Travel Guide: Joshua Tree, CA

A couple of weeks ago, I was able to go to Joshua Tree to celebrate a friend’s birthday and visit the desert I so missed. I have been to Joshua Tree many times in the past and I will take any opportunity to go back. As you might expect, the combination of the high desert and JTree’s hippy vibe makes me feel right at home.

During our trip, we visited my favorite shops, ran through the deserts of Joshua Tree National Park barefoot and had tons of fun in Pioneer Town. Here are some of the details!

R Y T H M  &  R O U T E
Most important thing first. Music. I make a playlist for every adventure and this one is probably my favorite to date.

We drove from LA to JTree and made it in under two hours. If you take this route don't forget to look out the window when you get close to Palm Springs. The windmills are always a beautiful site. 

S L E E P  &  S T A Y
We stayed at my friend (and super talented artist) Lindsay Hollinger’s house, Casa Joshua Tree. Her home is beyond gorgeous, complete with concrete floors, beautiful natural light, and details I can spend hours studying. If you are looking for a peaceful desert retreat, I highly recommend staying at Casa Joshua Tree! Always a treat to see LK goods in the space. 

Featured Products: Weave Pillow // New Mexico Pillow // Feather Pillow // Little Korboose x Vacilando Quilting Co. Hand-Quilted, Queen Quilt

E A T S  &  T R E A T S

Our first stop was The Natural Sister’s Cafe one of my favorite organic food restaurants in town with the BEST smoothies. It's super small inside so go early and grab a seat. I highly recommend the Berry Smoothie and Veggie Omelet.

The Joshua Tree Farmers’ Market was happening right outside Natural Sister’s so we were able to check out the beautiful art, organic fresh vegetables/ fruit, and gorgeous fresh flowers right after breakfast. It’s a close second to the Ojai Farmers’ Market and Nevada City Farmers’ Market.

Next stop: everyone’s favorite, Joshua Tree Coffee Company to stock up on our favorite blends. I love this place because they aren’t trying to impress or be fancy. They don’t even have shopping bags to take the 10 bags of coffee purchased. What they DO have, is amazing no-nonsense ORGANIC coffee and doubly amazing dark chocolate w/ lavender and pistachios. My brother owns a coffee company so I am pretty selective about my beans.

In the evening, we all built a fire and got witchy with our favorite moon deck, danced to our playlist and just had FUN.

G I F T S  &  G O O D S
Next, we visited an absolute favorite of mine, BKB Ceramics.

I always want everything in here... this time a wall hanging from the 1960s that wasn’t for sale (I asked). This time, I purchased a hair clip with triangles that was obviously made just for me ;) and a beautiful piece of pottery with hand-painted triangles on the perimeter for my succulents. Triangles have intense meaning for me. I surround myself with them as well as use them in my work. I will save the "why" for a different post. 

E X P L O R A T I O N  &  E N T E R T A I N M E N T

Then, we explored Pioneertown, the charming, picturesque old western town that was actually built as a 1940’s movie set. The small town boasts quite a bit of history as more than 50 films and TV shows were filmed here between the 1940s-1950s.

That night, we went to one of my favorite venues,Pappy & Harriet’s for live music, drinks, and hearty food. I had a bunless burger and guacamole. So good. If you’re heading here for dinner, I HIGHLY recommend making a reservation. It’s a biker bar in the middle of the desert but it is always packed. Don’t miss it though—the food, vibe, and live music are worth every hour spent waiting for a table (for real, 3 hours)!

P E A C E  &  P R E S E R V A T I O N

We spent the remainder of our trip exploring the gorgeous natural architecture and rainbow sunsets that make up the High Desert of Joshua Tree National Park. I can’t really describe this experience. It’s euphoric and intoxicating. The colors alone put me in a trans. It’s almost like going to a parallel universe where everything looks just slightly different.

The trees seem to be just normal palms but when you get up close you quickly realize they are unique yucca trees...and the rock formations… they look like every single rock was placed just perfectly to form a beautiful composition. It’s definitely worth $30 fee to get into the national park. Also, don’t forget to check out options for camping in many beautiful areas throughout the park.

The desert is a super special place to me. The vibe Joshua Tree carries is one of peace and preservation. If you are looking for big box stores and a bustling metropolis, this is not the place to go, but if you are looking to connect with the land and good people, as well as restore your mind and body, Joshua Tree is the place. 

All images © Little Korboose and April Nemeth. Use without consent will result in legal action. 

A few more of my JTree faves to add to your list:
Jen’s Pirate Booty: I can’t resist going into Jen’s Pirate Booty every time I am in JTree. A light and airy space, with windows on all four sides to highlight all of the thoughtfully designed clothing, organized by color. If I did this in my own closet it would be a sea of black and white with the occasional rust or nature colored anomaly. So, I appreciate it.

The Bloomin’ Gypsy: If you like plants, crystals, and more plants… do not skip The Bloomin’ Gypsy. As a yoga teacher as well as an artist/designer, I always appreciate being met with the smell of Palo Santo when I open the door to a new space. The vibe is peaceful and full of life at the same time because it is FULL of beautiful greenery and plants. GO!

Moss & Ginger: Don’t miss this magical bohemian vintage store when you shop around Joshua Tree! Moss & Ginger features handmade home goods and one-of-a-kind treasures that feel as if they were created just for you.

La Copine: Best food in JTree! This is a farm to table restaurant that offers incredible New American foods in a warm, minimalist setting.

29 Palms Inn: This charming and historic desert inn is situated minutes from Joshua Tree National Park. The inn features a vibrant poolside restaurant, fresh food and a full wine bar.

Palms Restaurant: This dive bar in Wonder Valley in the heart of the Mojave Desert and only 10 miles from JTree. The bar is a dive bar in the truest form featuring live music on Friday and Saturday nights and a delicious Sunday brunch.

Cedar & Sage Wellness Studio

Looking to relax your mind, body, and soul? Check out Cedar & Sage Wellness Studio as they provide meditation classes, community hikes, and wellness workshops.

Joshua Tree Art Gallery: Art lovers, do not miss this gallery! The gallery’s current exhibition features local artists representing Mojave Made pieces as the artists are inspired by the surrounding geology, wildlife, history, and mystery of the desert.

Pioneer Town Motel // The Red Cabin // Casa Joshua Tree // Echo Ranch House

BKB Ceramics // Moss & Ginger // Jen’s Pirate Booty // The Bloomin’ Gypsy

La Copine // Pappy & Harriet’s // Natural Sisters Cafe // 29 Palms Inn // Palms Restaurant // Frontier Cafe

Pioneertown // Joshua Tree National Park // Cedar & Sage Wellness Studio // Joshua Tree Art Gallery