Indio, the Coachella Valley’s oldest and most populated city, lies 23 miles (37 km) east of Palm Springs and is approximately 98 miles (158 km) north of the Baja California border. The word Indio is Spanish for Indian. Known as the “City of Festivals”, Indio is the home to an array of festivals celebrating everything from tamales to techno-rock music. Indio is also home to the largest polo fields in the western United States and continues to serve as the Coachella Valley’s agricultural hub.

The City of Indio came about because of the need of a halfway point for the Southern Pacific Railroad between Yuma, Arizona and Los Angeles. The engines needed to be cleaned of all of the sand taken in and re-filled with water. While it started as a railroad town, it developed into an agricultural area shortly after. Onions, grapes, cotton and dates all thrived in the arid climate and due to the ingenuity of farmers finding various means of attaining water. Water was obtained first through artesian wells and later through the valley’s branch of the All-American Canal. However, storm water became a major problem for Indio and the city was flooded several times until the storm water canals were created which run throughout the entire Coachella Valley.

The most famous of the agricultural crops of the Coachella Valley are dates followed by table grapes. Date palms, transplanted from the Middle East to Indio more than a century ago, launched a lucrative industry and created the widely known Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival that celebrates the industry’s Arab roots. Today, the Coachella Valley produces approximately 95% of the dates consumed in the United States with over 27 million pounds of dates produced annually. The USDA Date Station, started in 1907 where leading scientific research was conducted on the fruit, was responsible for the ability of local farmers to better understand this unique crop and make the Coachella Valley the leader in American date crops.

For over 50 years Indio has been the premier destination for polo in the west. Both the Empire Polo Club and Eldorado Polo Club have hosted nearly every U.S. Polo Tournament earning its reputation as “the polo capital of the western United States”. Polo players from across the country and internationally travel to the desert to enjoy the mild winter weather, lush green surrounding grounds with the spectacular backdrop of mountain views for winter polo activities.

The Eldorado Polo Club is a world-class polo facility that boasts 10 regulation grass fields, stick and ball field, practice hitting cage, exercise track and stabling for over 400 horses. A great sense of community fills the air at Eldorado with all facilities located onsite including a tack store and field side Cantina, a popular place to meet for cocktails. Empire Polo Club, another world-class polo facility founded in 1987, offers polo players competitive polo and immaculate playing fields. Eldorado Polo Club encompasses 7 Polo fields, 10 total fields including affiliate club fields, a regulation size arena, Polo School, 3 exercise tracks, grandstand & private field-side boxes along with the local’s favorite, The Tack Room Tavern, for dining and cocktails.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (commonly known as Coachella or Coachella Fest) and The Stagecoach Festival are held annually in April at the Empire Polo Club in Indio. These internationally renown music festivals along with Indio’s other festivals, have transformed a culture through music, arts, festivities and entertainment. Coachella Fest and Stagecoach showcase popular and established musical artists, as well as emerging artists and reunited groups. The appeal of both festivals spans multiple generations and creates an exceptional experience for all who attend and cause hundreds of thousands of fans, from both near and far, to descend upon the Coachella Valley. By virtue of playing host to all these diverse and exciting offerings, Indio has clearly cemented its reputation as the City of Festivals.