Are you looking for a complete list of things to do in La Quinta, California?
From lavish resorts, delicious dining, pristine golf courses, and fabulous outdoor adventures, La Quinta, California is a hub for both relaxation and fun.
With a perfect combination of nature and sophistication, La Quinta has a great year-round climate, stunning beauty, and an abundance of activities to keep you busy.
Here, you’ll find our list of 23 things to do in La Quinta that includes the best places to shop, eat, stay, and play.
Start imagining your La Quinta getaway now!
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Intro to La Quinta, California
La Quinta, California is one of nine cities that makes up the California oasis more broadly known as Greater Palm Springs.
Known for its year-round warmth and sunshine, La Quinta experiences 350+ days of sunshine each year making it popular among vacation-goers, snowbirds, and golf enthusiasts.
This small resort town, whose most prominent feature is its Santa Rosa Mountains, has 25 golf courses, 16 parks, and miles of hiking and biking trails.
In addition, its unforgettable resorts and gourmet restaurants are mixed with small-town comforts to create both a chic and charming vacation destination.
With its mountainous backdrops, exotic palm trees, and sun-kissed skies, it’s hard to not fall in love with La Quinta, California.
Additional planning tip: La Quinta is located 128 miles southeast of Los Angelos, and 25 miles southeast of Palm Springs, California.
It is home to the renowned La Quinta Resort & Club that is a go-to desert hideaway for Hollywood A-listers, families, and our recent Palm Springs girls’ weekend getaway.
Things to do in La Quinta
Golfers, relaxation-seekers, and outdoor enthusiasts alike flock to La Quinta, California for memorable getaways.
Here’s our list of the best things to do in La Quinta and the surrounding area that includes open-air shopping, dining, museums, parks, and fabulous outdoor adventures.
1. Old Town La Quinta: A charming upscale outdoor shopping center. Home to elegant boutiques, cute cafes, art galleries, and wine tasting bars.
Iconic white stucco buildings with red Spanish tile roofs reminiscent of hundreds-year-old missions.
Often has live music on weekends and occasional events like art shows and food tastings.
2. Certified Farmers Market La Quinta: Located in Old Town La Quinta, the Certified Farmers Market is open every Sunday from 8 am-12:30 pm.
Meet local farmers from the surrounding area offering fresh produce, flowers, meats, cheeses, baked goods, and more.
Occasionally, the market hosts knife sharpening clinics and chef demonstrations.
3. The Gardens on El Paseo: A modern, luxury outdoor shopping district located in nearby Palm Desert.
Scores of high-end retail shopping, gourmet dining, and entertainment choices.
Big-name stores include Saks Fifth Avenue, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Pottery Barn, and Vince.
Evenings and weekends bring events like live music, yoga, and classic car cruise nights.
Best Restaurants in La Quinta
4. Morgans in the Desert: Located at La Quinta Resort & Club, Morgan’s in the Desert provides a signature dining experience featuring locally sourced ingredients and impeccable attention to detail.
Enjoy their fabulous American cuisine in the piano bar, dining room, or in the fire-lit courtyard.
5. Lavender Bistro: A beautiful restaurant with an award-winning patio that is filled with thousands of sparkling lights, fresh flowers, and live music.
Their fresh and organic New American cuisine includes delicacies like pastries, fine meats, and freshly caught seafood.
6. Arnold Palmer’s Restaurant: Classic steakhouse fare is served amid an Arnold Palmer memorabilia-covered dining room and a practice putting green.
With a focus on hospitality, their New American cuisine and fine wines are served in Arnie’s Pub, in the restaurant, and on the patio.
7. La Quinta Cliffhouse Grill and Bar: A hidden gem, La Quinta Cliffhouse Grill and Bar is literally nestled cliffside in the heart of the desert.
A classic American menu showcasing perfectly executed steak, pasta, and fresh seafood dishes.
8. Living Desert and Zoo: The Living Desert and Zoo is a non-profit focused on conservation and sustainability.
It has a wide range of animal residents including rhinos, tortoises, cheetahs, and wolves.
Plan ahead to see a live show with animal keepers, go behind the scenes, and even feed a giraffe.
Also, enjoy the desert plant life on one of the three hiking trail loops found there.
9. Lake Cahuilla Veterans Regional Park: A 710-acre park situated at the base of the majestic Santa Rosa Mountains.
The park includes 96 overnight campsites and features activities such as fishing, hiking, swimming, and horseback riding.
