Sure, the fall weather is delightful, but when those crisp October days turn into brutally cold November ones, it’s nice to have an escape plan. Palm Springs and the surrounding cities like Palm Desert are very LGBTQ-friendly and welcoming spots in the Coachella Valley, and the population climbs during the winter months. That means lots of great events and fun things to do in the desert. Here are six reasons why you should put Palm Springs on your must-visit list for the winter.
Pride comes later in Palm Springs and is worth the wait. If you thought Palm Springs was already a queer vacation destination, then you haven’t seen anything yet. The Greater Palm Springs Pride weekend kicks off on Friday, November 1st and is chock full of fun events, meetups, art exhibits and more.
It’s an art lovers paradise. Dance aficionados? Post-modernism geeks? Palm Springs is overflowing with art and culture from their delightful Art Museum to limited exhibits like Brave New Worlds: Exploration of Space, to the Palm Desert Choreography Festival, there’s plenty to keep your happy meter filled to the brim.
You can have the best of both worlds. Maybe you don’t live in a winter wonderland. Maybe it’s always hot and muggy where you live (like me in SC). Take a trip up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and end up in a gorgeous forested area which is regularly 30 degrees lower than the desert. Breathe in the pine scented air while the snow crunches beneath your feet. Then when you are finished, head back down to the warm desert air and have a date ice cream cone or dance the night away in one of the city’s many gay bars.
Catch Melissa Etheridge rock the desert. The legendary rock icon will be playing the McCallum Theatre on November 19th. Watch Melissa sing then come belt out your own version of “Come to my Window” at the LGBTQ-karaoke bar, RetroRoom Lounge.
Catch incredible films at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. With its close proximity to Los Angeles, the stars really do shine at the Palm Springs Film Festival, beginning January 9th-13th. This fest has been going strong for three decades and is a great mix of studio films and smaller indie titles.
Palm Springs is a gay city that’s not just for the guys. We’ve all been there before. We hear a place is gay-friendly but that often means for gay men. While there are many places that cater to gay men in Greater Palm Springs, queer women have made their mark in the desert as well. In addition to the annual Dinah Shore event, there’s a Palm Springs Women’s week in September. Also there are events year round catered to LGBTQ-women and their friends like film fests, parties, workshops, brunches, dances and more. Find out more here. And for those of us outdoorsy queer folks, there’s an endless amount of stunning nature to explore.