds restaurant, and the five “gayest” drinks in Palm Springs, as chosen by PSPSH blogger Gregory Douglass.

Palm Springs Sunshine Stays is a partnership between Big Blend and PSPSH, with new shows premiering on the second Saturday of the month. Guests include Palm Springs hoteliers, restauranteurs, and business owners who share their insights on Palm Springs and tips and tricks on how travelers can make the most out of their visits to this vibrant city.

There are several ways to listen to Palm Springs Sunshine Stays, including via YouTube, the Big Blend Radio website, and SoundCloud.

“I never worry about being driven to drink; I just worry about being driven home.” — W. C. Fields

It’s party season everywhere, but no one parties quite like Palm Springs. The “Say Gay” city is the best of all worlds: gay, straight or bent, it doesn’t matter. As long as you like life with a lot of seasoning, we encourage you to come on out. (Pun intended or not? You decide.)

If you have never been to Palm Springs, you have no idea what you’re missing. When I lived in L.A. and friends wanted to come here for a weekend, it was always a hard pass for me. I was a thirsty person to begin with, why on Earth would I go to the desert? Well, as it turns out, they not only have water here, but I moved here eight years ago and have never been happier. I love living in Palm Springs. And I’ve lived in some cool cities. 

Palm Springs is especially fabulous during season (November through April) and that includes the holidays. If you’ve come to party, we’re ready for you. If you’ve come for a relaxing vacation or getaway, get ready for a shift in attitude and blood pressure.

We’ve got everything the big cities have without the traffic so you can zen at your own pace. But please don’t stare at the snow-capped mountains and daydream during stop lights. That’s annoying, and what the spa is for.

So, check into one of our Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels, and check out everything there is to do in Palm Springs this month. Zero regrets live here.

One and done

Dec. 2: Palm Springs Christmas Tree Lighting at Frances Stevens Park, on the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Alejo Road. From 4:30 to 6:15 p.m., 5:15 p.m. for the tree lighting. The free festivities will include free hot cocoa and cookies to enjoy along with caroling, children’s crafts, and a visit from Santa. Fun fact: the 22-foot-tall holiday tree is decorated with energy-efficient lights. 

Dec. 7: Rock The Park, Ronstadt Revival: Tribute to a Legend. Enjoy an evening featuring the music of Linda Ronstadt. 7 to 8:30 p.m. Free event. (This park is located right next to the Marilyn statue.)

Dec. 20: Palm Springs Cultural Center’s Holiday Oddities a unique look at Christmases past in Palm Springs and other areasfeaturing short home movies from the 1960s and era-specific ephemera.

Santa and Mrs. Claus come to Palm Springs. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

Ongoing December events

Dec. 2-11: Palm Springs Aerial Tramway — Holiday Choir

Dec. 2 – 18: Palm Canyon Theatre, Palm Springs Getaway: A Musical Romp (with holiday songs)

Dec. 9 – 11: 8th Annual Official Latino Film and Arts Festival at the Palm Springs Art Museum

Something different

MOGO Silent Disco — Dance down Palm Canyon to the curated music in your earphones. You won’t look weird, you’ll have friends with you. Use code “pspsh10” at checkout for a 10 percent discount for our readers!

It’s another MOGO Silent Disco party. Photo courtesy of MOGO Silent Disco

Desert Tasty Tours — A fun walking tour with some history, some drinks, and some food; it’s a great mid-day adventure. To get $5 off when purchasing your tickets, use our promo code: “PSPHotel.” If your tour guide’s name is Kay, that’s me. Say hello!

Palm Springs Historical Society Walking and Biking Tours — So many tours, so little time. I want to go on all of them!

Around the town

Every Thursday: VillageFest and a freebie night at the Palm Springs Art Museum.

Palm Springs Cultural Center — There is a lot going on here: live entertainment on the second floor Monday through Thursday, live theater, blockbuster and indie films, a philharmonic series, and film festivals.

Purple Room — A nightclub like no other in Palm Springs. A throwback to the Rat Pack days, there are even Rat Pack quotes on the walls! Food’s good, entertainment good, and Michael Holmes is reprising his Judy Show with Judy’s Old Fashioned Christmas. In my book, a visit to Palm Springs without seeing The Judy Show is not complete.

Oscar’s — Recurring events like the T-Dance, Bitchiest Brunch, Mimosa Men, and Oscar’s Cabaret. Also check out their special events; if it’s happening, an absolute must-see is Mid-Century Moderns, a jukebox musical from Mark Christopher who wrote the movie 54. I have seen it, and it is great fun.

