LGBT Cities: Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs, a sunny, secluded California oasis, comprised of the famed resort town plus eight other Coachella Valley cities and enclaves, epitomizes a win-win scenario for any LGBT athletic endeavor. Visitors equate Palm Springs with a host of recreational pursuits—golf, tennis, softball, cycling, polo, hiking, rock climbing—plus less strenuous pleasures like shopping, pool parties and “it’s 5 o’clock-somewhere” events. Sports planners, meanwhile, can count on a wide swath of venues, from waterparks and golf courses to bike trails and ball fields. Some 15,000 area guest rooms range from high-end boutique hotels to cozy inns and bed-and-breakfasts (like the women-only, 15-suite Casitas Laquita, with a wine cellar for private events, or the men’s Triangle Inn, with eight main suites plus a private four-bedroom house accommodating up to 10). Palm Springs’ location can also help draw fans and participants from the major LGBT markets of San Diego and Los Angeles (each a two-hour drive away) and San Jose by way of San Francisco, a 90-minute flight. There’s no shortage of sightseeing activities either, be it casino gaming and outrageous theme parties or Jeep rides through the Indian Canyons. And yes, Palm Springs loves a good parade, so consider celebrating alongside the locals during Greater Palm Springs Pride, Veterans Day and the quirky Festival of Lights on downtown’s Palm Canyon Drive every December. Venues Big League Dreams Sports Park; Empire Polo Club; Arnold Palmer Classic Course at SilverRock Resort; Indian Wells Tennis Garden; Palm Springs Convention Center Recent and Upcoming Events National Gay Flag Football League Duel in the Desert (March) Palm Springs Hot Rodeo 2016 (May) GLTA Grass Court Tennis Championships (May) Lesbian and Gay Band Association 2016 Conference (November) Palm Springs Gay Softball League Turkey Shootout (November) International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs Convention (2017)