So, you’re heading to Coachella Weekend 1 this Friday, have your face paint stored, fringed booties broken in and every LCD Soundsystem song memorized – ready to go, right? What about the ride down to Indio? You don’t have to wait until you arrive for the Coachella party to start! Turn your getaway into a fun road trip filled with these 5 stops that are practically required for all Coachella vets making the great pilgrimage. If you’re road tripping from LAX, the OC, or anywhere north of Palm Springs, I’ve got your covered after the jump!
1. Hadley’s Fruit Orchard
The drive from LA is only a couple of hours long, but even if you ate a large breakfast you’ll still want to make a pit stop for refreshments at Hadley’s. Banana date shakes are always worth it. Yes, I said banana date shakes. In fact, you can get dates in any imaginable form at Hadley’s – shakes, jellies, butter, cookies, you name it. Check out their brand new store right off the 10 for a snack to start your trip right – it’s a SoCal right of passage.
Location: 47993 Apache Trail, Cabazon, CA 92230. Right off the 10, just south of the Cabazon Outlets.
2. Cabazon Dinosaurs
Once you’ve grabbed your date shake, you can drive a few minutes down the 10 and enjoy it under a Brontosaurus at our next stop – the Cabazon Dinosaurs. A quirky roadside attraction – the dinos (World’s biggest supposedly), are the perfect spot to warm up your Coachella instagram skills. You may recognize them from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure or National Lampoon’s Vacation! Hop out of the car to stretch your feet and take in the perfectly weird Americana and snap some photos. Just don’t fall prey to paying for photos inside the dinos and avoid the weird creationism gift shop nearby.
Location:50800 Seminole Dr, Cabazon, CA 92230
3. Palm Springs Wind Mills
Your last stop before entering deep Coachella country is the Palm Springs Wind Farm. There isn’t much to do here per se, unless you are fascinated by wind turbines and want to take a tour, but the turbines are a stunning backdrop for photos. Take the five minutes to pull over and grab a few unique snaps of the mammoth structures and yourself in front of them.
Location: 62950 20th Ave, Palm Springs, CA 92262
4. Coachella Sign
Made famous by Beyonce and Nicki Minaj in their Feelin Myself video, and every hipster on Tumblr, the “Coachella City Limits” sign is a great photo op once you enter the city. Apparently it’s pretty difficult to find but located at the intersection of Grapefruit Boulevard and Avenue 54 off a rural stretch of road. There are train tracks on one side and a factory on the other. Stop by on your way to your hotel or during a free morning festival weekend. The hassle to find it is well worth the photo souvenir in my book.
Location: Intersection of Grapefruit Blvd and Avenue 54 – map here
Post Festival Bonus!
5. In n Out Burger
Once the festival has ended, you’ll begin the excruciating (was the drive this long on the way down?), soul-sucking drive back to reality. Coachella is over, and you’re going through withdrawals already. But, wait – what is this beautiful mirage in the middle of the desert beckoning you from the crawl of festival traffic? Why, it’s none other than In N Out Burger, the pinnacle of Southern California dining. Luckily, there is an In N Out located on the way to both LAX and the Orange County airport, so you can nurse your Coachella depression with a double double (protein style) and animal style fries. The perfect end to the perfect weekend.
Locations: 72265 Varner Rd., Thousand Palms, CA 92276 (closest to Palm Springs), 49188 Seminole Dr., Cabazon, CA 92230 (by the dinos and Hadley’s) and 9149 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045 (LAX)
Check out my Coachella essentials: