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Dawn 'til Dusk: The Ultimate Day (and Night) in Palm Springs

by Matthew Wexler
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Jun 21, 2019
Dawn 'til Dusk: The Ultimate Day (and Night) in Palm Springs
  (Source:VisitGayPalmSprings.com)

Hollywood's biggest stars discovered Palm Springs as a desert oasis in the mid-20th century while they were under studio contracts and needed to be within close proximity to Los Angeles. But the Coachella Valley has proven her staying power in spades, with diverse offerings year-round ranging from cultural festivals to the iconic White Party.

Can you have too much of a good thing? Not when you're in Palm Springs. EDGE scoped out some of our favorite locales, but for a full roster of options, visit visitgaypalmsprings.com.

An Early Breakfast at Pinocchio in the Desert
Open 365 days a year at 7:30 a.m., this is the ideal spot to start your day. Located at the intersection of East Tahquitz Canyon Way and Indian Canyon Drive, you'll find yourself at the epicenter of Palm Spring's vibrant retail district. All-day happy hour includes bottomless sparkling wine, while the Bloody Marys and other cocktails arrive in mammoth goblets.

The expansive menu offers plenty to choose from, but if it's your first meal of the day, bolster your energy with the Kali Burrito (packed with eggs, bacon, sausage, chorizo, potato, avocado, and cheese) or Hawaiian buttermilk pancakes, topped with pineapple, cashews and shredded coconut.

Take a Tour with Palm Springs Mod Squad
Palm Springs is globally recognized as a hub of mid-century modern architecture and design. While there are plenty of opportunities to discover neighborhoods and exteriors, Mod Squad's Interiors Tour takes you inside three mid-century homes for an intimate and immersive experience.

The line-up varies depending on availability. (Hint: call ahead and if the tour includes different properties, take it twice — it's that good!) Past houses have included a restored 1959 Hugh Kaptur design, a 1957 custom home by Libbott with city views, and Howard Lapham's 1954 extended-stay vacation apartment motel. What's most thrilling is to witness how each home has been personally decorated by its current owners, drawing from various historical and contemporary influences.

Architectural tour guide, designer and author Kurt Cyr reveals the fine details that make each property unique in an accessible way that appeals to anyone, regardless of their previous knowledge of mid-century modern design.


  (Source:VisitGayPalmSprings.com)

Stroll Along South Palm Canyon Drive
To spice up your summer wardrobe, head to Gay Mart for provocative swim trunks, shorts, and T-shirts - all the gay wear that's fit for a sizzling time in the desert. If you're feeling fancy and flush, add a little more zing with a brightly colored floral print suit from Mr. Turk.

For cool retro styles that pop with color, Wil Stiles is the spot to revamp your warm-weather wardrobe. In addition to international brands, Stiles designs his limited-edition prints that are sure to stand out in a crowd.

A Luxurious Lunch at Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge
Located in Palm Spring's Uptown Design District, Eight4Nine's vibrant décor sets the scene for a modern American menu. Its stark white and bold pink color palette are Instagram-worthy in their own right, though you'll quickly be posting photos of executive chef Israel Jimenez's culinary offerings.

The lobster roll, loaded into a buttery brioche roll lightly brushed with tarragon aioli, is a must, or opt for a lighter smoked chicken Caesar salad so you can save room for Brandini toffee s'mores fondue with housemade marshmallows.


  (Source:Escape Resort)

Take a Dip... or Two
There are plenty of options when it comes to accommodations, just be sure to allow time to unwind at the pool!

Kimpton The Rowan Palm Springs — This gorgeous 153-room property offers stellar views of the San Jacinto Mountains and a host of amenities, including in-room spa treatments, custom-designed PUBLIC bikes to zip around town, and several on-site restaurants.

You'll definitely want to head to the rooftop pool to nestle in a shaded cabana for the afternoon, or arrive at sunset for the gorgeous golden hour and cocktails at High Bar, where you can sip on innovative cocktails like the Golden Julep (Maker's Mark, curacao, turmeric, agave and lemon).

Escape Resort — This sharply designed mid-century enclave is one of several clothing-optional resorts throughout Palm Springs. Each one has its own character, and if you've never experienced the freedom of leaving your swimsuit behind, it's a must!

Gay owned and operated, Escape Resort has cultivated a community of returning guests over the years that appreciate the property's welcoming and relaxed vibe. Design elements whimsically nod to mid-century modern with a fun palette of turquoise and orange, cohesively paired with neutrals. Those who want to book an extended stay can take advantage of Deluxe King Rooms, furnished with a full kitchen, dining area, and private patio for your personal oasis.

Weekend social hours offer the opportunity to meet other guests... or you can gather in the 15-person hot tub!


Wiener Schnitzel at Johannes  (Source:Johannes)

Travel to Europe for Dinner
From casual to upscale dining, Palm Springs offers something for everyone. For dinner with a European flair, head to Johannes. Here you'll find the culinary master of Austrian chef-owner Johannes Bacher, who draws from childhood memories and global knowledge to craft an inspired menu with nods to his Austrian roots.

It's no wonder that Johannes is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Guests continue to appreciate the diverse menu, but if there's one "must-have," it's one of the chef's Wiener Schnitzel preparations, which rivals anything you might taste in Vienna. (The Jäger is a particular favorite, served with wild mushroom, bacon and red wine sauce, roasted fingerling potatoes, and cucumbers in dill-sour cream dressing.) Head to the bar for smaller portions and create your own tasting menu.

When the Sun Sets
From wine bars to dance clubs, options abound for those who like to kick up their heels as the evening wears on.

Chill Bar is a terrific spot to kick off the night with happy hour (10 a.m. - 7 p.m.), where you can make new friends on the outdoor deck, or linger around for fun weekly programming such as The Dating Game on Tuesday nights with Anita Rose or Stripper Circus on Friday nights (self-explanatory!). For late-night munchies, head to BlackBook, for binge-worthy disco fries.


  (Source:VisitGayPalmSprings.com)

Don't Miss
Looking for a wow-factor happening to anchor your visit? Check out these three upcoming events:

Cinema Diverse: The Palm Springs LGBTQ Film Festival, September 19-22, 2019.

Palm Springs Leather Pride, October 25-28, 2019.

Greater Palm Springs Pride, November 1, 2019.


Sponsored Content.


Matthew Wexler is EDGE's National Senior Editor of Travel, Lifestyle, Health & Branded Content. More of his writing can be found at www.wexlerwrites.com. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @wexlerwrites.


Spring 2019

This story is part of our special report titled "Spring 2019." Want to read more? Here's the full list.


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