The L Word
soujourned to the Dinah Shore Weekend back in 2004, it's become a destination trip for queer women around the world. The pool parties, performances, DJs, and comedy shows help make every trip to the Dinah unforgettable. For the event, held yearly in the stunning city of Palm Springs, Calif., it does take some practice learning how to keep up at the bacchanal in the scorching sun and dry heat. Here are handy tips on how to enjoy every moment of your Dinah vacation.
DO apply sunscreen.
The sun can make
break your Dinah experience, and that means taking in the scorching Palm Springs sun in small doses. Sure, you may want to rock a deep, dark tan, especially if you’re heading back to a rainy, chilly climate, but sun poisoning can ruin your weekend and bright red tan lines aren’t so cute.
DON'T drink in the hot tub.
The hot tub at the host hotel sees plenty of action in the evening, but be careful climbing into the bubbling hot water if you’ve been out in the sun all day and drinking. That is a recipe for the alcohol to go straight to your head. And while it's fun to catch a buzz, you won’t want to miss out on a moment of the weekend by being passed out and sick.
DO explore the lively Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs.
Downtown Palm Springs is packed with wonderful restaurants from Mexican to Italian to upscale American eats. The strip on Palm Canyon Drive is also full of boutique shops from retro modernist cool to kitsch. It’s the perfect spot to find souvenirs for those back home.
DO book the host hotel if you want to party and be right in the mix.
If you crave proximity to the action, along with a pretty solid “thumpa, thumpa, thump” from the speakers at the pool for days on end, then be sure to book the host hotel at the
. The room service there keeps up with demand during Dinah pretty well, and if you crave something off the premises, it’s in the heart of Palm Springs’s retail and restaurant area.
DON'T book the host hotel if you like your beauty sleep.
If you prefer to relax and to get your beauty rest when you’re not dancing poolside at Dinah’s official pool parties, then book away from the host hotel at a spot like
. The party literally never stops on the actual premises of the event.
DO visit the aerial tramway on your way out of town.
You’ll be so excited to get to the action at the Dinah that you may want to save this side trip for the end. If you crave a spectacular view of the desert and surrounding mountains, take a couple of hours on your way out of town and visit the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which features a rotating cabin that glides 8,500 feet above the desert. Once you’ve hit the peak, there are hiking trails to explore and two restaurants and a bar for your dining and cocktail needs.
Be sure to take a sweater, though, as it gets very chilly at the top.
DO visit Palm Springs's tiny gayborhood on Arenas Road.
While the bars in Palm Springs’s tiny but lively gay section are primarily geared toward the city’s vibrant gay male community, there’s still plenty of fun to be had at any one of the
five gay bars on the strip
, the best known being Hunter’s Nightclub for dancing and pool.
DO take in the Dinah’s comedy show.
Beyond the women and the epic pool parties, the Dinah is renowned for its comedy night. This year’s funny women lineup includes Erin Foley, Gina Yashere, and Julie Goldman. Tickets for the Saturday night comedy show are available on
the Dinah's website
DON'T forget that the Dinah was originally a golf tournament.
If women in plaid shorts and Izod shirts are your thing, take some time out to attend the
ANA Inspiration Championship
, the LPGA tournament that began as the Colgate Dinah Shore championship in 1972. The name was changed to the Nabisco Dinah Shore 10 years later.
DON'T forget to bring cash for splitting the bill and/or the go-go dancers.
Cash is always good to have on hand for impromptu group dinners when everyone is tipsy and splitting the bill takes 45 minutes. If you’ve got the right amount of cash, you can throw down your portion and get back to the party. Also, the go-go girls work hard all weekend in the hot sun. It’s nice to have some bills on hand to thank them for their efforts if you’re so inclined.
DO bring a book to the pool if you’re the geeky type.
There are plenty of party girls at the Dinah. If you’re the shy, literary type, there’s no harm in taking a good book to the pool. Like-minded women will take note.
DO be friendly and introduce yourself to new people.
You don’t have to go wild and host a spin-the-bottle party in your room, but there are women from all around the globe at Dinah. Be open and friendly and you may make some new friends.
DON'T sit out the poolside dance party.
The dance party goes on poolside all day long for four days in a row. At some point when you’re squeezing past the mob of women dancing, stop and drop a few moves. It feels good to let loose once in a while.
DON'T drink so much you won't remember your experience.
Between the heat and the free flow of alcohol, it’s really easy to overindulge at Dinah. Pace yourself and make sure you eat properly. It’s really no fun to get so hammered that you’re sick with a hangover with the shades drawn while you’re friends are chilling on a float in the pool.
