The Palm Springs + Joshua Tree Guide
Just a quick drive outside of Los Angeles and you're in the beautiful desert. It's serene, it's peaceful, it's wide open, and it's hot as hell. I've done a handful of trips just staying put in Palm Springs (which is more approachable for a weekend jaunt) but if you've got the time I highly suggest you make your way into the Joshua Tree National Park.
Below is a great trip that I did... perhaps you can get some inspiration from it. Or copy it :) You do you.
JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK
STAY: Jumbo Rocks Campground. There were plenty of spots but during the peak season it can get quite crowded. I recommend checking out Reserve America (website here) to book a place in advance if you're coming in with a larger party. Also, make sure to bring a coffee maker if you're into the brew. We forgot one and REALLY missed it. Good thing we had cuties camping next to us that we were able to wink for some coffee at.
DO: Meander around the national park, climb on the rocks (super sticky and easy to move around on), run up and down the sides of trails, breathe deeply, take your clothes off and frolic naked in the desert (totally optional, but wildly freeing).
EAT: Make sure to bring some good ol' camp supplies for a dinner outside. We had a cooler filled with goodies that we ate by candlelight (and twinkle lights) as the sun was setting. Oh, and some good ol' craft beer. Nothing tastes better after a hot hike in the desert. We forgot to bring ingredients for smores and they were sorely missed. I recommend remembering!
29 PALMS INN
This is a cute little motel that is in the middle of nowhere (29 Palms is the town outside Joshua Tree National Park). There's really not much around... I mean, nothing around... and then all of a sudden you're at the most adorable little motel you ever did see. It's bright colored cabins and cute pool are just what the doctor ordered after some time in the desert. They even have a great restaurant on site where you can order mojitos by the (much-needed) pool or hang out inside listening to live music while they cook you up something special. This place feels like a hidden gem that no one knows about... except now you know about, and all the other cool people that lead me here :)
STAY: 29 PALMS INN - (here is the website)
DO: Chillax, my friends. Just CHILL and RELAX.
PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA
Lastly, make your way to the one and only Palm Springs. It's a beautiful desert community that has gorgeous mountains darting into the sky and palm trees silently sitting still in the desert climate. When you're in Palm Springs (for me) it's all about relaxing... and checking out the scene. There is certainly a scene in Palm Springs! My favorite place to be at the Parker hotel. This little slice of heaven doesn't come cheap but it's worth it for some unwinding in the heat. You can sit under yellow umbrellas with poolside service, taking in the scene of all the beautiful humans that come to enjoy the Parker, and rock back and forth in a hammock under the biggest, most beautiful palm trees you've ever seen.
... and if you get lucky (which you most certainly will) you'll be able to catch one of the many weddings that take place here. The crowd is always quite the spectacle.
STAY: Parker Palm Springs (here is the website).
DO: people watch, enjoy delicious food, swim and swing to your hearts content.
Bring lots of water and some good ol' freeeeeeeedom feels. We may or may not have gotten naked and ran around the desert with our bums out.
Bring A Friend
... because they make everything better. Especially this one.
Jumbo Rocks Campground
This is the view from our tent at Jumbo Rocks Campground.
Me and Jax, always.
It's no surprise that my little dude joined the fun (because we're attached to each other). As a heads up you're not really supposed to have dogs in Joshua Tree National Park but... he's a service dog, and I kept him on a leash. That being said it's probably better to do the trip sans four-legged friend. It's quite hot out there for a pup and lots of little creatures crawling around that they'll want to chase after (but can't!).
29 PALMS INN
This was our little casita... what a gem!
29 Palms Nights
This is on the 29 Palms Inn property. I highly suggest a bottle of rose and good conversation at sunset right here. I think I actually cried happy tears.
Parker Palm Springs
If this isn't a grand entrance, I don't know what it. The Parker Palm Springs is a luxiurious slice of Emilie heaven.
Parker Fire Pit
I'll meet you here, alright?