This manicured complex snugged up against the pink-hued Santa Rosa Mountains is best known for world-class golf (well, that and its recent star turn as the setting for the 16th season of The Bachelorette). Outstanding courses, designed by legendary players such as Tom Fazio, Greg Norman, and Jack Nicklaus, include the legendary PGA West Golf Club & Resort, SilverRock Resort, and The Quarry at La Quinta, as well as the five championship courses within La Quinta Resort. Tennis anyone? La Quinta is also ranked among the country’s top tennis resorts. It’s great for families and pets too: collections of hacienda-style rooms all center around a series of intimate swimming pools, and the peaceful spa offers (we’re not kidding) canine massages. It also boasts eight pickleball courts for those who’ve gotten the bug for this activity, which combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis and is one of the fastest growing sports in the country.
The La Quinta area also has great hiking; try the pleasant Cove to Lake Trail (5 miles/8 km round-trip), or, for a strenuous tromp into spectacular desert, follow the 7.5-mile Boo Hoff Trail (be sure to carry plenty of water, and avoid the hottest times of the day). Refuel with farm-to-table dishes at Morgan’s in the Desert, or maybe just snack on a cookie or one of the artfully created Nutella or fresh strawberry cupcakes at Tiffany’s Sweet Spot. Another good spot for local specialties is the Sunday Certified Farmers Market in Old Town La Quinta, where you’ll find fresh flowers, olive oils, produce, baked good, live music and more, For gifts that can be shipped out on the spot, check out La Quinta Olive Oil Company.