Staying in the town of Joshua Tree

When I told a friend I would be staying in the town of Joshua Tree he said, ‘Why? There’s nothing in the town but the park – stay in Palm Springs instead.’ I was nervous about my decision, had I made a mistake? As it turns out I visited both towns, and was quite pleased with my choice. Palm Springs may be more of a bustling resort town, but Joshua Tree has an artsy vibe that contains more than just a national park.

DSCN1057Many people pass through in a day, and leave with a new appreciation for the strange desert nature. The people who live here year round absorb this quirky ambiance and exude it throughout all they do. From the hotel staff, to the waitresses, and shop owners, everyone had a unique flair worth getting to know. If you decide to stay in the town of Joshua Tree here are a few ideas to try out:

Places to eat

Crossroads Café [61715 Twentynine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree, CA 92252] was so good, we visited for breakfast and dinner. For breakfast I had the best yogurt parfait ever ordered in a restaurant. Tangy yogurt was completely covered by a healthy serving of granola and a whopping slopping of fresh fruit.

DSCN1262They also whip up some mean eggs, bacon, and french toast. Paired with local coffee and a sunny window seat for people watching, can’t get much better than that. Dinner was equally delicious whether you’re into burgers and chili like Jeff, or a veggie quesadilla like me. We ate outside on the patio, lovely for a cool evening.
DSCN1019 DSCN1020All of the ingredients were fresh, and we left (/made) room for dessert. I got banana bread and he got brownie, both were homemade and so comforting. We loved the food and the service, this is a restaurant worth visiting twice!

Natural sisters café [61695 Twentynine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree, CA 92252] is a healthy vegetarian and vegan spot with fresh ingredients from the local farmers market. Breakfast was pleasant on the patio, sipping iced coffee in the sun. Fruit smoothies are offered and were slurped down furiously as we missed our own homemade ones on the road. We wanted something hardy before our hike so egg and cheese sandwiches were in order – don’t go looking for bacon though! It came with a side of something sweet, a perfect post bagel treat. We were extra delighted on a Saturday morning to see the Farmers Market in progress right next door. We sampled and stocked up on local produce, checked out the wares of local vendors, and soaked in the morning sun.

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Things to see:

Something obscenely bizarre hidden in plain sight, the World Famous Crochet Museum [61855 CA-62, Joshua Tree, CA 92252 it’s in the lot called ‘Art Queen’] will only take you a few minutes to visit, but you’ll be scratching your head thinking ‘what did I just see’ for the next hour. The small green cube is unlocked, unguarded, and unbelievably stuffed with crazy crocheted items.

DSCN1048It smells a little funky, but that just adds to the ambiance. My favorites were the color coordinated poodles.

DSCN1049 DSCN1050There are kitschy little shops around the museum to pop into after a thorough investigation.

An off the beaten path sculpture park off the main drag, Noah Purifoy Foundation [63030 Blair Lane Joshua Tree, CA 92252] is definitely a unique place.

DSCN1039It is a bit in disrepair and was totally deserted when we visited, but that adds to the charm. There are some seriously strange structures about, and a slight fixation with toilets.

DSCN1044A lot of trash has been turned into treasure here, or at least something to ponder about.

DSCN1042 DSCN1043 DSCN1029Mixed into the art is the ever present desert nature. We loved studying the ant holes, listening to the birds, and spotting a jack rabbit all in the mix.

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The desert is so vast that no one can know it all. Men go out into the desert, and they are like ships at sea; no one knows when they will return. -Le Clézio

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