Fantasy Springs Resort Casino
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY VISIT GREATER PALM SPRINGS
Hit the slots.
For 24-hour fun, follow the bells and whistles of winning machines to Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella, Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, or any of three Agua Caliente Casino locations, in Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, and Cathedral City. All offer a variety of card and table games in addition to slots and high-limit options. If you’re after a smaller vibe, Augustine Casino in Coachella (the only one not open 24 hours), is a favorite among locals for penny slots.
PHOTOGRAPH BY DANIELA STALLINGER
Big Rock Golf & Pub
See live music.
From casinos and hotels to restaurants and bars, venues across the valley invite you to rock out and discover the desert’s nightlife and its hottest local bands. Since 1965, The Nest in Indian Wells has attracted a mixed crowd (including incognito celebs and tennis stars) and frequently has a line out the door when the nightly entertainment begins. Palm Springs dive bar Palm Canyon Roadhouse draws honky-tonk rockers and hosts a Sunday jam session that anyone can join. For eclectic DJ sets, check the calendars at Ace Hotel & Swim Club or The Saguaro in Palm Springs. Indio’s Big Rock Golf & Pub showcases rock-forward acts and cover bands in a sprawling space that doubles as a memorabilia museum.
Go LGBTQ+ bar hopping.
Arenas Road in Palm Springs is the downtown hub for the gayborhood and its bustling nightlife. The street and surrounding area are home to a number of inclusive, queer-positive hangs such as Chill Bar, Hunters Palm Springs, Street Bar, and Blackbook. Nearby, RetroRoom Lounge wins points for drag karaoke. In Cathedral City, Amp Sports Lounge pairs a diverse crowd with diverse sports on big-screen TVs. From there, you can pop over to The Roost Lounge (in the same building) for karaoke and videos of showtune clips.
Dominate the dance floor.
Break out your best cumbia or line-dancing during weekly Latin and country nights at Lit, the buzzy lounge at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio. Cascade Lounge, located off the casino floor at Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs, also hosts a Latin night along with DJs and other nightlife events each week.
Catch a cabaret show.
Featuring a cast of talented transgender women performers, AsiaSF in Palm Springs promises a delightful and interactive dinner show with hits from Madonna to Broadway. Meanwhile, the desert’s longest running drag show, Tommi Rose & The Playgirls, anchors a lineup of knockout drag revues at Toucans Tiki Lounge, also in Palm Springs. Nearby, the action at Oscar’s heats up with drag performances, exotic male revues, and an über-popular Sunday T-dance.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY TOUCANS TIKI LOUNGE
A Day With Tommi
Host of the desert’s longest running drag show, performer Tommi Rose shares his picks for a Greater Palm Springs getaway. Catch his act weekly at Toucans Tiki Lounge. toucanstikilounge.com
“I love going to Elmer’s in Palm Springs. The German pancake will leave you in your happy place to start your day.”
“Check out the Palm Springs Air Museum. Great history and very entertaining. Lulu California Bistro is an excellent option for good food and people-watching. I love their gazpacho, especially on a warm day.”
“Dinner at Spencer’s is lovely and relaxing with an upscale atmosphere. Or try Trio if you want something more casual.”