Palm Springs as a Gay Destination
America's newest gay holiday destination is Palm Springs, a resort city situated around 170 kilometres east of Los Angeles in the Coachella Valley. During the 1950s and 1960s, the destination was popular with Hollywood stars that enjoyed the warm climate and year around sunshine but today the region attracts retirees and holiday-makers who appreciate the nearby natural beauty and the invigorating outdoor activities.
For gay and lesbian travellers, however, the city currently boasts the fifth largest percentage of same-sex households in the country, with former Mayor, Ron Oden estimating that one third of the city is gay – some estimates have the gay population as high as 40 per cent. This is a place where you won't be a minority but represented as an equal. There's a terrific community vibe in Palm Springs, that's always happy to share their piece of paradise with visitors.
With such a large local gay population, the scene is understandably substantial with many dedicated gay businesses, bars and restaurants. Popular bars include Tool Shed that attracts a bear crowd, Street Bar that organises various theme nights and Spurline that has a strong retro show tune focus. Other bars include The Barracks that caters to guys who like leather, Wangs and Hunters Palm Springs – an always popular nightclub with trend setters.
All visitors to Palm Springs, regardless of sexuality, will be treated with the same generous Californian hospitality. For travellers who appreciate exclusive gay accommodation, Palm Springs offers dozens of hotels including many clothing-optional resorts. Inn Exile, Desert Paradise Resort Hotel, Desert Eclipse, Escape Resort and Tortuga Del Sol proudly offer comfortable resort style accommodation geared towards men who appreciate the au natural look.
View our Palm Springs accommodation options.
Palm Springs Pride
The annual Palm Springs Pride festivities, which were first held in 1986, now take place over one weekend at the beginning of November at the Palm Springs Stadium Sunrise Park. The centrepiece of the celebrations are the local and international acts who perform live on the Main Stage to the delight of the audience. There's also a dance venue that boasts celebrated American DJs spinning the decks on both the Saturday and the Sunday for those like to get down and boogie. The official Parade itself begins at 10am on the Sunday morning at W. Ramon Rd and makes its way down Palm Canyon Drive to Alejo Road.