Joshua Tree has quickly taken over Instagram by storm. Just a few years ago, it was a place no one had heard of yet now it seems that every big blogger has made an appearance in the desert getaway. When making my list of places to visit in 2018, Joshua Tree was high on my list. With it only being about 4 hours away from home, we figured why not. We had everything booked within days and we were ready to go. It’s truly a unique spot so I figured I’d help put together a list of places to stop by while you’re visiting.
Where to Stay
I’m sure you’ve all figured out by now that I’m a huge fan of airbnb. In fact, I rarely stay in a hotel when I travel now. Not only are they often cheaper than hotels, the spots you can find are pretty incredible. Like our 1975 airstream that we found here. We happened to stumble upon this one and although it books up pretty far in advance, it had the dates we were looking for. We knew that we had to get it booked immediately & I’m so glad we did.
Our airstream was the largest on property and had everything you could ask for. The property itself has a communal clubhouse that includes a bathroom, full kitchen, and living room complete with books, guitars, and multiple sound systems including vinyl and cassette players. Outside there is a dining area where you can enjoy your dinner while watching the sunset over the desert. And if it’s a little chilly, there’s a jacuzzi you can warm up in under the stars. Overall it was a truly magical place to stay and I’d highly recommend it to everyone. I’m already planning my next trip back.
Where to eat
When doing my research, a lot of people recommended eating here for breakfast. We decided to stop by in for lunch instead and still really enjoyed it. I got the rice and bean bowl which was a bit simple but still tasty and Adam got the black bean burger which let me tell you, was A LOT of food. And although these were both good, the highlight for me was the vegan apple pie muffin. It was so moist and flavorful. I could not believe it was vegan. Oh! And if you like to take pictures like me, they have a cute mural on the wall right outside. It’s the perfect spot to document your trip.
When I travel, I’m all for finding a great breakfast spot and Crossroads Cafe was just that for me. Right smack dab in the middle of Joshua Tree, this little diner is the perfect place to get some hot coffee and french toast after you roll out of bed. The staff working there were extremely sweet and there was something heartwarming about watching them help each other out in any way possible. In fact, I don’t think we had one server. We had 3. And I loved it.
What to do
I’m such a sucker for vintage shops and Joshua Tree is the perfect spot to find some. I came across a few good lists of places but they didn’t exactly tell you how far away the shops are. No, Joshua Tree is a pretty small town. I mean small. So all of these shops are pretty far away, located in Yucca Valley right off of the Twentynine Palms Highway and Pioneertown Rd. Stores like The End, Hoof & The Horn, Coyote Corner, and Promised Land are truly vintage gold mines.
One thing I was completely unaware of before I visited was just how big the natural park is. You could spend hours just driving around. In fact, that’s what we did. My tips are to go with a full tank of gas and be ready to make some stops. You’re going to want to after you spend so much time in the park driving around. So where should you be sure to stop?
This is the best place to go if you want to see a panoramic view of Palm Springs and the rest of the valley. Although we went in the middle of the afternoon, the views were unbeatable. However, I imagine it’s even better when the sun is starting to set. From what I’ve heard it can get a little bit busy but we had no problem finding a parking spot and making our way to the top.
Do yourselves a favor and pack a lunch and then stop by Hidden Valley. Because it’s a campground, you’ll be able to get comfortable at a picnic table and enjoy your food while you’re surrounded by massive boulders. It’s also one of the best spots to stretch your legs and get a little mild exercise around the 1 mile long loop. Perfect for the family.
Cholla Cactus Gardens
So this was the farthest point from the park entrance. I’d say it took about us 45 minutes to get from the park entrance to the gardens but I’d say that it’s my favorite stop in the park. We got there when the sun was starting to set and my god, it was breathtaking.
If you’ve been to Joshua Tree, what did you do? Is there anything I missed? Let me know. I love to hear about others’ travels. Until next time. XO
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