Indio is a city in Riverside County, California, United States, located in the Coachella Valley of Southern California's Colorado Desert region. It lies 26 miles (42 km) east of Palm Springs, 70 miles (113 km) east of Riverside, and 125 miles (201 km) east of Los Angeles. It is about 86 miles (138 km) north of Mexicali, Baja California on the U.S.-Mexican border. The word Indio is Spanish for Indian.
The population was 76,036 in the 2010 United States Census, up from 49,116 at the 2000 census, an increase of over 50%, and well above the approx. 10% growth for the U.S. during the same decade. Indio was once referred to as "the Hub of the Valley", the city Chamber of Commerce jingle in the 1970s. Since then, it has become an exurb town of economic value and sunbelt growth potential in the easternmost urbanized area of Southern California.
The City of Indio came about because of the need of a halfway point for the Southern Pacific Railroad between Yuma and Los Angeles. The engines needed to be cleaned of all of the sand taken in and re-filled with water. At first, the-would-be city was called Indian Wells, but because of so many other areas already called that, Indio—after a Spanish variation of the word “Indian” -- was chosen. After the railroad's arrival in 1876, Indio really started to take root. The first permanent building was the craftsman style Southern Pacific Depot station and hotel. Southern Pacific tried to make life as comfortable as it could for their workers in order to keep them from leaving such a difficult area to live in at the time. It was at the same the center of all social life in the desert with a fancy dining room and hosting dances on Friday nights.