When you hear “Coachella” your mind probably jumps to images of music festivals and flower crowns; however, the valley is home to much more than its star-studded music scene. Linked by Highway 111, Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Rancho Mirage, Cathedral City, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Indio and Coachella together form the Coachella Valley and are teaming with unique experiences. Adventure awaits those who are willing to board the woven wicker vessel of a hot air balloon or who bum around Slab City to perform in the weekly talent show. The options are diverse and will do anything but disappoint.
BOARD A HOT AIR BALLOON
Can you think of something more magical than floating over Palm Desert at sunrise in a hot air balloon? Coachella Valley is known for its breathtaking views. From hovering over lush orchards and velvety polo fields to sweeping past the majestic mountain ranges of Palm Desert, this amazing four-mile journey with Magical Adventure Balloon Rides is sure to change your perspective.
Magical Adventure Balloon Rides is a certified and professional company. Choose from a variety of packages to have a group experience or customize something more intimate. Whatever you decide, you’re sure to make some memories as you soar up to the highest heights. Did we mention cheese and bubbly are included?
SEE THE SALVATION MOUNTAIN SITE IN SLAB CITY
A visit to Slab City is, without a doubt, unforgettable. Just 60 miles Southeast of the Coachella Valley, “The Slabs” is a site that grew from the abandoned World War II Marine Corps barracks of Camp Dunlap. The site has no official electricity or running water, and temps can reach as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit at the peak of summer. Nonetheless, about 150 “Slabbers” have made this their home year round.
Slab City is definitely an “off the grid” experience, and it is home to many incredible outdoor attractions. Salvation Mountain is one of the amazing works of art. Standing 3 stories tall, Salvation Mountain was made of adobe, straw and thousands of gallons of lead-free paint.
Festooned with bible verses, it is wildly strange and beautiful work of art, worthy of all the praise it receives. The Slabs also has some rad live entertainment. The Range is a nightclub with lights, a stage, and some shabby seating. Every Saturday around dusk, locals and visitors meet up for a talent show where everyone is welcome to perform.
GET TO KNOW THE COACHELLA VALLEY, STREET FAIR STYLE
The Street Fair at College of the Desert is one of the top things to do on a weekend in the Coachella Valley. For the past 30 years, it has been open every Saturday and Sunday from 7am-12pm and stays open until 2pm during the fall.
There are over 300 retail options for furniture, clothing and artisan goods. Shop the farmer’s market for fresh, seasonal veggies, or find a shady spot to enjoy a few hours of live entertainment. The fair is fun for every age and budget, and a great way to meet the locals of Palm City!
The Street Fair at College of the Desert is one of the many markets in Coachella Valley.
See the other Coachella Valley Street Fairs below and have fun exploring the tastes and sights unique to each!
- La Quinta Certified Farmers Market
Open every Sunday 8am – 12:30pm
- Cathedral City Street Fair
Open every Saturday and Sunday from 7am-12pm and stays open until 2pm during the fall
- Palm Springs Villagefest
Open Thursdays from 7pm-10pm
- Indio Open Air Market
Open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 4pm-10pm
BORREGO SPRINGS ART SCULPTURES
The annual desert wildflowers aren’t the only enchanting thing you’ll find in Borrego Springs. The metal art sculptures in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park have their own spotlight and they sure do shine. Over 130 full-sized sculptures are located along the winding roads that weave through the park.
The artist Ricardo Breceda was inspired by the desert creatures who roamed the land millions of years ago. He breathed life into the hunks of metal, capturing them in dynamic positions. You’ll have loads of fun as you encounter fierce and fanciful dinosaurs and massive mammoths. The serpent is especially impressive, as it undulates in and out of the ground across 350 feet! But not all of the animals are out in plain sight. As you cruise along, keep your eyes open for the desert tortoises creeping through the brush.
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