rock yard fantasy springs

Best Music Venue for Pretenders

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino's Rock Yard gives music fans a front-row seat to talented cover bands in an intimate outdoor venue in Indio.

Derrik J. Lang Arts & Entertainment, Best Of, Current PSL

rock yard fantasy springs

Rock Yard at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio.

Where can you see Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Queen, and No Doubt perform in the desert? Well, nowhere, but you can come pretty darn close at the Rock Yard, the cherished outdoor venue that hosts stalwart cover bands for free. Earlier this year, Fantasy Springs Resort Casino made the sound decision to expand the amphitheater-style space to include a pair of permanent stages, allowing tribute acts to perform back-to-back without interruption for crowds that sometimes reach 1,500. Located outside the casino in Indio, it’s a prime spot to enjoy a beer or music-icon-themed cocktail. If you drink enough, you just might think you’re watching the real thing.

Best Lounge Scene

When your evening plans call for fine craft cocktails, a bit of dress-up, and some casual dancing alongside the locals, head to Mastro’s Steakhouse on El Paseo in Palm Desert. The high-end establishment cultivates a luxurious atmosphere with a strict dress code, masterful mood lighting, exceptional service, and top-notch food to boot.

The lounge is the place to see and be seen. With live music nightly — exactly the sultry, genre-spanning covers you’d expect of a swanky setting like this — it can be tough for walk-ins to find an open seat. So, call ahead to reserve a high-top table. (And yes, you can order off the full dinner menu in the bar. Don’t overlook the lobster mashed potatoes. Do save room for the butter cake.) — Emily Chavous Foster

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