Watch Nadal, Federer, and other aces serve it up at Indian Wells Tennis Garden
The desert communities around Palm Springs get plenty of press as major golf destinations, but travelers who opt for racquets over clubs also know that the region has exceptional tennis facilities. Hands-down the king of the bunch Is the extraordinary Indian Wells Tennis Garden . Driving up to this expansive complex resembles the approach to a desert pyramid: the fairly unassuming road to the site twists through desert scrub on the northeast side of town. And then you see it: the towering, 16,000-seat main stadium, where the gladiators of tennis—Nadal, Federer, Roddick—come to play in the annual (and hugely popular) BNP Paribas Open . The event, held annually in March, is recognized as one of the world’s top events for men’s’ and women’s’ tennis, but with an incredibly low-key feel and close courtside access to players. Think Wimbledon without the rain, and the U.S. Open without the crowds—a terrific place to see world-class athletes in a beautiful, relaxed setting.