Indio: An Arts Oasis and home to the Coachella Music Festival
While it’s undeniable that the inaugural Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival put the vibrant city of Indio on the world stage in 1999, there’s so much more to do and see than listen to the hottest bands on the planet in Greater Palm Springs’ exciting and most populous oasis.
First off, there’s the Stagecoach country music festival, which shares the same setting as “Coachella” on the lush grounds of the Empire Polo Club (also the home of thrilling winter polo matches, which are open to spectators and tailgaters for free). These two musical extravaganzas – alongside other popular events such as the Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival, Southwest Arts Festival, Palm Springs Kennel Club Dog Show, Polo & Wine Festival, and International Tamale Festival – earned Indio its nickname of City of Festivalsand draw more than one million visitors annually.
Other beloved attractions include Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, the Coachella Valley History Museum and its new Date Museum, theCoachella Valley Wild Bird Center, and the Cabazon Cultural Museum.
Home to a flourishing arts community, the Indio Chamber of Commerce offers self-guided tours of the city’s many murals depicting Indio’s history and its people. The innovative S.C.R.A.P. Gallery promotes environmental conservation and creativity through recycling discarded materials into art projects. And the Indio Performing Arts Center (IPAC), a sensational 22,000 square-foot complex in downtown Indio entertains audiences with culturally diverse entertainment in four theatres, as well as hosting acting and improvisational workshops for youth. Several public art pieces are springing up from the ground and Greater Palm Springs’ largest permanent television and film “diorama/green screen” has been built in downtown Indio. www.coachellavalleyartcenter.com.
Savor casual dining and entertainment at the wildly popular Jackalope Ranch, Neil’s Lounge, the Empire Polo Club’s Tack Room and Date Shed, Shield’s Date Garden and several family-owned restaurants that serve up some the best Mexican food in Greater Palm Springs.