5 Destinations in the High Desert

When Angelino's think of the California Desert, they think of Palm Springs. Below I've listed five other quirky destinations in the high desert, not far from the mid century modern mecca.

1. Pioneertown

Pioneertown was created for filming old westerns in the 40s. It has a lot of character, and they are now turning some of the old western homes into shops. It's also home to Pappy & Harriets, which has great live music and draws in loads of talent to perform out in the middle of the desert.

Pappy & Harriets, great live music and food

Stagecoach in Pioneertown

Quirky typewriter art installation

Junk art in Pioneertown


2. Landers

Landers in home to the Integratron. It's creator claimed that the structure is based on the design of Moses’ Tabernacle, the writings of Nikola Tesla and telepathic directions from extraterrestrials. Book a rejuvenating sound bath (meditation) far in advance, hang out at Hammock Village, or go across the street to visit the Gubler Orchids. The site is also very close to Giant Rock, said to be the largest free standing boulder in the world.


Enjoying Hammock Village at the Integratron

Orchid Farm

Abandoned cabins & bird rescue

Giant Rock

Frolicking around the desert.

Desert sunset near Giant Rock. 

Desert sunset near Giant Rock. 


3. Amboy

The ghost town of route 66, Amboy, was once a major stop along Route 66 until Interstate 40 was opened. It only has 10 remaining buildings, Roy's being the biggest landmark. You can stop in for a Root Beer and wander through abandoned hotel rooms with art installations. There's also a nearby extinct volcanic crater nearby that you can hike around.

Art installation inside Roy's Motel.

Art installation inside Roy's Motel.

Art installation. 


4. Joshua Tree

Arguably the most known place near Palm Springs,  Joshua Tree is a beautiful landscape filled with it's namesake tree and large, overpowering boulders. It's a great place to camp, hike, and boulder. It's also a great place to rent a quaint cabin (Airbnb) and have a relaxing time off the grid and under the stars. 


5. Yucca Valley

Sky Village has a swap meet every Sunday where local vendors come to sell. It's possible to find some hidden treasures here but it's not carefully curated so you'll need to dig. The cabin's in Sky Village rival those of Pioneertown, and there's a quaint old fashioned cafe on the interior. If you go to visit, don't leave without seeing Bob Carr's Crystal Cave. I didn't include a photo because it wouldn't do it justice. Just go, trust me. 

Do you have some additional desert destinations we should go check out? If so, leave it in the comments section below. Thanks!