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Discover Palm Springs: The Ultimate Desert Playground

Monday Jul 16, 2018
Discover Palm Springs: The Ultimate Desert Playground
  (Source:Visit Palm Springs)

Palm Springs proves that desert fabulousness never goes out of style with summer pool parties, LGBTQ-friendly accommodations, gorgeous weather, and Instagram-worthy design touches around every corner.

Get Wet
Slather on your sunscreen because when the temperature rises so does the wow factor as Palm Springs' kick into high gear. Here are our picks of where to take a dip:

Splash House -- One weekend. Three spectacular venues. Unparalleled frolic and fun. Expect that and more August 10-12 at "the Coachella of pool parties," which overtake The Renaissance, The Riviera, and The Saguaro. Festival passes include all three venues, with shuttles running among the festivities. Be sure to pack some swag, as balcony/patio decorations are part of the Splash House tradition.

Ace Hotel & Swim Club -- No matter what your style, Ace's curated events have something to offer. The summer runs the gamut with Second Saturdays Discoteca featuring DJ Victor Rodriguez and a Full Moon Party (July 27) with a poolside drum circle, card readers and more.

Hotel Zoso  (Source:Visit Palm Springs)

Hotel Zoso -- Every Sunday through September 30, Hotel Zoso's weekly pool party "Swim. Dance. Happiness." embodies the Palm Springs spirit with DJ Paparazzi keeping the music flowing and drink specials all afternoon long.

Palm Springs offers an array of accommodations to suit any budget and style. With a large full-time gay population and a city that prides itself on being welcoming, they don't have a list of LGBTQ friendly hotels because they all are LGBTQ friendly. Widely considered the epicenter of gay guesthouses in the U.S., as the heat rises, your inhibitions can drop (along with your swim trunks if you desire), as Palm Springs is the capital of clothing-optional. Boasting 16 clothing-optional gay resorts, you're sure to uncover one that's right for you.

Looking for someplace new and central? Head to The Rowan Palm Springs - conveniently located downtown, the 153-room Kimpton property boasts the city's only rooftop pool and bar on the seventh floor of the city's tallest building. The San Jacinto Mountains are in your backyard and boasts amazing views of the valley.

The Hacienda  (Source:Visit Palm Springs)

The Hacienda is an exclusive resort that provides you the personal touch without getting too touchy. Be totally cocooned by the peaceful, calming and nurturing environment, which is skillfully complimented by the staff's professional, pampering, attentive and personalized (yet unobtrusive) seamless guest services.

For some interesting history, Howard Hughes designed El Mirasol Villas in the 1940's as luxury digs to frolic with his gal friends. Three decades later, the resort became a gay male hangout, luring gregarious guests with its 10-person hot tub and eucalyptus steam room.


Ways to Play
For those looking to party any night of the week, the East Arenas Road vicinity has an impressive list of bars and clubs such as Hunters, the largest nightclub on the block, which includes a main bar, patio lounge and dedicated dance space that opens on the weekends. Streetbar Palm Springs, also known as "Streetbar Named Desire", is the oldest bar on Arenas Road and features an enormous chandelier always decorated for the holidays.

QuadZ is the block's video bar featuring its show tunes nights. Blackbook Bar and Kitchen is the street's youngest sibling, with killer nachos served on cookie sheets, while Chill Bar Palm Springs is a local hangout with a large outdoor deck to sit with friends and people watch.

  (Source:Visit Palm Springs)

Each November Greater Palm Springs Pride is an annual event with a 30-year history. The weeklong festivities include a parade and festival, as well as the Pride Honors Awards, which recognizes leaders in advocacy and awareness, and the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast, a community event that strengthens gay-straight alliances and engages local youth.

Break out your tighty-whities for Jeffrey Sanker's White Party every spring -- the largest gay men's party in the U.S. In 2019 it will be April 27-30 and ends with some big fireworks (wink wink!) at the outdoor tea dance.

This is where big stars like J Lo, Lady Gaga, and Ariana Grande got their starts, so you may see a future star (or future husband)!

Learn more about Palm Springs at

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Summer 2018

This story is part of our special report titled "Summer 2018." Want to read more? Here's the full list.


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