8 Things to Do in Coachella to Experience Local Culture

Discover the vibrant culture in the city of Coachella. The city offers art murals, sculptures, a casino, and even a produce farm.

December 14, 2023
Story by Site Staff

Shady Lane

Organized by the nonprofit Culturas Music & Arts organization, a team of local artists decked a 1,000-foot wall that lines Shady Lane with a series of murals representing themes from Chicano history. Start your art walk at Shady Lane Park, home to “Big Bear,” a massive metal bear sculpture by Don Kennell with a swinging bench that first appeared at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2015.

Shady Lane and Avenue 52, Coachella

Coachella Library

At the center of the Pueblo Viejo downtown district sits the public library, a gathering place for year-round community events including poetry slams and kid-friendly movie nights. Originally opened in 1957, the library expanded to its current 8,820-square-foot location in 2018. Collections include an impressive catalog of Spanish books and papers with items from the César E. Chávez National Monument museum. Famed lyricist and Coachella Valley resident Billy Steinberg (responsible for such songs as Madonna’s “Like a Virgin”) donated the 14-by-7-foot “Vineyard Harvest” mural by Laurence Neufeld that hangs in the library.

1500 Sixth St., Coachella
760-398-5148

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Mural at Shady Lane.
PHOTO BY DANIELLA STALLINGER

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Mural of Dolores Huerta.
PHOTO BY BRANDON HARMAN

Coachella Walls

Local artist Armando Lerma teamed up with curator Medvin Sobio in 2014 to launch this mural project that has contributed to a revitalization of downtown Coachella. Colorful walls by local and international street artists depict aspects of Mexican culture while also responding to the experience of the area’s farmworker community. One of the most recent additions portrays activist Dolores Huerta, who had a significant impact on the town. A self-guided walking tour map is available on the city’s website.

Sixth Street and Vine Avenue, Coachella

Armando’s Bar

“Etherea” first appeared at Coachella festival.
PHOTO BY BRANDON HARMAN

Etherea

Italian artist Edoardo Tresoldi specializes in architectural wire mesh sculptures that invite passersby to take a load off and stare at the clouds. This one, informed by neoclassical and baroque design styles, is one of three identically shaped structures of varying height that were installed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2018. The 54-footer now resides in the city of Coachella, where it was installed in 2019, becoming the centerpiece of an empty lot that was ultimately transformed into a park.

Cesar Chavez and Sixth Streets, Coachella

Augustine Casino

Nestled in the shadows of the beautiful Santa Rosa Mountains, only 3 miles east of La Quinta’s PGA West, Augustine Casino boasts a large local following for loose slots resulting in millions of dollars in payouts each year. The casino, established in 2002 by the Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians, has 740 slot machines. From the latest and greatest games with high-end animation to old-school video poker and Pot ’O Gold keno, the gaming does not disappoint. Neither do the on-site restaurants: Café 54 and Menyikish Grill offer a casual dining experience with great food and amazing value.

84001 Ave. 54, Coachella
760-391-9500

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Try a burger from Augustine’s Café 54.
PHOTO BY BRANDON HARMAN

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Play slots at Augustine Casino.
PHOTO BY BRANDON HARMAN

Bagdouma Park

Get your swing on at Coachella’s largest public park. This 46-acre recreational haven recently underwent a major renovation. You’ll find brand-new basketball courts, a tennis court, and two pickleball courts, among other exciting additions. Bagdouma Park also features a public swimming pool and a water fountain play feature for kids. It’s home to the city’s community center, which hosts a variety of activities and classes for residents and visitors, as well as the nonprofit Coachella Valley Boxing Club.

Douma Street and Avenue 52, Coachella

Spotlight 29 Casino

Try your luck at table games or slots and catch a show. The property regularly hosts award-winning musicians and stand-up comedians at its indoor Spotlight Showroom and outdoor Coachella Crossroads venues. Sample a house-brewed beer at the on-site brewery and sports bar, Taproom 29, which features 29 taps and a rotating selection of craft beer (including outside labels). Bartenders serve the suds at an icy 29 degrees, and an ice rail wrapping around the bar top ensures your pint stays chilled until the last drop.

46200 Harrison Place, Coachella
760-775-5566

Armando’s Bar

Taproom 29.
PHOTO COURTESY SPOTLIGHT 29

Temalpakh Farm

Operated by the Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians, Temalpakh Farm features a market selling fresh-picked vegetables, herbs, dates, smoothies, and artisan-made goods. After browsing the market, visitors can stroll through the blooming pollination corridor, around a pond, and then walk a short distance up Seven Feathers Mountain for a view of the entire farm. Guided tours are available if booked in advance, and groups of 10 or more can reserve a private dining experience that’s truly farm-to-table — served on the farm, under the stars. Farm boxes filled with seasonal bounty are available to order online for pickup.

1 Roberta Way, Coachella
760-391-9576

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Temalpakh Farm.
PHOTOS COURTESY AUGUSTINE BAND OF CAHUILLA INDIANS


ASK A LOCAL

Amanda Vance

Tribal Chairperson Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians

1.) Visiting the farm: It’s a small, intimate experience when you come to the farm. You’ll see our fields right behind the market. You get to see the farmhands picking or planting vegetables. There is a pollination corridor that you can walk through; it’s really pretty when everything’s blooming.

2.) Go-to smoothie at Temalpakh: One of my favorites is the Palm Tree Brew, and that is a smoothie made of dates, but it also has some cold coffee in it.

Armando’s Bar

Amanda Vance.
PHOTO COURTESY AUGUSTINE BAND OF CAHUILLA INDIANS

3.) Tribal support: We try and support our other tribes when they’re creating products that we can put in the store. We buy our coffee from a tribe out in Yuma. Another tribe makes honey, so we have that in the store as well.