La Quinta, locally known as “the gem of the desert,” is a friendly city on the east end of the Coachella Valley. If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway to the desert, La Quinta’s picturesque Old Town has plenty of options to enjoy a perfect day in the Coachella Valley.
Old Town La Quinta Farmers Market
Start your relaxing Sunday at Old Town La Quinta’s Main Street, where the Certified Farmers Market hosts a delectable array of fresh produce, nuts, honey, cheese and bread. Give yourself a couple of hours to experience the market, enjoy free samples from generous vendors and buy some of the freshest produce in town. Keep an ice chest in your car or drop your purchases off at your hotel to ensure everything you bought is waiting for you at the end of the day in the same condition you bought it in.
The Grill on Main
As the market comes to an end, head east to the three-way intersection on Main Street where you will find The Grill on Main, a local favorite with an all-American menu. In addition to offering 13 different burger varieties, including the cheese standard that was voted “Best in the Valley” by Desert Magazine, the restaurant also has a Sunday brunch menu until 2 p.m. Pair your meal with a microbrew, domestic, import or craft beer from the impressive beer menu, and leave room for the Main Street Creme Brulee for dessert.
Explore La Quinta by Bike
The next stop will help you burn off some of those lunch calories. Head west on Main Street from The Grill until you see Old Town La Quinta Bike Rentals on the left. Rent a cruiser, arm yourself with a local map and explore La Quinta at your own pace. Old Town’s main street is at the top of “The Cove,” as locals call it. This residential enclave is surrounded by the red hue of the Santa Rosa mountains, and bicycle-friendly sidewalks can be found near the base of the mountains and in the residential areas. Desert temperatures can be intense year-round, especially for those not accustomed to the dry heat, so hydrate and bring plenty of water for your ride.
Shop on Main Street
After returning your bicycles, spend some time enjoying the shops and boutiques that line Old Town’s Main Street. Indulge in gelato from Cool Options or a frozen coffee treat from Old Town Coffee Company as you peruse the shops. Main Street’s boutiques offer unique jewelry and clothes, as well as home accessories, award-winning floral arrangements and an art gallery. Salon and nail services are also available at several Main Street establishments.
Stuft Pizza Bar and Grill
For dinner, head west on Main Street until you reach Stuft Pizza Bar and Grill, a local pizza joint that serves much more than fresh slices. In addition to a variety of “Best in the Valley” pies, Stuft Pizza offers over 100 additional menu items, including seafood, pasta, steak and salad. Order a beer from the rotating beer tap or indulge in a refreshing cocktail with your meal.
After dinner, enjoy La Quinta’s pink and orange sky as the sun sets behind the Santa Rosa mountains. The stars are especially bright near Old Town La Quinta because of the city’s limited use of street lights, so enjoy looking up at a clear view of hard-to-find constellations before ending your Sunday in Old Town.
What & Where:
Old Town La Quinta Farmers Market (8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Main Street in Old Town La Quinta)
The Grill on Main (78065 Main Street La Quinta; 760-777-7773)
Old Town La Quinta Bike Rentals (Event Lawn on Main St; 760-609-3482)
Stuft Pizza Bar and Grill
Marissa Willman is a freelance writer who specializes in travel, health and lifestyle writing.
Based in the Southern California desert, Marissa’s chronic case of wanderlust has taken her across Asia and the West coast. She spent two years living in South Korea as an ESL teacher and holds a journalism degree from California State University, Fullerton. Her work has appeared in USA Today Travel Tips, 10 Magazine, The Desert Sun and 52PerfectDays.com. Marissa’s portfolio can be found on www.marissawillman.com.