PS Underground Holiday Havoc, Holiday Jazz, and Ho are just a few of the unique dinner shows produced by Michael Fietsam with meals prepared by Chef Dave.

Jazzville — Every Thursday, enjoy a night of jazz like nowhere else in the Coachella Valley.

Melvyn’s Jam — Every Sunday. This is a very popular event, so come early. Always the best of the best musicians in the Valley. From standards to jazz to pop, you’ll hear it all. Plus, their martinis!

Sammy G’s — Great place to dance every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in the upstairs bar. Nice atmosphere in the restaurant, and the food is good.

P.S. Air — Upstairs from Bouschet (fine wine and spirits, also delicious food), this fun little bar is all dressed up like an airplane, complete with kitschy movies and a drink serving “stewardess.” Also performances by some of the best local entertainment.

Drink up at P.S. Air. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

New Year’s Eve

Drag Me Into 2023 at Oscar’s.

Men only

Dec. 4, 11 and 14: The Dirty Show

Dec. 31: DILF — Men’s jock/gear party, Palm Springs Convention Center. “Dudes, Daddies, Discreet, Dunno…DILF is for ALL MEN! Get geared up, strapped up, and ready.”

That’s all I’ve got for this month, except to leave you with a small gift. Don’t worry that you didn’t get me anything — it’s OK, it’s not much, just something you might want to carry with you into the new year:

“I believe that the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” — Viola Davis

Namaste, and happy whatever floats your boat.

It has been over a century since Hollywood put Palm Springs on the map. Rudolph Valentino may have been the first to bring it to national recognition when he honeymooned with Natacha Rambova at Florilla White’s Palm Springs Inn. What’s so newsworthy about that? Well, he was not quite legally divorced from his first wife, actress Jean Acker, and he was arrested for bigamy. Escándalo! 

Since then, a lot of privately owned resorts in Palm Springs have opened, and they are all very special. Some had a prior life as private homes for recognizable Hollywood names, others were built by starchitects, and many have wonderful stories about well-known people who stayed there. Each has its own personality and all of them are charming. Several have that old Palm Springs feel and some are classic mid-century modern retreats, but there is one men’s resort that has combined the old Hollywood feel with the new Hollywood aesthetic: the Descanso Resort near the Uptown Design District.

Courtesy of Descanso Resort

The English translation of the Spanish word “Descanso” is “break,” as in “you deserve a break,” and young professionals looking for that Hollywood Roosevelt pool feel with a tropical vibe will definitely appreciate the look, feel, and social amenities at Descanso. The resort has only been open for a few months, but the reviews are already in — and they’re five-star raves.   

Built in 1946 and last known as East Canyon Resort, the property has good bones — a classic, sought-after exterior design, with its large suites around a beautiful pool and spa — but by the time 2020 rolled around, it was very much in need of some TLC. A “group of guys from Portland” (who now live in my head as the Portland Authority [the Authority™]) recognized its potential, paid the man, and got to work.

They started by tackling the landscaping. The view of the pool was completely obstructed by greenery covering the eaves, so straight away they cut some Louise Brooks bangs, or fringe if you’re posh (and we are), and began finding out what was underneath the overgrown flora.

Now landscaped for maximum comfort and privacy, every lounge chair, every structure, every spot in the resort has a clear eyeline to the shimmering (saltwater!) pool, the majestic palms dotting the horizon, and the grandeur of the San Jacinto Mountains backdropping the picturesque view. 

Courtesy of Descanso Resort

The property is swanky but not fussy; it has a casual elegance that makes you feel like something special is about to happen. Two white columns flank the entrance, which leads to a breezeway filled with lush exotic greenery and white wrought iron and frosted-glass gates. 

The all-glass lobby is cheerful with its funky 1970s green and white flowered front desk and attached sitting room. All of the wall art is mid-mod style, including photos by Slim Aarons and current local William Dey. Paintings are by Shawn Savage, who is known around these parts as the “Palm Springs Lifestyle GURU and the go-to guy for top interior designers.”

Courtesy of Descanso Resort

Varying in size from 400 square feet to 515 square feet, with either a poolside or balcony view, the 16 suites are festooned in the hues of the desert —  armless couches wrapped in palm tree green, rich charcoal and cloud-white checkered accent chairs, sleek platform king beds dressed in crisp white linens, accent walls in blues and greens, and desertscape seagrass floor tiles. It is sleek mid-century modern design with a firm nod to minimalism. 

