Friday, March 8, 2013

10 Things To Know About Indian Wells, California

The view from the hotel balcony this morning.

Nestled below the Santa Rosa Mountains and just a short drive from The Land of a Thousand Windmills, Indian Wells is California's oasis of luxury in the middle of the desert.  The pride of Riverside County is a popular getaway spot for Americans and Canadians alike, and it's the home to a number of celebrities, the retired, and, of course, the BNP Paribas Open.

While the popular Masters 1000 ATP tennis tournament is still in its early stages in the Coachella Valley, let's get you up to speed on the city it has resided in for almost forty years.

Here are 10 things to know about Indian Wells, California, written by someone who has spent almost 36 hours of his life in Indian Wells, California.


1.) Five thousand people call Indian Wells home.

Of those 5,000+ residents, over half are 65 years of age or older.*  That tells me most everyone in Indian Wells is early to bed and early to rise, and driving 40 MPH in the fast lane with the left blinker on is as common as finding a Werther's Original candy wrapper on the nightstand. 

* Based on statistics from the 2010 census and me pretending to know statistics since 2010.

2.) It's a lot prettier than Kentucky.

I was born in Kentucky, grew up in Kentucky, and still live in Kentucky today.  So you can only imagine how many pictures I've posted to Instagram since landing in Southern California. 

It's beautiful out here.

3.) Indian Wells has the second-highest percentage of registered Republicans of any city in California.

Lots of Terminator and Kindergarten Cop fans, I guess.

4.) It used to be where tribes would get their water.

But you could've figured that one out on your own.

It's in the name, silly.  Sound it out.

5.) Frank Sinatra and Sonny Bono are buried in nearby Cathedral City.

The epitaph on Bono's headstone reads, "And The Beat Goes On."  Bono was the mayor of Palm Springs, the windmill capital of the world, from 1988-1992.

6.) The city boasts three award-winning golf courses.

Finding a tee time in Indian Wells shouldn't be a problem if you get the urge to swing the sticks.  There are almost a dozen golf courses in Indian Wells, three of which proudly bear the "award-winning" tag, plus many, many more options for a round of 18 in the surrounding area.

Fix your divots, please.

7.) It gets less than six inches of rain per year.

And the forecast calls for rain today, our first full day of online coverage with Tennis Channel.

It would only happen to us.

8.) The Indian Wells Resort Hotel was founded by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in 1957.

If you stay anywhere else, you'll have some 'splainin' to do!

(Sorry, that was terrible.)

9.) It was one of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's favorite vacation spots.

General Ike used to frequent Indian Wells when he wanted to escape the stresses of the real world, like invading foreign countries and commanding NATO.

Eisenhower loved Indian Wells so much, he made it his winter residence.

10.) Indian Wells Tennis Garden's stadium court is the second-largest tennis specific stadium in the world.

Only Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City can seat more tennis fans than Indian Wells Tennis Garden.  Indian Wells seats 16,100 to Arthur Ashe's 23,200 for the U.S. Open.

But Indian Wells is better and we'll be reporting - I use that word very loosely - from the BNP Paribas Open for the next week here at The Outer Courts blog on

Stick around for more once they start swinging the racquets here in a few hours.