Guide to Visiting The Coachella Valley

Visiting the Coachella Valley in California is a place not just for celebrities’ to escape the daily grind of Hollywood.

If you are seeking outdoor adventures, boutique shops, 5 star restaurants and unique outdoor landscape, then a visit to the Coachella Valley should be on your list of places to see.

The Coachella Valley has long been a quick escape for the rich and famous. With its close proximity to Western Canada, the Coachella Valley has also become a popular Winter destination for seniors living in Western Canada wanting to escape the Winter months. Many retirees prefer the quiet suburb of Palm Desert, while the night life of Palm Springs attracts the younger generation.

Where is the Coachella Valley

The Coachella Valley is part of the Colorado Desert approximately two hours east of Los Angelas in Southern California.

The valley is approximately 15 miles (25 km) wide and is flanked by the Little Bernadino Mountains to the East and the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains to the West.

How to Get to the Coachella Valley

The Coachella Valley has a full service airport located in Palm Springs, California. If you aren’t close enough to drive, many flights pass through the Palm Springs airport daily, however, there are no longer many direct flights. If you are arriving from Western Canada, you can catch a direct flight from Calgary, Edmonton or Vancouver.

If you are travelling to the Coachella Valley from the eastern part of Canada, the flights are much longer and you should budget at least one full day for travel. You will have to fly into Toronto and then get a flight to either Vancouver, Edmonton, or Calgary and transfer again to a flight to Palm Springs.

What is the Coachella Valley Known for

Tourists flock year round to the Coachella Valley for the warm desert weather and the world renowned golf courses. You will also find no shortages of restaurants throughout the valley.

The Coachella Valley is a winter getaway for the rick and famous and offers more than 100 golf courses

When is the Best Time to Visit the Coachella Valley

The best time to visit the Coachella Valley is January to April. During the Summer months, the weather reaches well over 100 degrees, making outdoor activities unbearable.

From January to April, the day time temperatures hoover in the high 60’s or low 70’s. The nights do get cool and can go as low as the 40’s. Dressing in layers is recommended.

The Coachella Valley is known as the land of the extremes, from desert life to mountain ranges.

History of the Coachella Valley

The Coachella Valley was initially inhibited by the Coachella Indians. They travelled from the desert floor to the mountain peaks in search of game, plants and more favorable temperatures. Many of the trails running through the mountains today were once navigated by the Coachella tribe. On October 24, 2000, the land was designated as a National Monument by Congress, in an effort to preserve the natural environment hidden in the rugged canyons and mountain peaks west of the valley floor.

Keep your eyes open for mountain goats when hiking in the Coachella Valley

In 1754, a Spanish explorer by the name of Juan Bautista de Anza became the first European to settle in the Valley. In the 1870’s a railroad was established and at the time the valley experienced a period of rapid development and it quickly became known as a Winter resort community. The Spanish influence remains prominent in the architecture throughout the Valley to this day.

Is the Coachella Valley Safe For Solo Travellers

The answer is an emphatic yes! There are plenty of activities geared towards solo travellers, however, if you don’t feel comfortable exploring on your own there are plenty of tour groups you can join. The locals are extremely friendly and chatty people and are more than happy to provide recommendations on things to do and see, as well as steer you to the best restaurants in town.

What Cities are in the Coachella Valle

The Coachella Valley is made up of nine cities:

Palm Springs

Palm Springs is the largest city in the Coachella Valley, known for its natural hot springs, restaurants, and hotels. It has been a favorite destination of the Hollywood stars since the 1930’s and many celebrities maintain a home in Palm Springs.

If you fly to the Coachella Valley, Palm Springs has a full service airport.

Desert Hot Springs

Those seeking a wellness retreat will head to Desert Hot Springs as it boasts the largest number of natural hot springs and cold mineral springs.

Cathedral City

Cathedra City is known as the art city and over 70 professional artists still call Cathedral City home.

Rancho Mirage

Rancho Mirage is know for its luxury lifestyle and world-class golf courses. You will find many gated communities in Rancho Mirage as the number 1 Bentley Rolls Royce dealerships in the United States.

