Oh, Joshua Tree. The land of never-ending yucca trees and a whole bunch of rock formations. It's also a magical place. At least, that's what we had gathered from the social media posts we'd seen over the years, with everyone talking about their amazing life-changing experiences at Joshua Tree. We couldn't wait to visit.
But sometimes when you're travelling, things don't exactly work out like you want them to. You wake up and it's just one of those days: your car stereo decides to break so you travel for two hours with no music, you can't find the date shake place that's near a stop sign (where's the stop sign???), you swallow a bug while driving, or you just don't end up loving your destination.
But finally we arrived in Joshua Tree, super excited to see all things desert-y. We started walking around, taking photos, and waited to have some life-changing experience. Maybe we should try a hike! We're met by a group of hardcore hikers. Bandanas everywhere, all the gear you could imagine, and they're on the same route as us. We're wearing, well, this. "Haha, oops, we're on the wrong trail, silly us..." we say as we scramble back to the car in embarrassment, having no clue what we're in for here.
Still no sign of a "spiritual awakening," we're starting to seriously doubt the "powers" of Joshua Tree. One of us finally says what the other is thinking: "Okay, I'm good to go when you are." We laugh, turn the car around, and decide to head to the Integratron instead (more on that later).
Joshua Tree is great for hiking, rock-climbing, the heat, and if you're prepared for camping. But to be honest, your best "local guide" to the national park is probably the park ranger at the Visitor's Centre. If you want some tips on where to take pretty pictures, get some coffee, and even shop at a local boutique, you'll find those below!
Across the street from the entrance to Joshua Tree and the Visitor's Centre is an adorable local complex with a coffee shop, yoga studio, and pizza place. Basically perfect, right? Joshua Tree Coffee Co is a local organic roastery that creates delicious coffee right in Joshua Tree. Everything is made (and packaged) by hand, and their back patio is like a little coffee oasis.
Next door you'll find Pie for the People, a New York-style pizzeria with huge and delicious slices. Perfect for re-fueling after a day of hiking!
As far as cool houses go, this one is pretty amazing. We spotted it a few minutes after the paid entrance to the park and pulled over for a little walking adventure. Along the way we found an Airstream and stopped to take some portraits with both. Luckily no one was home...(we think).
It wouldn't be a Joshua Tree excursion without some really cool rocks, and there's a ton of them! The park rangers are really helpful and can help you find the rock formation of your dreams.
Something that often goes hand-in-hand with a visit to Joshua Tree is the Integratron. More than just a cool-looking dome, you can book "sound baths" where you sit and experience the music of crystal bowls played live. Just be sure to book ahead!
Another pro tip: the Integratron is located about 20 miles from Joshua Tree, and we definitely do not recommend continuing on the rural roads after you've visited. We thought this would be a faster way to get to LA than taking the freeway back to Palm Springs, and we were so wrong. We ended up going up some extreme mountain road terrified for our lives and found ourselves in Big Bear during a snowstorm! Apparently California has snow.
Once you take the correct road back to Palm Springs, you'll drive through Yucca Valley which is home to the local boutique Hoof & the Horn. We love this place so much, it's a great mix of vintage and brands with beautiful jewelry, all at reasonable prices. Definitely a must!
Thanks for reading! You can now look forward to posts from us every Tuesday and Thursday, woot woot.
What We're Wearing:
Taylor Outfit #1: dress from Free People, hat from Urban Outfitters, boots from Poppy Barley
Elaine Outfit #1: romper from Free People, sandals are thrifted
Taylor Outfit #2: jumpsuit from TopShop, sandals from Topshop
Elaine Outfit #2: top was thrifted, dress from Forever21