Palm Springs Hub

5 Things You Can't Miss In Palm Springs, California


This weekly travel column is brought to you by ManAboutWorld, an immersive digital gay travel magazine for iOS and Android devices from Billy KolberEd SalvatoKenny Porpora, and nearly 75 Global Correspondents.

Palm Springs’ heyday may have begun with the early movie and TV stars, but the town’s gay renaissance began in the ‘80s, when gay Angelenos started buying the mid-century modern homes in a then seedy downtown. Today, Palm Springs is a stylish and popular weekend getaway from September through May, and never more glorious than it is right now. When LA is a “chilly” 68-70° in the winter and spring, Angelenos head to sunny Palm Springs for warm swimming pool weather. It’s a popular gay destination, but it’s a relatively small city, with a population of under 50,000 residents. The few gay bars and clubs it has are often deserted midweek, even in season, and when the temperature soars in the summer, the town really slows down.

PSP Inset that slow pace is at the heart of Palm Springs’ appeal. This is a place to go when you want to do little more than relax by the pool, under a stunning vista of mountains and desert. There’s also tennis, golf, and just enough other active, cultural, outdoors and shopping distractions for those who can’t sit still, and a large concentration of mid-century modern design, making it a world capital for those who share that fetish.  

If you want to see the town packed to its Modernist gills with gays, then head there during its top homo event: the White Party, April 24-27, a long-running annual party that bills itself as the world’s largest gay music festival, and whose Sunday afternoon T dance is just fabulous. Before you head to the desert, be sure to review our top picks below and DOWNLOAD a PDF of our recently updated Palm Springs Travel Guide, for recently updated recommendations on where to stay, eat, play/meet for FREE. Oh, and pack plenty of sunblock! 

1. Pura Vida: This (clothing-required) gay guesthouse is the most stylish and modern in all of Palm Springs. Opened in late 2011, the rooms are large and flooded with ambient light, have travertine floors, comfortable king sized beds that are positioned in front of Fantasy Glow fireplaces and 40-inch flat screen TVs. The sparkling pool offers stunning views of the mountains.

Palm Springs Palms Linda Tanner Palm Springs Art Museum: This impressive 150,000 square foot facility boasts major collections of modern,  contemporary, Native American and Western art, including two outdoor sculpture gardens. Admission is free every Thursday from 4-8pm, and the second Sunday of the month.

3. Happy hour: So many happy hours in this boozy little gay oasis, so little time! We love two in particular. Oscar’s Café and Bar is a fun bar with live music and drag performances. Its Sunday tea dance gets visitors and locals packing the place. We also never miss Wang's In The Desert, still the most popular happy hour in town (Friday afternoons). Come thirsty not hungry: Wang's is known for its cocktails and scene not the food!

4. Hacienda Cantina & Beach Club: This stylish yet casual venue features a restaurant with indoor and outside dining, a bar and a pool with lounge chairs and cabanas for rent for reasonable prices. Hot locals pack the thumping pool area on weekends. It’s located along side the main commercial drive in Palm Springs but faces the soaring mountains. Taco Tuesdays are particularly popular (the tacos are interesting and inexpensive). Day or night, it’s a little bit of Vegas in Palm Springs.

5. Ruben and Ozzy’s Oyster Bar and Grill: Oysters in the desert?! Sounds odd but during a recent visit this was the best meal we had. Ruben and Ozzy, the two brothers who own and run this establishment, have had long careers in the Greater Palm Springs area. They feature globally influenced seafood dishes (with fish tacos particularly popular). Carnivores, fret not: There are also excellent steaks.

Click here to download more great Palm Springs recommendations in our FREE PDF insiders guide.

For even more opinionated travel information and inspiration, get ManAboutWorld Magazine on iTunes (iOS) or Google Play (Android). 

Image credits: Top: Richard Thomas; Top right: Billy Kolber; Bottom right: Linda Tanner

New Gay Animated Web Series Follows the 'Young, Dumb, and Hungry' in Palm Springs: VIDEO

Somewhere in palm springs episode 1

Written by Nate Clark & Allen Loeb, new animated web series Somewhere In Palm Springs is about three gay friends and their gal pal hanging by the pool in Palm Springs, California.

The series stars Drew Tarver (How I Met Your Dad) and Jimmy Fowlie (Go Go Boy Interrupted) and premiered June 24.

Life is hard when you're young, dumb and hungry...poolside in Palm Springs, California. Somewhere In Palm Springs is the harrowing tale of 4 friends forced to wait a normal amount of time for their lunch to arrive to their lounge chairs — they share hopes, dreams, neuroses, and the sordid details of their various one night stands. They may be vapid, but, hey, at least they're vapid.

Watch episodes one and two, AFTER THE JUMP...


