Travel Thursday: Ready For That All Boys Trip to Palm Springs?
There’s no doubt that when the boys wanna get together for a fun weekend, Palm Springs isn’t at the top of the list for an “All Boys” Weekend Getaway. It’s the place you can escape to where you will find pride all year around. With a city council that is ENTIRELY LGBTQ, Palm Springs is known for being a desert oasis where the boys go to play! That’s why it is a Gay Mecca!
It’s the perfect place to lounge by the pool, go out for a drink, enjoy a top-notch dinner, laugh, be entertained—with so much accessibility. If you’re traveling from Southern California, it’s less than 2 hours away until you reach the palms! And if you’re planning for an extra-long weekend or a quick jet setting trip, Palm Springs offers an International Airport that has been welcoming SoCal seekers for decades!
Nestled in the Coachella Valley between Los Angeles and San Diego, Palm Springs is a desert haven known for its resorts, mid-century modern architecture, boutique shopping, hip and stylish hotels, spas, golf courses, and most importantly its vibrant gay lifestyle rich with nightlife and entertainment.
Our group of 30-somethings are always looking for a reason to venture into the desert, event just for a night. Here are some of our favorite places to STAY, TASTE, EXPERIENCE while you are in fabulous Palm Springs, California!
STAY - INNdulge Palm Springs
INNdulge Palm Springs is a legendary award-winning gay men's resort located in the heart of the Warm Sands neighborhood, one of the most popular gay areas of Palm Springs. Built in 1958, INNdulge is a Mid-Century jewel. Twenty-four poolside rooms surround a 24-hour heated pool and 12-man Jacuzzi. CLOTHING IS FOREVER OPTIONAL! If you’re a little shy, don’t worry, you can wear as little or as much as you’d like…but you may get comfortable pretty fast!
INNdulge has one of the largest pool courtyards in Palm Springs, with lush landscaping framing incredible views of the San Jacinto Mountains. Expanded continental breakfast, in-room safes, TV-DVD players with large DVD library, on-site gym, guest internet stations and property-wide wireless are all complimentary.
Upon checking into the INNdulge, you immediately feel welcomed by the friendly staff. We have stayed at the INNdulge, and we were grateful for the owner, Jon, and his attention to each and every resort guest. The resort has these incredibly prominent iron sculptures that make for perfect photo opportunities. What I love about the INNdulge is that they host a BYOB Happy Hour everyday around the pool which allows you to get to know the guests and make new friends. Many of the guests that we have met love the INNdulge and frequent it multiple times a year. And you can see why! The rooms are modern and there are sitting areas around the whole grounds that give you a chance to sit back, relax and enjoy some time between partying.
TASTE – Trio Palm Springs
There is no way you can go to Palm Springs and NOT visit Trio. It is a staple for locals and tourists! The restaurant recently suffered a fire and was closed for a while, but when it re-opened, it came back with a BANG!
Trio is an energetic, desert-casual atmosphere and great American modern food at reasonable prices, a place where all are welcome. You sit down and feel right at home. The restaurant’s orange color scheme is iconic and it is thriving with music and friendly staff. Trio’s philosophy for art, food and sound is apparent as soon as you walk in the door.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Trio’s owner, Tony, who is charismatic and makes sure that each of his guests are enjoying their Trio experience. You can tell that he has a great report with everyone since they all greet him with a huge hug.
Your boys will LOVE you for taking them to Trio, it’s a great spot that is one of the most notably LGBTQ friendly establishments in all of Palm Springs!
Per the server’s recommendations, at Trio we have tried the following:
Lamb Shank – a melt-in-your-mouth lamb shank that is buttery and delicious and makes you want to slap yo mama! Braised in Burgundy, Rosemary, Garlic, Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes (YES, I KNOW!), and seasonal vegetables
Mac and 5 Cheese - Count them, FIVE cheeses! Gouda, Cheddar, Blue, Romano, Goat Cheese PLUS bacon, green onion, tomatoes, bread crumbs. How’s that for some comfort food!?
Coachella Valley Dates - Filled with goat cheese, wrapped in bacon, and gone before the plate even hit the table!
Fried Artichoke Hearts - Artichoke hearts—that are FRIED! With caper aioli dipping sauce ::drools::
And don’t get me started on their desserts! All amazing, but the salted caramel & butterscotch pots de crème is quite possibly one of the best things I’ve ever had in my mouth!
EXPERIENCE - Palm Springs BUZZ
Feeling a little tipsy? When you’re out and about in Palm Springs, you want to be able to have a good time without having to get behind the wheel and putting lives in danger. Of course, if you’re visiting from out of town, you want to be able to find the quickest and easiest way to get from point A to point B. Ubers and Lyfts are great! But they can add up!
