The Best Things to Do in La Quinta, Coachella Valley
Enjoy the California sun in La Quinta.
Quintessentially Californian, La Quinta is a chic resort town that’s just begging you to photograph its palm trees. Found in the Coachella Valley – yes, that Coachella – between Indian Wells and Indio, it’s renowned for its lush landscape, panoramic mountain views, being the leading golfing destination in the US and of course for its art, culture and food. Here, Plum Guide rounds up the absolute best things to do in La Quinta, Coachella.
Old Town La Quinta
If your partner’s here to golf but you’d rather stab yourself in the eye with a golf club than go anywhere near a green, we’ve got you covered. Old Town La Quinta is an upscale outdoor shopping centre designed in a very fetching Californian style. All the boutiques, wine bars, upscale restaurants and art galleries your heart desires are here, ready for you to luxuriate in. There are enough quality restaurants here to rival the LA food scene – just don’t forget your credit card.
There are lots of seasonal events, from art shows to live music to food festivals. When your partner comes back from the golf course, they might be surprised to find you exhausted from a day enjoying Old Town La Quinta.
Certified Farmers Market
Found in Old Town La Quinta every Sunday, the Certified Farmers Market is the place to be in La Quinta at the weekend. The produce here is second to none - you’ll be amazed at the bounty of California on offer. You can pick up fresh produce, honey, herbs and spices, flowers, metas, cheeses, breads and pastries and much more. Essentially, your entire holiday kitchen can be stocked here, and you won’t need to step into a supermarket once - a great thing if your kitchen is as spacious as this one.
The Certified Farmers Market is also a great place to meet friends or family. They’re sure to enjoy the chef’s demonstrations, live music and knife sharpening demonstrations.
La Quinta Museum
Sometimes, you just need to absorb some culture. This 9,000 square foot Spanish colonial revival building is a beautiful place in which to do so. With information and exhibits about the local area and its history, you’ll find out that there’s a lot more to the Coachella Valley than VIP tents and wearing glitter on your face. If you don't believe us, read our guide on things to do in Coachella Valley – there's barely any glitter to be found.
A standout feature is the 32 foot long mural of old La Quinta by Andre Blanche, found in the community room. There are also two dioramas, a Cahuilla Native American village and one of the native animals from the area. And of course, the gift shop is second to none, and ideal for picking up presents for those hard-to-buy-for work colleagues.
Lake Cahuilla Recreation Area
The California landscape is famous for a reason. This large park at the foot of the impressive Santa Rosa mountains and on the banks of the still water of Lake Cahuilla puts your local park back at home to shame, let’s be honest. One of the recreation hotspots of the Coachella Valley, Lake Cahuilla Recreation Area should be on your list of things to do in La Quinta whatever you’re interested in.
There are facilities here for camping, picnicking, fishing, swimming, hiking, horseback riding and barbecuing. A frankly staggering 15 camping sites, all with modern amenities, will make you appreciate the outdoors but will make you very glad that back at your luxury pad you have your own meandering estate to enjoy, with hot tubs and waterfalls at your disposal. Lake swimming isn’t allowed, but there is a lifeguarded swimming pool to enjoy. Why not challenge your family to a boat race to get everybody out on the water?
Sm'ART Studio and Gallery
If you’re the kind of traveller who just can’t come back from a vacation without a new piece of art to hang on the wall, Sm'ART Studio and Gallery should be first on your list of things to do in La Quinta. As well as being able to buy many different kinds of artworks, you can take classes here in glass making, jewellery making and other crafts.
PGA West TPC Stadium Golf Course
La Quinta is one of the golfing hotspots of the US, so we couldn’t not include this top-notch course on our list of the best things to do in La Quinta. PGA West TPC Stadium Golf Course plays host to a number of tournaments throughout the year as part of the Tournament Players Club network of courses. If you really want to get in the spirit, stay at Plum Guide home Golfing Condor. Here, you can live and breathe greens, golf balls and clubs. Built by golfing legend Beverly Hanson, it’s in the backyard of Indian Springs Golf Course.