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La Quinta is a growing golf resort community in Southern California’s Riverside County. La Quinta is found in the sunny Coachella Valley, near Palm Springs, and is internationally known for hosting a wide variety of golf tournaments and country clubs. La Quinta has a population of about twenty-five thousand residents, although that figure surges considerably during the winter months due to an influx of tourists. La Quinta, which translates to “the villa”, covers a total area of approximately thirty- two square miles, and is nicknamed the “Gem of the Desert” for its outstanding recreational offerings and scenic beauty.
The area which is now considered La Quinta was originally populated by the Cahuilla Indian Tribe, and was first explored by Europeans in the late eighteenth century. La Quinta is still heavily influenced by its Spanish colonial heritage, although it was officially ceded to the United States in the year 1848. Until the 1930s, La Quinta was largely an agricultural community, although after the establishment of golf resorts and the arrival of Hollywood stars the area’s population grew rapidly. La Quinta was officially incorporated as a city in 1982, and is projected to become one of the largest communities in Riverside County.
La Quinta is set against the dramatic backdrop of the Santa Rosa Mountains, which are one of the defining geographical features of Riverside County. La Quinta’s climate is warm and dry almost all year long. The temperature does not drop below an average of seventy degrees Fahrenheit during any month of the year, and the community enjoys nearly three hundred and fifty days of sunshine per year.
La Quinta’s economy is centered on tourism, especially resorts related to golfing. La Quinta is home to about two dozen golf courses, including the exclusive PGA West. The PGA West regularly hosts a variety of tournaments, including the Career Builder Challenge PGA Tournament (formerly the Bob Hope Classic Golf Tournament) and also maintains an outstanding selection of clubhouses and restaurants. Many parts of La Quinta serve as bedroom communities for residents who work at the casinos and hotels in the Coachella Valley, especially in the cities of Indio and Palm Springs. La Quinta boasts an impressive variety of commercial centers and shopping areas, ranging from upscale boutiques to big box retailers. The community is home to a Wal-Mart Supercenter, a Target, a Lowes, a Home Depot, as well as a Stein Mart and Kohl’s. La Quinta is served by the SunBus line and a commercial airport is currently under consideration to the east of the town.
La Quinta’s educational needs are met by the Desert Sands Unified Schools District, which maintains four public elementary schools, three middle schools, two high schools, and two alternative high schools. La Quinta has been home to a number of famous residents over the years, including golfers Arnold Palmer, Anthony Kim and Fred Couples, actors William Devane, Sylvester Stallone and Tyler Hilton, motivational speaker Tony Robbins and singer Jack Jones. Many residents and visitors enjoy gambling and professional entertainment at a number of nearby casinos, including the Agua Caliente Casino, Fantasy Springs, and the Spa Resort Casino. Downtown La Quinta’s character is defined by the Old Town La Quinta area, which includes a number of office buildings, tourist attractions, shops, and eateries. Residents of La Quinta condos and homes can also enjoy the other communities of Coachella Valley, such as Cathedral City and Rancho Mirage, which are just a short drive away from the city center.