A sunny, secluded California oasis, comprised of the famed resort town plus eight other Coachella Valley cities and enclaves, Palm Springs, California, epitomizes a win-win scenario for any LGBT meeting. Attendees equate Palm Springs with post-work pursuits—golf, shopping, tennis, good food and a “5 o’clock-somewhere” attitude when it comes to poolside parties. Planners, meanwhile, can count on the stylish, 260,000-sq.-ft. Palm Springs Convention Center; a wide swath of indoor/outdoor event venues; and some 15,000 area guest rooms at high-end boutique hotels as well as 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 attendees from the major LGBT markets of San Diego and Los Angeles (each a two-hour drive) and San Jose by way of San Francisco, a 90-minute flight. There’s no shortage of activities to thrill attendees either, be it gaming and outrageous theme parties or Jeep rides through the Indian Canyons and hiking rugged Joshua Tree National Park. 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.
> Palm Springs International Film Festival (January)
> Dinah Shore Weekend (March-April)
> White Party Palm Springs (April)
> Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (April)
> Greater Palm Springs Pride (November)
*Been There is a list of LGBT-friendly events held in this city in recent years.
**Done That is a list of annual events put on by the community with LGBT-friendly components or all-inclusive elements and attendees.
Photo credits: Greater Palm Springs CVB; Chris Miller
Click here to find five other cities perfect for LGBT groups.