A picturesque setting with huge grassy areas and unparalleled views of the surrounding mountains.
10. Palm Springs Aerial Tram: Drive 30 miles northwest of La Quinta to the city of Palm Springs to ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tram.
Soar 2.5 miles and 6,000 vertical feet above the Chino Canyon in the world’s largest rotating tramcar to Mount San Jacinto.
At the top, take in the dramatic views of the valley, go on a hike, or have lunch at the Pines Café.
11. Joshua Tree National Park: This park celebrates the mashup of the Mojave and Colorado deserts, creating a unique ecosystem and surreal geologic features.
Resident animals include 57 mammal species, 6 types of reptiles, and more than 250 bird species.
Wonder at the park’s wilderness and dark night skies.
12. Coachella Valley Preserve: Relax with the Preserve’s natural freshwater oasis and wetlands, magnificent views of the mountains, desert sand dunes, and woodlands.
You can find the Coachella Valley Preserve 15 miles north of La Quinta at Indio Hills’ north edge.
Unique Sports & Nearby Activities
13. Pedego Bike Rentals and Tours: A popular bike rental venue located in the heart of Old Town La Quinta.
Have fun while staying active and experiencing the sights and things to do in La Quinta on an electric bike.
Rentals can be reserved by the hour, day, or multi-day.
14. Golf: As the golf capital of the world, La Quinta, California s is home to 25 golf courses, including the legendary PGA West TPC Stadium Golf Course.
An additional 75 golf courses can be found within 20 miles of La Quinta.
15. Smoke Tree Stables Horseback Riding: Get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life by taking a picturesque horseback ride through the historic Agua Caliente Indian Canyons.
You can ride for an hour or the entire day.
16. Jeep and Hummer Tours: Experience the rocky terrain and nearby San Andreas Fault in an unforgettable way.
With departures offered at most resorts in the Palm Springs area, these tours take you into the desert with an expert geology guide.
Pass by inoperative gold mines, ghost towns, and into the San Andreas Fault canyon.
17. BMW Driving Experience: Thrill-seekers have the opportunity to drive high-performance BMWs on a closed course. Ride with a professional drifting and accelerating like a Fast and Furious character.
18. Marvyn’s Magic Theatre: Spend the evening enthralled and amused by magicians and comedians in this upscale and adult theatre.
Seating is limited to 129 guests for an intimate and safe experience.
19. Casinos: If you have an itch for Las Vegas gambling, Great Palm Springs can scratch it.
There are several casinos close to La Quinta that offer both lodging and options for video poker, tables, and slots.
Museums in La Quinta
20. La Quinta Museum: Located in a two-story 9,000-square-foot Spanish colonial revival building, the museum features exhibits on local history, culture, and art.
Explore the indigenous people’s culture and history of the Cahuilla village and native animals.
Special events change throughout the year, such as artist receptions, fiber arts workshops, and guest speakers.
21. Palm Springs Art Museum: Home to over 2,000 objects, the Palm Springs Art Museum features modern art, design, and architecture that reflects local history and culture.
Best Resorts in La Quinta
22. La Quinta Resort & Club: Stretching across 45 immaculate acres, La Quinta Resort & Club offers 796 suite-like guest rooms, most of which are set up like private villas and casitas.
With 41 climate-controlled pools, 23 tennis courts, 3 onsite restaurants, 5 golf courses, and a Spanish hacienda-style spa, staying here is a vacation in itself.
Fans of ABC’s The Bachelorette will recognize La Quinta Resort & Club as having hosted the entire filming of season 16 (Clare Crawley’s season).
23. The Chateau at Lake La Quinta: A boutique hotel overlooking the pristine Lake La Quinta where every room has a view of the lake.
Easy access to the Living Desert and Zoo and the golf courses of SilverRock Resort.
Onsite pool, hot tub, massage room, restaurant, and grand fireplace room.
If you enjoyed reading about these exciting things to do in La Quinta, check out our related posts:
- The Ultimate Girls’ Weekend in Palm Springs at La Quinta Resort & Club
- Girls’ Weekend in Austin, Texas: Itinerary + Best Things to Do
- How to Plan the Ultimate Girls’ Trip to Scottsdale, Arizona
- 9 Best Things to do In Old Town Scottsdale
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