Since the mid-1990s, the rough-and-ready Tool Shed has been the premier leather-and-Levi's bar in Palm Springs - it's on a side street on the south side of downtown, on the edge of the Warm Sands gay resort district. Open from morning until 2 am, the Tool Shed doles out cheap and potent drinks, hosts an Erotic Art Expo each February, and awards a Mr. Tool Shed Leather prize each year.
Toucans is the first gay bar in Palm Springs you'll come to if approaching the city from the north (which most visitors do, via the I-10 freeway to Hwy. 111), so it's the perfect spot in which to warm up and get your bearings. But this loosely tropics-themed bar and dance club, officially called Toucans Tiki Lounge, is also one of the top gay hangouts in the desert region, catering to a primarily male (but female-welcoming), all-ages crowd. It's across the street from the trendy bar-restaurant Dink's, and it's known for such engaging theme nights as Sunday night drag revues with Tommi Rose & The Playgirls, two-for-one drinks on Tuesdays, '80s flashback dancing on Wednesdays, and Jungle Boogie (with go-go dancers) on Fridays and Saturdays.
The definitive gay happy hour scene (from 5 to 7:30 most nights - it begins a bit earlier on weekends), Wang's in the Desert. is also one of Palm Springs's hot spots for contemporary Pan-Asian food. The restaurant is stylish and festive, and the sidebar, which hosts the happy hour celebrations, is a fun venue for colorful cocktails and mingling with locals and tourists - it keeps pretty busy well into the evening. Wang's is just around the corner from the gay bars along Arenas Road.