Palm Springs: A Vibrant Oasis of LGBTQ+ Culture and Community

Palm Spring Gay

The desert city less than two hours east of LA draws gay tourists eager to socialize over cocktails, party at the annual pride festival, and soak in the sun poolside at men’s resorts. There’s something for every taste.

For edgier nightlife, try the leather-friendly Quadz, or visit Trunks for more of a classic gay bar experience. The Arenas District also boasts a number of gay bars, including the tiki-themed Toucans Tiki Lounge.

Shame on the Moon

The desert enclave is a magnet for LGBTQ people who enjoy the region’s luxurious resorts, outdoor adventures and signature events like Greater Palm Springs Pride. A visit to the cosmopolitan city is a fun add-on to any Southern California itinerary.

In the Golden Age of Tinseltown, chic stars like Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo and Liberace traveled to Palm Springs to indulge in decadent lifestyles away from the prying eyes of the masses. On the same subject : Desert Air Successful Lands at Palm Springs Air Museum. Their liberal ideas and alternative lifestyles shaped the progressive community that Palm Springs is today.

The gay scene centers on the Arenas District with bars (Dicks is popular), clubs and shops that sell jockstraps, amyl nitrates and more. Toucans Tiki Lounge is a local favorite with Hawaiian realness, drag performances and a lively Sunday Revue.

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Despite on-and-off closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, many gay bars have opened for business. Some have even started GoFundMe pages to stay open. On the same subject : Purple Room Offers Special Vibe for Oasis Music Festival Attendees. Owners of bars on Arenas Road credit a tight-knit community that formed ranks and fought back.

For a more edgy bar experience, visit Toolshed for DJ nights that appeal to leather men and bikers. Or check out the infamous drag performances at Toucans Tiki Lounge.

Palm Springs is a very liberal city and boasts the first all LGBT government in the country. With a population of around 48,000 people, the majority of which are LGBT, the city has a strong sense of community and pride. There’s always something to do and see here. For example, look out for the iconic Dinah Shore Music Festival in April or Palm Springs Pride in November.

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Toucans Tiki Lounge

Located on the west side of North Palm Canyon, Toucans is the desert’s number one gay bar. This Hawaiian tiki-themed nightclub draws crowds of locals and tourists with its friendly staff, refreshing cocktails, world class drag shows and exciting cabaret entertainment. This may interest you : Palm Springs Ready to Rebound Out of Pandemic in 2022. Enjoy weekly theme nights like Latin Fever Monday, Neon Thursday and Dirty Pop Saturday.

For something a little more risqué, check out Tool Shed in the Warm Sands neighborhood. This leather and Levi cruise bar is home to the Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert. Drop in for a round of karaoke on Wednesdays, a game of pool or a cocktail while you’re watching a show. 0-69 Bingo is also on the calendar, along with massages and a wide variety of fetish events.

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Destination PSP

Founded by two transplants who couldn’t find great Palm Springs-themed gifts to send home, Destination PSP is now a full-blown lifestyle brand with retail and pop-up stores, a wholesale business, and a growing e-commerce operation. Their products reflect the unique design aesthetic and community spirit of Greater Palm Springs, with a particular focus on Modernism Week and other local events and non-profits.

The Riviera store will carry clothing by sister company Chelsea Lane and branded merchandise for a dozen of the area’s most popular events, including the Palm Springs International Film Festival and Modernism Week. In addition to creating and merchandising their own products, the company partners with many local events and non-profits on event-branded merchandise. The firm also works with high-end galleries on curated collections of local artists.


Palm Springs is famous for its luxury resorts that cater to the gay community. Many of them are clothing optional and provide a relaxing hangout for men who enjoy martini sipping, pool partying, and good conversation.

It is also home to a variety of LGBT bars and clubs. Quadz is a popular sing-along spot that emphasizes Broadway classics, while Blackbook is a casual bar with a great vegan menu and quintessential cocktails.

For something more sophisticated, check out the newcomer Trio, a cabaret dinner show featuring transgender women and a Vegas-style show. Oscar’s is another great choice for dining and entertainment, with drag brunches, celebrity evenings, and the biggest Sunday T-Dance in California. Each spring, the city hosts Dinah Shore Weekend, one of the largest lesbian music festivals.