August 14, 2014

Make Like U2: Joshua Tree National Park

joshua tree hotelJoshua Tree National Park is a place of epic sunsets, classic rock and Dr. Seuss-like plants at every turn. Next time you head to SoCal, make like U2 and venture to Joshua Tree for some rock ’n’ roll, comfort food and cacti-inspired hiking.

stay 'n' sleep: Spin and Margie’s Desert Hideaway is part boutique hotel, part Mexican pied-à-terre with five self-catering suites. While the colourful, kitchenette apartments are cool, outdoor living is the way to experience Spin & Margie’s. Relax in their sweet, shaded rock and cactus garden on a bright red chair, cold bevy in hand. At the back of the property, check out an assortment of found antique auto parts and farming implement sculptures. Spin and Margie’s Desert Hideaway, 64491 Twentynine Palms Hwy., Joshua Tree Village, 760-366-9124, www.deserthideaway.com

joshua tree 2stroll 'n' see: Crazy for cacti? Joshua Tree boasts a desert full of instagram-friendly species like the teddybear cholla or cushion foxtail cactus. Hiking is best done in the spring and fall when temperatures are more bearable. Start early and easy with smaller hikes like 49 Palms Oasis or interpretive walks around Skull Rock or the Cholla Cactus Garden. Once you’ve figured out timing, water dosage and SPF layers, try longer treks like the Panorama Loop/Warren Peak or the Boyscout Trail for a great workout and a stunner view. Reward your tired bones with a drive up to Keys View for sunset. Joshua Tree National Park, 6554 Park Blvd., Joshua Tree, www.nps.gov/jotr/index.htm

joshua tree 3sounds 'n' snacks: The music scene in the SoCal desert is as hot as the weather. Grab a burger and brew at the Joshua Tree Saloon and check out the local talent (plus, from time to time, a celeb) every Tuesday at open mic night. A popular stop for bands small and medium (especially around Coachella in April) is Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, north of Yucca Valley. Surrounded by a 1940s western movie set, live music lovers can gorge on delicious TexMex tacos or sweet, smoky mesquite ribs grilled out back while listening to the next big indie band. Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Rd., Pioneertown, 760-365-5956, http://pappyandharriets.com

Still haven’t found what you’re looking for? A trip to Joshua Tree is a must. —Miranda Post


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