Experience Unique Shops, Restaurants and the Best in Desert Ambience
Often called “the gem of the desert,” the sunny city of La Quinta boasts a stunning assortment of world-class resorts, shops, restaurants and galleries. The shiniest part of that gem is Old Town, La Quinta’s Main Street with cobblestone sidewalks, white-washed adobe buildings, local boutiques and dreamy mountain views. Come celebrate the town’s 20th anniversary this year by perusing through the many boutiques, pampering yourself with a trip to the spa or salon and enjoying alfresco dining at one of the charming restaurants. La Quinta, along with its neighboring desert communities, is at the height of its best season to visit now, so there’s no better time to take it all in. Here’s how to experience the idyllic Old Town La Quinta lifestyle!
Get Your Caffeine Fix at Main Street Coffee
Enjoy a delicious cup of joe and a pastry at Main Street Coffee, where you can choose from a great selection of baked goods and hot or cold beverages. If it’s a warm morning, cool off with an iced latte and pair it with the avocado toast, featuring brioche bread, cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. If you’re eager to explore, pick up one of their grab-and-go items like the turkey, bacon and avocado sandwich.
Discover Art on Main Street
If you love an open-air shopping experience, mark your calendar for Art on Main Street. On Nov. 25 and Dec. 9, over 100 artists will line Main Street to sell everything from paintings, ceramics and photography to jewelry, textiles, sculptures and mixed-media pieces. Admission and parking are complimentary, so you can instead splurge on a meal at one of the many quaint restaurants in Old Town La Quinta. If you can’t make the event dates this fall, check the website for dates into 2024.
Enjoy a Light Bite at RD RNNR
With a buzzy new location on Main Street, RD RNNR has a friendly neighborhood feel and is a hip spot for craft American fare. Now set in an upstairs space that overlooks a courtyard, this local bar and grill specializes in craft drinks and dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Start with the spinach and artichoke dip with red chips, then move on to the Pavo turkey Cobb salad, Big Boy Grilled Cheese or a fried chicken sandwich, paired with a mixed green salad. And don’t leave without trying one of their signature Clawtails or Coyotinis for a boozy afternoon refreshment!
Shop at Coco Rose and Mimi & Rae
Ready to revamp your wardrobe? Stop by Mimi & Rae—a passion project brought to life by a mother-daughter duo! This boutique is all about sustainable fashion and offers a chic collection of women’s clothing and accessories. Also a part of the Old Town retail scene is Coco Rose, where you’ll find a stylish assortment of boho pieces that are hand-selected by Eileen and Shannon Burke (another mother and daughter duo!) during their adventures in Bali and beyond.
Dine at The Grill on Main or TQLAS Agave Bar & Grill
The Grill on Main offers a fresh approach to classic American fare, and you can dine inside or on their pet-friendly patio! Start out with a tempura shrimp appetizer, then move on to entrees like maple-glazed salmon or prime rib. If you prefer a salted rim over suds, TQLAS Agave Bar & Grill offers over 75 different tequilas and 20 mezcals. Order a classic margarita, house wine, well drinks or beer for just $6 during happy hour!
Frozen Treat at Nitroinfusions
To round out your day, indulge in exceptionally fresh ice cream at Nitroinfusions, where they use only locally sourced ingredients, steering clear of any additives or preservatives. This artisanal ice cream haven employs the technique of flash-freezing ice cream using liquid nitrogen! With a delectable array of more than 30 distinctive flavors—from salted carmel to banana lavender—Nitroinfusions is a must-stop for sweet tooths!
Sweat It Out With Yoga Class and a Bike Ride
Experience the natural beauty of La Quinta by renting an electric bike from Pedego Electric Bikes. There are trails nearby where you can enjoy the beauty of the area, and before you go, be sure to check out Pedego’s schedule for group rides too! Once you’ve peddled around town, wind down at Gather Yoga & Wellness, where you can choose from a variety of classes, such as Gentle Yoga, Restorative Flow, Cardio and Stability and Strength.
Bubbly Brunch at Yes Please Cafe & Dessert Shop
Fuel up for the day ahead with a bubbly brunch at Old Town’s charming Yes Please. This vibrant and friendly cafe sources the best local and regional ingredients to craft a menu packed with flavor. And if you hit snooze one too many times, don’t fret—brunch is served all day! Start with a bloody mary or a mimosa kit, which includes three juices and a bottle of prosecco, then choose among the breakfast hash, eggs hollandaise with the popular housemade buttermilk biscuit, huevos rancheros and more! If you’re feeling sweet, you can’t go wrong with banana and salted caramel French toast topped with warm housemade salted caramel, bananas and whipped cream.
Browse the Farmers Market
After a hearty brunch, stop by the Certified Farmers Market (Sundays) between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, eggs, baked bread, candles, body products, cheese, yogurt and even more! The market runs from October through May and features over 50 vendors along Main Street—from local farmers to artisans and everything in between.
Take a Wellness Break at Old Town Massage
Old Town Massage strives to give its clients a one-of-a-kind therapeutic experience. They offer a variety of services, such as hot stone therapy, reflexology, Chinese massage, deep tissue and couples massages. When you book an appointment, make sure to let the therapist know what type of service you’re looking for; this way, they’re able to match you with the best therapist for your specific needs. Be prepared to relax and let the tensions of the day melt away.
Grab a Bite at La Quinta Brewing Company or Stuft Pizza
For a pint of the good stuff, head to La Quinta Brewing Company’s Old Town Taproom. On Sundays, you can enjoy a craft brew, snack on classic pub fare and listen to live music! In the mood for Italian? Stuft Pizza still features the same great pizzas that they started with 47 years ago but now offers an extensive menu that includes filet mignon and sea bass piccata. When you dine at these family-owned businesses, you’re supporting local!
Lynne Eodice is an accomplished writer & photographer. She is the former Features Editor for Petersen’s PHOTOgraphic magazine, and has contributed her writing and/or editorial expertise to Photographer’s Forum, Rangefinder, DoubleExposure.com, California Tour & Travel, Family Photo and Adorama’s Learning Center. She is also the author of Photos That Inspire: Photo Workshop, an instructional book that’s illustrated with more than 200 images by various photographers, published by Wiley & Sons.