5 Reasons to Visit Indio Besides Coachella

Located about 30 minutes south of Palm Springs, the city of Indio has appeared in movies and television shows but is best-known as the home of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. With the latest announcement about this year’s lineup, Indio has found its way into the spotlight once again. Even though it seems that the city is only known for hosting this popular music festival, it would be a mistake to assume that nothing else happens there during the rest of the year.

Here are five reasons (aside from Coachella) why visiting Indio is worth your time.

Learn About Indio’s History

Photo courtesy of Coachella Valley History Museum

What better way to learn about Indio than to visit the Coachella Valley History Museum? This historic campus houses the city’s main exhibits, including Indio’s oldest public schoolhouse, the world’s only Date Museum, a blacksmith’s shop, an agriculture room, and more than 100 years worth of historical archives about the city. Through the museum’s exhibits, visitors can learn about Indio’s first settlers and how the small region grew into the culturally diverse city it is today.

Admire the City’s Murals

Photo courtesy of Greater Palm Springs

More than a decade ago, Indio’s Chamber of Commerce implemented a project that would create murals throughout the city. The project was aimed to revitalize the city by celebrating its rich heritage through art while beautifying the community. Today, there are nine memorable murals completed in Indio’s downtown area, including art featuring the city’s history of the Cahuilla Indians, Coachella Valley’s date industry, electricity, agriculture, and more. It’s an annual tradition for the city to install a new mural before Coachella, so be sure to check out the latest one.

Win Big at Fantasy Springs

Photo courtesy of Fantasy Springs Resort Casino

For the gambler, there are two casinos around Indio: Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, owned by the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians in Indio, and the Spotlight 29 Casino, owned by the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians in Coachella. With a total of seven casinos scattered throughout Coachella Valley, visitors can enjoy games from Double Diamond and Blazing 7’s to Monopoly and The Big Event. Machines accept any number of pennies, nickels, $1 bills, and even $100 bills to play.

Hit the Greens on Indio’s Municipal Golf Course

Photo courtesy of The Lights at Indio Golf Course

With its close proximity to Palm Springs, a city with more than 100 golf courses, visitors are often surprised to discover that Indio has one of the longest par-3 courses in the country. Spanning approximately 46 acres, the Indio Municipal Golf Course features a lake, driving range, clubhouse, and pro shop. The golf course is brightly lit, so golfers can continue playing even after sundown. 

Check Out One of the Many Other Festivals

Indio Art in the Square Chalk Festival photo courtesy of City of Indio

Throughout the years, the city of Indio went from being “the Hub of the Valley” to the “City of Festivals.” The city was originally developed as a necessary halfway point for the Southern Pacific Railroad, but as time progressed, more focus was aimed at economic growth. Although Coachella is Indio’s most well-known festival, the city also hosts a number of cultural events throughout the year. They include the Stagecoach Festival, Southwest Arts Festival Indio, Indio Fantasia Comic-Con, Indio California BBQ State Championship & Festival, and many more.

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