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DesertsFamily-friendly

Taste the dates, see the palms and learn about sex at Shields Date Garden in Indio

 (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

Why: The desert is hot. You are thirsty. And you have a sweet tooth.

What: Indio's Shields Date Garden has been growing dates and making shakes since Floyd and Bess Shields showed up in 1924. Park near the vast orchard of swaying palms, order your shake at the fountain or the cafe, and don't miss the slide show on the "romance and sex life of the date," narrated by the late Floyd Shields himself.

(If Indio is too far out of your way, the date shakes at Hadley's in Morongo, right on your way between Palm Springs and Los Angeles, are tasty too. But be warned that Hadley's has relocated from its quaint old headquarters to a neighboring modern building with far less character.)

Where: 80-225 U.S. 111, Indio, Riverside County, 129 miles east of downtown L.A.

How much: $4.75 for Shields' signature date shake, made from date crystals, vanilla ice cream and milk.

Info: Shields Date Garden

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