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La Quinta, California
City of La Quinta
Official seal of La Quinta, California
The Gem of the Desert
Location of La Quinta in the U.S. state of California
Location of La Quinta in the U.S. state of California
Country  United States
State  California
County Flag of Riverside County, California.png Riverside
Incorporated May 1, 1982
 • Total 35.551 sq mi (92.078 km2)
 • Land 35.117 sq mi (90.954 km2)
 • Water 0.434 sq mi (1.124 km2)  1.22%
135 ft (41 m)
 • Total 221,754
 • Estimate 
 • Density 6,237.63/sq mi (2,408.328/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code 442/760
FIPS code 06-40354
GNIS feature IDs 1660870, 2411582

La Quinta is a resort city in Riverside County, California, United States, specifically in the Coachella Valley between Indian Wells and Indio. The population was 37,467 at the 2010 census, up from 23,694 at the 2000 census. The Robb Report credits La Quinta as the leading golf destination in the US. Among those destinations is the La Quinta Resort and Club, a resort dating to 1926, where director Frank Capra wrote the screenplay for Lost Horizon. The Tom Fazio-designed golf course at The Quarry at La Quinta is ranked among the top 100 golf courses in the United States. In January 2008, the Arnold Palmer Classic Course at the city's SilverRock Golf Resort became one of the four host golf courses for the annual Bob Hope Chrysler Classic PGA golf tournament.

History – development and incorporation

In the late-19th century and early-20th century (1880–1920), agriculture developed in present-day La Quinta and "East Valley" by pre-modern (mountain water runoff or open water springs) and modern irrigation techniques. At the time, California and federal land surveyors declared the sand dunes uninhabitable, only the hard rock ground of the "Marshall Cove" held potential farming and residential development.

In 1926, Walter Morgan established the La Quinta Resort at the northern section of Marshall Cove as a type of secluded hideaway for nearby Hollywood's celebrities and socialites. The Resort was the site for the Coachella Valley's first golf course, coinciding with the construction and pavement of State Route 111 in the 1930s. Further expansion of Washington Street in the 1950s and 1960s connected La Quinta with US Highways 60 and 99 (became Interstate 10 in the 1970s).

As nearby desert cities grew to capacity, La Quinta's growth rose dramatically by the mid-1980s, which led to its incorporation as a city in Riverside County in 1982. In the 1980 census, La Quinta had 4,200 residents, then increased to 11,215 by 1990 in the city's early phases of residential area growth. Once predominantly a part-time community until the early-1990s, more full-time residents live in La Quinta to make it possibly more populous than Palm Springs by 2006, according to some demographers.


La Quinta is located at 33°40′31″N 116°17′51″W / 33.67528°N 116.2975°W / 33.67528; -116.2975 (33.675373, −116.297391). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 35.6 square miles (92 km2), of which, 35.1 square miles (91 km2) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2) of it (1.22%) is water. The city's elevation is 56 feet (20 m) above sea level.

The landscape was formerly a lake shore of prehistoric Lake Cahuilla which evaporated about 5,000 years ago.

Santa Rosa Mountains

The Santa Rosa Mountains at dusk.

The most prominent feature of the La Quinta area is its Santa Rosa Mountains. Visitors to Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California and EPCOT at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida are treated to a brief glimpse of the foothills in one of the park's attractions: Soarin' Over California. The "Palm Springs" segment of Soarin' Over California was actually shot at the world-famous PGA West golf complex in La Quinta. The Santa Rosa Mountains (California) are nestled against the golf course and can be seen easily in the segment.

The area is very close to the earthquake-causing San Andreas Fault, with some companies offering jeep tours to the fault line.


The climate of the Coachella Valley is influenced by the surrounding geography. High mountain ranges on three sides contribute to its unique and year-round warm climate, with the some of warmest winters west of the Rocky Mountains. La Quinta has a warm winter/hot summer climate: Its average annual high temperature is 89.5 °F (31.9 °C) and average annual low is 62.1 °F (16.7 °C) but summer highs above 108 °F (42 °C) are common and sometimes exceed 120 °F (49 °C), while summer night lows often stay above 82 °F (28 °C). Winters are warm with daytime highs often between 68–86 °F (20–30 °C). Under 4 inches (100 mm) of annual precipitation are average, with over 348 days of sunshine per year. The hottest temperature ever recorded there was 125 °F (52 °C) on July 6, 1905. The mean annual temperature is 75.8 °F (24.3 °C).

Climate data for La Quinta, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 97
Average high °F (°C) 71.9
Average low °F (°C) 44.6
Record low °F (°C) 13
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.56

Surrounding cities

The estimated 2012 population is 38,075, similar to Palm Springs. La Quinta grew at a higher rate than most other cities in California during the 1990s and 2000s.

La Quinta is in the Coachella Valley and is relatively close to all major cities in that valley, including:

City Population (2000 census) Population (2010 census)
Cathedral City 42,647 51,200
Coachella 22,724 40,704
Desert Hot Springs 16,582 25,938
Indian Wells 3,816 4,948
Indio 49,116 76,036
La Quinta 23,694 37,467
Palm Desert 41,155 48,445
Palm Springs 42,807 44,552
Rancho Mirage 13,249 17,218


Historical population
Census Pop.
1980 3,328
1990 11,215 237.0%
2000 23,694 111.3%
2010 37,467 58.1%
Est. 2015 40,476 8.0%
U.S. Decennial Census


As of January 1, 2012, the California Department of Finance Demographic Research Unit estimates the City of La Quinta's population to be 38,075.


