Giddy up, cowgirls and boys! Stagecoach 2018 is around the corner, and that means it’s time to party country-style in Greater Palm Springs!
The three-day music festival takes place this year from Friday, April 27 to Sunday, April 29, 2018 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio. Event headliners include Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban and the legendary Garth Brooks. The festival will also include performances by country music superstars like Kelsea Ballerini, Jake Owen, Lee Brice, Kacey Musgraves, Kenny Rogers, Trisha Yearwood, Brothers Osborne and many, many more!
Image courtesy of Stagecoach.
Whether you’re attending the festival or not this year, here’s a round-up of things to do before, during and after Stagecoach. We reckon you’ll be partying ‘til the cows come home if you follow our lead!
INSIDE THE FESTIVAL
Dubbed as California’s Country Music Festival, Stagecoach consists of acts from a diverse group of country artists as well as a multitude of things to do, inside and outside the festival. If partaking in the weekend’s western fun, here a few things to do while inside the Stagecoach grounds:
Enjoy live music from up-and-coming bands, western comedy performances, games and arts & crafts while at the Half-Pint Hootenanny. The attraction is open to all ages and is free with your Stagecoach ticket.
Honkytonk Dance Hall
Image courtesy of Stagecoach.
Looking for an opportunity to show off your boot scootin’ boogie moves or learn a new step or two? The Honkytonk Dance Hall has everything you need to do just that! Located inside the event terrace before entering the festival, Honkytonk offers free dance lessons and workshops, line dancing, two-step round dancing, a full bar and opportunities to watch a few live performances as well. And if that were not enough, Honkytonk will be bringing out the best in country music this year by featuring even more awesome DJs who will be playing country hits all night long!
The Bazaar Booths
Shop at The Bazaar for the finest country, western and vintage wares at Stagecoach 2018. Find everything from clothing, boots and hats to custom wooden signs and leather goods at the various vendor booths. Popular among many, fresh flower crowns from Cake & Punch will also be available for purchase this year at the festival.
A true treat for both horse and brew lovers alike, the event offers festival-goers an opportunity to visit with the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales while on the grounds! Before the festival begins, catch these living legends on El Paseo in Palm Desert on Wednesday, April 25, as they make deliveries to local restaurants while on their way to Stagecoach 2018. They’ll be hitching up between 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., with a parade taking place down El Paseo at 2:00 p.m. Once at Stagecoach, hang out with the hitch and see them in all their glory at the event lobby.
Festival Ferris Wheel
Image courtesy of Stagecoach.
Take a break from the tunes at Stagecoach and visit the Ferris wheel at the festival entrance. Seen all over the internet and on social media pages, the Ferris wheel has now become synonymous with the popular Coachella Valley festivals that take place in the spring. It’s the perfect place for a fun photo op or a bird’s eye view of the entire event from the top.
Grab Some Grub
Get ready to experience some of the tastiest craft drinks and foods at Stagecoach 2018! This year, the festival is cooking up some incredible culinary options that will have you coming back for seconds! Find mouth-watering BBQ selections at Guy’s Stagecoach Smokehouse, which is set is to serve delicious made-to-order barbecue dishes from top restaurants and vendors from across the nation. For vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options, head on over to the Chow Down, then cool down with chilled cocktails from the Malibu Rum Beach House. If looking to get out of the heat during the festival, attendees may also visit the shaded Beer Barn at the event terrace to enjoy a few cold ones and savory meals.
OUTSIDE THE FESTIVAL
Event shenanigans and country western fun extends way beyond the festival gates in Greater Palm Springs. Here, celebrating Stagecoach is just as exciting outside the Empire Polo Club as it is inside! Throughout the oasis, you’ll find a variety of country-themed saloons, eateries, activities and entertainment that’ll have you kicking up your boots all week and weekend long during the festival.
Smoke Tree Stables
Those looking for a true cowboy experience in the region should check out Smoke Tree Stables in Palm Springs. Travel on horseback along the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains or through the majestic Agua Caliente Indian Canyons and take in the sights, sounds and history the trails have to offer. Tours are offered by the hour or for the entire day, and each comes complete with riding gear, a horse companion and an experienced guide. If traveling with a big group, group rides are also available with the option to include western cookouts or western-themed events on your riding trip.
Big Horse Carriage Company
Catch a ride through Big Horse Carriage Company for a nostalgic experience in the oasis. Available any day during the week, the company offers one-of-a-kind tours and horse-drawn carriage rides throughout the Palm Springs region. Head to downtown Palm Springs the Thursday before Stagecoach begins and hop aboard for an unforgettable time or enjoy an up-close and personal meet with the company’s rescue horses.
