In this blog, I’m going to share the best things to do in Joshua Tree, California. Joshua Tree is an eclectic desert town known for its bohemian vibe, stunning national park & incredible accomodation options. There is truly nothing else like it, making this a one-of-a-kind, must visit destination!
We travelled all over the South West of USA recently, so if you’d like to see more amazing travel spots then check out our complete Road Trip Blog here.
1. Visit Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park offers the uniquely beautiful combination of moonscape boulders, rock formations and Joshua trees (as well as the most incredible sunsets I’ve ever seen!). The Park is hugely popular, attracting visitors from all over the world, so I’d strongly suggest visiting during sunrise, or arriving for sunset to beat the crowds!
2. Sunrise at Cholla Cactus Garden
Located within the National Park, the Cholla Cactus Garden deserves a visit at sunrise all on its own. The endless fields of cholla cactus is such a beautiful scene with the soft lighting at dawn. It’s a very unique experience within an already special place. Just be careful of brushing against the spines on these little guys, I’m still pulling them out of my boots and jacket!
3. Dinner at Pappy and Harriet’s
A staple visit for lunch or dinner, Pappy and Harriet’s is a rustic saloon-style restaurant and pub located in nearby Pioneertown. Stroll the dusty main street that’s straight out of a Western movie and then tuck into BBQ food accompanied by country hospitality and live music. Tip – check opening hours and days in advance!
4. Nearby Palm Springs, Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley
This whole area is such a vibe. We loved these three surrounding desert oasis towns. Stop somewhere for a meal or just drive around and admire the retro architecture and sprawling palm trees and cactus. There’s plenty of photo opportunities with this pastel colour palette surrounded by endless desert landscapes.
5. Desert stay accommodations
We stayed at Desert Wild, a stylish desert abode layered with thoughtful vintage pieces, cacti gardens and indoor fireplace. They even have an outdoor hot tub, perfect for stargazing the bright night sky. You could almost stay here and never leave, as you are quite literally bordering the National Park & surrounded by Joshua Trees.
6. Sample the country cuisine
After a big day travelling the desert or hiking the national park, there was nothing better then hitting the local cafes and dinners for a hearty feed. Some of our favourites were 3 Sisters and Country Kitchen. Bottomless coffees and huge portions are to be expected!
Don’t miss our full Southwest USA road trip itinerary and our list of the best places to stay in Joshua Tree. You can check out our other blogs here.
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