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No Mirage, Palm Springs Is a Queer Paradise

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Once I consider Palm Springs, I image iconic Hollywood stars of yesteryear retreating to their houses or favourite spots there—Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Elizabeth Taylor, Zsa Zsa Gabor and the like. It’s virtually an extension of Los Angeles, proper? In truth, the beautiful Coachella Valley turned what it was partially as a result of it wasn’t L.A. Many studio contracts again within the day stipulated that stars needed to stay with a 100-mile radius of the studios. And Palm Springs, virtually precisely 100 miles due east, was an ideal getaway.

As we speak, the world is effectively often known as a playground for LGBTQ vacationers, and particularly as a well-liked retirement spot for homosexual {couples}. Guests will discover roughly a dozen homosexual males’s resorts, every modestly sized and with totally different vibes and worth factors. The town actually is a queer nirvana, with its unbelievable variety of mid-century trendy structure, limitless procuring, eating places and galleries and a bevy of well-liked nightspots.

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Lodging Choices

The Santiago Resort, lower than a mile south of the town heart, is a blissful getaway with unbelievable views of the mountains. Though situated in a neighborhood, the resort’s all-encompassing two-story hedges afford a way of privateness and exclusivity. We virtually felt like film stars ourselves whereas lounging on the pool at this clothing-optional homosexual males’s resort. Rooms are well-appointed and tasteful, and the meals is great, as effectively. A basket of free snacks is offered in every room, and a 24-hour cantina presents free drinks—from gentle drinks to bottled water to a elaborate espresso machine.

Breakfast here’s a higher-end continental type, with loads of choices, from sinful to wholesome. Each it and lunch are included; merely textual content your order (which comes from an area sandwich store) to the entrance desk, and it magically seems on the appointed time. We loved all the things we tried right here. The vibe at Santiago isn’t sexually charged like at some resorts we’ve been to in different cities; as an alternative, it’s relaxed, enjoyable and luxe.

One of many newer lodging choices is the Margaritaville Resort Palm Springs, which is constructed round two intensive, resort-style swimming pools, which had been all the time buzzing with exercise. Though this may occasionally sound like an adult-focused celebration property, we discovered loads of households right here, too. A lot of the children appeared to congregate on the smaller of the 2 pool decks, however each had been a relentless supply of enjoyable.

Margaritaville Resort Palm Springs
The principle pool deck on the Margaritaville Resort Palm Springs. c

Our suite at Margaritaville was extremely spacious and featured a clear, shiny beachy vibe with some enjoyable pops of shade. The St. Someplace Spa and related Fins Up! Health Middle had been top notch and embrace all the things it’s worthwhile to get sweaty—or loosen up and indulge.

Talking of indulging, we additionally sampled the snug and trendy INNdulge, one other homosexual males’s resort, situated within the Heat Springs a part of city. INNdulge encompasses a enjoyable mid-century trendy aesthetic, and the rooms embrace a pleasant kitchenette, useful for longer stays. Our room had an incredible shade palette and was spacious, with a big rest room.

Breakfast is included right here, and the big courtyard options sculptures and a large pool and scorching tub. Throughout our keep, a visiting group often carried out bare yoga classes within the courtyard, which made our poolside stress-free a singular expertise, however one we didn’t thoughts! Downtown eating places are a really brief drive away, and even walkable throughout the extra reasonable temperature seasons.

Get Outdoors!

Palm Springs and the encircling areas have a panoramic number of mountaineering and outside actions to partake in. We climbed the South Lykken Trailhead to the Simonetta Kennett vista level, which afforded a panoramic view of a lot of the town. We additionally drove to close by Joshua Tree Nationwide Park, which has unbelievable rock formations and the fascinating namesake succulents.

Palm Canyon trail
The Palm Canyon path inside the Indian Canyons land is a lush oasis in between dry mountain peaks. (photograph by Paul Heney)

One other significantly memorable expertise was the Palm Canyon path inside the Indian Canyons land; admission to the entire space is $9 per particular person, and effectively price it. Mountain climbing by means of the luxurious palm-dotted canyon ground was magical and made me notice this was a real-life oasis. You possibly can hike again an extended—and more durable—and warmer—parallel path larger up the canyon to understand the oasis from above.

Lastly, don’t miss the well-known Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which ascends to eight,500 ft up San Jacinto Peak. There are quite a few trails on the prime, the place the temperature is noticeably cooler than on the valley ground. There are breathtaking views at practically each flip, and a restaurant on the mountaintop station permits you to sit for some time and simply take all of it in.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
The view from the highest of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway encompasses a lot of the area. (photograph by Paul Heney)

Extra To See and Do

We did some pampering, too, whereas on the town. Palm Springs Wonderful Males’s Salon, proper close to downtown, is a implausible facility that provides all the things from hair styling to coloring providers, pores and skin remedies, massages and extra. We opted for a {couples}’ mani/pedi and had been greeted with champagne upon arrival. The 90 minutes of leisure flew by as we melted into our therapeutic massage chairs, and we left feeling assured that we’d look the a part of film stars the subsequent morning on the pool.

Given the historical past right here, you are able to do some enjoyable self-guided driving excursions; choose up a map on the customer’s heart (which was the best fuel station ever). We liked the tour of former celeb houses and one other of the town’s architectural treasures, of which there are a lot of. Even wandering by means of the Uptown Design District can cross a whole afternoon, with so many fantastic and distinctive outlets.

Palm Springs is a large foodie city, too, and there’s simply an excessive amount of to even point out right here. However suffice it to say you could’t go incorrect at locations like Kaiser Grille, Zin American Bistro, Eight4Nine, Trio, Grand Central, LuLu California Bistro, Las Casuelas Terraza, Tommy Bahama’s Marlin Bar, MidMod Café or Roly China Fusion. Extra to come back on this in a future article!

There’s an entire assortment of LGBTQ bars and outlets alongside a block of E. Arenas Street close to the middle of downtown—more and more a rarity today—and the district is often hopping on evenings. COVID nonetheless has compelled restrictions on seating preparations, however hopefully that can change quickly. The Homosexual Mart and Bear Put on outlets had been enjoyable to walk by means of, and there’s a membership for nearly any demographic or vibe.

All in all, I can’t consider it took us this lengthy to find Palm Springs—and we’re already planning our return to this queer paradise.

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