Palm Springs has a long storied history with a being a destination for LGB travelers, especially for gay Hollywood. Over the last century gay men from Los Angles have found a quiet oasis in this desert city.
Today Palm Springs is a thriving travel destination of gays with one of the highest concentrations of gay/lesbian resorts in the world. The city also boasts one of the highest per capita LGBT populations in the U.S.
The history of gay Palm Springs date back to 1913 – yes 1913! For more on the city’s history check out “A City Comes Out,” by David Wallace. Between 1930 and 1950 when Hollywood was in its hey day, stars’ contracts stipulated that actors could not travel more than 200 miles from Los Angeles during film production. Because few paparazzi traveled to Palm Springs it became the nearby getaway for celebrities. As an added bonus desert homes were usually surrounded by high walls, allowing anything to go on within the private compounds.
With 30 gay guesthouses in the Palm Springs area there’s something for everyone whether you’re looking for all-male, all-nude or whatever.
You’ll find one of more luxurious experiences at the Hacienda at Warm Sands, which takes great pride in its attention to detail and customer service. The resort offers the largest staff to guest ratio in Palm Springs. It bills itself as “the most luxurious upscale gay male resort hotel in California.” Each room is a suite, and includes a continental breakfast and catered lunch. They offer a pillow menu, with 7 different types of pillows to fit whatever desire you have from the Hacienda Feather Pillow - billed by the manufacturer as "the world's finest hypo-allergenic pillow,” to The Tummy Comforter Pillow – “the answer for comfortable sleeping on your stomach and eliminating strain on the back.”
Some other amenities the resort offers is a pre-arrival personal shopper service so that the suite's wet bar/kitchen is stocked with your preferred food, snacks and beverages. Swimming areas are clothing optional. Prices vary depending on season.
For a more affordable option check out La Dolce Vita Resort & Spa, a popular clothing optional resort. It’s rated as one of the top 10 best resorts in Palm Springs. The property includes two pools, several hot tubs and a spa. This is where I stayed on my recent trip and I would definitely recommend it to others. The staff is helpful, courteous and friendly; and the property is clean and well maintained. And like many clothing optional resorts it’s easy to make new friends with other guests. La Dolce, while affordable, is still luxurious enough for a romantic getaway.
Some of the major LGBT events through the year include Greater Palm Springs Pride, Palm Springs Leather Pride and the annual White Party.
Palms Springs has a couple of connections to South Florida with their own Georgie’s Alibi and Hunter’s Palm Springs. So if you visit make sure you stop by both.
I want to give a special thanks to the Palm Springs Tourism Bureau for hosting an LGBT press trip. They did a spectacular job spotlighting their city and promoting it. For more information on Palm Springs visit VisitPalmSprings.com.
Places to Stay
The Hacienda at Warm Sands
“The most luxurious upscale gay male resort hotel in California”
586 S Warm Sands Dr.
Palm Springs, CA 92264
La Dolce Vita
“A gay men's clothing optional resort & spa”
1491 Vía Soledad
Palm Springs, CA 92264
Places to Eat
The Tropicale Palm Springs
This restaurant offers up a "world cuisine,” with dishes like the Nashville Hot Chicken with Sour Cream Cornbread and the Grilled Organic Brisket Burger with Melted Brie.
This quint café offers up a French inspired menu with breakfast items like Fruit and Nutella Pancakes and a built it yourself Hearty Egg Sandwich; while the lunch menu offers an array of cold and hot sandwiches and paninis, as well as salads including Salade Compagnard Epinard, a hard to find warm, savory salad with baby spinach with seasoned roasted potatoes, lardon, diced tomato, in a pomegranate balsamic vinaigrette.
Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill
This eatery offers up a Mexican inspired cuisine that features a traditional array of Mexican dishes from burritos and enchiladas to tacos and fajitas. The restaurant is also known for their drag brunches every Sunday and their margarita goblets.
This popular Palm Springs restaurant offers a mix of food featuring all natural and hormone free beef, free range organic chicken, sustainable/wild seafood and fresh local produce. Some of their menu items include pizzas, salads, burgers, steaks, and pasta.
White Party Palm Springs: Jeffrey Sanker Presents
May 5-9, 2017
Greater Palm Springs Pride
November 1-6, 2016
Palm Springs Leather Pride