Located 25 miles from Palm Springs, the city of La Quinta is becoming an increasingly popular tourism destination in the Coachella Valley. The city has grown in parallel with its popularity, with new restaurants frequently popping on the scene, and it’s quite a different place from when I grew up in the area. This guide includes all the places I make sure to visit when I’m in town. Give some (or all!) of them a try and let me know what you think.
Friday, 3pm – Check In
If you’ve already booked your vacation rental with Arrivls, then you’re all set to check in at 3PM. If not, click here to see our La Quinta properties! Take your time unpacking, enjoy the welcome beverages chilling in the fridge, and have a look around your new home-away-from-home for the weekend.
Friday, 7pm – “Backyard” Dining At Its Finest
All of Arrivls’ La Quinta properties have fully-equipped kitchens and a BBQ, but if you’re looking for someone else to cook and do the dishes, head to Lavender Bistro (reservations recommended). The ranch house-style restaurant has multiple indoor seating areas, but we always ask to be seated on the back patio which is full of mature trees wrapped in twinkle lights – perfect for a date night or a group of friends alike.
Our go-to order for two people (with big appetites and who like to share 😉 ) is the Bacon-Wrapped Medjool Dates, Maine Lobster Ravioli, Cabernet-Braised Short Ribs, and the Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Balsamic Glaze. Diners looking for a lighter meal with just as much ambiance can head to the restaurant’s Fireside Lounge, where happy hour and live music are offered every day from 4pm.
Lavender Bistro – 78-073 Calle Barcelona, La Quinta
Open daily September – May, from 5:30pm – 9:30pm
Visiting in the summer season when Lavender Bistro is closed? Try La Quinta Cliff House instead!
Saturday, 9am – Organic Fuel-Up
Voted La Quinta’s best coffeehouse by Palm Springs Life magazine, Old Town Coffee Company is the perfect spot to fuel up for a day exploring the valley. Located in the heart of Old Town La Quinta, this local spot offers 100% organic coffee and specialty drinks along with smoothies, baked goods and breakfast and lunch items.
Old Town Coffee Company – 78100 Main Street, La Quinta
Open Monday – Saturday 6am-5pm, Sunday 6am-4pm, subject to closures due to COVID-19
Saturday, 10am – Swing Into Action
Before the days of Coachella and Stagecoach, most tourists flocked to the east side of the Coachella Valley for its top-rated golf courses. Some of the favorite public courses include SilverRock Resort and The Stadium Course at PGA West, but we also enjoy playing The Mountain Course at La Quinta Resort. This picturesque, but ultra-challenging course (designed by Pete Dye) is nestled up right against the mountains – make a side bet with your group for the first person to spot a bighorn sheep!
If golf just isn’t your idea of a great time, head to Spa La Quinta at the resort instead for a day of pampering. 😉
The Mountain Course at La Quinta Resort – tee times available online
Spa La Quinta may be subject to temporary closures due to COVID-19.
Saturday, 3pm – Hoppy Hour
After a full round of golf in the sun, you’re likely ready to unwind and sip something cold. On your way back to your vacation rental, hop
s (see what I did there?) in to La Quinta Brewing Company’s Old Town Taproom to sample some of their award-winning craft brews. Their Even Par IPA likely won’t help you shoot par, so it’s probably best that you’ve already finished your golf round for the day.
La Quinta Brewing Company – 78065 Main Street #100, La Quinta
Open daily from 3pm – 7pm
Saturday, 7pm – Robata + Rolls
After a full day out and sampling a few craft beers, you’ll probably ready to head back to your rental house to rest and freshen up a bit. Take advantage of the fully-equipped kitchen at your Arrivls vacation rental, or you could venture out for dinner at one of our favorite spots, Okura Robata Grill & Sushi Bar.
Okura has a large and diverse menu, with options for sushi lovers and I’ll-take-my-meat-cooked-please diners alike. Our favorite shared plates include the Garlic-Soy Shishito Peppers and the Crispy Spicy Tuna – crispy rice cakes topped with spicy tuna, caramelized ginger and tobiko. It’s hard to pick a favorite from their menu of specialty rolls, so bring a group and plan to share a few. If sushi just isn’t your thing, the Robata Grill Spare Ribs and the Saikyo Miso Sea Bass are also excellent options.
Okura Robata Grill & Sushi Bar – 78-480 Highway 111, La Quinta
Open daily from 4pm
Sunday, 7am – #viewsfordays
You’ve been enjoying the views of the Santa Rosa mountains from your Arrivls vacation rental, but it’s an even more impressive sight looking down from the top! There are several trail heads for all skill levels starting at the top of the La Quinta Cove. Check the City of La Quinta website for up-to-date information on trail descriptions, difficulty levels, and openings.
Be sure to get an early start in the warmer months, and pack sunscreen and plenty of water!
Sunday 11AM – “Oh So Bueno” Brunch
Brunch takes a Mexican spin at Chula Artisan Eatery in La Quinta. This locally sourced, farm-to-table spot is tucked away in a business complex (near the Cinemark Theaters building on Washington Street), but is definitely worth finding! Chef Stephanie Gonzalez learned to cook from her mama at a young age and now, thankfully, is sharing her love for heritage-inspired dishes like the Chula Burrito – filled with cage-free eggs, turkey chorizo, sweet potato hash, garlic, black beans spinach and salsa.
Chula Artisan Eatery – 47-150 Washington Street, La Quinta
Open Wednesday – Sunday, 7:30am – 2pm
Vising on Monday or Tuesday when Chula is closed? Try Heirloom Craft Kitchen instead!
Sunday 1pm – Pool + BBQ
By now you’ve done a lot of exploring (and eating) in La Quinta, so it’s time to enjoy some time at your vacation rental! All of the Arrivls La Quinta properties have private pools with lounge chairs to soak up some desert sun, and floaties to relax and cool off in the water.
If you’re still content at home by the evening, why not have a poolside BBQ for dinner and watch the sun set over the mountains? Or, if you’re still avoiding those dishes, you can head out to…
Sunday, 7pm – Winner, Winner, Pizza Dinner
I’m nervous putting this in writing because “which pizza place does it best” is a controversial topic about which most people tend to have an extremely strong opinion, but I’m going to go ahead and say it. If I had to eat from one pizza restaurant for the rest of my life, it would be Stuft Pizza Bar and Grill in Old Town La Quinta. If you agree with me, please drop a comment below so I can feel validated.
I could go on and on about their diverse menu, or how their crispy thin and doughy thick pizza options will satisfy either type of crust-connoisseur, but you should just try it for yourself. And one insider-tip, swap their traditional pepperonis for their mini-peps for a crispy, spicy kick. 🌶
Stuft Pizza Bar + Grill – 78015 Main Street, Suite 100, La Quinta
Open daily 11am-9pm, dine-in service may be temporarily disrupted due to COVID-19
Monday, 8am – Not Goodbye, Just See Ya Later
Your weekend getaway to La Quinta is slowly coming to an end, and it’s time to pack up and head back to reality. Spend your last morning enjoying some of the amenities at the house, and maybe take one last quick dip in the pool. Check out is at 10am, but if you ask in advance we may be able to offer a late check out. 😉