Not The Same La Quinta

Kathy Gottberg is a published author and blogs at She can be reached at:

I grew up in La Quinta. In 1963 my parents bought a home on Ave. Carranza where the road in front of our house was dirt and there was only one other house on the entire block. We lived in that home for five years and during that time not much changed. Later we moved to another part of the valley and missed the paving of the streets, the storm channel constructed, sewer system installed, and Old Town rejuvenated. Now, several decades later, my husband and I are happy to call La Quinta home once again—but this La Quinta is not the same—it is much, much better for many reasons.

The first thing my husband and I enjoy about the new La Quinta is the abundance of benefits we receive by living close to Old Town. Back when I was a kid about the only services in the area were a little market and the La Quinta Community Park. We now live within a five minute bike ride to over ½ dozen unique and outstanding restaurants, a major grocery story, a hardware store, the library, the museum, the senior center, a gym, two coffee houses, and dozen or so small shops for clothing, nails, hair and other services. Plus, the Civic Center Park is a one of the most beautiful in the valley and it hosts several events like the La Quinta Arts Festival in the spring and the La Quinta Blues Festival in the fall. There are even a couple of dog parks for those of us who consider our four-legged friends part of the family. And did I mention the hiking and biking trails all over the cove? The many miles of Bear Creek Trail are amazing. Even then, just about every street in the area offers either good exercise or a pleasant experience.

But the other big benefit we receive from living in La Quinta is the people we call neighbors. As I mentioned before we’ve lived in a number of areas here in the Coachella Valley and I am happy to say that we are closer and more connected to our neighbors now more than we ever were before. Not living in a gated community nor sheltered by large lots with big garages has brought us closer to the people who live around us. Not only do we socialize with some of our neighbors who match our lifestyle, but we also watch each other’s place when either is out of town. We share bits of our lives with each other, loan items when asked, chat by the mail box and on the curb, bring in each other’s garbage can and mail, and genuinely like one another. No we’re not all alike, but even our diversity makes us feel like we belong to a special and inclusive community.

La Quinta has changed quite a bit since I lived here as a kid. But the La Quinta of today offers us all, kids and adults so much more. In some ways it still has that small town feel, but now it comes with lots of big town amenities, and that’s why I’m happy to call it home.

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