Indio is a lovely city located in Southern California’s Coachella Valley. It rose to fame when it became the home of the annual weekend-long music festival, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The city is extremely popular with polo aficionados, golfers, and casino-goers. One of the most unique attractions is Shields Date Garden, which is home to a date farm while also displaying intricate statues depicting the life of Jesus.
1.Shields Date Garden
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Shields Date Garden, which was initially just a date farm, was completely renovated between 2011 and 2013 with the addition of biblical statues from a separate garden in Vancouver that was closing down. Today, you are invited to explore the 17-acre farm and garden at you own pace; take the time to appreciate the beautiful scenery and take as many pictures as you would like. There are 23 statues on the winding path, all of which come together to depict 14 sequential scenes from the life of Jesus Christ. During your tour, use your smartphone to listen to an audio narrative of everything you see and experience.
80225 US Hwy 111, Indio, CA 92201, Phone: 760-347-0996
2.Coachella Valley History Museum
© Coachella Valley History Museum
The Coachella Valley History Museum is a historical campus which has several exhibits dedicated to preserving the history of the area. Some their most popular main exhibits are a 1909 Indio schoolhouse, a Blacksmith shop, a desert submarine, pioneer farming tools, and archives for Historical Society. Once you’ve explored the museum’s interior, head outdoors for a look at their variety of gardens. Visitors of all ages love walking through the Japanese Garden, Memorial Date Garden, the Geissler Rose Garden, Desert Garden, and also stopping to appreciate Liberty Tree, which is the oldest cork tree in the Coachella Valley.
82616 Miles Ave, Indio, CA 92201, Phone: 760-342-6651
3.Empire Polo Club
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Founded in 1987, the Empire Polo Club quickly became a popular place for competitors and spectators to enjoy a game of polo and is now an intricate part of California’s polo history. The season is filled with competitive tournaments, parties, and other events, almost all of which is open to the public. Facilities include ten glass polo fields, a regulation-sized pop arena, two exercise tracks, stabling facilities, the Tack Room Tavern, and a night club. Housed on an expansive 300-acre land, the club is also the location of the renowned Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival which brings together artists from an array of genres.
81-800 Avenue 51, Indio, CA 92201, Phone: 760-342-2762
4.Fantasy Springs Resort Casino
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Transport yourself to a world of excitement and elegance at Palm Springs’ premier gaming destination, the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. The award-winning entertainment venue is home to an action-packed casino floor filled with 40 table games and over 2,000 of the hottest slots and video poker machines. The friendly hosts and dealers will ensure you have an amazing experience - a winning one if luck is on your side! Afterwards, explore the desert oasis setting, have a drink at the Springs Bar, dine at one of the many restaurants, attend a concert or other special event, or spend the night at the casino hotel.
84245 Indio Springs Drive, Indio, CA 92203, Phone: 760-342-5000
5.Eldorado Polo Club
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The Eldorado Polo Club is an exciting way for the entire family to spend the day. Both competitors and spectators are invited to experience and witness the wonderful sport. Enjoy a refreshing drink and meal at the Clubhouse Restaurant or on the field side patio beside the Cantina; their bar is filled with an array of wines and liquors. Their polo and riding academy provide an opportunity for visitors of all ages to be introduced to the game or fine tune their skills. The club itself has ten regulation fields and a stable which can hold over 500 horses.
50950 Madison St, Indio, CA 92201, Phone: 760-342-2223
6.Riverside County Fairgrounds
© Riverside County Fairgrounds
The Riverside County Fairgrounds is home to several fairs, festivals, and other events throughout the year. The Riverside County Fair is its most popular and is held every February since its inauguration in 1921. The festival celebrated the annual date palm harvest in the Coachella valley, which is home to over 250,000 date palm trees. There are over 7,000 exhibitions and competitions for people to participate in and enjoy. Some aspects include a monster truck rally, bull riding, performances by musicians and comedians, and of course, the crowning of a Date Festival Queen.
7.Shadow Hills Golf Course
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Located in Indio, California, Shadow Hills Golf Course is an elegant Schmidt-Curley, Inc. design golf course that is laid out seamlessly across the desert floor. You’ll be able to see a picturesque view of your surroundings, from the deep greens of the hills and valleys to the towering mountain range beside it. It was voted the “Best of Indio Golf Courses” and rightly so; the North Course is a par-3 course with holes ranging from 135 to 210 yards while the South Course is a traditional 18-hole championship course that can accommodation players of all abilities. Additional facilities include an expansive practice facility that has a short-game practice area, two tee levels, and a private space for one-on-one lessons with the professional staff.