Food + Drink
Old Town Tavern
Kick off the country western weekend by feasting at Old Town Tavern in La Quinta, where country cooking and Texas barbecue are what it’s all about. Irresistible classics like smoked brisket, slow-roasted pork ribs and BBQ pulled pork are all on the menu, including appetizing sides like mac & cheese, corn bread and baked beans. Come on in any day of the week for happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and choose from a generous list of drink specials and satisfying tavern snacks.
Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse
Hungry cowboys, come on over–Babe's Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse at The River in Rancho Mirage has all the ingredients needed to be your next favorite laid-back restaurant in Greater Palm Springs. Take a load off and visit for Monday Beer Appreciation Day where you’ll be able to sample one of Babe’s award-winning brews, as well as order from a wide selection of BBQ dishes and styles from every part of the U.S. and the world. From Texas to Korea, it’s all available here! Eat up, partner.
Smoke Tree BBQ
Southern-style cooking and flavor is what Smoke Tree BBQ is serving up at their chic rustic bar and grill in Palm Springs. In-house smoked barbeque meats are what make this eatery a stand-out among other BBQ locations in the area. Carolina pulled pork, Texas beef brisket, baby back ribs, as well as smoked turkey and chicken are just some of the finger-licking plates on the menu that are bringing the crowds in!
Pony up and head into Jackalope Ranch in Indio for its Southwestern cuisine and signature BBQ entrees. Dig in during every day happy hour, lunch or dinner, as well as come in for Sunday prime rib and champagne brunch! While there, also enjoy the restaurant’s many beautiful features by walking around the 21,000 square foot facility and take in the luscious landscape views that surrounds the property.
Bit of Country
Don’t let the name fool you; Bit of Country in Palm Springs is top destination for a whole lot of country goodness and home cooking. Recharge after Stagecoach ends and visit this popular breakfast and lunch nook for delicious options that include biscuits and gravy, chicken fried steak plates, western omelets, BBQ beef sandwiches, chili burgers and much, much more. Upon finishing your meal, make your way on over to the outdoor Bit of Country mural and get your picture taken in front of it since no trip to the restaurant is complete without one!
Country Night at LIT
Get your country music fix before, during and after the festival by partying the night away during Country Night at LIT within Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on Thursdays. Grab a partner and get ready to dosey doe on the dance floor. Local live bands keep you moving while LIT’s special country-themed menu and drink deals keep you feeling country strong. Upcoming hoedowns at LIT include April 5 (with a live performance by South 65), April 12 (with a live performance by Dynamite Draw), April 26 (with a live performance by Country Nation) and May 3 (with a live performance by Whiskey Tango). Enjoy this and more with no cover charge at the casino property.
Tack Room Tavern
You’ll be saying “Yeehaw” as you make your way into the Tack Room Tavern in Indio. Country vibes fill the room as you make your way inside to the cowboy decorated bar, complete with saddle seats and all! Whether you’re craving a tasty serving of old fashioned chili, North Carolina pulled pork or the famous Tack Room baby back ribs, the menu is full of country and south of the border eats. Come sun down, the Tack Room Tavern is the perfect place to get your two-step on, with live music playing on select nights.
Beginning the second week of April, the tavern will only be open Tuesdays and Wednesdays through the end of the month, so plan accordingly when visiting this popular western-style establishment.
Photo by Marina Chavez
Located about an hour from Indio, Pioneertown is a nod to the Wild Wild West, providing unparalleled mountainous views, cowboy comfort and charming establishments like Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace. The bar and eatery boasts an impressive menu that is sure to satisfy all hungry travelers, while also providing popular shows and entertainment throughout the week. On Thursday, April 26, be sure to catch Tyler Childers, Lillie Mae, Banditos and Jade Bird as they take the stage at Pappy & Harriet’s during their Stagecoach Spotlight Tour. Other artists playing there during the festival include Leslie Stevens and Friends on April 27 and Nikki Lane on April 28.
While visiting the area, also check out the Old West town situated next to the restaurant on Pioneertown's Mane Street. During the 1940’s and ‘50’s, this town served as an old western movie set, and today serves as a must-see attraction for its rustic cowboy themes.
Even after Stagecoach ends, keep the party going at Neil’s Lounge in Indio. This must-visit western grill and watering hole is providing a wildly good time to all who come out for its BBQ, live music and nightly entertainment. A longtime favorite for locals, out-of-towners and even celebrities, Neil’s has become famous for its karaoke nights, with several taking their shot on the karaoke stage. If coming out, be prepared to sing your heart out to country hits and classics!
To book a hotel for Stagecoach 2018, visit places to stay in Greater Palm Springs.
Featured image courtesy of Stagecoach.