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majorrich's avatar

Mama and I visiting Indio Ca. for our first empty nest vacation. Suggestions?

Asked by majorrich (14689points) September 21st, 2015

Now that our son has started grad school and dust is starting to settle, My wife and I are going with some friends to a time share in Indio Ca. next week. This will be our first visit to Cali and we will be of course doing a day at Joshua Tree and riding the tram. Are there any suggestions of low cost fun stuff to do in the area?

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32 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

I would check the local wild fire guide and avoid any hot spots. You might try a wine tasting at your local winery. You could do some fruit picking for fun and get the best fresh fruit in the world

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Palm Springs Tram if it re-opened. Here’s the website

The view is W O W !

Cruiser's avatar

Perhaps take a day trip to Big Bear Lake
or celebrate your empty nest for an afternoon at Sea Mountain Resort

Kardamom's avatar

Indio is an odd choice for your first time in California. It’s basically a old, run-down, small desert town. It will be hotter’n blazes out there. My advice is to get away from Indio and head to Palm Springs, which is 23 miles west of Indio.

The Palm Springs Tram is one of the greatest experiences in the whole world, so definitely do that. This particular tram spins around slowly 360 degrees as it travels up the side of the mountain, so you get spectacular views of everything. Although it will still be quite warm up at the top of the mountain, it will be considerably cooler than it will be in the desert.

There’s plenty of great restaurants in Palm Springs, pretty much any kind of Cuisine you could imagine And you can shop, or just window shop and people watch while you sip on a cold date shake from Heminger’s Fudge and Chocolates Shop. It is located right next to the historical Village Green

You can also follow in the footsteps of Frank Sinatra

If you want, you can sit on Sonny Bono’s Lap. Sonny Bono was not only a U.S. Congressman, he was also the Mayor of Palm Springs, in addition to having been married to Cher, and being Chaz Bono’s papa.

The Palm Springs Art Museum is definitely worth a visit.

If you’re interested in seeing and learning about the indigenous plants of the area, visit the Moorten Botanical Garden

I would suggest the Indian Canyons Hiking Trails if it wasn’t going to be hot, so save this hiking adventure for another trip, particularly in Spring or Fall. Right now, and probably next week it will be in the high 90’s to low 100’s, not good for hiking.

If you’re interested in Mid Century Modern Architecture Palm Springs is one of the top destinations in the country. You can drive around the Vista Las Palmas neighborhood of Palm Springs to see lots of excellent examples of mid-century architecture. Lots of celebrities lived in that area. It is also the place where Elvis and Priscilla Honeymooned and you can take a tour of that house, or just stand out in front and take pictures. You can get lots of information about everything in Palm Springs in side the mid century masterpiece building that houses the Palm Springs Visitor’s Center

Want to see Alternative Energy in motion? Check out the windmills that dot the landscape all across the Coachella Valley on the 10 freeway. You can take a tour, but you can also just drive a long and pull over on various frontage roads to take Pictures

Just outside of Palm Springs is Cabazon. There is a very nice casino called the Morongo Hotel and Casino from there you can take a short drive or walk to see some Dinosaurs. Aren’t They cute? Then you can stop at Hadley’s Fruit and Nuts Store to pick up some snacks and some gifts for your friends and relatives back home. I highly recommend the Date Cake. If you want to do some more shopping, the Cabazon Outlet Stores are right there too

If you must do something in Indio itself, the Fantasy Springs Hotel and Casino are very nice and they usually have concerts there, and they have a nice buffet.

The other thing thing to see/do in Indio is visit the Shield’s Date Farm and Garden

Have a great time. Wear a hat and drink lots of water!

jca's avatar

Is the time share a resort? I ask because if so, you’ll likely spend a lot of time there, too.

marinelife's avatar

Go have a Date Shake at Shield’s Date Farm. You haven’t lived until you’ve had a fresh date shake!

majorrich's avatar

We do plan to spend substantial time in a tube on the Lazy River. Worldmark Indio is the name of the place we will be staying. Our friends will be at a convention in San Diego and booked this. We are helping them enjoy their tax deduction. :)

Judi's avatar

Palm Desert has some of the best shopping, but you said inexpensive? Good luck! The Living Desert is nice and not to expensive.
Window shopping could be fun. I don’t know if it’s still there but there used to be an exotic car dealership that was crazy. It doesn’t cost anything to look.
There are some fantastic restaurants there too.
Don’t play cards in any of the casinos. There are super wealthy guys that are locals and just bully you out of your money.
There is also a really nice high end outlet mall a few miles west of Palm Springs on Hwy 10.
You are also a few hours from Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear lake if you want to get into the mountains.

majorrich's avatar

I was musing about what garage sales in Palm Springs might look like.

jca's avatar

Worldmark by Wyndham: www.worldmarkbywyndham.com

In my experience, Wyndham has nice places. I go to one in the Berkshires a few times a year. Lots of activities, nice people (as you would expect a resort should have) and lovely facilities.

