Quick History

The City of Indio was born out of necessity, a railroad town that sprung to life in 1876 as the Southern Pacific Railroad built lines between Yuma, Arizona and Los Angeles, California. The engines needed a place to refill their water, and the workers needed somewhere to recharge their own batteries. Shortly after the City of Indio, named after a Spanish variation of “Indian,” was founded, the first permanent building was erected: The Southern Pacific Depot Station and Hotel. Hoping to attract and retain workers, the hotel quickly became the center of all social interactions in Indio, a place where one could find fine dining and Friday night dances, a welcome reprieve from life in the difficult desert terrain.

By the turn of the century, Indio had blossomed into a promising agricultural region. Ingenious farmers irrigated the land first through wells and later by accessing the All-American Canal, which allowed crops such as onions, cotton, grapes, citrus, and dates to thrive in the otherwise arid climate


The city is currently the largest and fastest growing city in Riverside County’s Coachella Valley with over 89,000 residents.  Nearly 1.4 million people visit the “City of Festivals” every year to attend the world famous arts, food, and music festivals, the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, and Stagecoach Country Music Festival. These are some of the reasons why Indio is ranked as one of the top emerging travel destinations in the country.

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