Welcome to, your premier resource to the Coachella Valley’s best, from a local's perspective. Your guide, Denise Ortuno is, The Palm Springs Local, with over 38 years of desert living under her belt, experiencing all the wonders of the Coachella Valley. And now she’ll be sharing her knowledge with you! From dining to attractions, to events and much more, you’ll be able to “Go Where the Locals Go”.

Just click on the appropriate category to find what you’re looking for and you’ll be on your way. And make sure to check out Denise’s blog for special reviews and colorful commentary, as well as her “Out and About Videos” featuring local flavor.

It’s all here at, your guide to the Coachella Valley’s best….done local style!

Affordable Seafood at Fisherman's Happy Hour

By Denise Ortuno Neil                                                           rsz fishermans

If you’re looking to satisfy that inner craving for fresh seafood, but don’t want to spend a bunch of money, than Happy Hour at Fisherman’s Market & Grill in La Quinta is the way to go.

There is no doubt that going out for seafood can be a bit expensive. I mean, you don’t have to go out, you can always try your hand and make it at home, but even buying seafood at the store can be pricey as well. So what’s a seafood lover to do? Well, you can try mixing it up a bit and going the Happy Hour route at one of the Coachella Valley’s best seafood restaurants, Fisherman’s Market & Grill in La Quinta.

The Fisherman’s enterprise has been going strong for over 17 years, and has restaurants from Banning to La Quinta. All the locations put out fresh seafood recipes, everything from fish dinners, to their famous Fish Tacos and much more. Their La Quinta location serves as a seafood market, where customers can purchase seafood from the case to take home and prepare themselves, as well as a dine in restaurant and bar. The bar part is where Happy Hour is offered.

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I personally love their Happy Hour, and have been enjoying it there for many years. It is seriously one of the best deals in town. The menu has a series of items available, at a price tag of $5.95 each. Yep…$5.95. You can order up favorites such as perfectly battered Fried Calamari, Sautéed Shrimp, Ceviche, Poke, Tuna Sashimi, Galley Burger, Fish Sliders (Mahi or Cod), and of course, their awesome Fish Tacos. My boyfriend and I are creatures of habit, and order our own favorites time and time again. We are huge fans of the Fried Calamari, which is very tender with ultra-light batter, and always comes out with a lovely golden hue. Match it up with one of their many homemade dressings/dipping sauces (Cocktail, Thousand Island, Tartar Sauce, and others) and its happy mouth time. rsz imag1557

Another must have for us is their Fish Tacos which come two to an order. We prefer the healthier Grilled Cajun Mahi, opposed to the Fried Cod, but they are both fantastic. Topped with crunchy cabbage and their delightful white sauce, it’s just yummy! But before we order any of the above, we kick off our visit with two orders of Oyster Shooters. The delicious mollusk shooter comes three to an order for only, you guessed it…$5.95. To make it a shooter with oomph, add vodka or tequila for an extra $3. The shooters are phenomenal either way, and if you’re feeling a little squeamish about raw oysters, I implore you to give them a try…it’s like ocean candy.

Happy Hour would not be complete without some attractive drink discounts, which Fisherman’s does not skimp on. Guest can imbibe frugally with $3 off all beer and wine, and $4 well drinks. Such a deal!

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With food and drinks, our bill hovers around $50 or so for the two of us, an amazing amount for high quality seafood. As mentioned, Happy Hour at Fisherman’s Market & Grill La Quinta is offered only in the bar area, which includes bar seating and the surrounding high top tables. Their Happy Hour is served daily (yes, weekends too) from 4pm to 6pm, with an added late night Happy Hour from 8pm to 9pm, served Monday thru Thursday.

A fresh seafood meal doesn’t have to be over the top expensive. At Fisherman’s Market & Grill La Quinta, you can savor seafood at affordable prices, without emptying your wallet.

Fisherman’s Market La Quinta is located at 78-575 Hwy 111 #100, La Quinta 92253

For more information visit

Sizzling Summer Golf Savings

By Katy Treadwell

This time of year, it’s hot in the desert, and so are the deals on golf.  From the end of May thru September, you can play some of the valley’s best and most exclusive clubs for a fraction of the price.  Summer golf in the desert is all about timing.  If you plan your day right, you can beat the extreme heat, play some really awesome courses and help support local golf in the Coachella Valley during the off-season.  With all that in mind, let’s look at some of the HOT DEALS available this summer.                                                                                                       rsz pga west                                                                                                  

PGA West- Who doesn’t want to play PGA West… especially the Stadium Course? The problem is, during season, who can afford it?  Well, from June thru September, you can play it for as low as $48 in the afternoons, or tee off early to beat the heat and you still save HUGE with rates starting at $79 in the early mornings.  Either way you go, morning or afternoon, rates are drastically discounted from their in-season price and rounds go by much faster.  While the heat may be intimidating, super low rates allow you the opportunity to test your skills on courses you normally avoid because of the high cost.  If you can stand the heat, PGA West has deals you can’t beat.

