Ah, Palm Springs—California’s tropical paradise. The Hollywood Hideaway, also known as Se-Khi or “boiling water,” has been famous for many things, apart from its world-renowned name. Palm Springs seems to just slide off everyone’s tongues as they think of paradise, relaxation, and even revelry. The sunny state of California did have it all, and they hit the jackpot when Palm Springs was formed inside the state.
The best sunny climate, natural hot springs, hotels, restaurants, golf courses, and the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway—Palm Springs seem to be the perfect place for locals to settle in and tourists to make the most out of their annual vacation. More than the menagerie of vacation activities that Palm Springs offers, the views containing mid-century modern architecture in the urban area and the desert oasis in the rural area make it seem like you’re relaxing on cloud nine.
Palm Springs seems to be the perfect location for Tiki Bars to exist. Of course, aside from the numerous tropical places all over the planet, Palm Springs’ overflowing tourist attractions make having a Tiki Bar the perfect place to wine and dine and party. If you haven’t been to one yet, or you’ve only seen the Tiki Bar culture and its many interesting artifacts in cartoons or movies, you’ll want to add this to your growing bucket list.
Tropical music, wild cocktails, and an atmosphere that will take you to the most tropical of tropical places in the world is the experience that a Tiki Bar should bring. Beat the Palm Springs heat with a wild Tiki night, and you’ll be guaranteed to have one of the best nights of your life! Here is a list of the 5 best Tiki Bars in Palm Springs!
Tonga Hut Palm Springs
Tonga Hut Palm Springs is Los Angeles’ longest-running Tiki Bar. Established in 1958, this real old-school Tiki Bar has since served a tropical menu consisting of pineapple fried rice, kalua pork, fish sliders, and a pupu platter. You don’t have to make a reservation to come to Tonga Hut Palm Springs, but there’s a $50 booking fee for the secret room hidden behind a telephone booth if you want some quality time with your friends without interruptions. The secret room can hold up to 12 people.
Tonga Hut Palm Springs prides itself on their specialty drinks which include:
- Kraken the Dole Whip – Kraken rum and vanilla rum, macadamia nut, coconut, and pineapple.
- Gin Ricky Tiki Tavi – Ford’s gin, Falernum, Pimm’s, lemon, grapefruit, and orange juices
- Chai-Tai – rums, chai syrup, liqueur, and citrus
Location: 254 N. Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, Ca 92662
Located in the old Don the Beachcomber’s location at 110 N Palm Canyon Drive, Bootlegger Tiki offers a modern twist to the Tiki Bar but don’t worry; they still offer rum cocktails and the original Tiki sanctuary that Ernest Gantt has made.
Bootlegger Tiki requires a $30 deposit for a table and $60 for a booth. It is best to make a reservation. Bootlegger Tiki sells pins, baseball caps, and mugs if you want to take home some Tiki merchandise with you. It is also the only Tiki Bar in Palm Springs that offers a “tiki-to-go” service where they will send a bartender to your event.
Some of Bootlegger Tiki’s famous drinks include:
- Bird – Doctor Bird Jamaican Rum, Plantation Pineapple Rum, Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur, lime juice, orange juice, passionfruit, almond syrup, falernum
- Luck Be A Lady – Mezcal, Lemon Hart 151, Fernet Branca, lime juice, coconut, grapefruit juice, cinnamon, orange bitters.
- Oaxaca – Doctor Bird Jamaican Rum, paranubes, lime juice, falernum, passionfruit, grenadine, celery bitters
Location: 1101 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262
The Reef Palm Springs
Staying at the Historic Caliente Tropics Motel? The Reef Palm Springs is located on the infamous Conga Room restaurant site at 411 E Palm Canyon Road. All thanks to its owner, the creator of the Tiki Caliente every May in Palm Springs, and the Mod Palm Springs, which celebrates mid-century style combined with Tiki, the Tiki culture has once again earned its place in California.
The Reef Palm Springs’ drink menu includes:
- The Treasure of La Amadarita – multiple rums with grapefruit juice, honey, creme de banana, and spices.
- Elegant Bastard – Don Q Anejo Rum, spicy-sweet ginger beer, lime juice
- Hot Hula Hibiscus – 100% Agave tequila, hibiscus syrup, jalapeño
Location: 411 E Palm Canyon Rd, Palm Springs, California
Toucans Tiki Lounge
Voted “The Desert’s Number One Gay Bar,” Toucans Tiki Lounge is the home to the longest-running drag show in Palm Springs. Toucans mix the traditional Tiki Bar atmosphere with contemporary drag shows—your visit will never be boring.
Drink names such as Tiki-Colada, Tiki-Tini, Tiki-Rita, and Tiki-Sunrise originated from Toucans Tiki Lounge. Of course, you can take home some of the mugs and other trinkets at their gift shop.
Location: 2100 N Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Tommy Bahama’s Marlin Bar
Tommy Bahama’s Marlin Bar isn’t your typical Tiki Bar. It features a more upscale atmosphere with touches of traditional Tiki here and there. With a touch of elegance and class, Tommy Bahama’s Marlin Bar allows you to sit back and relax and enjoy the island comfort without the noise and lights of a traditional Tiki Bar. No reservations are needed if you’d like to wine and dine here.
Some of Tommy Bahama’s Marlin Bar’s signature drinks are:
- Pineapple Coconut Mojito – Bacardi lime, Cruzan coconut, 12.5 pineapples, lime, mint, Q Soda
- Cucumber Smash – Hendrick’s, St-Germain Elderflower, Lime, 13 Cucumber, Q Soda
- Bahai Sangria – brandy, red wine, pomegranate, orange, 11 green apples
Location: 111 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite 150, Palm Springs, CA 92262
If you want to immerse yourself in Tiki culture without going to the islands and wearing a lei, you can go ahead and start your long (or short!) road trip to or plane ride to Palm Springs, California, where the island life is waiting for you complete with a rum-based drink. Embrace tropical life no matter the season at Palm Springs!
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