+ Desert Hot Springs
- 3pm Check-in to Hotel (Enough time to travel from LA or San Diego)
- General Store (Open 11-6 most days, sometimes a hit or miss…mostly a hit!)
- Pappy and Harriet’s for dinner and a live concert
+ Joshua Tree
- The World Famous Crochet Museum/Art Queen (Unsure of exact opening time, usually open if the sun is shining!) – Get there early!
- Joshua Tree National Park – Have a picnic!
+ Desert Hot Springs
- Relax in the spa! (For those who stayed somewhere else, this is a great time to buy a day pass to hang out in the pools before you venture on home.)
OPTIONAL: Stay another night. I mean, why not?
First Stop, DESERT HOT SPRINGS
If you’re not camping, I recommend staying in Desert Hot Springs. Hotels here are budget-friendly and most of them host their own natural hot springs and spas! What’s better than a hot soak after a day in the sand? Actually, don’t answer that, because I guarantee you’ll love it.
If you're staying the night, this is a great first stop to leave your valuables (not cameras, of course) in your hotel room instead of their car, and I believe this is a great idea given the uncertain nature of this trip. If you’re traveling light or doing the day trip, carry on and come back before you go!
Some of my favorite places:
They even offer outside visitors access to the spa with a day pass starting from $5! (Not sponsored.)
A bit pricier, but a bit nicer. Check other cool places to stay at Expedia!
BONUS!! Desert Hot Springs is very proud of their Cannabis market, so don’t be afraid to blaze the greens (respectably, no doubt.)
MORE TO DO IN DESERT HOT SPRINGS, LOOK HERE.
Next Stop, PIONEERTOWN
On my last visit, I stopped by the Pioneertown General Store and met Sarah, the super chic owner. After I incessantly drooled over every leather jacket and turquoise ring, Sarah honored me with a little slice of her life in the Wild West,
“Well you know, there’s 300 people who live here. You wouldn’t think that, given the amount of space between the houses, but trust me.”
Sarah says the many residents of Pioneertown get together at Pappy and Harriet's when a band comes to play. (Which is almost all the time…check the schedule here.) P&H’s slogan speaks for themselves, “If you’re in a rush, you’re in the wrong place!” It’s all about slowing down, taking a chill pill, or a chill drink, and enjoying life–or the music, no one’s watching!
“That’s what life is like in Pioneertown.”
Did you skip lodging in Desert Hot Springs? Stay in an authentic Pioneertown gem!
Last Stop, JOSHUA TREE TOWN
In one of my obsessive travel planning rituals, I stumbled upon The World Famous Crochet Museum, founded by Shari Elf. This tiny green box is filed to the top with donated crocheted figures–with room just enough to squeeze two people to marvel at the view.
In the main building, Shari Elf has a store she aptly crowned, "Art Queen". Here, she sells hand-painted thrifted clothing and paperweights that promote her witty sayings.
I had the pleasure of meeting her friend who shared their spiritual journey of finding themselves in art, love, and humor. Take a look at one of my favorites...
Depending on the time of year, Joshua Tree National Park is really just about climbing rocks and spotting Joshuas. When I went, I had the pleasure of bumping into some hippies who were connecting with a Joshua Tree because they believed that particular one was the embodiment of the Tree of Life. How is that not fun?!
To get the most out of the park, you'll need a good set of wheels. That way, no part of Joshua Tree is inaccessible! If you don't, and rocks don't excite you either, I say this is a great time to explore a little more of the weird town before heading back to the hot springs!