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Where to stay in Coachella

Exploring Coachella

Set in the Coachella Valley in California’s Riverside County, the city of Coachella is just 28 miles from Palm Springs. Rural and agriculturally-focused, the community is family-oriented, although the city is now one of California’s fastest-expanding conurbations. Its main product is grapefruit, with access to Coachella by Interstate 10.

Overall, the majority of its residents is of Hispanic origin, with Spanish and English both official languages, and three fabulous fiestas held in its centre every year. The central area is under restoration and modernisation due to its recent economic boom, and three Native American-owned casinos are found in the desert lands on the edge of the city. Just up the road is Indio city, home to the popular annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which is the area’s main draw alongside its casinos.

Sights nearby

Coachella lies in a desert valley, half of which is low-lying and home to the Salton Sea, a large, salt water lake some 69m below sea level and 10 miles from the city. The Coachella History Museum is of interest, and Indio, a short drive up the road, has a golf course and the Polo Club which holds many events in its grounds, including the popular Coachella festival.

Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino
This Native American-owned casino and adjoining resort is set on the edge of town, close by the city limits, and holds 2,000 slots, 40 games tables, and a video poker room, as well as 250 guest rooms and suites overlooking the desert. Opened in 2004, it offers the Eagle Falls Golf Club with its 18 holes, a bistro, a grill, and a pizza eatery, along with a large conference centre. There’s also a swimming pool, a comedy club, and a fitness facility.

Coachella Valley History Museum
This pretty complex holds the Smiley-Tiler adobe home, built in 1926 and used as a gallery for the majority of the exhibits, the century-old Indio Schoolhouse, and the Date Museum. The quaint buildings are set in a variety of landscaped gardens which boast an ancient cork oak tree and a traditional blacksmith’s workshop. The museum is open between October and May.

Empire Polo Club
Set in nearby Indio, the Empire Polo Club is a unique sight in the midst of desert lands and the city, and is used for the valley’s festivals and events, as well as for polo matches. The matches take place every Sunday and draw visitors from the entire valley. The major event here is the riotous Coachella Music and Arts Festival, an annual shindig of incredibly loud music and revels which is held over two weekends.

Eating and drinking and shopping nearby

Coachella is locally famous for its authentic Mexican restaurants as well as for its great choice of grills, steakhouses, and all the usual fast food outlets. A la carte restaurants are found in Coachella’s upmarket hotels, such as the Indian Palms Country Club and Resort, the Resort at Indio, and other upscale properties surrounding the city, and cafés and bars are everywhere. As befits a popular visitor destination, shopping opportunities here vary from discount malls to the upscale boutiques in the resorts, taking in favourite main street chains along the way.

Public transport

The closest airport to Coachella is Palm Springs International Airport and Interstate 10 runs along the side of the valley for easy access by car. Amtrak rail lines run through the valley and the Greyhound bus service links most cities and towns. The Sunline Transit Agency also provides economical public transportation via natural gas-powered vehicles throughout the area.