I recommend trying the Palm Springs BUZZ! A free shuttle that takes you down various routes around Palm Springs. It lets you jump on and jump off and keeps the party going without having to pay a cent. That’s right, it’s totally FREE! It runs from 11am-1am Thursday-Sunday and arrives at each stop every 15 minutes! They occasionally have special hours during holidays, but using the PS BUZZ will only make your Palm Springs boys trip all the better!
EXPERIENCE – Nightlife in Palm Springs
If you’re headed to Palm Springs for a fun getaway weekend, you’re probably looking for some great places to grab a drink, dance the night away, and possibly make some connections with some new people. Palm Springs has a great strip of bars/nightclubs that make for a great hopping experience. Many don’t have cover charges, but just carry cash just in case!
One of Palm Springs’ most notable dance clubs is Hunters Palm Springs.
Located in downtown Palm Springs (on the strip!) it is the prime location for gay nightlife in the desert.
They serve up quality drinks, dancing and entertainment on a daily and have a bunch of cute Go Go Boys (MEN!) that will get the party started.
This is a stop you HAVE to make on your boys trip to Palm Springs.
Toucans Tiki Lounge is one of Palm Springs iconic locations for music, dancing, drinks, and TRIVIA! Toucans is one of Ross Mathew’s favorite hang outs when in Palm Springs, and mine too! It is very much a tiki lounge, a motif that is seen throughout the scenery of Palm Springs and that has been a part of Palm Springs history.
Toucans is a little further from the downtown area on the North Side of Palm Springs, but a quick Uber or Lyft and you’ll be glad you made it!
TASTE / EXPERIENCE – Desert Divas Drag Brunch / Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill
After a long night of partying in Palm Springs, there is no doubt that you have to visit the Desert Divas Drag Brunch at the Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill, the Best of Mexico in the heart of Palm Springs! Chef Ernesto’s family-Inspired award winning authentic Mexican cuisine is handcrafted with the best ingredients and served in a vibrant space to enhance your dining experience. You’ll be charmed by the colorful and deliciously vibrant atmosphere and wowed by the culinary creation of Chef Ernesto’s cuisine. It is a magical combination of delicious fresh and flavorful ingredients with a philosophy of slow food preparation where everything is made to order.
I’ve been to tons of drag brunches, but none serve up the shade and entertainment like the Desert Divas. Hosted by Vanity Halston every Sunday, this drag brunch is the longest running in the desert. Yes, even in the heat, these drag queens turn it up! Vanity is the current reigning Queen of the Desert (Palm Springs, that is!) but has over 20 years of experience in the drag biz!
I had the opportunity to sit down with Vanity after one of the drag brunch performances and the queen shared with me the incredible commitment each of the Desert Divas has to this specific production. Sure, I was a little drunk off of the unlimited mimosas, but we had a great conversation about what it’s like to a part of Azul’s brunch.
Brunch regulars include Nebuer Styles, Fabeyoncé, and Syren, among several other talented drag queens who turn it out with hand-made looks and mugs beaten for the gods!
You can’t miss Desert Divas during your boys trip to Palm Springs, you will laugh, cry, get drunk, eat good food, and be read to filth—but you’ll be glad you went!
EXPERIENCE - Palm Springs Mod Squad Essentials Tour
One of the most notable elements of Palm Springs life is the incredible mid-Century modern architecture that serves as the backdrop for this desert sanctuary. Palm Springs Mod Squad will give you full experience of how Palm Springs has played the role of Tinseltown away from Hollywood, especially during the Golden Age of cinema.
The Essential Palm Springs Tour showcases the local architects that shaped mid-century look of Palm Springs. Though many great architects have designed and built in Palm Springs, there are six local architects that stand out as those who helped shape the mod architectural look of the city. This tour is devoted to them.
You'll see residential and commercial architecture by William Cody, Albert Frey, Hugh Kaptur, Wiliam Krisel, Donald Wexler and E. Stewart Williams. Along the way, you'll see how the light and landscape helped guide these architects to create a version of modernism specifically suited to the California desert.
Our tour guide Kurt runs the show for the Mod Squad and is BEYOND an expert when it comes to sharing facts and information about vintage and modern architecture. For a nerd like me, that’s a dream! The Mod Squad is great for small or large groups and if you are taking a boys trip with others who appreciate the appeal of Palm Springs, this is a MUST DO!
There is lots to do in Palm Springs and before you know it, your boys trip will be over! You will have relaxed your way into Monday and will be dreaming about going back. And what’s stopping you? There so many ways to experience all that Palm Springs has to offer. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, you may want to check out how we spent our recent #hubbymoon in Palm Springs!
For more information about Palm Springs, go to visitpalmsprings.com