Long time no see. I've decided that it was time to talk about Joshua Tree. Only 2.5h away from Los Angeles, it is a rather obvious destination for all the Angelenos out there. I first discovered it in 2014, while doing a road trip with two girlfriends from LA to Marfa, Texas. That trip was rather epic for many reasons (which I won't get into here), but one of the highlights was the marvelous Joshua Tree National Park. Since then, I've been back many times and always bring friends and family who come to visit. Spring is a beautiful season to witness the spectacle of the cacti in bloom. Oh and get yourself a copy of Desert Oracle – 'a pocket-size field guide to the fascinating American deserts' – which will put you right in the mood to explore the area.
EAT & DRINK ($–$$)
La Copine - all around delicious, healthy and great produce too.
Pappy & Harriet's Pioneertown Palace - great lineup of live music, solid BBQ & pub food, great atmosphere in a surreal setting.
Natural Sisters Cafe - great option for breakfast and lunch.
Joshua Tree Health Foods - to cook a meal at your Airbnb, or prepare sandwiches before heading on a hike; also sells wine and beers.
Crossroads Cafe - nice brunch.
Joshua Tree Coffee Company - serious about coffee, small batch, locally roasted, organic & sustainable.
Joshua Tree Saloon - solid pub food, fun atmosphere.
Airbnb - highly recommend, there are some great options out there, no matter the group size, much better than any motel in the area.
Pioneertown Motel - very nice motel, great location, walking distance to Pappy & Harriet's.
Sacred Sand – luxury lodging at the gates of the National Park.
Joshua Tree Oasis - vacation home rental at the gates of the National Park.
Joshua Tree National Park
A-Z West - visit Andrea Zittel's artwork functioning as an evolving testing ground for living; visits are organized monthly, fantastic artist, much recommended.
Noah Purifoy Desert Art Museum - 'I do not wish to be an artist, I only wish that art enables me to be.' Noah Purifoy, 1963, a must-see.
Pioneertown - an Old West movie set created by a group of Hollywood investors, fun town with shops throughout.
Giant Rock - a seven-story tall boulder that has been a Native American spiritual site for thousands of years, you'll need a 4x4 car.
Integratron - a trip to Joshua Tree isn't complete without the famous sound bath, great architecture.
Joshua Tree Certified Farmers' Market - Saturday only.
Pioneertown General Store - nice vintage collection.
Ricochet Vintage Wear
Moon Wind Trading Co.
Unity Home Thrift Store – every now and then I find something cool for close to nothing (brass library lamp, hammered brass frames, etc.).
All photos in this post were shot using my Mamiya 7ii and a mix of 400Tmax, and Portra 400 & 800.