Joshua Tree, California

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looking for some tips + tricks for your next adventure that don't break the bank (or your finally-developed self-care habits)?! i've compiled everything i found during my favorite trips around the globe so you don't have to! 


Joshua Tree is the epitome of life in the desert: hot days, cool evenings, and starry nights. I spent a long weekend here over my 26th birthday and it was perfect. We alternated between hiking and relaxing in hot springs; thrift shopping and sound healing. I highly suggest a trip to the magical little spot! 

dream

we opted for an airbnb in the town of Joshua Tree (there are a couple of surrounding towns in the area) and it was perfect. since most of the houses were in the same price range, we went for a 2 bedroom about a 5 minute drive from the center of town and the entrance to the park. here's a link to the desert sol house we were obsessed with!

move

definitely, definitely rent a car. there's really no other option, sadly! 

we took a quick trip down from sf > la, and did the 2 hour drive to joshua tree on a saturday morning. there was basically no traffic, and it was super simple! there's also plenty of parking throughout the park and surrounding towns.

i will say that everything is much further than i thought it would be. though the town of joshua tree is quite small, it takes about 30 - 45 minutes to drive to most hikes and other small towns, though the driving is really simple (one straight road most of the time!). 

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eat

ah the eating options here are simple, but delicious. of course, in typical california fashion there are plenty of farmers markets and natural food stores (some of my favorite i've been to actually!). 

  • natural sister's cafe: perfect for a post-hike smoothie, or pre-hike wheatgrass shot. check out their wellness store next door, too for all your goodies!
  • la copine: a yummy, hipster brunch spot almost in the middle of no where. go here before or after your time at the integration. their menu changes often, but their mezze composte is perfect.
  • joshua tree coffee company: this coffee is amazing - so amazing that we bought two bags to take home with us. it's also the only real coffee shop in all the land!
  • crossroads cafe: this is your typical desert brunch spot - perfect for groups or a large, filling meal after a long drive. it gets crowded, but don't get discouraged! the wait goes by quickly.
  • 29 palms inn: this famous hotel also has a cute dinner and drinks spot with live music. come here on your way home from the west park entrance - it's right next door! 
  • pappy and harriet's: we didn't get to eat here, but it's kind of super famous in j. tree. come here after exploring pioneertown, or for dinner and live music. 
  • bonus: arcade coffee roasters - oh my gosh. this is some of my favorite coffee ever, hands down. we got this (twice!) on our way to and from l.a. it's in a bit of a random town but SO GOOD i want it every day.

 

do

joshua tree is perfect for relaxing in the great outdoors. there's literally no pressure to do anything but relax, explore and enjoy the desert. look at all the weird joshua trees lining the park, or sip on a freshly brewed coffee at joshua tree coffee roasters. your choice!

  • have a sound healing experience at the integratron (book early!)
  • explore joshua tree national park - at sunset! (my favorite: the cholla forest)
  • grab an evening drink at 29 palms inn
  • do some thrift shopping in joshua tree town
  • check out pioneertown
  • spend an afternoon in desert hot springs (my favorite: grab a $50 day pass to the springs!)
  • spend an evening stargazing
Katina Mountanos