There’s always something new to give you another reason to visit Palm Springs besides the great winter weather.

My most recent visit included a stop at the hottest new restaurant in town, Bar Cecil, a stop at the aviation themed speak easy PS Air Bar at Bouschet, and a trip up the tram for a hike in the San Jacinto mountains. Plus you will feel at home given the popularity of the area with Canadians. The local paper even covers Canadian news (a rarity in the United States). Please check local travel restrictions before travelling anywhere.

What to do

Take the Palm Springs Aerial Tram up to the summit of Mt. San Jacinto and enjoy a hike (or snow shoeing) in the alpine meadows. The 10 minute trip on the world’s largest rotating tram car takes just 10 minutes to ascend 8,500 feet from the base of Chino Canyon to the top of Mount San Jacinto where breathtaking views and pristine alpine wilderness await. Take a short hike in the Long Valley or visit the Winter Adventure Center. Details Here.

Other ideas:

  • Hike on the North Lykken Trail at the end of Ramon Road.  Bring plenty of sunscreen and water.
  • Explore the new Heritage Galleries and Antique District in Uptown.
  • Visit the Palm Springs Air Museum to see the world’s largest collection of flyable World War 2 aircraft.
  • Check out the new city park downtown and the oversize statute of Marilyn Monroe.

The Bar Scene

Arenas Road downtown features most of the bars. Enjoy happy hour at Quads (but bring your vaccine card to get inside). The new speakeasy, PS Air Bar, is a must. Enjoy cocktails while you sit on First Class seats from Northwest Orient or enjoy coach seating on what appears to be old Southwest Airlines seats (complete with seat belts) served by a bartender dressed like a pilot. This aviation themed bar is inside Bouschet. Don’t miss the wine tastings, the Saturday night flight, and the Sunday disco and boozy Bruch. However, unlike airline travel, lunch and dinner are served (or available for purchase). Details at

Where to Stay

The Motel 6 Downtown has rates during the week that equal the resort fees you will pay at other hotels. It is steps to all the action. Other good choices include the Hotel Zoso, Holliday House, and The Rowan by Kimpton. All are downtown. The Margaritaville Resort reportedly has the largest pool. But check the resort fees before you book. Another great option is the Santiago which is one of many men only clothing optional resorts.

Where to Eat

Ristretto is great for coffee and breakfast. Lulu’s downtown has great quesadillas. The trout at the Eight4Nine Restaurant is to die for. El Mirasol has great Mexican food. The new Bar Cecil (restaurant) is a must. If you cannot get reservations, arrive early and sit at the bar. Vegetarians and juice lovers will want to try Nature’s Health Food and Café.

Getting There

West Jet goes there. Air Canada goes to nearby Los Angeles (and has previously flown into Palm Springs).  However, it is much easier if you fly right into Palm Springs International Airport given the current rental car situation (high rates and/or no rental cars) not to mention the LA traffic. You don’t need a car if you stay in one of the downtown hotels. Also, save by taking the SunLine Bus to your hotel using the stop just outside the airport. It is just $1.

You won’t run out of new and fun things to do in this desert LGBTQ+ oasis which is always re-inventing itself and always a delight to visit.

For more information go to the Visit Palm Springs website. You can also read or pick up a copy of GED Magazine (, Rage Magazine, or the Coachella Valley Independent for a current list of happenings. The Desert Daily Guide is another great resource.


About the Author

Bill Malcolm is the nation’s only LGBTQ+ syndicated value travel columnist. Residing in Indianapolis, he travels with a focus on the local and value orientation.