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Entries in Lifestyles & Things To Do

9 Great Dive Bars in the Desert

Dive Right In

Party with the locals at these great dive bars in Palm Springs and neighboring desert cities with nothing but a good time up their sleeve.

KAY KUDUKIS JULY 9, 2019 CURRENT DIGITALRESTAURANTS

Courtesy of Palm Springs Life

Tryst is open daiiy from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. in Palm Springs.   PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY TRYST PALM SPRINGS

Tryst is open daiiy from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. in Palm Springs.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY TRYST PALM SPRINGS

“This is a total dive” is a compliment in the mouths of those who recognize dive bars’ fabulous je ne sais quoi that turns a so-so evening into “Vegas baby” without emptying your pockets. These neighborhood spots offer a genuine experience where you’re likely to see some familiar faces. It’s where locals and hospitality workers go after the touristy places shut down. These dive bars are all about the drink and the fun, no finery required. No pretentiousness or posing here — you can be your authentic self.

Here are a few suggested dive bars to get you started. Got a fave dive already in mind? We welcome your feedback on expanding this list.

PALM SPRINGS

Tryst

Open from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily, Tryst is the ideal spot to drink your way through giant Jenga, darts, pinball, or air hockey while selecting your favorite songs on the jukebox. Only snacks are available here, so make sure you eat beforehand. While it is on the periphery of LGBT nightlife haven on Arenas Road, Tryst is neither gay nor straight; they have open arms for everyone over 21, and drinks are reasonably priced. The inside is smoke-free, but they do have an old fashioned cigarette machine for outdoor smoke breaks. You never know what local stars (think innovative chefs and crowd-favorite musicians) might end up here on any given night. There’s plenty of parking in back.

188 S Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, 760-832-6046; Facebook page.

Crazy Mel’s Burgers

This unassuming downtown joint slings bargain burgers and booze six days a week (closed Tuesdays) from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The bar is a small half-horseshoe, but it’s still a great place to grab a beer and a nosh — the french fries are outstanding. It’s also got a laid-back, unadorned patio that’s great for day drinking and people-watching. No games to play, but they do have jello shots. Free parking is behind the Rowan complex, about a two-block walk.

166 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, 760-656-7563; Facebook page.

Pete’s Hideaway

Located just down from the Sunset Center on the south end of Palm Springs, Pete’s isn’t as much of a dive bar as it is a local hangout. Family owned and operated, they have a healthy following of Coachella Valley residents who value good entertainment and decent food. During the cooler months they have entertainment every night, but understandably cut back during the summer.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY PETE’S HIDEAWAY

Pete’s Hideaway has space for nightly entertainment.

Rat Pack (and Rat Pack–adjacent) celebrities grace the walls in photos and artist renderings. Weekdays, stop by anytime between 3 and 11 p.m.; weekends at Pete’s begin at 11 a.m. and end at midnight (Wednesdays also get the extended 12 p.m. close time). Lots of parking is available behind Allen’s Tires.

665 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, 760-322-6500; peteshideawayps.com

Fireside Lounge

Current and former Chicagoans longing for the nearly endless stretch of Cicero bar hours, take note: This terrific dive bar keeps its doors open from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. Between the friendly locals and games — think standards like pool and shuffleboard — a lot of fun is ready to be had. Given the hours, it’s also a haunt for entertainers and hospitality workers. Parking is only on the street, but the endless search for a spot you would experience downtown is rare here. Everyone is welcome to karaoke, and many of the valley’s best singers also participate. The bathrooms are not air-conditioned, so get in and get outta there during summer months.

696 S Oleander Rd, Palm Springs, 760-327-1700; facebook.com/FiresideLoungePalm Springs

CATHEDRAL CITY

AMP

Though it’s relatively new to the area, this barebones sports bar still has what you’re looking for in a dive — namely, friendly staff, pool, darts, and karaoke. They occasionally have live entertainment that tends to exceed the environment. Live music is a random bag, with past gigs ranging from Latin singers to rock ‘n’ roll, but you can count on a consistently nice pour.

68718 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Cathedral City, 760-699-7090; Facebook page.

PHOTOGRAPH BY MICHELE MCMANMON

The Hood attracts a healthy lineup of musical acts, but it’s also a sit-down bar to hangout at.

PALM DESERT

The Hood

The Hood was named Best Dive Bar and Best Billiards 2018/2019 by CV Independent readers. They have pool, bingo, eats (housemade pizza!), and entertainment from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Prepare to get your drink on with a fun, energetic crowd.

74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert, 760-636-5220; hoodbarandpizza.com.

Red Barn

Red Barn was a runnerup in CV Independent’s 2018/2019 best dive bars, and looks like…well, a red barn, inside and out. They have a jukebox, two pool tables, shuffleboard, live entertainment, and outdoor seating. Patrons rave about the generous pours, as well. Doors open at 8 a.m. (yep, you read that right) and close at 2 a.m. daily.

