Sprawling across the Coachella Valley, the über gay Palm Springs and its fellow desert cities are tucked between two mighty mountain ranges that let visitors experience everything from the cactus to the clouds. Whether you're in the mood for excitement and adventure, or just want to get away from the hassles of everyday life, gay Palm Springs lets you relax under the hot desert sun in true Californian luxury. And with the highest per capita LGBTQ population in the States, there are plenty of opportunities for gay travelers.
Gay Palm Springs history
Palm Springs is a city of 45,000 people located under the massive Mount San Jacinto in the Californian desert. The climate is warm and dry all year round with 350 days of sunshine and temperatures regularly over 100°F in summer.
Originally established as a Californian resort town, it swiftly became one of the top retreats for the Hollywood elite. Only a two hour drive from Los Angeles (and three hours from San Diego), the desert city attracted famous actors like Lucille Ball, Charlie Chaplin, Elvis Presley, or Frank Sinatra, who escaped to the city for solitude and sun.
While Hollywood celebrities still visit, more recently Palm Springs has established itself as one of the top destinations for LGBT travelers, with Provincetown and Key West.
Gay Palm Springs clothing-optional resorts
The city of Palm Springs has more than 20 gay and lesbian resorts and guest houses, including many gay clothing-optional resorts. Among them, Escape Resort offers pool parties accessible to guests and non-guest. Travelers wishing to stay gay can also choose the Triangle Inn, the Exile Inn, the Hacienda or the INN Dulge.
Some of Palm Springs iconic gay venues include the Hunter's, Toucans Tiki Lounge, Wang's, Spurline and Carnival Cabaret. For shopping and dining, bars and clubs - both gay and non-gay - the main points of interest can be found along Palm Canyon Drive. In the evening, there is plenty of shows in the numerous theaters and cabarets.
Palm Springs Pride and other gay events
Aside from the regular gay bars and clubs in Palm Springs, the city’s gay calendar is packed. In November, Palm Springs Pride lures thousands of visitors to celebrate, right before Leather Pride. In March/April, Dinah Shore attracts gay women to the city making it the largest lesbian event in the world. Also in April, the infamous White Party attracts over 30,000 gay revelers for a three-day music festival of pool parties, club nights and outdoor events in the heart of the Californian desert. Highlight of the festival, the White Party is a giant celebration of music and love under the stars. The White Party celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2019.
In June, the Desert Romp party turns Palm Springs into a clothing optional paradise.
With a touch of Hollywood glamor, a pinch of Las Vegas entertainment, the desert oasis will surprise you with its modernist architecture, hot springs and a bustling gay life. Start planning your ultimate gay Palm Springs vacation today and put Palm Springs on your gay bucket list!