If you’re dreaming of a desert getaway equal parts relaxation and excitement, then La Quinta, California, should be at the top of your list. This hidden gem in the Coachella Valley has everything you need for an unforgettable getaway.

best things to do in la quinta California

Michael and I have taken many work contracts in La Quinta over the past few years. And let me tell you, it’s so much more than just a top-notch golf spot. Get ready to soak in stunning desert landscapes, world-class golf, hiking, happy hours, and more!

Let’s dive into the 18 best things to do in La Quinta, California!

Top Things to Do in La Quinta

1. Hike The Santa Rosa Mountains

Put on your hiking boots and hit the trails surrounding the Santa Rosa Mountains. Multiple La Quinta trails offer spectacular mountain views.

One of our favorite hikes is the La Quinta Cove Hike. It follows an out-and-back route, so the difficulty level can be tailored to your preference by simply turning around when you are tired.

la quinta california hiking trail the cove

If you’re lucky, you will encounter bighorn sheep, coyotes, snakes, and various other forms of wildlife. It’s important to note that while dogs are welcome on a leash for the smaller loop, signs indicate designated areas where dogs are not permitted to go beyond.

la quinta ca 92253 hiking trails

If you are up for the drive, check out the Taquitz Waterfall Canyon hike at the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Reservation in Palm Springs (~40 minutes from La Quinta).

2. Swing Like a Pro at World Renowned Golf Courses

Alright, golf lovers, this one’s for you! Imagine teeing off surrounded by the jaw-dropping beauty of the majestic Santa Rosa Mountains. Yep, that’s exactly what you’ll get at the world-famous golf courses in La Quinta.

golf course in la quinta CA
la quinta california pristine golf courses at PGA West

Favorite golf courses in La Quinta:

  • PGA West Nicklaus Tournament Course
  • Silverrock Resort
  • Indian Wells Golf Resort
  • PGA West Stadium
  • PGA Mountain Course

3. Jam Out at an Outdoor Concert

One of the best things to do in La Quinta (when weather permits) is to attend a concert in the park at the Silverrock Resort Park!

Come prepared with your own chairs and blankets, and enjoy a delightful evening of music beneath the starlit sky. You can bring your own food or order from one of the local food trucks.

La Quinta concerts in the park are family-friendly. It’s also worth noting that leashed dogs are allowed.

Check the updated Silverrock Resort Park live music schedule here.

cheap things to do in La Quinta- free concerts in the park at silverrock golf resort

Check out the Rockyard at Fantasy Springs Resort in Indio, California (~25 minutes from La Quinta). Rockyard offers free live music in its outdoor amphitheater-style arena in the spring and fall. It is for guests 18 and older and runs from 7 to 11 pm. Check the Rockyard schedule here.

4. Happy Hour: Cheers to Good Times!

Feeling thirsty? La Quinta’s got you covered with some seriously awesome happy hours. Grab a drink, munch on some tasty bites, and soak in the lively atmosphere. It’s the perfect way to unwind, catch up with friends, or make new ones.

Enzos Happy Hour in La Quinta
enzos happy hour in old town la quinta

Be sure to check out our favorite happy hours in La Quinta, which include Enzo’s, Stuft, Fortune’s, The Grill on Main and Kikis!

If you dislike socializing, Stuft Pizza offers Happy Hour to Go!

5. Old Town Farmers Market: Fresh Produce & Morning Yoga!

Start your morning with outdoor yoga on the events lawn in Old Town La Quinta (across from The Grill on Main). After your morning yoga and coffee, stroll through Old Town Farmers Market, where you can chat with local Coachella Valley vendors while shopping for fresh products, artisan crafts, pet gear, and more.

la quinta certified farmers market - things to do in la quinta posat

The farmers market in Old Town typically runs from early October through the end of May. You can see the updated weekend Farmer’s Market schedule here.


26 Perfect Gift For Golfers

Hole-in-one gift ideas for him.

6. Hang with the Animals at The Living Desert

The Living Desert and Gardens is a non-profit organization that focuses on conservation in Palm Desert (~15 minutes from La Quinta).

They’re all about safeguarding endangered and threatened species. What’s impressive is that they provide a home for over 500 animals, representing more than 150 different species.

Our favorite exhibit at the Living Desert is the Giraffes! For just $10, you can purchase fresh lettuce and have the incredible opportunity to hand-feed these graceful creatures.

Living Desert in Palm Desert best things to do in la quinta
living desert girl feeding giraffe

The Living Desert has hiking trails on the property, which are included in your admission ticket. If you plan to explore these trails, wear appropriate hiking attire and pack sunscreen and water.

Also Read: Click here to learn more about The Living Desert’s habitat and conservation efforts.

7. Relax at a Resort With Resort Pass

When it comes to the art of unwinding, few experiences rival the relaxation found in lounging beside a pool at a top La Quinta resort. But here’s the best part—we’ve got a travel secret that elevates poolside bliss to a whole new level: ResortPass.com!

Relaxing by Resort Pass Pool

We use Resort Pass wherever we travel, and it saves us so much money! The Resort Pass platform lets you snag single-day passes to resort pools, spas, and amenities at some of the finest hotels and resorts, with no overnight booking required.

The Hyatt Indian Wells and Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in nearby Palm Desert offer great deals through Resort Pass, with passes ranging from $15 to $35 per person.

These day passes are limited during the busy season, so if you plan on using a Resort Pass during your vacation, book in advance to secure your reservation.

