“you guys are from where?!” people were in shock when we told them we were visiting the california desert from dc. evidently, folks from the east coast don’t make the trek often, and they definitely don’t stay some place as remote as twentynine palms.
i won’t lie — i’ve been obsessed with joshua tree ever since solange’s #turnuptepee excursion. she and her uber cool friends spent days galloping in the desert to celebrate the new year. like a true stan, i thought: goals.
while healing from surgery, i spent lots of time visualizing myself healthy and most importantly imagining great trips. since i believe travel is a form of self-care, planning a vacation really helped me to stay motivated through my journey. i searched airbnb for inspiration and found the perfect place.
we arrived at cactus mountain in the middle of the day. it was well over 100 degrees, and i felt like i’d walked onto a movie set. mountains, cactus, boulders, it was something completely otherworldly. but it was real and the perfect place for rejuvenation.
here’s how i planned the perfect trip to joshua tree:
airbnb is clutch. i’m not a camper. in fact, i’m not even a glamper. so visiting the desert needed to come with some conveniences — like a roof and indoor plumbing. airbnb uncovered lots of great properties in the joshua tree area that were everything from modern luxe to simple air streams.
i can’t sing cactus mountain’s praises enough. it seriously was like an oasis in the middle of the desert. if you follow me on instagram then you saw my instastory tour that featured not only the bomb interior, but also outdoor living room, picnic table and huge hammock. it was seriously a dream come true.
map out mustsees. aside from much needed rest, relaxation and good meditation, the area is also great for hiking in the national park (of course), shopping in yucca valley and wonderful restaurants. before leaving, i mapped out some must sees including our new favorite shops: the end, hoof and horn and rt 62 vintage marketplace.
another must visit is pioneer town, home to an abandoned movie set and the famous pappy and harriet’s restaurant. if you’re into holistic healing, the local health food store has herbalists on staff and lots of goodies to support wellness. i came back with a tincture to help with anxiety, magnesium tablets for sleep and some bomb kombucha.
make time for relaxation. i love simple vacations that force you to relax, and the desert is the perfect place. everything moves slower, probably because of the heat, so there was no pressure to do anything.
we woke up late, ate ribs for breakfast, walked outside barefoot. literally did nothing for an entire 24 hours. that felt marvelous and was a great gift to ourselves to be completely unplugged. plus, the stars in the desert are unbelievable. make time just to enjoy the vastness of our universe.
plan around the heat. you’ve never felt heat like desert heat, and dehydration is real. we had massive headaches the first two days because we simply weren’t drinking enough water. i can’t stress enough how important it is to stay hydrated, and to be mindful of the times you sightsee. some places are so isolated until you might be the only person around for miles. don’t be the person who falls out from heat exhaustion and has to be air lifted out of joshua tree.
make it your own. lots of people go to the desert to hike and camp. i most certainly did not. while i want to be the outdoors, nature loving, adventurous type, that’s not my reality. we visited the national park, and enjoyed the scenery, but after seeing a wild jack rabbit, we were out. our trip was perfect with lots of star gazing, lazy days and vintage shopping.
have you ever visited joshua tree? is the desert on your list of places to visit?