‘La Quinta’: the Gem of the Desert
‘La Quinta’: the perfect place to relax and enjoy every single bit of the wonderful view of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains above the Palm Springs desert. We got up early and it took us only two and a half hours from Huntington Beach to get to our destination: a small town in the middle of the Coachella Valley at the base of Santa Rosa mountains. ‘La Quinta’ is situated in Riverside Country, California, United States in between Indian Wells and Indio. This little town is home to 10 golf courses and it has been hosting several national golf championships. At first sight, ‘La Quinta’ seems to be a quiet and monotonous place, but it is the perfect place to relax and enjoy different types of activities.
What to Do and Visit in La Quinta.
We spent almost 7 days in ‘La Quinta’ and we had so much fun! Every day a different activity keeps us entertained.
What to do during the day.
Here I have listed some of the activities we have done in ‘La Quinta’ and I think it will be fun for you to do in your stay:
1) ‘The Living Desert Zoo’: If you love animals, as I do, you should visit ‘The Living Desert zoo’ which is situated a couple of minutes away from ‘La Quinta’. In this zoo you can find different types of animals ranging from large, such as Giraffes, Zebras, and Cheetahs, to small, such as Bees and Butterflies. This zoo displays a desert landscape in an attempt to replicate the real natural environment of these animals. Visitors are able to interact with some animals through different activities such as feeding the giraffes, riding camels, and being surrounded by hundreds of butterflies flying inside the enclosed exhibit. The zoo also offers many shows so that kids can enjoy and learn more about the different animals exhibited at the living desert. In addition, you can visit The Tennity Wildlife Hospital and Conservation Center that brings the highest quality of care to The Living Desert’s animal collection. This hospital and conservation center has been designed for the visitors. If you arrive early in the morning, you may be able to observe well check-ups or surgeries. Unfortunately, we arrived late so we couldn’t see any surgery but we still were able to see all of the installations. This zoo is also a nature preserve with a series of nature trails where the visitors can hike and enjoy a real desert experience. Another place that you should visit is the Miriam U. Hoover Discovery Center is an interactive exhibition where you can discover and learn more about the Coachella Valley region. The zoo takes almost 4 hours to be visited and is a great activity to do with the family.
2) Art under the umbrellas: ‘La Quinta’ is also known for its artistic and cultural enrichment. ‘Art under the umbrellas’ is a one day event located in the Old Town La Quinta. This fair happens only on selected Saturdays from October to March. Don’t miss the chance to visit since it is an exceptional outdoor display where over 80 artists and craftsmen get together to demonstrate their talents to all the residents and visitors of this beautiful city. From purses, paintings, photographs, sculptures and jewelry, you can find unique and unrepeatable arts and crafts. The live music and friendly environment complement this magnificent fair in the closed-off streets of the old town.
3) ‘The Cove Trails’: ‘La Quinta’ is the perfect place for those who love hiking since it presents several natural trails surrounded by preserved natural beauty and stunning mountain views. ‘The Cove Trails’ area is located at the top of the ‘La Quinta cove’ neighborhood and it has 4 different desert trails from which hikers can choose.
Those who are interested in a short hike with a gradual incline may choose the trail from Cove to Lake while those who prefer more difficult and lengthy hikes may take the Palm Oasis or the Boo Hoff trail. All the trails are clearly marked. ‘The Cove Trails’ is the perfect place to enjoy nature and get exercise at the same time.
4) ‘Galleta Meadows’: This is next to Anza-Borrego National Desert Park and is where Ricardo Breceda and Dennis Avery display their sculptures. This park is located in the city of Borrego Springs and is only one and a half hours away from ‘La Quinta’. The craftsman Ricardo Breceda and the visionary Dennis Avery show their astonishing metal structures that combine amazingly with the desert landscape. By car or bicycle, you can admire these incredible pieces situated in the middle of the desert. From camels, giant birds, tortoises, and saber-toothed Tigers to Sea Serpents and giant Mammoths, these metal sculptures seem to timelessly accompany one another regardless of past rivalries. It is advisable to visit this national park in winter since in summer temperatures can reach 100 degrees F. ‘Galleta Meadows’ is a unique and magnificent visit in the Desert.
5) Golf championships: If you are visiting ‘La Quinta’ during a golf championship, I recommend you find a seat with your favorite beverage in one hand and just relax while you watch the golfers playing through one side to the other. This is one of the most relaxing activities that you can do in ‘La Quinta’. Just sit and admire the perfect combination between nature and sport.
Things to do during the night.
We spent some nights at the house since the weather was perfect for sitting in the backyard with a fireplace admiring the starry night. However, we did spend other nights out. Here are some things that we did:
1) Cinemark Theaters: Last October, a new cinema opened. Cinemark cinema consists of 12 screens with electronic reclining chairs in every theater in tandem with wall to wall and floor to ceiling screens and surround sound. It also has its own bar where you can buy food and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
2) Walking down ‘El Paseo’: This is an avenue located in Palm Desert that features over 300 world-class shops, clothing boutiques, art galleries, jewelers, restaurants and much more. All of these shops are lined along a beautiful picture-postcard floral and statue-filled street. ‘El Paseo’ is a great place for a walk and shopping as it boasts a wide spectrum of stores from well know stores to individually owned boutiques.
3) Eating out: There are many options to choose from when it comes to eating out. We’ve been to a couple of restaurants that I am glad to recommend to you. I listed them in the ‘Where to eat’ section.
Where to eat in ‘La Quinta
A) Mario’s Italian Cafe: It is a small restaurant located in ‘La Quinta’ that serves Italian food such as pasta and pizza. The place is full of Italian photographs and Italian music set the mood at this cozy restaurant. This is a good option for those who want to enjoy a quiet evening.
B)Stuft Pizza: This is another restaurant that we went to that is located in Old Town ‘La Quinta’. This place has the best pizza in the whole town. You can choose between different options of sandwiches, pasta, salads and soups and meat but you cannot leave with eating one of its popular award-winning pizzas.
C) Souplantation: This restaurant offers a unique dining experience where people can create a meal tailored to meet their exact wants and need. It has a salad bar buffet featuring over 50 fresh ingredients and a wide variety of soup options. This is a healthy option that you should try.
D) Shields Date Garden: This is a gift shop where you can buy not only exotic and unusual gifts, but also you can drink one of the most delicious dates shakes that you can possibly imagine. This shop sells different types of dates, the fruit of that region along with unusual gifts that will make you smile.