Palm Desert

Palm Desert is know for its year-round warm weather, golf courses and restaurants, which attracts a large number of tourists.

Cactus and palm trees are in abundance in the Coachella Valley
Wander the quaint streets of downtown Palm Desert, California

Indian Wells

Indian Wells attracts celebrities and presidents with its larger than life golf courses and tennis courts, as well as its high altitude Palm Springs Aerial Tram-Way.

La Quinta

The ancient Saltan Sea, the Cahuillas, the ranches, the Bradshaw Trail, the historic La Quinta Hotel, celebrities and PGA West, all attract tourists to La Quinta.


Also known as the City of Festivals, Indio has become a favorite destination of foodies and music lovers.


Music lovers flock to Coachella. It hosts one of the most popular music festivals in the United States, featuring established artists, as well as up and coming artists.

Things to Do When Visiting The Coachella Valley

  1. Visit Joshua Tree National Park
  2. Golf at a world class golf course
  3. Ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tram Way, 1 Tram Way, Palm Springs
  4. Visit Indian Canyons, 38520 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
  5. Wander the streets of La Quinta
  6. Explore the historic La Quinta Resort, 49499 Eisenhower Drive, La Quinta
  7. Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, 47900 Portola Avenue, Palm Desert
  8. Wander downtown Palm Springs
  9. Hike one of the many trails through the desert and mountains
  10. Take a self-guided driving tour
A visit to the Living Desert Zoo is a must see when visiting Palm Desert in the Coachella Valley, California

Places to Stay in the Coachella Valley

There are many hotels, resorts, and rental properties scattered throughout the Coachella Valley, however, I would recommend staying in the downtown area of Palm Springs to be close to the nightlife.

La Quinta Resort

For those seeking a real treat, I would recommend spending at least one night at the historic La Quinta Resort. In 1926 Walter H. Morgan opened the doors to a resort sprawling over 1,400 acres of land containing only 20 guest casitas. The hotel also provided the Valley with its first ever 9 hole golf course. The golf course was open to the public for $1.00 per round. It didn’t take long before word of the resort’s luxury reached Hollywood and soon, celebrities’ such as Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, and Shirley Temple began escaping to La Quinta.

Wander the grounds of the historic La Quinta Resort

Places to Eat in the Coachella Valley

Believe me when I tell you that there are no shortages of restaurants in the Coachella Valley! There is a place to eat every second place you pass. For a fine dining experience in the evening, I recommend heading to downtown old Palm Springs.

For fine dining, visit Palm Springs.  For quaint coffee shops, visit La Quinta

For a quick bite or to relax with a cup of coffee, I recommend heading to La Quinta. The downtown is full of quaint and inviting coffee shops.

Getting Around the Coachella Valley

When visiting the Coachella Valley, I was surprised to see that the cities were are large as what they were. You will need a car to get around as it is quite a distance between attractions.

Pick your own grapefruits in Palm Desert

Visiting the Coachella Valley with Just One Passport in Conclusion

In conclusion, visiting the Coachella Valley is a once in a lifetime experience for the outdoor enthusiast and the lover of architecture and history. The vibe is a unique experience that you won’t experience anywhere else in the United States and who knows, if you’re lucky you might even have a celebrity sighting!


Kelly xo


A visit to the Coachella Valley is a mixture of desert, mountains, wildlife, architecture, celebrities and golf

39 thoughts on “Guide to Visiting The Coachella Valley

  1. Karen

    Coachella Valley in California looks and sounds like the perfect warm-weather destination to escape winter. So beautiful…with lots of things for people to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. BlondeAroundTheWorld

    Who knew Coachella was so interesting. When I think of the name I don’t associate it with such a place, just the festival, since that’s what appears in the media and on social media. I don’t even know if one thing is related to the other ahahah but definitely the post captivated my attention. I would love to visit and explore the Joshua Tree National Park!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anna

    Palm Springs was the only place in The Coachella Valley I’ve previously heard of. I would love to spend a winter there and would definitely stay for a few days at the historic La Quinta Hotel!


