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Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley - A Polo Haven

Emily Hurst 03/04/2024
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Destination Polo: Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley.

 

Located in Southern California's Colorado desert, Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley boast 300 days of sunshine annually. Sheltered by multiple mountain ranges, including the San Bernardino and San Jacinto ranges, it's a beautiful desert resort city that's not to be missed.

Palm Springs and the surrounding Coachella Valley became a popular vacation spot for Hollywood stars due to the two-hour rule, which dictated that stars must vacation no further than two hours from the studios in case they were needed for an urgent shoot. Palm Springs fits the bill perfectly, and celebrities have flooded in ever since.

Home to numerous golf courses, the famous Indian Wells Tennis Garden, the Coachella and Stagecoach Music Festivals, Joshua Tree National Park, a lively art, fashion, and shopping scene, as well as some of the top polo and equestrian facilities on the west coast, there truly is something to suit all tastes in Palm Springs.

Destination Polo: Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley.

 

When to Visit

The desert winter is recognized as the best time to visit Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. From December to April, the weather is pleasant, with little rain, near-constant sun, and temperatures around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The rest of the year tends to be hot; as it is a desert. In the summer, many locals opt to spend their time in the air conditioning, only venturing out in the early hours before the heat sets in.

Polo to Watch

A historically popular destination for polo players and equestrians on the West Coast, the Eldorado Polo Club in Indio has earned the slogan 'The Heart of Polo in the Desert.' From January to April, the club offers polo to suit all levels of players, from beginners up to 12-goal polo. Tournament games take place on the weekends, with two feature games occurring during the Sunday timeslot each week. Sunday Polo is open to spectators with numerous options, from tailgating to clubhouse-catered seating and more.

Destination Polo: Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley.

 

Learn to Play

For those looking to pick up a mallet for the first time or tune up their polo skills, the Eldorado Polo Academy offers lessons and coaching league games on the Eldorado Polo Club property with their well-trained school horses throughout the polo season from mid-December to the end of March.

Destination Polo: Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley.

 

Sightseeing

Encompassing several cities, each with its own distinct personality means that Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley genuinely offer something for everyone. From the picturesque Old Town La Quinta to Shopping at El Paseo and Mid-Century Modern Architecture Tours. However, outdoor activities and events are the name of the game when it comes to things to do in the Coachella Valley.

Just a short drive from the heart of Palm Springs is Joshua Tree National Park, popularized by the U2 album of the same name. This National Park showcases the beauty of the desert landscape. Offering countless hiking trails and lookout points with sweeping views of the valley, it's one of the best places to truly appreciate the desert's unique landscape. Other notable hiking trails within commuting distance of Palm Springs include Painted Canyon, Pushwalla Palms, and Lake Cahuilla.

Destination Polo: Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley.

 

Head to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway for a different view of the valley. The world's largest rotating tramcar, the PS Aerial Tramway, climbs two and a half miles along the cliffs of the picturesque Chino Canyon, transporting riders to the largely untouched wilderness of the Mt. San Jacinto State Park. When guests reach the top, they can enjoy two restaurants, 50 miles of hiking trails, museum exhibits, and sweeping views of the Coachella Valley.

The Salton Sea, located near Mecca, was once a popular vacation spot until agricultural run-off and rising salinity destroyed the sea's ecosystem, rendering it toxic. One of the world's largest inland seas, it's enjoying a rebirth of sorts and is home to a recreation center, the ghost town of Bombay Beach, art collectives, and more.

Shield's Date Garden has been around for nearly a century and is an institution in the valley. Long recognized as the place to experience date culture, Shield's is home to a café, a 1960s milkshake bar offering their world-famous date shakes, a sample counter to taste the variety of dates grown there, and a 17-acre date grove.

Two of the most popular sports in the valley, golf, and tennis, host annual events: The American Express PGA Tour at the La Quinta Country Club and the BNP Paribas Open at the state-of-the-art Indian Wells Tennis Garden. These attract some of the top names in their respective sports.

Other popular activities offered in the area include surfing and car racing, both of which have opened private member clubs catering to enthusiasts. The newly opened Palm Springs Surf Club is home to a state-of-the-art wave pool, so surfers are always close to the waves, even when they're in the desert. The Thermal Club is home to over five miles of racetrack, three distinguished circuits, and upwards of 20 configurations, allowing members to enjoy track time without the hassle of crowds.

No mention of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley is complete without the music festival of the same name. Held on the grounds of Empire Polo Club each April, the Coachella Music and Arts Festival (along with its sister festival Stagecoach) showcases the biggest names in music alongside incredible art installations.

There is no better place to escape the winter than in the desert. Perfect weather, a plethora of events and activities, and polo. What more could one want?


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