DON'T throw a huge party in your hotel room.
It’s easy to allow a party in your room at Dinah to get out of hand. One friend invites a few people, another invites a few more, and pretty soon the manager of the hotel is kicking people out and charging you for damage to the TV that someone knocked over while jumping on the bed. It can happen.
DO love your body and rock a swimsuit.
Palm Springs is the desert and you’re in a sea of women who love other women. If you’ve ever been shy about rocking a hot new bathing suit, the Dinah is the place to let go of those inhibitions. Treat yourself to a new swimsuit and wear it with pride!
There are thousands of queer women at the Dinah. Hookups are bound to happen. Whether you’ve gone to the Dinah specifically for that kind of fun or you’re open to the opportunity, pack some safe sex items like gloves and dental dams.
DON'T forget your toys if you use them.
If you’re thinking of trying to hook up and you like to play with toys, don’t assume she will have them. You may not get a chance to model your new dildo and harness, but you'll want it with you in case you do.
DO bring shorts and sleeveless shirts or summer dresses.
Even if you’re not the summer clothes type, Palm Springs’s heat is likely to bend you to its ways. Make sure you have enough tanks, tees, shorts, and/or summer dresses to get you through the marathon weekend. Sandals and/or flip-flops are also a must.
DON'T forget a travel battery for your phone.
You’ll want to be sure your phone has a solid charge, especially if you’re addicted to Instagram and Snapchat, and let’s face it, Dinah offers up plenty of memorable moments you’ll want to preserve. The last thing you want is for your phone battery to die when you’re searching for your friends to discover what's on the agenda next.
DO Instagram your weekend for posterity.
It’s the Dinah! Your friends back home will want a blow-by-blow of the poolside mayhem. Beautiful women with the sun, palm trees, mountains, and clouds on the horizon make for some stunning photographic reminders of your trip.
DO remember to break out that pink pussy hat you wore for the Women’s March.
In lieu of a White Party this year, the Dinah has decided to join the resistance with
the Pink Pussy Party
. You’re encouraged to sport your best white or black with a “touch of pink.” Protest signs are optional.
DO stock up on snacks for your room.
Food is often hard to come by at Dinah. You’re usually so busy having a blast that you forget to eat, and when you suddenly remember you should probably eat something, lines can be long for room service or at any of the fabulous Palm Springs restaurants just down the street. On your way to the desert stop and load up on snacks for the room. Sure, chips are fine, but also grab some almonds, dried fruit, and granola bars for some healthier options.
DO enjoy a nice meal out with your friends at one of Palm Springs’s restaurants.
Treat yourself to a nice sit-down meal at one of Palm Springs’s renowned restaurants. You don’t have to break the bank at places like
at the Avalon Hotel, which serves healthy West coast cuisine in the splendid modernist structure at Avalon. If that’s not your thing, try some killer Mexican street food at
El Jefe at Saguaro.
DO go for a hike.
Whether you’re looking to stretch your legs after all of that poolside lounging, you feel the need to commune with nature, or you just plain need a break from the thumpa-thump of Dinah, take a few hours to hike a
scenic two-mile trail
that begins right in downtown Palm Springs, as the trailhead is near the art museum. Be sure to take a water bottle with you.
DO hydrate. Water, water, water.
It’s easy to underestimate how much water you should drink while at Dinah, but consider these factors — it’s hot and dry, you’re sweating while dancing, and you’re likely drinking alcohol. Dehydration is no fun, so ward it off by drinking plenty of water. Save yourself some money and pick up a few gallons of water for the room on your way into the desert.
DO rock your rainbow gear.
Like Pride, Dinah is an excellent chance to rock your queer clothing, so whip out your old rainbow “I Like Girls” trucker hat or the your “The Future Is Female” rainbow tank top for the occasion. When you wear these items out and about in Palm Springs, it doubles as a small act of resistance against the Trump administration.
Do bring an open mind to try something new.
If you’ve never been to Dinah, you may spend a little time being jaw-dropped at the sheer number of women bumping, grinding, and kissing poolside. It’s a beautiful thing to behold. So enjoy yourself, free your mind, and maybe try something new — even if it’s just dancing with strangers.
DO bring a dressier outfit.
It’s not imperative that you bring your Sunday best to Dinah, but if you’re the type who likes to get fancy for events, there will be plenty of opportunities. Some women break out their best dresses and heels, while others rock sleek suits.