What's the big draw for Palm Springs when it comes to the LGBT community? That answer comes not from the newest of the gay newlyweds in today's society, but from the days of George Nader and beau Rock Hudson enjoying the sun and surf in peaceful privacy. Who could argue with a history like that? But rest assured that Palm Springs still has a place today on the map as top LGBT destination and here are a few reasons reasons why.
With a huge LGBT population in Palm Springs,California, it's no wonder Palm Springs' Gay Pride festival is Coachella Valley's longest-running LGBT festival. The event literally closes down Palm Canyon Drive! This is where to find the most diverse array of clubs and entertainment venues, restaurants, artists, great shopping, multiple beverage gardens, entertainers and purveyors of sweets, snacks, and jewelry. Of course, with the LGBT population of Palm Springs accounting for about 50% of its annual residency, the fun doesn't stop with a limited Gay Pride celebration of just a few days.
Palm Springs is home to countless opportunities for great LGBT entertainment. In addition to the expected Gay Pride extravaganza, there are multiple venues and celebrations catering to your style. Halloween is of course a favorite and not the least of the events. It demands an entire block party, costume contest, and parade all its own down Arenas Street. And for the ladies, "The Dinah Shore Weekend," the world's biggest lesbian oriented musical event, takes place March 30th through April 3rd of 2016.
Gay Pride this year is free and takes place in downtown Palm Springs. The parade, starting at 10 am, is November 8th on Palm Canyon Drive. A free block party will kick off downtown on November 7th and the entire event runs November 6th through the 9th. Other LGBT events and parties include what was formerly known as the Dinah Shore Classic golf tournament but now referred to as the 'ANA Inspiration' (March 28th-April 3rd, 2016), the gay and lesbian film festival 'Cinema Diverse' (September 17th-20th, 2015), the 'Short Film Festival' (June 16th - 22nd 2015), the 'International Film Festival' (begins January 1st, 2016), and the most notoriously wild party of all... the White Party (April 8-11, 2016)... widely considered the biggest and baddest gay dance music festival in the country.
Because "it never rains in California" and the weather is warm, there's no need to flood the summer months with events like many locations in the country. The weather in Palm Springs is so amazing that 2015's gay pride event takes place in November... November! The weather is also perfect for the weekly Thursday night Palm Springs Palm Canyon Drive street festival. Again, traffic is detoured while an extensive selection of local artists provide entertainment, craft exhibits, and art. Sipping drinks and munching foods by local food vendors makes your stroll through the heart of Palm Springs the perfect opportunity for people and puppy watching.
Gay friendly hotels and resorts are plentiful, thanks to the ever-expanding number of LGBT travelers to Palm Springs. Popular favorites include Desert Paradise - Gay Men's Resort with excellent reviews and a prime location in town. The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort and Spa on Dinah Shore Drive is also a good choice with great amenities including childcare, arcades, spa, tennis, and a steam room. In fact, just about any property you stay at will be gay-friendly, but other LGBT specific places include InnDulge, All Worlds Resorts, and La Dolce Vita Resort and Spa.
When are you planning your next visit to Palm Springs?
Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.
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Auston grew up in Phoenix before escaping to Chicago in 2008. After 4 years working as an engineer, he sold his belongings and embarked on a round-the-world trip. After traveling non-stop for a year, he finally settled in Spain with his husband where he now calls home. When he's not traveling or writing guides about events, festivals or the best LGBT destinations, he enjoys the long sunny days and nightlife of Madrid. Read Auston's blog at Two Bad Tourists, or follow him on Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.
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