    1. Just One Passport

      I was based in Palm Desert and it was so close to the mountains. Great for hiking. I also wandered around the La Quinta Hotel. the property was HUGE! It was beautiful with the mountains as a backdrop. The town of La Quinta was also great. It was full of quaint coffee shops and cafes.


  4. Barry

    I had never heard of the Coachella Valley before reading this. I certainly didn’t think it would include cities like Palm Springs but there you are.
    Lots of great info on here and its interesting to see that it was originally inhabited by indigenous tribes. The Joshua Tree National Park would be on my list as I have heard a lot about that.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Elyse

    Great article, with heaps of helpful information. This is definitely a part of America I’m very keen to explore, I don’t know when but love reading about it and will save it for future planning. thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  6. awakenedvoyages

    Like many people, I only know Coachella through the music festival. I didn’t think it had so much history and amazing places. I am a sucker for hot pools and springs so this has now gone high on my bucket list. I love the pretty streets with the mountains and palm trees backdrop and the food sounds heavenly too!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just One Passport

      This was my first time to the area and I LOVED it. I loved the combination of desert, mountains, cactis, flowers and the restaurants were in abundance! The people were really nice as well, and they are from across the states and western Canada


  7. Leah

    Wow, who knew there was so much to see in Coachella Valley, I have only ever heard of the festival! Definitely will be adding to my list. I would especially love to visit The Living Desert!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just One Passport

      I went to the Living Desert and it’s gorgeous! the animals are kept in their natural environment and not in the traditional cage which I was happy to see. The entire valley was breath-taking with the mix of desert, mountains, cactus and flowers. I loved it!


  8. Josy A

    I only really knew about the Coachella festival, so it is cool to see there is sooo much more to this gorgeous area! I love the idea of a bit of warmth at this time of year and the food sounds fabulous!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Kerry

    I had no idea Coachella Valley consisted of so many towns, WOW! Such a gorgeous area though, I love how the dessert and lush landscapes collide. And of course, being a Canadian, love those warm temps in the winter!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Melanie

    I truly thought Coachella was just the festival haha. It actually sounds appealing now that I know about the rest of the valley! I think I’m most interested in Cathedral City for its art.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Linda (LD Holland)

    We have travelled around California but sadly have missed spending much time visiting Coachella Valley. One short say in Palm Desert was not enough. We were amazed at the diversity we found and we even found snow when we went up in the mountains on the Aerial Tram Way! It is clear we need to head back to explore more.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Carolin | Solo Travel Story (@SoloTravelStory)

    I knew next to nothing about this area, except for the obvious world-famous festival. Thanks for introducing me a bit more to it. I found its historical background intriguing, so a blend of native tribes and the Spanish, cool, cool. Do we know if the Coachella tribe still exists and what the name implies? The Spa La Quinta picture oozes Spain all over; what a great place and you don’t even have to leave the US for a bit of authentic Spanish flair.

    Carolin | Solo Travel Story

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Guide to Desert Hiking in the Coachella Valley – JUST ONE PASSPORT

  14. Shreya

    Thanks for sharing, this is very helpful! Usually when I think of Coachella I think of the music festival, but good to know its actually the name of the region!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. thedctraveler9b7e4f7d4d

    I loved seeing your photos on social media! To be honest, did NOT know Coachella was a place, just a festival, so can definitely say I’ve learned something new with your post! The Palm Desert looks like an oasis. The extreme temps make me a bit nervous as I run hot to begin with – so definitely a visit in the winter for me haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just One Passport

      It’s a beautiful area of California. I beautiful blend of mountains, deserts, flora and golf courses lol. I just got back and the weather ranged from 50 – 70 so it was perfect. Definitely not too hot!


  16. Emma

    I didn’t realize the Coachella Valley was so big or comprised of so many places. I had honestly just heard of it because of the music festival, and never realized that Palm Springs was part of the area. I’d love to visit, though maybe not in summer. A trip to Joshua Tree would be top of the list I think

    Liked by 1 person

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