80875 Ave 40, Indio, CA 92203, Phone: 760-200-3375
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The sister event to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the Stagecoach Festival is the highest-grossing country music festival in the world. The festival features an array of artists, unknown and mainstream, from genres like country, country rock, alternative country, southern rock, heartland rock, roots rock, and bluegrass. Past performers include Shania twain, Taylor Swift, Willie Nelson, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, and Keith Urban. Stagecoach first took place in 2007 and has been attracting thousands of people ever since. It is hosted at the Empire Polo Club and offers facilities such as on-site camping for the weekend-long event.
Empire Polo Club: 81-800 Avenue 51, Indio, CA 92201, Phone: 760-342-2762
9.Air California Adventure
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Air California Adventure started in 1993 as an outdoor adventure company which provided the opportunity for people to enjoy paragliding and hang gliding throughout Southern California. Over the years it was taken over by AirCal and added instructional tandem flights to their list of services. During your adventure you will be able to see breathtaking views of California’s deserts, San Bernardino Mountains, Joshua Tree National Park, Salton Sea, and much more. All of their instructors are experienced, top-ranked professionals who use methodical teaching practices and pre-flight simulators to ensure you have a safe, fun, memorable time while in Indio.
Golf Club at Terra Lago: 884-000 Terra Lago Pkwy, Indio, CA 92203, Phone: 760-677-1449
10.TKB Bakery & Deli
© TKB Bakery & Deli
Voted number one in Yelp’s ‘Top 100 Places to Eat in the US’ list, the TKB Bakery & Deli is a must-try while in Indio. The business was founded on the brilliant and delicious recipes of Athena Sippel and started off as a home-based business that would sell their concoctions door to door. Now, 20 years later, TKB Bakery & Deli is one of the most successful delis in the United States. They have an array of cold and hot sandwiches such as the Mexican Meatloaf or the Pesto Chicken Ranch Club which have been proven popular with their patrons or you can build your own. Wednesdays are BBQ days and all sandwiches like the smoked tri-tip or smoked pulled pork come with a side of mac ‘n’ cheese, cole slaw, or homemade chili.
44911 Golf Center Pkwy, Indio, CA 92201, Phone: 760-775-8330
11.Pueblo Viejo Grill
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Pueblo Viejo Grill is an eatery with a large, dining-room style atmosphere that serves mouth-watering Mexican staples. It is said that their kitchen produces the most authentic Mexican food in all of Coachella Valley. The flavorful cuisine combined with the generous portions and friendly hospitality make it a family favorite. Be sure to stop by and try culinary concoctions from their menu such as the steak quesadilla, tostadas de ceviche, Mexican club wrap, shrimp fajitas, spinach and mushroom enchiladas, and their sweet corn tamale topped with sweet corn sauce and green onions. Be sure to keep some room for dessert as their Fabulous Mexican Flan and homemade bread pudding should not be missed.
81931 CA-111, Indio, CA 92201, Phone: 760-342-5900
12.The Cafe at Shields
© The Cafe at Shields
Offering Mexican-inspired cuisine for breakfast and lunch, The Cafe at Shields is a popular place to dine for visitors and locals alike. The restaurant is located within the renowned Shields Date Garden, allowing you to dine while surrounded by the flourishing trees and plants. Guests can expect a variety of delicious items such as sandwiches served on homemade bread, signature salads topped with house dressings, and Mexican cuisine created with fresh, high-quality ingredients. Start your meal with an order of the Chipotle crab cakes and move on to house specialties such as carne asada tacos, Walleye fish tacos, pulled pork sandwiches, or the Shields Signature Date Burger which is topped with sautéed Deglet Noor dates.
80225 CA-111, Indio, CA 92201, Phone: 760-775-0902
12 Best Things to Do in Indio, California
- Shields Date Garden, Photo: Courtesy of Lucas - Fotolia.com
- Coachella Valley History Museum, Photo: Coachella Valley History Museum
- Empire Polo Club, Photo: Courtesy of Hola53 - Fotolia.com
- Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Photo: Courtesy of veronikaryabova - Fotolia.com
- Eldorado Polo Club, Photo: Courtesy of Hola53 - Fotolia.com
- Riverside County Fairgrounds, Photo: Riverside County Fairgrounds
- Shadow Hills Golf Course, Photo: Courtesy of ramirezom - Fotolia.com
- Stagecoach Festival, Photo: Courtesy of Delphotostock - Fotolia.com
- Air California Adventure, Photo: Courtesy of Eleonora - Fotolia.com
- TKB Bakery & Deli, Photo: TKB Bakery & Deli
- Pueblo Viejo Grill, Photo: Courtesy of beats_ - Fotolia.com
- The Cafe at Shields, Photo: The Cafe at Shields
- Cover Photo: The City of Indio