The suites also come with a fridge, a safe, an iron, and a hairdryer, but let’s talk about the bathrooms. You guys, they have freestanding deep white porcelain tubs, Gilchrest & Soames luxury bath products, and little white tables on either side of the tub to rest your cocktail. Big fluffy green towels are for après bath. 

Courtesy of Descanso Resort

Because a vacation should be all about the aaaahhh, and not about waiting for an available table, Descanso provides a full-on craft services breakfast: fruits, yogurts, croissants, ham and cheese, granola, etc. Lunch is ordered in from a Palm Springs eatery, like Aspen Mills Bakery, with offerings including delectable sandwiches and salads. Snacks and beverages are readily available in the 24-hour cantina, but dinner is all about going out to one of our fabulous restaurants and joining in the merry at the many bars that cater to the gay community. Of course, you’re not restricted to gay establishments; the world is your oyster in Palm Springs. So, spice it up, throw on some Tabasco, and enjoy. 

If you’re looking for recommendations, the Descanso’s staff is more than accommodating, so just ask. The Wi-Fi is strong with this one — if you want to do your own research on where to go for drinks or dinner, or have to work on that script or secure that deal, you’re in the money.

Courtesy of Descanso Resort

Feeling adventurous? Grab one of the bikes (complimentary use for guests!), tool around downtown, then pop back for a quick outdoor shower and have that massage you’ve been looking forward to (the one you booked from Descanso’s well-curated list of male massage therapists).

When your massage is finished, have a soak in the spa beneath the courtyard’s misters — a lovely combination of cooled air and steamy body, but not so wet as to douse the flames from the fire pit. If it’s the weekend, you might like to time it around Wine O’Clock, Descanso’s happy hour. Mix it up with new friends, or have an intimate date for two, or three — no one’s judgy here. We’re too busy spending every day in paradise. 

Courtesy of Descanso Resort

October was fabulous, but it was just the opening act to what we call “season” in Palm Springs. Not “the season,” just “season.” Batman knows.

November days are sunny but not too hot, and the nights are cool, but not cold. Not only is it great hiking weather, it is also excellent pool weather — the sun is warm and the air is cool, kinda like Hawaii without getting spit on by rain. Our streets are bustling day and night, and you’d be wise to make a reservation before going out to dinner at one of our many restaurants. It’s the weather that puts what we call “season” here in Palm Springs into full swing.

We’ve got BIG events, theater, music, tucked away places to try, and some brand new exciting night clubs and restaurants. I don’t want to keep you all day, so let’s go!

Events

Nov. 4-6: Pride — This link takes you to Gay Desert Guide’s links to Pride events. If you enjoy being confused and confounded, you can go here.

Nov. 6: Pride Parade

Nov. 11-13: Women’s Jazz Festival at the Palm Springs Convention Center

Nov. 18-21: JOGS Palm Springs Gem & Jewelry Show — The JOGS Gem & Jewelry Show is one of the largest jewelry trade shows in the Americas, bringing together a variety of manufacturers, wholesalers, and brands. IYKYK.

Nov. 19: Props and Hops Craft Beer Festival — At the Palm Springs Air Museum, from 1 to 6 p.m. Get buzzed on land and buzz around in the sky in a warbird. Tons of food and entertainment.

Pride brings everyone out to Palm Springs. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

Ongoing music and libations

Melvyn’s — At the Ingleside Inn … so old school Palm Springs you’ll squee. Celebrities often sit in at the piano bar. There’s GREAT music from Mikael Healy all through the week, and the Sunday Jam is not to be missed, with all of the best musicians P.S. has to offer.

Palm Springs Cultural Center — It’s not just movies! Upstairs (I think they’re calling it Come On Up?) during the week expect an eclectic mix of styles from local musicians.

V Wine Lounge 

The Purple Room — Open every day except Monday (and who knows, maybe they’ll open on Mondays again during season).

PS Underground — It’s pricey, but definitely a one-of-a-kind experience and totally worth every simoleon.

Oscar’s — Some great shows coming up, and if I can urge you to go see at least one thing there, please let it be Mid-Century Moderns.

Theater

Dezart Performs (Choir Boy is an official Pride event)

Desert Ensemble Theatre (at PSCC, good yet unusual theater)

Palm Canyon Theatre

Hooch-y hideaways  

Small and intimate spots to get away from the crowds.

