Discovering Palm Springs This Fall: Performances, Exhibitions, Dining, and Events

by Matthew Wexler

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Sunday September 15, 2019

While we know and love Palm Springs for its thriving diverse community, gorgeous mountain vistas, and 360 days of sunshine, the welcoming California enclave is also the epicenter for a long history of culture and architectural wonders. As the temperatures begin to temper this fall, there's no better time to explore Palm Springs' iconic offerings.

From charming LGBTQ-friendly resorts to its annual Greater Palm Springs Pride, (November 1-4, 2019), famous White Party (April), and cultural Cinema Diverse (September), there's always something to explore.

Here are just a few highlights of what's happening in the coming months. You can always find the most up-to-date information at


Cinema Diverse (September 19-22. 2019) - Celebrating its 12th anniversary, this LGBTQ film festival welcomes dozens of screening for movie buffs eager to see the latest offerings from the world's most acclaimed queer filmmakers.

Greater Palm Springs Pride (November 1 - 4, 2019) - The 32nd annual celebration returns with a lineup of events that includes a pride flag raising, pool party, parade and big block party. Leading up to Pride is Palm Springs Leather Pride (October 24 - 27).

White Party (April 24 - 27) - widely considered the largest gay dance music festival in the nation.

The Dinah (First week of April) - Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend, popularly known as "The Dinah", is a music festival catering to the lesbian community and considered the largest lesbian event in the world.


Stage stars have discovered the city's appreciative audiences and terrific venues, such as Annenberg Theater, an intimate 430-seat performance space with nearly perfect acoustics. Upcoming performances include:

An Evening with Raúl Esparza (November 16, 2019), a concert featuring the Broadway star ("Company"), also known for his recurring role on "Law & Order SVU" and most recently NBC's "Hannibal."

Spencer Day (December 7, 2019), the crooner known for his unique interpretations of The American Songbook and Broadway classics.

Erich Bergen (January 18, 2020), from the CBS's "Madame Secretary," who's singing talent from the musical "Jersey Boys" has wowed audiences in the San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

The theatre is located within the Palm Springs Art Museum, which houses a terrific collection of contemporary and western pieces, as well as a significant holding of glass works. Current exhibitions include:

"Contrasts" (through December 1, 2019), featuring a global collection of works collected by David Kaplan and Glenn Ostergaard. The married couple is the founding benefactors of the museum's glass center and guest curators.

"Brave New Worlds", a multi-disciplinary exploration of how artists explore space.

Tip: Take advantage of the Museums free Thursdays with free entry from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.


Palm Springs is packed with dining options to suit every palate and features many chef-owned restaurants.

Workshop Kitchen + Bar - chef-owner Michael Beckman, along with partner Joseph Maurani, won the James Beard Award for best restaurant design. The gorgeous, industrial space, finished in a natural palette of white, allows Beckman's menu to shine. Highlights include "Duck Study #4," featuring duck Merguez sausage, fried rice and duck egg; black cod with a honey-lavender glaze; and a large format dry-aged ribeye big enough for two.

The Tropicale Restaurant & Coral Sea Lounge - Bathed in pink, the visually whimsical restaurant takes its food and beverage program seriously. And for those who enjoy al fresco dining, you won't want to miss enjoying a meal on its lush, tropical patio. The design aesthetic references Miami's classic supper clubs, while the menu nods to world cuisines where everyone can find something to enjoy. The signature coconut martini is a fun way to start a meal, followed by generously portioned entrees such as comforting Southern fried chicken (boneless), miso-glazed salmon and black rice, and Selva prawns with salsa verde.

Black Book Bar - One of the more recent additions to Palm Springs' dining and cocktail scene, Restaurateur Dean Lavine is helping to strengthen ties between businesses and the community in the Arenas District. His newly opened hotspot features sleek black subway tiles and an elevated comfort food menu ideal to start or end a night on the town. Don't miss the disco superfries, loaded with cheddar cheese, bacon, tomato, green onion, Ranch and Buffalo sauce.

Palm Springs is packed with LGBTQ-friendly accommodations to suit any style, including an array of clothing-optional gay resorts. Let your eyes wander beyond your fellow guests at these exceptional properties.

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Matthew Wexler is EDGE's National Senior Editor of Travel, Lifestyle, Health & Branded Content. More of his writing can be found at Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @wexlerwrites.

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