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Saturday, February 4, 2023

LGBTQ+ Friendly Palm Springs

Queer/gay couples looking for a quick getaway in a very friendly city should absolutely look to Palm Springs, especially if you want a destination that's warm, easy to navigate, and doesn't require a passport or too much time to get to. The city caters to all types of visitors, including the queer community, and I loved it.

Queer/gay couples looking for a quick getaway in a very friendly city should absolutely look to Palm Springs.

I picked up two city brochures with 'best of' lists when I got to town. The first one was specifically for the Palm Springs gay scene and the other one was, too, though, I didn't realize it until I opened it up. It had quite a few things that would be of interest to most people, but the bars, hotels, and nightlife were targeted to the gay community. Both claimed that Palm Springs celebrated Pride everyday, and I could definitely see that while exploring the city.

If you know me at all or follow me on Instagram, you know I love brunch. Almost every restaurant in Palm Springs that was open for breakfast served brunch, even outside of the weekend, which is rare. Not only can you find a great brunch all over town (I recommend the one at Farm), but I saw a whole list of drag brunches as well. We weren't in town long enough to get in on one of those, but I would love to go to one next time we visit.

The city has it's own Walk of Fame, with stars that had a connection to Palm Springs and I noticed many of them were gay icons, like Elizabeth Taylor, Lynda Carter, and Kathy Griffin, and then famous gays, like Rock Hudson and Ross Matthews. I loved how they celebrated their famous residents and guests this way. It made walking down the street even more interesting.

The city is so colorful and exudes cheer that you can't help but feel happy looking around at all the vibrant colors of buildings, houses, and shops. Trixie Mattel, of Drag Race fame, purchased an older hotel that needed a lot of love with their husband and turned it into the Trixie Motel. The small lodging is bright Barbie pink and welcomes guests to their one-of-a-kind rooms by way of a private entrance and cactus garden. Celebrities, gay and straight, have stayed here, and the late great Leslie Jordan even handpainted lamps in the guest rooms. Though expensive, rates are not entirely out of reach for the regular person to enjoy a secluded getaway here.

A bit down the block and around the corner, you'll find Piazza di Liberace, an old residence of Liberace's when he wasn't living in Vegas while performing. It's now privately owned, but the front of the home is opulent and gorgeous with a mailbox that's a piano. I love that the new owners didn't change this part of the home. Liberace actually owned two other homes in Palm Springs, but this is the only one that still looks as it did when he was alive. Some years, during Modernism Week, this home is opened to the public for architecture tours.

Though small, Palm Springs has it's own dedicated area for gay shopping and nightlife. Arenas Road is an entire block full of fetish-gear, gay bars and more. The title pic at the top is from one of those bars that has a whole mural in front of the many faces of Freddie Mercury from Queen.

Another photo op was this pair of colorful sparkling wings. Even on a week night this street was hopping and I can't blame them. I imagine later it would be even busier. Everyone looked to be having a great time and if you drove down there, the parking was full and we had to park down the block on the street in order to pick up food we ordered around the corner from there. They were cranking out the jams and I'll admit that I danced down the street on my way to get our dinner.

So, if you want a gay-friendly getaway that's not too overwhelming, but also has opportunity to go hiking, skiing, dancing, and more, Palm Springs may be for you. And if you're traveling solo, I believe it's just as easy to navigate, since you know where all the hottest spots are, can stay at all-gay accommodations, and might even meet someone special while you're there.

If you've been to Palm Springs, what did you love most about it?

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