The Tailor Shop

Seymours

La Boisson (at Fleur Noire Hotel)

Le Fern, 411 E. Palm Canyon Dr. (4-9pm 7 days a week)

The Front Porch

Del Rey (at Villa Royale)

PS Air

Welcome to La Boisson. Photo courtesy of Fleur Noire Hotel

Outdoor activities

Modern and More Bike Tours — You need your own bike, but if you’re staying in a boutique hotel, chances are they’ve got one for you. This is not for kids, it’s all about history and architecture and is operated by Brennan, one of our Modernism Bus Tour guides. All quiet streets, no hills, constant sunshine, and very little traffic. Even novices will enjoy this educational ride — however, people with back problems may not. Know thyself before you book.

Historic Walking Tours from the Palm Springs Historical Society — Good luck trying to figure out which one to book. I want to go on ALL of them.

MOGO Silent Disco — Dance like nobody’s watching down the streets of Palm Springs. Everyone gets their own headset and is jamming to the same tune on this dancing tour. Outrageous outfits are encouraged, and a little stamina (60 minutes of boogie is a workout!) required.

NEW!

Sancho’s — 411 E. Palm Canyon, Palm Springs.

Coming soon

Reforma Night Club (Nov. 4)

Clandestino

Churrasco Brazilian Steakhouse (December 2022)

Thanksgiving

Alert! Apparently there’s a turkey shortage, which I find weird. Have you ever been to Wisconsin? They’re all over the road. OpenTable put together a great list of every restaurant in the Coachella Valley serving up the remaining turkeys. Most of the Palm Springs options are on page 2, and include Melvyn’s at Ingleside Inn, Azucar at La Serena Villas, and Del Rey at Villa Royale.

See you next month!

The elegant dining room at Melvyn’s. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

“I need to disappear, escape for a little bit / Take a trip to Palm Springs if you’re into it.”Mistel Marie, “Palm Springs”

It’s hot and getting hotter in Palm Springs, and unless you’re a Bedouin, it’s a bit too too for outdoor adventures. How do desert rats even exist?

I’d love to tell you, thanks for asking.

We stay in and around the pool with snacks and (adult) beverages close at hand. We wear sun bonnets (we don’t) and sunscreen (we should). Our rosé is always chilled, beer mugs frosty, tequila iced, and our martinis are shaken, not stirred. The only thing missing is someone to do all the cooking, cleaning, and bartending.

And that’s where these resorts enter our three-part (!) story.

They all have gorgeous pools, and some have massage services, but they all have a restaurant or food options so you never have to leave. No cooking and cleaning for you, my friend. You are completely carefree to don swimwear all day, and work on your tan and alcohol intake in a place that is far, far away from the madding crowd, in the enchanting city called Palm Springs.

In this part, I’ll introduce you to the larger boutique resorts that have full restaurants.

Alcazar Palm Springs. Photo credit: Visit Palm Springs

Alcazar Palm Springs — Featured in Food & Wine, the Los Angeles Times, and Travel+Leisure, Alcazar has 34 suites and is located in the Uptown Design District. The rooms are modern and sleek, featuring Italian linens, flat screen televisions, fireplaces, and your choice of poolside or private patios. In addition to their immaculate attention to detail, Alcazar offers WiFi, coffee, espresso, tea, juice, daily fresh pastries, and Townie bikes for exploring the neighborhood.

It is also attached to two of the best restaurants in Palm Springs, Cheeky’s and Birba. Although they don’t do room service, there is a passageway from the resort to both restaurants so you can stay as cool as you are.

The Cole Hotel. Photo credit: Visit Palm Springs

The Cole Hotel — In the same neighborhood is one of the more affordable resorts in Palm Springs: The Cole. It’s a 30-room resort with three different floor plans — the Cole King, Cole Suite, and Pool Suite, plus the 600-square-foot Honeymoon Suite, complete with a private balcony. There’s also a nice, swimmable pool where they have 21+ pool parties. The Cole recently welcomed Freddie’s Kitchen, conceived by Chef Frederic, who has a long history in French cuisine in Southern California and was once chef de cuisine for Joël Robuchon — the chef and restaurateur named “Chef of the Century’ by the guide Gault Millau and awarded the Meilleur Ouvrier de France.

Alas, they do not serve breakfast, but they do open at noon and snacks and drinks are available poolside until 9 p.m. Dinner starts at 5 p.m.

