A dozen artist-owned galleries and working studios in an old strip mall, featuring collections of original, contemporary art by nationally and internationally recognized artists including paintings, sculpture, photography, jewelry, ceramics as well as the performing arts.
As one of the painters explains, “We rented the space just to paint, but one night we forgot to lock up and this guy wandered in. We thought, ‘Oh no’ at first, but then he bought something, so now we’re open all the time.” An Art Walk is held the first Wednesday of every month. Not to be missed are Max Lightbender’s large-scale erotic digital prints.
The gay men's chorus of Palm Springs has regular performances that include a Holiday Concert each December. Guests in their concerts have included opera singer Janet Hopkins, dance company Tango Nacional Argentina, and the multi-talented Florence Henderson.
Every Saturday and Sunday in Palm Desert, the College of the Desert Street Fair (Collage Campus, Monterey Ave at Magnesia Falls Dr) brings together hundreds of vendors of merchandise, arts and crafts, and farmers market items; 7am to 2am in winter, until noon in the summer. Parking and entry is free, and there's entertainment too. Codstreetfair.com
A spectacular 10-minute, 2.5-mile ride through four biological life zones. The 5,873-foot rise is the equivalent of a road trip from the Sonora Desert in Mexico to the Alpine fringe in Alaska, with flora and fauna literally changing before your eyes. You're guaranteed a full view as the cars rotate throughout the trip. At the top, Peaks, the more upscale of two restaurants here, has great views of the Coachella Valley. Pstramway.com
Stunning views of Southern California deserts, coastlines, lakes and wine country can be seen from a hot-air balloon with Fantasy Balloon Flights, for groups of 2 to 10.
Most Palm Springs gay resorts are clothing-optional. For many visitors the "resort action" is the city's primary draw. All Worlds Resorts has one of the most active "scenes." During Desert Romp at CCBC Resort last June, guests could get naked with porn stars at their Carnival. Chaps Inn, Desert Paradise, Inndulge, and Warm Sands Villas are other always-clothing-optional resorts. Browse our listings section for more about these and other such establishments.
Some of the world's finest golf courses are located in and around Palm Springs. Annual events include the Nabisco Women's Golf Championship (better known as Dinah Shore Weekend), the Skins Game, and the annual January Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
Tennis events are equally abundant. World class players appear at the BNP Paribas Open, each March, at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden near Indio. There are 28 public or semi-private tennis clubs listed at the following website:
The local mountains and nearby Joshua Tree National Park can provide satisfaction for even the most avid hikers, campers and climbers.
Indian Canyons walking tours offer over a hundred miles of hiking trails winding up the mountain, over streams and under waterfalls — all with stunning views. Ranger William offers a spellbinding account of how native Americans survived in what at first appears to be a harsh landscape but is revealed to be teeming with plant and animal life. The Oasis of a Thousand Palms is a hauntingly tranquil six miles of otherworldly canyon scenery.
At the Living Desert: Feed a giraffe, brave a glassed-in hyena, walk among butterflies and hummingbirds or ride the Endangered Species Carousel. Much of this sprawling park is labelled “coming soon,” but the aviaries, gardens and hilariously hyperactive roadrunners make for an entertaining walk in the sun.
Houses a world-class collection of contemporary and Western American art, culture, natural history, and basketry by indigenous Cahuilla Indians. The museum is impressive, and small enough to experience in an hour or two. Their Annenberg Theater has performances of comedy, jazz, classic music and dance, plus a free summer film series.
Works by David Hockney, Picasso, Warhol and other major modernists, and a large Western and native American art gallery featuring the homoerotic bronze castings of actor George Montgomery. The Muse Café, by the Barbara and Frank Sinatra Sculpture Garden, is decorated with large-scale photos by Sid Avery of ’50s Hollywood royalty frolicking in Palm Springs, including a shirtless Rock Hudson washing his car.
Social club for mature gay men. Their thousands of members have lunches, dinners, mixers, and theater outings, and their website is a source for useful information and links
Desert Adventures will show you more geology, botany and history than you thought you ever needed to know, endlessly fascinating. The canyons are awe-inspiring, the reconstructed mining camp and Indian settlement are a hoot and, especially in light of recent events, standing with one foot on either side of the San Andreas Fault is a once-in-a- lifetime experience.
A shopping junkie’s fix. Hugo Boss, Prada, Dior, Gucci, Ed Hardy, The Gap and more than a hundred more have outlets in a giant mall just off the highway to Los Angeles, north of Casino Morongo.
Every Thursday evening from 6-10pm (7pm summertime), on Palm Canyon Drive, Village Fest brings thousands of people downtown. A diverse gathering of artists, artisans, entertainers and fresh produce, flowers, and jewelry venders amid the many area shops, restaurant and clubs. This is one of Southern California's most popular weekly events.