Joshua Tree is a desert oasis known for its rustic vibe and feel-good energy. From vintage shopping to the legendary national park, Joshua Tree is a unique destination especially loved by adventurous travelers. Best of all, it’s less than three hours from most major SoCal cities, making it the perfect spot for a quick weekend getaway. That being said, we’ve put together the ultimate itinerary for 24-hour Joshua Tree adventure!
While there are many Airbnbs and local rentals to choose, The drive-in is a spacious, elegant and luxurious option located in the heart of the high desert. This stunning rental sleeps up to eight people in two bedrooms in the main house and another bedroom in the neighboring casita. The modern decor and neutral color palette are complemented by the surrounding desert landscape, and there’s even an indoor soaking tub with stunning views. When it comes to entertainment, guests can enjoy everything from a Polaroid photo booth to a mini driving range. The outdoor tub lets you bask under the stars, and the hammocks provide the ultimate sunset-watching spot. Guests can even take full advantage of the outdoor kitchen and eat their meals outside, either on the swivel bar stools or around the cozy fire pit.
After dropping off your bags, head into town for a bite to eat and a drink at Pappy and Harriet. This historic hotspot has been around since 1982, and it’s the ultimate spot for burgers, beers, and live music. As one of, if not the most popular restaurant in Joshua Tree,Pappy and Harriet is a great place to soak up the local scene. If you’re really hungry, be sure to order the signature chili nachos as an appetizer.
There’s no better way to start a morning in the desert than with a latte from Joshua Tree Coffee Company. This adorable boutique is located off Twentynine Palms Hwy, right in the heart of the city. From cappuccinos to cold brew, all coffee is made with premium organic beans that are roasted in small batches. Be sure to pick up a pink pouch of coffee beans to take home a piece of Joshua Tree.
No trip to the desert is complete without visiting the massive and magnificent Joshua Tree National Park. The entry fee is $30 per vehicle and remains valid for seven days, allowing you to come and go as you please. Arch Rock Nature Trail is a popular hike that lets you get in touch with nature and see some of the best of this desert oasis. It’s only a little over a mile long and it’s a pretty easy hike for all ages. To find this trail, take Pinto Basin Rd a half mile northwest of White Tank Campground or 2.2 miles south of Park Blvd. Once you reach the Twin Tanks day use area on the west side of the road, begin your hike south from the Twin Tanks.
Soar to new heights in a hot air balloon, and if you feel like it, JUMP! Joshua Tree Balloon Co. offers scenic hot air balloon rides as well as experienced hot air balloon jumps. Take in sweeping views of Joshua Tree and the high desert volcanic rock terrain at 4,500 feet above sea level. And be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife, including golden eagles, hares and coyotes! To skydive, a USPA membership and a B license are required. For more information, click here!
Ready to hit the town? Itinerant travelers is a cute boutique that sells everything from globally inspired clothing and jewelry to local art. Everything about this rustic Joshua Tree boutique has a boho desert flair, and it’s clear that Joshua Tree’s unique landscape and vibe is a huge source of inspiration. Whether you’re looking to spruce up your wardrobe or buy a gift for someone back home, this local boutique is a must-visit for travelers looking for a organized shopping spree.
After opening your shop, head to the World famous crochet museum for an original and unique experience. This “museum” operates out of a small green structure in downtown Joshua Tree and is filled with a variety of crochet animals and objects. Although small, this little museum is beyond whimsical and nostalgic, making it a perfectly light activity for the afternoon. It’s also the perfect place to take great Instagram photos!
kitchen in the desert is located in neighboring Twentynine Palms, and it’s the perfect spot for a quaint evening of dinner and drinks. After taking a seat by the fire pit on the terrace, savor a tangy mezcal paloma as the sun sets and the desert sky turns pink. On the food side, start with the beet salad followed by some crispy coconut shrimp. The Crispy Onion Smashburger and chimichurri steak are also solid picks at this Caribbean-New American-inspired eatery.
Joshua Tree Lounge is the perfect place to get a taste of the Wild West before settling in for the night. This transporting bar and restaurant has been offering drinks since 1984, and in addition to having live music on Fridays and Saturdays, Tuesday is also open mic night. There is a wide variety of draft beers as well as tasty cocktails like the Downhome Dixie, which is made with moonshine.
Star gazing on the outdoor terrace
From shooting stars to unobstructed views of the Milky Way, Joshua Tree is the perfect place for stargazing. Fortunately, the house you have rented has a spacious terrace where you can make yourself comfortable for a magical evening. Sit in one of the comfortable round chairs or grab some blankets and lie flat on a yoga mat for some quality viewing. You can even end your evening with a nighttime dip in the outdoor hot tub.
Allie Lebos graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2017 with a BA in communications. During her studies, she was an editor at the Daily Nexus for nearly two years. Since graduating, she has written for The Palisades Magazine, as well as Hidden Hills Magazine. Currently living in Santa Monica, Allie enjoys indulging in good food, hot yoga, and daily walks along the beach. write articles about travel, special events, and stories about local businesses and individuals.