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  1. #1

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    Help with Indian Wells area

    This isn't directly related to Disneyland (though it might end up being that way) but I'm hoping some Southern California residents might have some insight that would help. I'm looking at taking my two oldest children to the tennis tournament in Indian Wells next March and am trying to figure out a place to stay. From MapQuest it looks like surrounding cities are Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indio, Thousand Palms and LaQuinta.

    Any recommendations on cities to focus on or avoid in that area?

    Any recommendations on hotels in the area?

    Is that area fairly busy/crowded (comparable to the Anaheim area) or is it a little less developed?

    Anyone live in that area that might know if it gets really crowded around the Tourney? Just trying to figure out how soon I'd need to tie down a hotel room and airfare, since we're not sure yet if we can pull this off cost-wise.

    It looks like flying into Palm Springs is pricey so we may fly into LAX, Orange County, Ontario or Long Beach instead. If that is the case, then the temptation is to extend the trip a day or two for Disneyland

    Thanks in advance for any information that might be available. Hope it's okay to post this here in the So Cal planning area. We really are thinking about adding a day or two at Disneyland--just can't be that close and not get a fix.

  2. #2

    • will-o-the-whip
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    Re: Help with Indian Wells area

    I went to the Indian Wells tennis tourney years ago and it was quite nice. The stadium is small and you'll be able to get up close to feel the sweat coming off the players.

    Next to where the tourney is played is a couple of resorts. I've stayed in the Hyatt Grand Champions resort and highly recommend it. The staff were great, the facilities wonderful, the food delectable, and it has 7 pools to try out plus a fitness center and spa. One of the pools has a nice spiral slide which the kids will love.

    About a 30 minute drive away is Palm Springs, which has nice, non-chain, restaurants and art galleries, plus there's the tram to the top of the mountain (with snow in March). There's also an old-time vaudeville show in Palm Springs which is probably one of the best of that type left in the world (though it's a little raunchy for kids... but, hey, that's authentic vaudeville!).

    If you go east of Indian Wells you leave the pricey and ritzy areas but then can stumble upon some yummy date farms.

  3. #3

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    Re: Help with Indian Wells area

    Thanks for the info. We're trying to keep costs down so may look to the east. It sounds like the Tourney may have changed since you were there. Apparently the big stadium seats 16,000 and is the 2nd largest tennis stadium in the world. If we go, we'll be in the cheaper seats higher up and may only feel the sweat coming off each other I do appreciate the insight. Thanks!

  4. #4

    • will-o-the-whip
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    Re: Help with Indian Wells area

    Wow, they must have added more seats or a new stadium, or my memory is failing me... that is a big stadium perhaps comparable to the Armstrong Stadium at the US Open. There's always the side courts though to get up close to the action. There's often better matches out there anyway with lower ranked players fighting for their career, literally.

    March will be the high season for the Palm Springs area so everything, especially hotel rooms, will be higher priced. Check out some of the date farms, they were pretty fun. One we went to dated back to the 40s and it looked like something from that time period with the decor and a theater showing something titled, "The Secret Sex Life of Dates." Of course it wasn't raunchy at all but a somber look at dates, but the sign outside sure catches eyes I'm sure. The date milk shake was amazing.

    There's a Mimi's Cafe in town so you can pretend you're on Harbor Blvd while eating there.

  5. #5

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    Re: Help with Indian Wells area

    I've stayed in a couple of the motels in Palm Springs over the years (even though I only live about 35 miles away), but I really don't have any recommendations for a specific place. You could use kayak.com to check for rates but like indianajack said... spring is peak time in the valley and the rates will be higher.

    You don't have exactly the same density as Anaheim, not nearly as many "high rise" buildings and such, but you will find the traffic is a lot the same driving on the surface streets in the area. Sometimes its faster to get back on the 10 and take one of the off ramps to get from one end of the valley to the other, rather than travel the entire way on highway 111 in the heart of the city complexes. The whole valley has grown a lot the last few years, and even in the off season anymore its still busy down there. We still get a lot of snow birds in the winter, but more and more its becoming busy year round.

    The date farm indianajack is referring to I believe is Shields Date Farm in Indio.

    Shields Date Garden, Medjool, Organic and other Dates - Indio, CA

    If you have time, you could also check out the Living Desert Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Palm Desert.

    Palm Springs & Palm Desert's only Zoo and Botanical Garden - The Living Desert - Palm Desert California.

    The vaudeville show is the Palm Springs Follies. All the actors/actresses are in their 50's-80's!

    Palm Springs, CA | The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies - Home

    I would book as early as you possibly can. If they are having a tennis tourney then rooms will book up fast. Some places you can't book that far ahead but as soon as you have dates and details nailed down, get the rooms booked!




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  6. #6

    • will-o-the-whip
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    Re: Help with Indian Wells area

    Yes, Shields Date Garden is the place! Thanks for the memory jog! It's worth checking out and it's only a few minutes from Indian Wells.

    I forgot about the Living Desert Zoo, which is also worth a trip. It's great to see a zoo a bit different with displays of animal and plant life of the desert, and it's very nicely presented.

    There's also a Children's Museum in the area, which is nice but small. There's also a planes museum, which is always cool to check out but there's a lot of them in SoCal so it's not a must. I found the staff at the Palm Springs one to be one of the friendliest though. One of the things I like best about the area is all the tributes to the stars from the "old" days in the area. It does feel like a nice trip to the past... and even though I'm not old, I still appreciate they bygone days from my parent's influence.

  7. #7

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    Re: Help with Indian Wells area

    Many thanks to the two of you for the information and insights! It is SO appreciated! I'm kind of an "over planner" so it's nice to know a little about an area beforehand.

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