Palm Springs has always been a well-established resort town. Flocked to by celebrities for decades, it has also become a hot spot for gay and lesbian travel. In February is the Lesbian Book Festival, and a large Pride celebration takes over town in November. Quite a number of hotels, resorts, and businesses cater to gay vacationers year-round, too, and nightlife spots are no exception.
Alternate Route is a bar and nightclub as open to any type of lifestyle as its name would suggest. On Wednesday (Salsa night) and weekends DJs take over with dance music all evening, and Thursdays are karaoke nights. The large patio has a view overlooking downtown Palm Springs.
A more consistently lively spot is Toucan’s Tiki Lounge, a happening dance club on North Palm Canyon Drive. Saturday nights feature one of the more fabulous drag shows you’ll come across. The crowd usually is made up of both gay and straight partiers, but everyone is laidback and looking to have a great time. Go-go dancers are also dressed to the nines, but in more scandalous attire. Bachelorette parties are also a common occurrence. The drinks are quite strong, so expect parties of all kinds to get rowdier as the night goes on.
The Spurline Bar is a less dance, more song and musical. There is a drag queen night, but it’s more like drag lounge singing than all-out wild performance. The type of shows on the televisions vary by night, from fabulous music videos to old musicals. You can always expect some good music to be playing, though, regardless of the day. On busy nights the Spurline is full of men looking to mingle, but it seems to be plenty friendly to all.
Everyone’s friendly and inviting to all at Streetbar as well, a chill place with lounge decor on South Indian Canyon Drive. The patrons tend to skew male and toward an older demographic, particularly around happy hour. Not really a surprise, though, since the general population of Palm Springs tends to skew mature and both locals and tourists come to Streetbar to get their drink on. Later in the evenings the crowd diversifies a bit, so it can get somewhat easier to meet people in your own age bracket. The drinks are cheaper than at similar establishments in town, but get poured just as strong. There’s karaoke here, too, which tends toward energetic versions of the classics.
[photo courtesy of bossco]