LGBTQ+ Palm Springs

by Mark Chesnut

Mar 1, 2019
LGBTQ

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY LGBTQ+ travelers love Palm Springs, just ask Casey Zilionis, a travel advisor at Cruise C2C, a Virtuoso affiliate travel agency in the desert city. He sums it up with three words: climate, comfort and style.

Indeed, this desert destination’s climate has attracted all types of travelers for decades. “With only 10 to 20 days of annual rainfall, you’re almost guaranteed a bright and sunny vacation,” he said.

As for comfort, the destination’s impressive diversity assures a welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ globetrotters. “Palm Springs boasts a 35 percent LGBT year-round population,” Zilionis said. “Our entire City Council is LGBT. Walk down the street or into any restaurant or bar and you’ll be surrounded by LGBT folks, whether that establishment is labeled ‘gay’ or not. It’s just easy to be ourselves in Palm Springs.”

The destination’s friendliness is also evident on the website of the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, with a detailed LGBT travel section.

Style — the third component of the city’s allure, according to Zilionis — is easy to find here, too. “Palm Springs is definitely where the mid-century modern revival is at its peak,” he explained. “You’ll see it everywhere, from the sleek white homes to the way people dress.”

Accommodation options in Palm Springs can be equally stylish; Zilionis recommends The Hacienda at Warm Sands as an ideal “all-gay” hotel for upscale travelers. One of the top choices for all-gay, men-only accommodations is the clothing-optional INNdulge, while travelers of all backgrounds will find lovely gay-friendly boutique ambience at properties like La Serena Villas, Avalon Hotel and Bungalows, Arrive Palm Springs and Kimpton The Rowan Palm Springs.

The nightlife and party scene in Palm Springs can be as wild or tranquil as a visitor prefers. For upscale travelers, Zilionis recommends the Purple Room, a show lounge and supper club with a popular Sunday drag show, and Blackbook, a gay bar that also serves food.

“It’s interesting to note that, even though we have plenty of bars and hotels, many travelers come to Palm Springs to ‘play house’ — in other words, rent a fabulously chic home and do all of their entertaining on property,” Zilionis added.

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