The Ingleside Inn. Photo credit: Visit Palm Springs

The Ingleside Inn — Classic Palm Springs, old school vibe, and another very swimmable pool. The Ingleside Inn was built in the 1920s, and transformed into an invitation-only private club by Ruth Hardy (check out her park), where notables Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner, and Marlon Brando stayed; Carole Lombard and Clark Gable honeymooned there.

Since then, the property has become open to the general public, but they’ve kept the Hollywood glam intact, including their restaurant, Melvyn’s, a favorite of Frank Sinatra. He was particularly fond of their Steak Diane.

This resort has 30 rooms and is situated on two acres of land, closer to the south end of Palm Springs on Belardo, and is still a home away from home for many celebrities. The Casablanca Lounge has a piano player nightly, and you never know who might sit in — anyone from Neil Sedaka (“Breaking Up Is Hard to Do”) to James Marsden (Enchanted and Dead To Me) to local favorites.

Poolside at La Serena Villas. Photo credit: La Serena Villas

La Serena Villas — Here’s another resort that has it all. It’s located in downtown Palm Springs, but well off the beaten path. They have the Whispers Spa that is for guests staying at La Serena Villas, the Del Marcos, and The Three Fifty Hotel only, so you can be pretty certain you’ll get the services you want, when you want them.

Also, it has a terrific restaurant called Azucar that is open to the public, so you can invite your friends to join you for dinner then invite them back to your suite for a nightcap on your private patio, or take it to the big, gorgeous pool.

The entrance to Smoke Tree Ranch. Photo credit: Smoke Tree Ranch

Smoke Tree Ranch — I have a friend who grew up in Palm Springs, and this is one place she’s never been and really, really wants to go. It’s that exclusive.

Located at the base of the mountains, the views from each of the 49 cottages are stunning. Sunrises and sunsets are actual events you won’t want to miss when you’re staying here. Some of the amenities include: flatscreen televisions, wet bars, refrigerators, coffee makers, cozy down pillows, deluxe down comforters and blankets, luxurious bathrooms with separate tubs and showers, plantation shutters, telephones with voicemail (!), private patios, and WiFi. Most cottages also have carports and wood-burning fireplaces.

Activities? Swimming, soaking, horseback riding, spa services, horseshoes, pickleball, tennis, golf, volleyball, basketball, croquet. And they have babysitting services.

The restaurant is old school; it has a dress code, so that’s kinda fun. Dress in your best summer designer fashion, and enjoy the poshness of it all while dining on the best Chef Tony Marks can cook up, including lobster and the finest steaks he can procure.

And get this — cottages are traditionally sold with three full meals per day in the Ranch House Dining Room. The meal plan begins with dinner on the day of check in, followed by breakfast and lunch the following day, and includes all gratuities.

But wait, there’s more! Coming up next week: a guide to the restaurants and bars at Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels that have no more than 30 rooms.

Missed Part 1? Read it here.

Welcome to summer in Palm Springs! This is long — lots to share! — so without further ado, the smaller resorts with restaurants:

Night falls on Arrive Palm Springs. Photo credit: Visit Palm Springs

Arrive Palm Springs — This resort is built to be social, and the poolside restaurant serves snacks and libations including “Poptails” — icy alcoholic popsicles. They used to have another restaurant, but sadly, the local favorite for lunch closed. However, you’ll barely notice the temps when you walk a few storefronts away to the hotel’s coffee shop, Cartel Coffee Lab, and ice cream parlor, Ice Cream & Shop(pe). Just a titch further is 1501 Gastropub by local restaurateurs Chad Gardner and Willie Rhine. Directly across the street from the resort is Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey Bar, which is as trendy as it sounds.

The view from above Fleur Noire. Photo credit: Visit Palm Springs

Fleur Noire Hotel — Initially called Burket’s Trade Winds Hotel, the new owners have reimagined the 1940s hotel and brought its original (heated) pool back to life. Surrounded by lush desert landscaping, the Spanish-style property has 21 casitas, studios, and standard rooms — all eclectic and all designed by Chris Pardo and wallpaper designer Ellie Cashman.

The clubhouse is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., with a communal pantry, lounge seating, and working and dining areas. They don’t actually have a restaurant, but Rick’s Desert Grill is its next door neighbor. They do, however, have a rosé and champagne speakeasy called La Boisson that will also bring your chilled libation poolside. You can literally have rosé all day.

