The Indian Wells Open is my favorite U.S. tennis event, bar none. The Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa is a stone’s throw from the venue, and its beautiful desert grounds are a welcoming respite from the throngs trying to get a glimpse of Rafa (who will play on the evening of March 7th). Why is Indian Wells so special? There’s a paradoxical mellow and electric vibe there. A short drive from Palm Springs, California and set in the comparatively verdant Colorado Desert, it’s a place for meditation, introspection, self-care — and world-class tennis. The Indian Wells Open, AKA the BNP Paribas Open (BNP Paribas sponsors the event) is the most popular tennis event in the world aside from the four major slams, but the venue, Indian Wells Tennis Garden (owned by Larry Ellison since 2009), is so nicely designed that it never feels as crowded as it is. Food options are remarkably good (think Nobu sushi), and VIP and corporate boxes are close enough to the action (unlike at many venues) with excellent catering and service.