Spread out across the vast Coachella Valley, and encompassing nine characterful cities, Greater Palm Springs is one of the top destinations in the US for LGBTQ+ travelers seeking a satisfying mix of exploration and relaxation. Located conveniently close to the major hubs of Los Angeles and San Diego, Greater Palm Springs is equally suited to shorter getaways as it is longer trips and is a consistently popular choice amongst Travel Gay users.
This desert-bound oasis has long attracted LGBTQ+ individuals from across the USA and beyond, who flock to its palm-lined streets for the fantastic range of queer-focused venues, rich culture, and one of the country’s most diverse local governments.
Whilst Palm Springs is, without doubt, the focal point of LGBTQ+ life within the greater region, nearby towns including Rancho Mirage, La Quinta, and Coachella are also home to impressively diverse and welcoming queer scenes. What’s more, Greater Palm Springs is imbued with a sense of creativity that is noticeable through the area’s distinctive architecture and flourishing artistic community.
To help make sense of this experience-rich destination, we’ve rounded up some of Greater Palm Springs’s best things to do for LGBTQ+ travelers.
Arts and Culture in Greater Palm Springs
Greater Palm Springs benefits from its equally close proximity to both nature and metropolitan cities, meaning it’s the ideal focal point for a thriving and inspired artistic community. Evolved over the last century from a global range of influences, Greater Palm Springs is today recognized as one of the USA’s most stylish travel destinations. The signs of the area’s artistic spirit are easily spotted, and you’ll find hints of a truly unique culture in places ranging from art museums and theatres to sprawlingly exotic botanical gardens.
El Paseo is Greater Palm Springs’s high-end shopping district, and it’s also home to a vast selection of galleries and art shops committed to championing the work of a diverse collection of local artists. The best way to hit everything on offer is by embarking on an art walk guided by a knowledgeable local, who’ll not only have an insider’s take on the Greater Palm Springs art scene but will also have relationships with many of the artists whose art is shown.
There’s something infinitely inviting about the clean lines and sparing pops of colour that define the mid-century architecture that is so synonymous with Greater Palm Springs. The locals are aware of this particular charm, and visitors to the region will be able to enjoy a number of guided tours designed to highlight this particularly iconic architectural phenomenon. As part of these tours, you’ll have the rare chance to venture inside these homes and walk in the footsteps of stars from bygone eras.
Adventure and Nature in Greater Palm Springs
California is a state of glorious mountains, expanses of redwood forests, and some of the country’s most dreamy vineyards. Enjoying over 300 days of sunshine each year, Greater Palm Springs is one of the best places in the USA to combine exhilarating adventure with an impossibly high degree of luxury travel. Roll out of a four-poster and into a roaring off-roader- in Greater Palm Springs anything is possible.
If you’re looking for a totally unique way to experience Greater Palm Springs, enjoy the region in its entirety via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. A true engineering feat when it was completed in 1963, the tram cars have since been updated and are today the largest rotating tram cars in the world. From the tramway, travelers can enjoy uninterrupted views of the Coachella Valley.
For one of the planet’s most unique nature experiences, visitors to Greater Palm Springs should be sure to visit the sprawling landscape of The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. An animal park like no other, this attraction features large, open enclosures for each of their species. The conservation of desert life is at the core of what the zoo does and has informed their uniquely open approach to creating exquisite habitats.
Spas and Wellness in Greater Palm Springs
Since its discovery by Native American settlers, Greater Palm Springs has been beloved for its rejuvenating hot spring waters. This was only seized upon further by the Old Hollywood stars who began flocking to the region in the mid-20th century, and today a luxurious collection of health spas and wellness facilities can be found throughout the Coachella Valley. With year-round comfortable weather and truly tranquil surroundings, Greater Palm Springs is the perfect place to plan your next wellness escape.
Without a doubt, the Estrella Spa is one of the region’s most popular and luxurious locations. Organized around an idyllic garden hacienda in glamorous Palm Springs, the spa is the epitome of opulent relaxation and home to a vast array of treatments inspired by the natural world. From reflexology massages to body scrubs, there’s something for every LGBTQ+ traveller to enjoy in the serene oasis that is Estrella Spa.
Ideally located in the heart of Palm Springs downtown, the Andreas Hotel and Spa combines a traditional mid-century style with modern touches to create a spa that is as stylish as it is relaxing. Featuring facilities including a shaded outdoor pool, deluxe suites, and a host of wellness facilities, the Andreas Hotel and Spa is a Palm Springs institution.
To discover the practical side of a trip to Greater Palm Springs, be sure to read our Plan a Getaway to Greater Palm Springs editorial.
Published: 23-Jan-2023 by George Pizani | Last Updated: 23-Jan-2023
On: Gay Palm Springs