The 2010 United States Census reported that La Quinta had a population of 37,467. The population density was 1,053.9 people per square mile (406.9/km²). The racial makeup of La Quinta was 29,489 (78.7%) White (63.1% Non-Hispanic White), 713 (1.9%) African American, 230 (0.6%) Native American, 1,176 (3.1%) Asian, 41 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 4,595 (12.3%) from other races, and 1,223 (3.3%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11,339 persons (30.3%).

The Census reported that 37,410 people (99.8% of the population) lived in households, 50 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 7 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 14,820 households, out of which 4,329 (29.2%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 8,672 (58.5%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,442 (9.7%) had a female householder with no husband present, 595 (4.0%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 787 (5.3%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 182 (1.2%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,164 households (21.3%) were made up of individuals and 1,522 (10.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52. There were 10,709 families (72.3% of all households); the average family size was 2.93.

The population was spread out with 8,208 people (21.9%) under the age of 18, 2,509 people (6.7%) aged 18 to 24, 7,696 people (20.5%) aged 25 to 44, 11,238 people (30.0%) aged 45 to 64, and 7,816 people (20.9%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45.6 years. For every 100 females there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.3 males.

There were 23,489 housing units at an average density of 660.7 per square mile (255.1/km²), of which 11,152 (75.2%) were owner-occupied, and 3,668 (24.8%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 6.5%; the rental vacancy rate was 16.5%. 27,386 people (73.1% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 10,024 people (26.8%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2010 United States Census, La Quinta had a median household income of $72,099, with 8.0% of the population living below the federal poverty line.


As of the census of 2000, there were 23,694 people, 8,445 households, and 6,553 families residing in the city. The population density was 746.2 people per square mile (288.1/km²). There were 11,812 housing units at an average density of 372.0 per square mile (143.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 78.5% White, 1.4% African American, 0.7% Native American, 1.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 13.9% from other races, and 3.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 32.0% of the population.

There were 8,445 households out of which 38.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.6% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.4% were non-families. 17.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.8 and the average family size was 3.2, above national average of 2.4 according to the 2000 United States Census.

In the city, the population was spread out with 29.1% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $54,552, and the median income for a family was $56,848 (these figures had risen to $72,452 and $82,168 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $40,553 versus $31,627 for females. The per capita income for the city was $27,284. About 5.0% of families and 7.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.1% of those under age 18 and 4.8% of those age 65 or over.

Other demographic data

La Quinta has developed a culturally diverse community, as large ancestry groups include Mexicans (the largest) and Mexican Americans who frequently came to the Palm Springs area/Coachella Valley to find available employment in the 1990s and 2000s. Others, in alphabetical order, include: Armenians, Bosnians, British, French, Germans, Italians, Poles and Jews of multiple nationalities.

Temporary population known as snowbirds from Coastal California urban areas, the Pacific Northwest and/or Canada increase the local population by 50–90% in the winter months from November to April. A large percentage of seasonal residents are senior citizens and RV or mobile home parks are scattered throughout "East Valley" - the eastern half of the Coachella Valley.

Like the rest of the "East Valley" including nearby communities of Indio, Coachella, and unincorporated communities of Bermuda Dunes and Vista Santa Rosa - there is a burgeoning Latino (esp. Mexican-American and Central American nationalities) as well an enlargened African American and Asian American (i.e. east Asians) population belonging to the middle and upper-middle class.

According to the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, estimates placed Latinos at half (about 50% to 60%) of the local population, Blacks at near or over 10% and Asians at 10–15% of the city population as of the year 2010. Most of the minorities are recently moved-in families sought starter homes and/or relocated from urban centers of Southern California during the 1990s and 2000s, and from families of two or more races (to represent multiracial identity).


The city is part of the SunBus line, which services much of the Coachella Valley.

There is a proposed commercial airport in the community of Thermal 10 miles (16 km) to the east.


The city of La Quinta has 20 Parks.

  • Adams Park
  • Bear Creek Trail Park
  • Colonel Mitchell Paige Soccer Fields
  • Cove Oasis
  • Desert Pride Park
  • Eisenhower Park
  • Frances Hack Community Park and YMCA
  • Fred Wolff Nature Reserve
  • Fritz Burns-La Quinta Community Pool Park
  • La Quinta Baseball Fields Park and Gerald Ford Boys and Girls Club Center
  • La Quinta Civic Center Park
  • La Quinta Trails (hiking and bike trails)
  • La Quinta-Westward Ho Park
  • Monticello Park
  • Pioneer Park
  • Saguaro Park
  • Seasons Park
  • Southside-Santa Rosa Park
  • Velasco Park
  • Yucatán Park

Lake Cahuilla Regional Park is a Riverside county park, and the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument is under the US Department of the Interior / National Park Service.

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