Palm Springs

© Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism

Throughout 2018, California’s desert town of Palm Springs attracts queer travelers with festivals and events. The first highlight takes place in April already.

The White Party Palm Springs has landed a real coup: Kylie Minogue is the guest star of the giant gay party which is celebrated in the bewitching desert of California every year. Not only fans of the Australian who has been shaping gay pop culture for decades now are likely to mark in their calendars the long weekend from 27 to 30 April. The White Party is also considered one of the largest and best organised circuit parties in the world.

Palm Spring gives the opportunity to take part in queer events throughout the year. For example the Cinema Diverse is planned for September, a film festival with long, short and documentary films on LGBTI topics. Only a month later, the Palm Springs Leather Pride attracts the fetish community. Before and after the parties, you can also complete your own leather equipment at the big fetish market.

For many, Palm Springs Pride which will be held in early November, is the highlight of the queer calendar. For this reason, the entire inner city is transformed into a huge meeting place for a reunion with friends from all over the world. More than 125,000 guests are expected. Every March, Palm Springs hosts The Dinah. The festival is considered the largest lesbian event in the world. It is named after Dinah Shore. The singer and actress became the star of the lesbian community and lived in Palm Springs until her death in 1994.

© Simon Emmett

Apart from major events the Californian city is also popular with queer guests who wish to enjoy the warm climate, spectacular scenery and liberal lifestyle. Always a retreat for Hollywood stars, Palm Springs has become a hotbed of the lesbian and gay community. Meanwhile, more than 60 percent of the population calls themselves non-heterosexual – a fact that is clearly visible in the cityscape. The fact that diversity is part of everyday life in Palm Springs can also be seen in local politics: The city with its 50,000 inhabitants is run by a homosexual mayor for the third time, and since November 2017 even the city council comprises only members of the LGBT community.

Holidaymakers can choose from a wide range of accommodations in Palm Springs. Among the approximately 25 LGBT resorts are playful Spanish-style villas as well as trendy retro retreats in mid-century modern architecture like the Inndulge. Even naturists get their money’s worth in Palm Springs: with 350 days of sunshine a year and temperatures that are always above 20 degrees Celsius even in winter, nobody has to freeze in the “Clothing Optional” resorts. For an overview, visit the Spartacus Hotel Guide. Information about bars and restaurants is also available in the Spartacus app.

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