We’ve been fortunate to have luxuriated several times in the renowned gay desert town of Palm Springs, California, and now it could be you and a friend who discover why it’s a long-time favorite with gay men, lesbians and Hollywood royalty.
The Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism is giving visitors to its gay-friendly Web site a chance to win a getaway for two to this dazzling desert playground, complete with roundtrip, coach-class air to the Palm Springs International Airport; six-days and five-nights hotel accommodations at one of Palm Springs’ fine hotels, vouchers for dinners at four outstanding Palm Springs’ restaurants, passes for the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Art Museum, Air Museum, the Elvis Estate, Fabulous Palm Springs Follies, the exciting Living Desert attraction, and more. When you enter, you have the option of choosing an exclusively gay or a garden-variety hotel! This is a first for an official tourism organization!
Sound wonderful? Take it from us, it is! Palm Springs is like a lush Sahara oasis, Monte Carlo, the clothing-optional Riviera and star-studded Beverly Hills all rolled into one fabulous destination. Let’s just highlight a few of the attractions you would be experiencing if you win!
The Aerial Tramway takes you from the desert floor (where it’s hot in more way than one) to Mt. San Jacinto State Park overlooking PS. The climate up there can be cold, and even snowy! A must for picture taking, daredevils, mountain-goat watchers and tram-ride aficionados! Once up top you can hike or on a clear day see the Salton Sea! Be sure that you take your woolies with you when you enter the world’s largest rotating tramcars because it’s cooler in ‘’them thar hills,” even during tee-shirt weather in the desert.
Like show-business? “The World Famous Palm Springs Follies” - “the most fun you can have with your clothes on!” - is a first-rate variety show like none other. This season, the headliners for the new show, Let The Good Times Roll, are The Four Aces, followed by Rita Coolidge and the legendary Mary Wilson. All of the performers in this music, song, dance, comedy extravaganza are old enough to remember the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, (all are 56- to 86-years young and you’d never believe it!) They are all in great shape and perform as well as they did back when - way back!
The brilliantly funny Master of Ceremonies Riff Markowitz hasn’t missed a performance in 18 years, and once you see him in action you’ll see why crowds return year after year to see what Groucho-like Riff calls a “rollicking mambo-fest!” And the production values are as dazzling as a big-budget Broadway or Hollywood show.
The Living Desert attraction is a trek through the world’s many desert regions. You’ll see indigenous wildlife, plant life, watch geckos and road-runners at play, and become part of the preservation of a portion of the Colorado Desert (which it’s called ... even though it’s in California!) Bighorn sheep, bats, shrews, cottontails, jackrabbits, grey foxes, coyotes, and mountain lions abound in this breathtaking rocky/sandy environment. Having visited the Living Desertourselves, we can attest to the fact that spending a full day with road-runners and prairie dogs is not time enough, but does give one the sense of the abundant beauty of the desert’s fauna and flora.
What about the gay aspects of Palm Springs? Because of the dry heat, attractive clothing- optional small hotels abound. We’re partial (even though we keep our clothes on) to the Triangle Inn, run by Stephen and Michael.
Although the above contest does not include an actual list of the participating hotels, we’d recommend the walled-in and uber-friendly Triangle Inn, whether you’re a winner or not, for its beautiful outdoor pool area, the large, spotless rooms and suites; and the lush and casual ambience. It’s an all-male establishment, but not to worry, for those who are described by ‘the L word,’ the Queen of Hearts still rules as the top lesbian resort.
Restaurants included in the winners’ package are the aptly named Wang’s In The Desert, with its $2 happy-hour cocktails; and the Zagat-rated Zin American Bistro, which offers a Palm Springs Follies Rush Menu, if you’ve got theater tickets. Our favorite, but not on the prize list, is the fabulous Tropicale. a sleek and sophisticated oasis where the locals and the visiting beautiful people of all ages gather, for an after pool or work drink or dinner.
Enter today and you might soon be sitting in a glam bathing suit or au natural sipping a margarita by a sparking pool in star-studded Palm Springs with a spectacular view of the surrounding snow-capped mountains. Good Luck!
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I love Palm Springs and there is no other place like it in the world. I hope to retire there one day.