Welcome to Holiday House. Photo credit: Holiday House

Holiday House — Smack in the middle of downtown and just a bit west of Palm Canyon is Holiday House. This is the sister property of Sparrows Lodge, which is located on the south end of Palm Springs.

Named one of Travel + Leisure’s Top 500 Hotels of 2022, Holiday House is a 21+ property. Please note there are no TVs in the rooms, but honestly, you can do that at home. Your time is best spent poolside, in a very swimmable pool.

The 28-room hipster hideaway has a little restaurant called The Pantry. Lunch is served 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and dinner is from 5 to 9 p.m., and they’ve even got a poolside menu. There aren’t a lot of choices for dinner, but what they do have is pretty scrumptious, which means they’re pretty busy. Locals try to go, but you guys generally have eaten all that deliciousness by the time we get there.

L’Horizon’s cabanas. Photo credit: Visit Palm Springs

L’Horizon Palm Springs — Originally designed in 1952 by William F. Cody as a retreat for television producer and oil tycoon Jack Wrather and his actress wife, Bonita “Bunny” Granville (yeah, no idea either), L’Horizon has been restored to its original grandeur and is 100 percent squee-worthy.

Located on three acres, the 21+ resort has 25 private bungalows, and the original 2,000 square foot home is available for bookings as well. The living room and yard of the house have unobstructed views of the mountains, and there is a sunken seating area, wood-burning fireplace, dining room, wet bar, kitchen, marble bathrooms with rainforest showers, and an outdoor shower.

When you’re done lazing by the pool, The Spa offers massages, body treatments, facials, and add-ons like peppermint foot therapy and wild lime scalp treatments. Once you’re fully relaxed, stop by Le Shop, a boutique featuring Naturopathica’s skin care and body products, resort wear, swimsuits, jewelry, sunglasses, and home accessories.

And…drumroll…L’Horizon also has a gourmet restaurant called SO•PA that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner (feel free to order poolside as well). Dramatic, refined, and intimate, SO•PA offers a unique alfresco dining experience, and is on everyone in Palm Springs’ bucket list for dining.

The patio at El Mirasol at Los Arboles. Photo credit: Los Arboles Hotel

Los Arboles — The Casteñada family would like to welcome you to their 21-room “home” featuring a rooftop deck, a courtyard pool, hot tub, and home cooked authentic Mexican meals at El Mirasol at Los Arboles. 

I am not kidding you about the authentic food. Mama Casteñeda oversees the kitchen, and all of the dishes are from her recipe box (the box actually lived in her head, and she had no need to write them down until she opened a restaurant).

The restaurant is in a courtyard, and is a local favorite. They also have a sister location on the south end of town, the original El Mirasol. Pair the jalapeño margarita with any dish and you’ll be a very happy camper.

Pull up a chair at Sparrows Lodge. Photo credit: Sparrows Lodge

Sparrows Lodge — The bohemian sister resort to Holiday House also has zero TVs, but man do they have a great swimmable pool and misters all throughout the courtyard. The interiors have a modernist, beachy, farmhouse feel to them. If I’m any indication, you’ll feel a sense of serenity the moment you enter.

Their restaurant is called The Barn and like The Pantry at Holiday House, it’s on everyone’s bucket list. I cannot stress to you enough that you need a reservation, and generally well in advance. Executive Chef Sebastian Lowrey and Sous Chef Daniella Lara have created some wonderful offerings for lunch and dinner, and everyone wants in.

One of Villa Royale’s sparkling pools. Photo credit: Villa Royale

Villa Royale — Gorgeous old bones have been renovated to an even more glorious and contemporary retreat, well off the beaten path in the Deepwell neighborhood. The 21+, 38-suite property has three pools, mountain views, and folks, it is pet-friendly.

With over 50 original pieces of artwork on site, it’s like being immersed in a museum. All of the work was commissioned exclusively for the resort, and artists Sara Radovanovich, Lou Kregal, and Juan Casas lived at the Villa Royale while creating their oil paintings, which feature everything from pop culture icons to desert scenes.

Focusing on Spanish and Mediterranean flavors and led by Chef Louis Martinez, the Del Rey is Villa Royale’s small-plate restaurant. It boasts a beautiful 12-seat oak and marble bar, as well as booths and an outdoor patio with firepit. The cocktail menu is very creative — drink ingredients include black tea ice cubes, saffron syrup, and olive oil — so  get ready to imbibe. 

Coming next Tuesday: resorts with breakfast and lunch served on premise for guests only. Not a local in sight.