Continue reading "New Gay Animated Web Series Follows the 'Young, Dumb, and Hungry' in Palm Springs: VIDEO" »

Gay Councilmember in Rancho Mirage, California Hit with Homophobic 'FAGS' Mailer

Scott Hines, an openly gay city councilmember in Racho Mirage, California, si being targeted by an anonymous homophobic mailer, Frontiers reports:

MailerIn mid-February, some Rancho Mirage voters opened their mailboxes to find an anti-gay postcard attacking openly gay Councilmember Scott Hines with the message “Send Hines Packing Back to Palm Springs (where he belongs).”

The postcards feature a shirtless picture of Hines with a caption in rainbow-colored lettering that says “No More ‘Fab’ Party Guy Scotty.” The letters of the message line up vertically to spell out “FAGS.”

The mailing was sent out without a return address, so no one knows who sent it. Hines, an educational technology company CEO and former Air Force Intelligence officer, has been careful not to point any fingers, but many residents suspect the postcards came from his campaign opponents, a group Hines sometimes refers to as “The Gang of Four.”

The so-called Gang of Four ("three Rancho Mirage City Council incumbents—Dana Hobart, Ted Weill and Iris Smotrich—plus political newcomer Charles Townsend") deny responsibility and suggest that the postcards were sent by Hines's supporters.

'Desert Migration' Documents Aging with HIV: VIDEO

Desert Migration

Director Daniel Cardone is embarking on a project to document the lives of people who survived the AIDS crisis and are now living as older men with HIV, titled Desert Migration in reference to the many, many men who chose to move to Palm Springs, CA for retirement. From the project's indiegogo page:

When HIV treatments improved and people stopped dying by the thousands, many HIV positive men took stock and thought, " what?”  Death was not an immediate concern, but their health was still fragile and their lives had been permanently knocked off course [...] The fastest growing demographic of people living with HIV/AIDS in the US are those over 50 years of age.  They weren’t expected to live, let alone thrive.  Importantly, the effect on their bodies by the medications keeping them alive was never adequately tested.  After twenty years, what is worse – the medications or the HIV?

You can see Desert Migration's trailer AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "'Desert Migration' Documents Aging with HIV: VIDEO" »

Palm Springs Cinema Hosts LGBT Film Festivals, Contributes To Anti-Gay Causes

Rozene SuppleThe Camelot theater in Palm Springs is one of the leading indie theaters in the vacation hot spot. The theater has hosted a variety of film festivals, including hosting the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Short Film Festival, the American Documentary Film Festival, and the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, since it was created in 1967.

One would think that to host such events the theater would be owned by progressive or at least liberal-leaning proprietors. Roger Tansey over at MyDesert uncovered the reality that in fact the owner, Mrs. Rozene Supple, has donated to a variety of right-wing and anti-gay causes. Some of her offenses include $2200 to Michele Bachmann, $7,900 to the Koch brothers' Citizens United, and arguably most egregiously (in message, if not amount) she gave $100 to to support California's Proposition 8.

Mrs. Supple wrote a rebuttal for MyDesert in an attempt to balance out her portrayal, explicitly stating that she loves her Palm Springs community, and though she's Republican she does not support the Tea Party or religious right (despite donating to Bachmann), she wants smaller government oversight and less regulation (despite donating to Citizens United), and she admires and respects the gays (despite donating to an anti-gay hate cause).

To her credit, Mrs. Supple says that she has donated to causes like Desert AIDS Project, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Equality California, The Judy Fund, Olive Crest, and the Children’s Discovery Museum, and she says that going forward, 

I have decided that I will no longer contribute to any political entity that does not embrace equal rights for all Americans. Truth be told, I will probably stop contributing to any of them.

Mrs. Supple may have a struggle on her hands undoing the damage that she has already done to her own reputation and public good will, and time will tell if she actually follows through on her commitments. Still, better a late conversion than never.

Cathedral City Police Raid Barracks Bar on Closing Night of Leather Pride Weekend: VIDEO


Barracks Bar in Palm Springs was raided by police last night during a beer bust for Palm Springs Leather Pride, which was happening this weekend.

CcpdLeatherati writes:

Breaking news...we just received a text indicating the Barracks Bar in Cathedral City, CA was shut down this afternoon by the local police department for "capacity" issues. The closure came during one of the busiest Sunday beer busts of the year with the town crowded with attendees to Palm Springs Leather Pride. The Barracks has had ongoing difficulties with the Cathedral City police department over capacity issues and displayIng porn in the bar. We'll update as we get more info.

A video posted online supports Leatherati's claim. As of yet, we have heard of no reported arrests.


Continue reading "Cathedral City Police Raid Barracks Bar on Closing Night of Leather Pride Weekend: VIDEO" »


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