Experience the Old Western Movie Set of Pioneertown

Photo by Hope Stretch

Photo by Hope Stretch

Just over two hours from Los Angeles, there is little desert city called Pioneertown near Joshua Tree National Park. This expansive western set looks frozen in the old western days of dust and tumbleweeds. You can wander, shop, eat barbecue, and sometimes watch live music in this quirky little town.

To Get There

Photo by Hope Stretch

Photo by Hope Stretch

The History of Pioneertown

Pioneertown, a western movie set, was founded in 1946 by a group of Hollywood investors, including actors Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. Actors would stay in the quaint western town while they were working on the set. 

Photo by Hope Stretch

Photo by Hope Stretch

They have recently turned some of the old western buildings into shops that sell handmade pottery, leather goods, jewelry, and more. There is a jail cell, a hotel, a bank, old wagon wheels and bails of hay. It's an adorable and uniquely well kept rustic town.

chrissihernandez_california-joshuatree (699)copy2500.jpg
Photo by Hope Stretch

Photo by Hope Stretch

chrissihernandez_california-joshuatree (467)copy.jpg
chrissihernandez_california-joshuatree (433).jpg
chrissihernandez_california-joshuatree (502)-2.jpg

Pappy & Harriets Music Venue and Barbecue

Pioneertown is 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. In 2016 during the festival Desert Trip, Sir Paul McCartney showed up unannounced at Pappy's to play for an audience of 300 very lucky people. I've seen many shows at Pappy's, and loved them all. The biggest names I've seen there are Bob Moses and Miike Snow during Coachella 2015. They created a stage on the back patio under the desert stars and it was magic.

Photo by Hope Stretch

Photo by Hope Stretch

If you walk down "Mane Street" towards the end you'll find some junk art. An odd smattering of toys, glass, junked cars and plants all arranged in odd fashions. My favorite display is some a quirky typewriter art installation with vintage colorful school desks.

Whether it's barbecue, music, or the Wild West I love taking friends and family to visit this quirky little town.


Book Your Trip

These are some of my favorite sites for finding the best prices, places to stay, book tours, and more:

Book Your Accommodations

Use Booking.com for the best hotel deals and easy change or cancellation, or VRBO as a great resource if you prefer a house, condo or apartment.

Find A Tour

Search Get Your Guide to book a variety of tours and activities

Book Your Flight

Browse Expedia for deals on flights, hotels, rental cars and more

Shop Comfortable Hiking & Athleisure

Shop Vuori for long-lasting comfortable hiking and workout apparel for men and women (my fave!)

Shop Travel Gear

Shop Herschel for nice luggage and other travel goods and accessories that are made to last

Travel Resources

Check out my resource page for a list of the best travel tools you can use to save time and money when booking travel.

This website contains some affiliate links. If you purchase an item, I receive a small commission at no added cost to you. Thank you for supporting this travel blog with your purchase!

Like this post? Pin it.