We've combed the West for the very best flavor experiences, all worthy of a culinary pilgrimage
Photo by Alex Farnum
Eighty percent of dates produced in the Western Hemisphere come from around the town of Indio, in California’s Coachella Valley. This date palm paradise is the result of dry, hot weather matched with abundant irrigation. Rows of handsome palms, loaded with clusters of ripening fruit, give a welcome lushness to the arid landscape. And you can saver honey-sweet dates by the bagful at stops like Oasis Date Gardens, which also offers tours; Shields Date Garden; and Flying Disk Ranch, which uses biodynamic techniques to produce delicious dates (visit by appointment). Oasis and Shields serve incredibly thick, rich date shakes, especially welcome on a hot Indio afternoon. And if you’re a lover of dates and camel racing, you can’t miss February’s Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival.