3 Days in La Quinta: A Desert Oasis Weekend Itinerary

10/26/2019 | by Daniel | Resorts Vacation Rentals

When you think of La Quinta, what comes to mind? Golf and spa resorts where you can practice your swing or enjoy a massage, right? Located between Indian Wells and Indio, La Quinta has long drawn a crowd with refined tastes to enjoy those fantastic fairways and splurge-worthy spas. But it turns out there’s so much more to a La Quinta vacation than that. It’s an easy flight from most West Coast cities to La Quinta (Palm Springs Airport) – it’s two hours or less from Denver, Las Vegasor San Francisco!  And it’s only a 2 hour drive from Los Angeles or Orange County (traffic permitting).

So if you’re looking for a weekend destinationthat includes relaxion and rejuvenation, consider La Quinta. Delicious food, outdoor activities, interesting museums, and virtually unlimited array of sparkling poolscomplement those conventional tee-times and massage appointments. Why not do them all? Here’s how when you have just 3 days in La Quinta.

The Best Things to See & Do in La Quinta

La Quinta is a perfect weekend destination because it’s totally possible to sample the best the city has to offer in a 2.5- to 3-day trip. Below I’ve highlighted what I recommend doing during your weekend in La Quinta; then I suggest how to put it all together in a weekend itinerary for La Quinta.

Explore Old Town La Quinta

The heart of La Quinta, Old Town has both modern stores and restaurants and some La Quinta institutions. Fine and handcrafted jewelry designs, chic fashion and accessories, resort and athletic wear, designer eyewear, aromatherapy oils and candles, boutique skincare products, original art, California wines, artisanal olive oils, seasonal gifts, quaint cafes, restaurants, bars, and a weekly Famer’s Market, all set amidst stunning California Renaissance architecture.

This part of the city is totally walkable and a great place to hang out if you’re looking to stay cool.  There are several cafes with misters, a nitrogen ice cream shop, brewhouse, wine bar, and pizza sports bar.  78100 Main St.

Enjoy Desert-Inspired Food & Drink

La Quinta is full of amazing restaurants and some truly unique, but all of my favorite ones involve seafood and margaritas!  Seek out house-made guacamole or mole from Adobe Grill at the Waldorf La Quinta Resort before noshing on their grilled fish tacos, and paired with a Pepino Diablo Margarita. Or for a more local neighborhood feel, try Fresh Agave Grill in nearby Palm Desert

Go For an Electric Bike Ride

With a plethora of parks, bike paths, and off-road bike trails, La Quinta is one of the most bicycle friendly cities in California.  For an extra thrilling time, rent an electric bike from Pedego in Old Town La Quinta and zip out to Lake Cahuilla for quick picnic.(760) 972-4017 / 78-075 Main St.

Hike Among the Cacti

With close proximity to mountains, there are some good hikes of every difficulty near La Quinta.  Whether you want a short, flat stroll through the desert (Cove to Lake Trail, a 2.5-mile one-way trek, rated one of the 10 best hikes in the West by Sunset Magazine),or a serious challenge (the strenuous 7.5-mile Boo Hoff Trail). For a special treat, experience the surreal geologic features at Joshua Tree National Park, just a 40 minute drive away.

Indulge in a Spa Treatment

La Quinta abounds with day spa options, but for the ultimate indulgence, visit the Spanish architecture and clay roof tiles of the hacienda-inspired Spa La Quinta at the La Quinta Resort & Club. A bright, energetic and inviting atmosphere beckons guests to relax at Spa La Quinta with their choice of dozens of treatments, from detoxifying massages to desert-inspired scrubs. The Spa is walking distance from Legacy Villas Resort, located next door , where you can stayin similar hacienda inspired villas for a fraction of the price of the La Quinta Resort. 

Hit the Links

“Host City” for the PGA Tour’s Bob Hope Classic, La Quinta has been called “the golf capital of the world” with a variety of spectacular courses open to the public. The City’s Silver Rock Resort – featuring the Arnold Palmer Classic Course – has won accolades as one of the top tour and municipal courses to play and was one of the host courses of the Bob Hope Classic.


Day 1 – Friday

Don’t dawdle once you arrive in La Quinta and get checked into your resort, hotel, or Airbnb (for an expedited check in, stay at Legacy Villas Resort where you can pull your car right up to your front door and use your assigned electronic lock code to let yourself in). Drop your bags and start by heading out into Old Town to walk around and browse the shops a bit. 

If afternoon sun starts to melt ya’, you can stop in for somecold ones at the La Quinta Brewing Co. Taproom, or grab adifferent type of frosty treat at Nitroinfusions Liquid Nitro Ice Cream Shop. 

For dinner, walk right over to Stuft Pizza Bar and Grill for a casual vibe and delicious crowd pleasing assortment of items ranging from beet salad to baby back ribs.  Try to save room for the nitro ice cream shop next door!

Day 2 – Saturday 

Start your only full day in La Quinta bright and early – for a sunrise hike (ok… maybe a sunrise coffee at Old Town Coffee Co. – my absolute favorite — followed by a morning hike of the La Quinta Cove).  In the afternoon, enjoy some relaxing time at the pool, maybe under a cabana if the sun is too strong (Legacy Villas Resort just down the street from Old Town, features 12 different pools to choose from, and 7 cabanas at the clubhouse pool).

