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If summer hasn't heated up enough for you yet, it's time to jump out of the pan and into the fire. We're talking about Palm Springs. What? Blazing, 108-degree days giving you pause? Or is that just the kind of oven you're aching to bake in?
Even if you're not a total heat hound, this gay desert oasis can be magical in the off-season (the busiest times with the biggest events such as Dinah Shore and the White Party are, naturally, in winter months). The crowds thin out. The midnight swimming is divine. And as the mantra goes, “It's a dry heat.” Plus, there's plenty that make us here at ShermansTravel.com smile: deals!
Collecting most of the LGBT-specific offerings under one umbrella promotion, the Palm Springs Summer Splash, organized for the third year by the Desert Gay Tourism Guild and now midway through its run (June 1–Sept 30, 2010), is a city-wide sale offering deep discounts on hotels, restaurants, attractions, shops, and even airfare from almost 100 member properties. Additional bar nights and special events have been organized, as well, with updates added throughout the summer.
Out of 24 hotel deals, highlights include “2nd Night Free” at top-rated gay guesthouse INNdulge, every other night free (including weekends) at the clothing-optional Triangle Inn, 15 percent off the notoriously frisky All Worlds Resort (men-only), 50 percent off the second night (or 3rd night free) at the Century Inn, or $99 rooms at the Queen of Hearts for the ladies. At night, when the temps drop to the 70s, flash your free “Splash Pass” for meal discounts, free glasses of wine, $2 happy hours, and more at participating bars and restaurants.
Getting there and getting around, garners 10 percent discounts on American and Alaska/Horizon flights plus 15 percent off Enterprise Car Rentals. On the event side, Christmas in July (July 22-25) brings the kitsch, Blackfire Weekend (Sept 16-19) brings the biker daddies, and film nerds flock to Cinema Diverse: The Palm Springs Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (Sept 24-26). And of course, area spas have cut rates to pamper your bod and your pocket, and all the great architecture and adventure activities still abound, such as mid-century modern tours, the Palm Springs Aerial Tram, and surrounding canyon hikes and bikes – for early risers.
For more info on participating partners and specific deals visit PalmSpringsSummerSplash.com.
For exhaustive LGBT-specific travel info, pursue OutTraveler's Palm Springs Guide or the just-launched and excellent City of Palm Springs LGBT Microsite.
For general trip-planning info, check out our Palm Springs Travel Guide.