Credit: Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa, Indian Wells
Credit: Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa, Indian Wells

How to Spend an Idyllic 24 Hours in Indian Wells, CA

Here’s Everything Not to Miss in This Enclave of the Desert

Ideally located between Palm Desert and La Quinta, Indian Wells is the desert escape you’ve been longing for. The city’s small-town charm, superb weather and abundance of outdoor activities makes it a destination everyone under the sun will love. Not only does Indian Wells host the annual world-renowned tennis tournament, the BNP Paribas Open, but it also neighbors Indio’s Polo Fields, where two of the most popular music festivals in the world (Coachella and Stagecoach) are held. There’s so much to explore in this enclave of the desert, so we put together a six-stop itinerary that highlights our favorite places to dine, play and relax.  Indian Wells Summer Itinerary


Stay at Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa, Indian Wells

Credit: Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa, Indian Wells
@localemag Have you stayed at the #renaissanceesmeralda in #indianwells? #renesmeralda #palmdesert #greaterpalmsprings #desertescape #returntoesmeralda #localemagazine ♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim

With a sandy beach pool, state-of-the-art spa and abundance of amenities and activities, Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa is a must-stay when it comes to an Indian Wells escape. Settle into one of the property’s oversized guestrooms or spacious suites, which feature private balconies with scenic views. And when the mood for food strikes, you’ll be happy to discover that the hotel is home to five separate dining outlets, including a cafe, cocktail lounge, pool bar, sushi restaurant and American eatery with a breezy patio. You can also take advantage of other amenities like the fitness center, poolside cabana rentals, fire pits and the proximity to Indian Wells Golf Resort.

Indian Wells Summer Itinerary

10 a.m. | Head to Brunch at The Pink Cabana

First stop: brunch! At The Pink Cabana at the Sands Hotel & Spa, you can enjoy traditional brunch favorites with a Mediterranean flair, including made-to-order French toast with orange blossom syrup and chantilly cream. The restaurant’s polished brass fixtures and jewel-toned palette of pink and emerald green will make you want to snap some photos while you brunch. But remember—at The Pink Cabana, the phone eats first!


Noon | Make Waves at the Pool

Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa, Indian Wells

Slip on your swimsuit and get ready to catch some rays! Renaissance Esmeralda’s resort-style pool is the perfect place to soak up the sun and take a dip. This outdoor oasis features a sandy beach lined with swaying palms, several cabanas for rent and its very own central bar. Order a drink or snack from H20 Pool Bar, and enjoy an afternoon sun, sand and luxury.

Indian Wells Summer Itinerary

2 p.m. | Grab Lunch in The Village at Don Diego’s

Don Diego’s has a long and cherished history in Indian Wells. The full authentic Mexican menu includes hearty combinations, sizzling fajitas, tamales and burritos with an oasis of refreshing beverages to complement your selections. Spacious indoor or outdoor seating surrounding a large water fountain creates the ideal tranquil environment for an al fresco lunch.


5 p.m. | Enjoy Dinner at CAVA

After exploring The Village, head to CAVA at Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa for an early dinner. This charming restaurant boasts breathtaking views of the Santa Rosa Mountains and a menu of authentic, freshly prepared American cuisine. Feast on shareable appetizers like the poke nachos, calamari and fig and prosciutto flatbread, then move on to mains like the herb-roasted chicken, NY strip steak or salmon with wild rice risotto, haricot vert, butternut squash and lemon caper butter sauce. And for those 21 and up, be sure to pair your meal with one of CAVA’s specialty cocktails or wines!

Indian Wells Summer Itinerary

8 p.m. | Stop by The Nest for Late-Night Libations and Live Music

Credit: Michael Discenza / Unsplash

The Nest is a time-honored spot for a fun-filled night on the town. With live music, a full bar and an exceptional continental menu, this Indian Wells hot spot is the place to be. Bring your dancing shoes and dance all night as the live band keeps the party rollin’.

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