Judi's avatar

@majorrich , for the most part they are a bit proud. Consignment stores are crazy.

majorrich's avatar

Woot! sounds like a safari to me! I’m gonna bust some tag.

majorrich's avatar

Hokey smokes! HotHotHot! Dry heat but stil Hothothot making beef jerky on the patio.

Kardamom's avatar

@majorrich I hope there was AC in your timeshare. What have you guys done so far? I hope you’ve tasted a date shake. They’re so yummy.

majorrich's avatar

We did Palm Springs today had lunch at a wonderful Mexican restaurant. The most amazing Poblano Peppers I’ve ever had! Explored some antique shops and looked at some music century modern homes! In short an amazing day! Having a great time! Tomorrow is a date farm morning I think. It may be straight razor shave day too.

jca's avatar

@majorrich: Not sure if you are aware that your link above is a link to this question, not Mexican restaurant info, if that was what you intended.

majorrich's avatar

Oops! Mirasol Cocina Mexicana. We kept the water man running!

Tropical_Willie's avatar

How’s the tequila ? ?

majorrich's avatar

OMG! We shall return to Shields for more date shakes and date pancakes! A friggin mazing!

Judi's avatar

Pancakes at Keatings, in Palm Desert.

Kardamom's avatar

@majorrich I’ve been to that !Restaurant It’s delicious and they have a whole vegetarian section. I’m glad you liked it. Glad you got to see some of the mid-century homes too. Aren’t they wonderful?

majorrich's avatar

I’m having a complete blast! Even kind of acclimating. It’s hot, but shade and breezes make it fine. Tomorrow we are going to hang around the resort and rest a bit. Then the tram ride and the exotic cars and a Tour of Sun City (now that I am old) We got into Joshua tree for free because of my being a disabled person! That was pretty cool too! I like Cali. I was actually born here, but we moved away when I was too young to remember.

Kardamom's avatar

@majorrich There’s tons more to do here in California. Let me know what you’re interested in and we’ll get to work. I’m glad you haven’t burnt to a crisp yet.

majorrich's avatar

So far I’ve not used sunscreen, save some lips balm. I’ve either been very fortunate or my Asian half is photo-brown. Sun city tomorrow and back to Shields. Going to try Keatings if we can get things together in time for pancakes there. Some time I would like to drive through Santa Maria to recover a copy of my original Birth certificate. Not real clear if I go to Santa Barbara or call the hospital that is probably gone.

Judi's avatar

@majorrich, you go to the county hall of records.

jca's avatar

@majorrich: Sunscreen is not just so you don’t burn. It’s also to help you not get melanoma. I’d wear it if I were you.

majorrich's avatar

You guys were right about the second hand stores! Much nicer than the ones I frequent. If I were 7 feet tall and about 50 pounds heavier I would be sporting an Armani for 6.95! I just bought a light colored Hawaiian shirt. What an adventure. Hitting the Palm Springs Tram this evening it’s going to be chilly, but I brought a windbreaker.

Judi's avatar

Thanks for taking us along with you on your vacation @majorrich . I smile every time I open this thread.

majorrich's avatar

The tram was incredible! And the food at the top was pretty good. Coming down in the dark was a treat I’ll never forget! Thank you guys for recommending this. Tomorrow, a straight razor shave and some more second hand store safari.

Kardamom's avatar

@majorrich So glad you got to ride the tram to the top of the mountain. It is one of the most breathtaking views I’ve ever seen. If you ever get the chance to do it in winter, it’s even better. It can be 75 degrees and sunny down in Palm Springs and 40 degrees in the snow up on top of the mountain. It’s just gorgeous!

majorrich's avatar

I am going to teach myself how to straight shave! Just got back from today’s adventures and am all checked in for the ride home. My face is smooth and shiny and just a touch of possible maybe razor irritation. Found a Prada suit at the thrift store!

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