8. Shop in Elegant Boutiques

Explore the charming boutiques of La Quinta, where you’ll find an array of elegant shops offering everything from fashion and accessories to home decor and unique souvenirs.

shopping in old town la Quinta

Where to Shop:

9. Day Trip to Joshua Tree

Want to take your desert experience to the next level? Hop over to Joshua Tree National Park (~ a one-hour drive from La Quinta) for a day of exploration. You’ll be able to walk, hike, or even rock climb among the spiny and twisted tree-like plants native to the Mojave Desert. 

Viator offers a variety of Joshua Tree Tours to choose from, including a self-driving audio option.

man standing in front of massive rocks at Joshua Tree National Park. Perfect for day trip from La Quinta CA
2 Joshua Trees in Joshua National Park

There are no restaurants, gas, or grocery stores within the park, so be sure to pack water, snacks, and other necessities before you head into the park.

10. Zoom Around with Pedego Electric Bikes

Want to explore La Quinta with a bit of a twist? Hop on an electric bike and cruise around town.

You can rent bikes from Pedego Electric Bikes by the hour or by the day or join one of their group-led bike tours.

Pedego Bike Tour in La Quinta
Image by Pedego Bike

11. Cool off with a famous Coachella Valley Date Shake

One of the best things to do in La Quinta is cool off with a famous Coachella Valley date shake.

Stop by our favorite Shields Date Garden and enjoy a delicious date shake. Sip your date shake at the original Shields 1960s milkshake counter!

date shake counter from date local farmers
top attractions in La Quinta CA

Each shake is made with dates grown locally. This establishment has been harvesting and creating its famous shakes since 1924!

12. Dive into Local History

Explore La Quinta’s museums and cultural centers to uncover the stories of the past. Get a sneak peek into how this awesome city came to be at the local volunteer-run La Quinta Museum located in Old Town La Quinta.

The La Quinta Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

outside of the La Quinta History Museum

13. Explore the Magic of Palm Springs

Extend your adventure with a short day trip to Palm Springs (~45 minutes from La Quinta). Check out the aerial tramway, visit the Palm Springs Art Museum, attend a drag brunch, and soak in the unique vibes of this neighboring city.

arial tramway Palm Springs
Marilyn Monroe Palm Springs day trip from la Quitna

14. Be Adventurous on a San Andreas Jeep Tour

Hop on the San Andreas Jeep Tour from Palm Desert and dig into the geology around California’s famous San Andreas fault.

Along the tour, your knowledgeable naturalist guide will teach you the ways the Native American Cahuilla tribe utilized desert plants for sustenance, medicine, and shelter

Some of the highlights you’ll enjoy:

  • Open air jeep
  • Recreated area with a sweat lodge and artifacts from the native Cahuilla Indian Tribe
  • Underground creek forced to surface by fault lines, creating a green oasis
  • Steep-walled canyons and tall twisted rock mountains

Click here to check tour availability.

15. Spend a day at Lake Cahuilla Veterans Regional Park

Lake Cahuilla Veterans Regional Park is a 710-acre park with stunning mountain views, campsites, fishing, and picnic facilities. While swimming is not allowed in this lake, there is still plenty to see and do!

In addition to the lake itself, there are playgrounds for the kids, volleyball courts, a basketball hoop, horseback riding, hiking, and biking trails, and plenty of grass areas to relax and have a picnic.

big horn sheep at Pristine Lake La Quinta

If you are lucky, you will see big horn sheep climbing from the Santa Rosa Mountains to graze on the grass.

For the Lake Cahuilla Recreation Area hours and rules, visit Rivcoparks.org

16. Savor Gourmet Dining Delights

This small resort town has got some seriously amazing places to dine. Whether you’re all about fancy gourmet bites or want some good ol’ comfort food, there’s a little bit of everything. So, here’s the scoop on where we love to eat in La Quinta, CA!

lavender room la quinta
lavendar room short rib - fine dining in la quinta

Best La Quinta Restaurants:

  • Lavender Bistro
  • La Quinta Cliffhouse Grill
  • Kikis Italian
  • The Grill on Main
  • Morgan’s in The Desert at the La Quinta Resort
  • Okura Sushi
  • Louise’s Pantry (breakfast)
  • Enzos in Old Town La Quinta
  • Fortune in Old Town La Quinta
  • Mi Cultura (Palm Desert)
  • The Real Italian Deli (Palm Desert)
  • Jackalope Ranch

17. Book a Desert Photoshoot with Flytographer

Flytographer will be one of your favorite things to do in La Quinta or any other city you visit! The website allows you to hire an amazing local photographer at affordable prices anywhere in the world!

photographer in La Quinta. girls sitting on golf course having picnic with la quinta palm trees in the background

Book: your photographer here!

18. Attend a Hockey Game or Concert at the Acrisure Arena

The Acrisure Arena is home to the Coachella Valley Thunderbirds, the minor league team for the Seattle Cracken Hockey Team!

The Palm Desert arena opened in December 2022 and hosts a variety of musicians, comedians, and other performers. We have seen multiple shows at the new Arena, and the sound quality is incredible.

hockey game at the new acisure arena in la quinta to watch the coachella valley firebirds play.

Note: Be sure to bring a jacket for concerts as the floor seats cover the ice rink.

Book your Acrisure Arena tickets

And there you have it—the top 18 must-do experiences in La Quinta, California. Whether you’re into golf, hiking, gourmet dining, or exploring charming streets, this hidden gem in the Coachella Valley has something for everyone. So grab your sense of what this hidden gem has to offer.

This post is all about the best things to do in La Quinta, California, and the surrounding Palm Springs area.

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