Author: Jill Weinlein
Date of Trip: November 2015
My family and I drove up to the entrance of the historic La Quinta Resort and saw three children similar in age to my daughter, scooting around on Razors on paved paths, among colorful seasonal flowers and verdant green grass.
This Waldorf Astoria (Hilton Hotels) property is located near Palm Springs. It offers a historic entrance with conquistadors on each side of the door, transforming families into an Old World – Hollywood elite era. Inside the lobby children are welcome to take an apple and glass of lemon water for a snack, while parents check-in. Hollywood movie stars would drive here from Los Angeles to relax, swim and soak up the desert fun.
La Quinta Resort is the ultimate family destination in the desert. One of my friend’s visits the resort every Memorial weekend with a group of 10 families. She has been coming here annually for the last 10 years. They stay in the historic casitas clustered around one or more pools.
Here’s 10 fun activities our family experienced while staying at the resort:
1. Stay in a Starlight Casita. They are above the pool view casitas. This type of accommodations offer a King size bed and Queen size sofa pull-out couch. There is a large screen flat television, indoor fireplace, separate bathtub and enclosed tile shower with Mexican accent tiles. On a dry bar is a coffee maker and below a small refrigerator. Why I like this type of room, is because of the large enclosed patio in front with a conversational couch, coffee table and dining table with four chairs near the outdoor fireplace. It’s outdoor luxury living with views of the nearby mountains and pool. Kids can read, play games and hang outside allowing more square footage to your living space. The resort also has villas and suites with full kitchens and multiple bedrooms for larger families.
2. Swim in a different pool everyday. The resort offers 41 pools throughout its 45-acre grounds. They are all heated to a comfortable temperature and offer hot whirlpool pools too. The main pool also has a shallow pool, dancing water feature and playground to entertain young one’s for hours.
3. Take a tennis lesson or play family tennis on one of the 23 tennis courts. Both are not included in the Resort fee. You will have to pay extra to play on a regular or clay court.
4. Rent bicycles near the tennis courts by the hour. The staff will give you a 7-mile map to ride around the city of La Quinta along the Santa Rosa Mountains. Ride on designated bike paths up to La Quinta Cove, explore Old La Quinta (it’s been renovated and not so old now) and stop for a snack or lunch at one of the cafes, before riding back to the La Quinta Resort.
5. Play golf on one of the PGA West golf courses. Set against the Santa Rosa Mountains, these courses are visually beautiful. If you have been to Disney’s California Adventure or Epcot you saw these courses on the Soarin’ over California ride, simulating a thrilling hang glider ride over La Quinta Resort and the golf courses. A 3-D image of a golf ball being hit and coming right at you was shot in this location.
6. While one parent is watching the kids having fun at the resort, another parent can sneak into the 23,000 sq. ft. luxury La Quinta Spa for a massage, facial, and quiet time.
7. Dine at Morgan’s in The Desert. It’s fine dining at it’s best. Go early with the kids. The Executive chef Jimmy Schmidt offers an a la carte and themed three-course prix fixe with wine pairing throughout each month with Sommelier Lisa Tussing. Hey, you need to have as much fun as the kids.
8. Take a trip to the La Quinta Resort shopping arcade. Lollipops is a children’s shop, toy and candy emporium filled with special treats. The Marketplace Gift Shop offers a coffee shop with freshly brewed coffee, delicious morning pastries, fresh fruit and yogurt parfaits. We noticed a few nice Dad’s bringing their little one’s here for breakfast, to allow Mom to sleep in. The Marketplace also sells local gifts, Holiday treats, and a wide collection of La Quinta Resort branded merchandise.
9. Take a Desert Adventures Red Jeep Eco-Tour. Our guide De Karlen picked us up at La Quinta Resort and took us on a fascinating tour of the desert. She taught us about the Cahuillas who lived here, what they ate and how they lived. The three-hour, four-wheel drive Red Jeep tour traveled along geological cuts and canyons of the San Andreas Fault Zone. We stopped and hiked into a narrow slot canyon and noticed the beige colored desert, actually is filled with yellow, pink, green and blue colors. De offered natural souvenirs to our daughter – rocks, plants and an arrowhead to enrich her experience.
10. While in the La Quinta and Indio communities, visit the Shields Date Garden. Founded in 1924 by Floyd and Bess Shields, It’s a step back in time. There is a Ranch Store selling – made to order vanilla date shakes. the front counter is filled with containers of food items to sample that include a variety of small to large dates, date-banana breads and cookies. Kids will enjoy the candy and whimsical gifts available to purchase. It’s a good stop for lunch, because the food is quite good. There is also a small movie theater continuously showing the various stages of a date from seed to harvest. It’s fascinating.
Visiting La Quinta in Southern California is a memorable vacation destination that the entire family will enjoy.