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Marriott Shadow Ridge- One of my personal favorites in the desert, has summer rates as low as $35.  That’s a striking difference from the normal $100 rounds in past months.  Shadow Ridge also offers a Summer Access Pass for just $99.  With the purchase of the Summer Access Pass you can play 18 holes for just $29, any time you tee it up, get 10% off food and beverage, 10% off all golf merchandise and 20% off instruction.  Sure, its hot out, but the hot summer deals and golf pass options at some of the desert’s most elite clubs makes breaking a little sweat worth it.                                                   rsz westin mission hills

The Westin Mission Hills- Do you struggle to get a decent tee time out here during season? We all do.  The Pete Dye and Gary Player Courses are notoriously booked from bell to bell during season. As two of the very best public courses in the valley, it’s no wonder.  But, during the summer months, not only is there significantly less traffic, you can save tons of fun; at times paying less than half the normal green fee.  Normally around $100 a round during peak times and in season, from June thru September you can play either course for as little as $53.  You can even get on for as low as $35 in the afternoons.  If you’re a junior (16 or younger) looking for a place to call home this summer, with the Troon Family Golf option, you can play free any time after 3pm when accompanied by an adult. 

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SilverRock Resort- I couldn’t believe this rate when I saw it… $30 for 18 holes at SilverRock?  No, it can’t be… but it is.  SilverRock uses real time, Dynamic Pricing that fluctuates with the changing conditions and market factors, so depending on the time of day and traffic at other courses nearby, you could happen upon some really “Dynamic”  deal’s.  SilverRock is already offering $30 rates for La Quinta residents and $45 rates for visitors…all day long.  Add in the Dynamic Pricing option, and keep an eye on the changing conditions… you could potentially save even more!                                             rsz palm royale

Palm Royale Country Club- From June thru September, you can enjoy a fast and fun round at Palm Royale Country Club for just $10.  Escape to this challenging little par three course after work or start your morning out with a quick round.  It’s easy to get in a full 18 holes on this track before or after the heat of the day, and you can’t beat golf in the desert for $10, no matter the conditions. I should mention, there is one stipulation; honest golfers only.  The Palm Royale Club House is closed during the summer, so players put $10 in an envelope and place it in the door slot of the club house entry.  The honor system at its finest. 

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Cimarron Golf Resort- You can play the Pebble or the Boulder course for as little as $20, and only $33 during peak hours, and both are well worth either amount.  Plus, Cimarron Golf Resort also offers a Summer Players Card for just $49.  The card gets you 1 free round, discounted rates through August 31st, a dozen golf balls, a free hybrid certificate valued at $200 and entry into the summer loyalty program.  With 36 holes to play, the $49 Summer Players Card is a great value Cimarron.                                                                                                 rsz desert princess

Desert Princess- Located at the Double Tree Hilton in Cathedral City, Desert Princess has 27 holes and is always a fun track to play.  It’s never terribly expensive, even in season but right now, you can play 18 holes, with lunch and a cart included for only $30 any time of the day.  Desert Princess also offers Unlimited Summer Golf Packages, valid June 1 thru September 30 for only $399.  That’s less than $100 a month for unlimited golf; and that’s a darn good deal. 

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Escena Golf Club- This beautiful layout is worth the green fee no matter what time of year, but during the summer, with rates at $39, it’s almost impossible to pass up.  That’s more than 60% off the average rate.  Like other courses, Escena also offers a Summer Card for $79.  The card includes 1 free round of golf, $20 loaded gift card, discounted rates all summer long, 10% off merchandise and you can bring up to 7 guests at a time at your rate!  Round up the crew, it’s time to sweat it out at Escena!

If you’re still leery about playing in the heat, here a few of my favorite heat cheaters to help make your next summer round a little more comfortable. 

Chill-It’s Evaporative Cooling Towel- Starting at just $3.99, adding this one item to your golf gear will make ALL the difference in the world.  Like your MasterCard, you’ll never leave home without it.

Mission Athletecare Enduracool Instant Cooling Hoodie- This thing is awesome because it works two ways.  When it’s wet, it cools up to 30 degrees, and when it’s dry, it wicks sweat.  The hotter the user, the better it works.  You can get one of your own for under $20.

Yeti Tumbler- Because there is no better way to keep water (or vodka) colder, longer than in a Yeti.

Fresair Rooftop Air Cooler- If you have your own cart, a Fresair rooftop cooler is the coolest thing out there.  The Fresair units fit any cart and are more reasonably priced than you might expect.  An A/C system for your golf cart… what will they think of next?

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