You can reward yourself for hiking (and maybe even work up an appetite for dinner) with a late afternoon spa treatment. You can opt for one at your hotel or resort – or book one at a nearby property if you’re staying at Legacy Villas Resort or anAirbnb.

For dinner, keep it festive with Margaritas and Fajitas at Adobe Grill (sit on the patio to enjoy the live band, Spanish fountain and babbling brook). 

Day 3 – Sunday

Sunday mornings are perfect for laid-back brunches and strolling through museums. Wilma and Frieda’s on El Paseo in Rancho Mirage (or 2nd location downtown Palm Springs)offers American style comfort brunch every day of the week, like their famous Blackberry Custard French Toast with house made blackberry sauce, or try a thick slice of home style meatloaf topped with two eggs (opens 8am – arrive early to avoid the lines).

The Palm Springs Art Museum, located in downtown Palm Springs, features 28 galleries with works by Chagall, Picasso, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Antony Gormley and Ansel Adams – and two sculpture gardens (free admission if you happen to be visiting on the 2nd Sunday of the month). After cooling off inside,you can take a stroll downfamous South Palm Canyon Drive, which boasts an array of mid-century architecture, trendy shops and gourmet eateries.

Where to Stay in La Quinta

One last detail before you book your La Quinta trip… where to stay!

Legacy Villas Resort.  With deluxe rooms starting at $114 and private Villas (accommodating up to 8 people) starting atjust $18 per person, this is hands down the best bang for your buck. Located adjacent to the Waldorf La Quinta Resort and Club, Legacy Villas is a 44-acre vacation rental resort, constructed just 12 years ago, that offers the highest quality accommodations, pools, spas and clubhouse facilities at super reasonable prices.  They feature 12 salt-water pools, 11 spas, 17 exotic fountains, and a half-mile of hiking trail along the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains. At the Clubhouse you will find a delightful hammock garden, reflecting fountain, kid’s resort pool and adult resort pool, state of the art fitness center, lounge, and Legacy Grill Poolside Café (open weekends from Jan-May).

Guests can also access the convenient pedestrian walkway/golf path connecting Legacy Villas to the La Quinta Resort, in order to enjoy world renowned golf and spa services, as well as an excellent array of restaurants and shops to liven up any day or night.

The Legacy Luxury Rentals staff at Legacy Villas has the creativity and resources to plan custom activities for totally unique and memorable group experiences. Some activities includejeep tours, horseback riding, bicycling (and e-biking), shopping, escape rooms, and rock climbing.

Resort & Room Amenities:

Located 19 miles from Palm Springs International Airport

Studio, 1-bed, 2-bed, 3-bed, and 2-story Townhome options

Complimentary Self-Parking (EV car charging available)

Complimentary High-Speed Internet access

State of the Art Fitness Center

50″-55″ high-definition wall mounted, SMART televisions (except Casitas)

Comfortable décor with Early California architecture

Private patios with garden, mountain or pool views

Luxury bath amenities and bedding

Cable television with HBO, Showtime, Netflix and HULU

Luxurious bathrooms with oversized deep soaking bathtubs and tiled showers

For my first two

Room Descriptions:

Deluxe Casita – 400 sq. ft.

Each Deluxe Casita features a King Bed with Fountain or Garden views. Enclosed patio. French doors. Fireplace. Kitchenette with Sink, Compact Refrigerator, Coffeemaker, Toaster Oven and Dishware. Armoire. Desk. 32″ Smart television. Spa Bathroom with Deep Soaking Tube and Separate Tiled Shower.

One-Bedroom Villa – 900 sq. ft.

Each One-Bedroom Villa features a Queen Bed with Fountain or Garden view. French doors. Armoire. 32″ Smart television. Spa Bathroom with Deep Soaking Tube and Separate Tiled Shower. Full living room with 50″ wall mounted Smart television, queen size sofa bed, fireplace, dining area with seating for 6, full Chef’s Kitchen featuring Kitchen Aid appliances, Washer/Dryer, and patio with BBQ.

Two-Bedroom Villa – 1300 sq. ft.

Each Two-Bedroom Villa features one King Bed and one Queen Bed. Each Bedroom features enclosed patio, dresser, and En-suite bathroom with Deep Soaking Tube and Separate Tiled Shower. Full living room with 50″ wall mounted Smart television, queen size sofa bed, fireplace, dining area with seating for 6, full Chef’s Kitchen featuring Kitchen Aid appliances, stacked Washer/Dryer, and patio with BBQ.

Three-Bedroom Villa – 1700 sq. ft.

Each Three-Bedroom Villa features one King Master Bedroom, one Queen Master Bedroom, and one Queen Guest Room.  Three Bedroom Villas may be located on either the ground floor or the second floor up a flight of steps. Each Master Bedroom features enclosed patio, dresser, and En-suite bathroom with Deep Soaking Tube and Separate Tiled Shower. Full living room with 50″ wall mounted Smart television, queen size sofa bed, fireplace, dining area with seating for 6, full Chef’s Kitchen featuring Kitchen Aid appliances, stacked Washer/Dryer, and patio with BBQ.

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