73290 Highway 111, Palm Desert, 760-346-0191; redbarnbar.com.

Desert Fox

The owner refers to his club as a sophisticated dive, and we whole-heartedly agree. It’s cozy; it’s eclectic; it’s perfectly decorated and often has entertainment. Suave bartenders (we said it’s sophisticated, didn’t we?) concoct modestly-priced cocktails from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.

44750 San Pablo Ave, Palm Desert, 760-895-4385; desertfoxbar.com.

INDIO

Neil’s Lounge

Also on the runnerup list for CV Independent’s best dive bars, Neil’s has karaoke every night, pool tables with tournaments, and friendly bartenders and patrons, as well as funky and fun aesthetics. It definitely has a sense of humor. It’s a big bar, so bring all your friends and take over the space to sing your hearts out. It’s open 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

80956 Highway 111, Indio, 760-347-1522; Facebook page.

• READ MORE: 9 Palm Springs Bars to Engage in Conversation

2019 Troon Card Summer Test Drive

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Test Drive The Benefits Of Being A Troon Cardholder!

Troon invites you to test drive the benefits of being a Troon Cardholder for as little as 
$69 for a California Summer TwoSome Card or $99 for a California Summer 
FourSome Card
. During your test drive, you will enjoy rates up to 50% off, "2 for 1" 
golf offers, 10% off at participating golf shops & restaurants, complimentary clinics, 
monthly special offers, and much more!

Purchase Here

Courses
The California Summer Troon Card includes 16 of California's finest courses:

Ashwood Golf Course
Diablo Grande Golf & Country Club
Hiddenbrooke Golf Club
Indian Wells Golf Resort
La Quinta Resort & Club
Maderas Golf Club
PGA WEST
Saddle Creek Golf Resort
Shadow Hills Golf Club
The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa
Yocha Dehe Golf Club

To view the complete list of California courses and rates, click here.

Taco Bell is Opening a Hotel in Palm Springs This Summer

It’s certain to be a limited, but colorful, run

by Farley Elliott  May 16, 2019, 12:20pm PDT

Settings inside the Taco Bell Hotel/ Taco Bell

Settings inside the Taco Bell Hotel/ Taco Bell

This is not a drill: Taco Bell is opening an entire hotel in Palm Springs. That’s right, everyone’s favorite Southern California born-and-bred late night munchies spot, founded on a possibly stolen recipe, is adding to its hospitality offerings with a standalone hotel out in the desert. The Irvine-based company already owns a wedding venue in Las Vegas

Taco Bell made the surprise hotel announcement just this morning, showing off some key details for the property along the way. Not only will there be all the usual amenities found on property, from a restaurant to a pool, a gift shop, and hair salon, but each will will be branded heavily with the company’s signature style, fonts, and colors. In short: It’s the single best way to actually live más, and it starts up this summer.

Reps for the restaurant are quick to note that, while the resort hotel is only open for a limited time starting on August 9, their plans for the property are “very valid and very legitimate,” per Business Insider. Word is that the run will only last a few days, and that reservations will become available next month on a first-come, first-serve basis.

As for the actual hotel property’s address, the number of rooms, price, and other key details, those things remain to be seen. But who cares?! It’s a Taco Bell hotel, folks. And, really, it can’t be any more stunty than all those endlessly derivative Instagram food installations that keep popping up in Los Angeles.

Toughest Hole in the Desert

They call it Alcatraz — an island green that taunts players at the tee a mere 166 yards away at PGA West in La Quinta.

EMILY CHAVOUS APRIL 16, 2019 CURRENT GUIDEGOLF

The 17th hole at PGA West is touted by pros as being among the sport's most diabolical.   PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY PGA WEST

The 17th hole at PGA West is touted by pros as being among the sport's most diabolical.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY PGA WEST

They call it Alcatraz — an island green that taunts players at the tee a mere 166 yards away. The entire Pete Dye–designed Stadium Course at PGA West in La Quinta brims with hazards, and the 17th hole, with more lake than grass, is touted by pros as being among the sport’s most diabolical. As Dye described it, “Love and hate can be found here.”

• See related story: 10 Must-Play Public Golf Venues

Its 1987 PGA Tour debut stirred up quite the rumble. “The course is on the outskirts of Indio but host [Bob] Hope says the back tees are in Hemet. It doesn’t matter where they are. No one will ever play them,” Los Angeles Times columnist Jim Murray wrote that year. “You need a camel, a canoe, a priest and a tourniquet to get through it.” In the 1987 Skins Game, swinging alongside Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Fuzzy Zoeller, Dallas-born Lee Trevino conquered Alcatraz with a hole-in-one. Even so, tour pros collectively — and successfully — signed a petition to remove Stadium Course from the rotation in 1988. It took almost three decades for the Professional Golfers Association to warm up to Dye’s design, but in 2016, Alcatraz reassumed its position on the tour. Jason Dufner cinched his 2016 CareerBuilder Challenge (now Desert Classic) victory with a par-saving recovery shot from the 17th green’s rocky perimeter.

• See related story: Apps and websites that will save you money on desert golf courses.

Keen to try your hand at Alcatraz’s par 3? Book a stay at sister property La Quinta Resort & Club to take advantage of special golf offers. Stadium Course reservation fees are discounted June through September.