Thanks to Coachella, Stagecoach and the influx of LA weekenders escaping the city, the nightlife in Palm Springs has finally started to extend past the early bird special and into the late evening. Cheers to that.
Here are a few of my favourite Palm Springs bars and clubs to pop in for a drink. I put an asterisk* next to the places I frequent the most!
Best Spots to Grab a Happy Hour/After Dinner Cocktail in Palm Springs:
A fun spot in Downtown Palm Springs with creative handcrafted cocktails served amongst tropical decor and tiki torches. The drinks usually feature rum, fruit and a tropical umbrella. Amazing happy hour!
If you’ve been to Mr.Lyons, you may or may not have seen this sneaky speakeasy. It is hidden behind a curtain with no sign. I highly recommend having dinner at Mr. Lyons (owned by the same group that runs the cult classic Cheeky’s). Their Old Fashioned’s are very popular, but all the cocktails are amazing.
From the maker’s of Workshop Kitchen (and right next door) comes a more laidback scene featuring live DJ’s, bar snacks, and great cocktails. This industrial-chic spot was opened after the owners recognized the lack of places like this in the desert.
Probably the most famous spot of the bunch, Melvyn’s is a must-see spot in Palm Springs! The Rat Pack and the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe used to frequent this spot. Unfortunately, Mel passed away last year and the establishment was sold. So far though, Melvyn’s remains exactly as it’s been for years. A great mix of young and old, and strong (!) dirty martinis.
A newer spot a hop skip and a jump from Mr. Lyons. They only serve beer and wine, but they have a wonderful selection of both! Half off wine bottles on Wednesdays!
Come for the margarita’s, stay for the tacos. Great restaurant in the Saguaro hotel, a fun spot to explore during happy hour. For a list of the Best Restaurants in Downtown Palm Springs, check out this post.
Located in the Ace Hotel, the Amigo Room is a fun spot for great cocktails and good tunes. LA vibes all around.
The newest LGBT friendly bar in Palm Springs. Food is surprisingly good considering it’s a smaller kitchen, and they have a great selection of craft cocktails.
Some of the best live music and people-watching in the city! Check the website for weekly entertainment schedule.
I recently visited Tropicale on a Thursday for their jazz happy hour. It was bumpin’! I suggest getting there early or you may have to sit outside. The atmosphere is infectious, and very Palm Springs. Order a martini and they will fill it to the brim.
Bootlegger Tiki didn’t satisfy your tiki fix? This tiki room is located in the Historic Caliente Tropics Hotel.
A great little bar in the Parker Hotel open late. The Parker has incredible decor so it’s worth stopping in to check that out. Norma’s is also great for brunch.
A few Palm Desert bars to check out (20 min drive):
Like Melvyn’s, The Nest is iconic. It never disappoints. I always tell my friends “you just have to see it.” They never understand until we go, and then they say the same thing. “Yep, you just have to see it to believe it.” You’ll most likely have to wait in line, especially on weekends. The later you go, the younger the crowd. I like going around 9:30-10pm so you get a nice mix of demographics. Dance the night away to live music and mingle with locals and visitors alike.
Not going to beat around the bush on this one, Neil’s is a total dive bar. If you go with that in mind, you’ll have a good time! They offer karaoke certain nights of the week and shuttles to and from the bar. Very popular during Stagecoach and Coachella. Keith Urban even waltzed in while in town for Stagecoach with Nicole Kidman and sang a few karaoke songs.
Here is a list of Downtown Palm Springs clubs if you’re looking for late-night dancing and drinks:
Gay Bar that welcomes everyone. Good for Bachelorette parties, karaoke and happy hour daily.
The newest spot on El Paseo in Palm Desert. DJ’s, ladies nights and specialty cocktails. A great place to go after a late dinner on the strip.
Next to Tropicale. Good for drag shows and live performances
Fun gay bar with lots of live entertainment! Check out their website for info!
Another fun gay bar with games, drinks and dancing. They have the longest happy hour in the city, 10am-7pm!
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