After staying indoors for months and watching basically every cliché rom com & ridiculous reality show found on Netflix, my boyfriend and I decided we needed a change in scenery, so we headed on the road for a quick (social distancing!) trip to the Mojave Desert.
We rented a small, but chic and sparkling clean, Airbnb for two nights and planned a day full of exploring the city of Joshua Tree, CA. We visited various art installations, Pioneer town and local businesses all while following social distancing protocols and maintaining a budget.
We stayed in this adorable cabin that was about 15 mins from the main part of Joshua Tree. It was a little off-road, but private and secluded — perfect for relaxing and enjoying the peacefulness of the desert! The space was affordable compared to most Joshua Tree Airbnbs and looked like a pin from one of my Pinterest boards! My favorite touches were the record player, various cacti plants, Public Goods soaps, the hammock and the dreamy outdoor shower.
At night, we played some music, poured a bottle of wine and stargazed on the hammock. Over the course of two nights, I saw a total of 5 shooting stars, which convinced me that the desert might actually be a magical place.
We were a bit hesitant with staying in somebody else’s shared home during a pandemic, but our worries completely disappeared when we entered the property. The cabin was completely clean and it was obvious that the owners put in a lot of extra care and work to ensure that all of their guests felt safe and comfortable during their stay.
We had one full day to enjoy Joshua Tree and chose to spend it appreciating quirky art, drinking plenty of Joshua Tree Coffee Co’s nitro coffee and exploring historic Pioneer Town.
- World Famous Crochet Museum
As a fan of “weird” art pieces, this tiny, whimsical crochet museum (which was once a drive-thru photo stand) in the middle of the desert was a must-see for me. After seeing it in every Joshua Tree guide on the internet, I fortunately was not disappointed when I visited the real thing. It was as eclectic and vibrant as I had imagined!
This colorful museum is tucked behind Art Queen Gallery and admission is free. Inside, you’ll find hundreds of unique crocheted pieces, from crocheted bears to a crochet cake. We also made sure to check out the other cool art exhibits directly next to the World Famous Crochet Museum!
- Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Museum
This several acres long, free outdoor modern art museum, showcases large-scale sculptures created by the late Noah Purifoy. Purifoy constructed all of his pieces from everyday junk materials and it’s definitely worth checking out. If you visit, prepare to spend quite a lot of time there and bring water, since it gets VERY warm.
- Pioneer Town
Known normally as a major tourist spot of Joshua Tree, we were lucky to visit this old-western movie set town while it was empty. My boyfriend and I visited Pioneer Town on a quiet weekday morning and basically got the whole mini town to ourselves!
It’s quite small, but it was still exciting to look at and a great place to take photos! You really feel like you’re transported to the old-west or starring in your very own western movie. With COVID-19, we were surprised many of the gift shops were still open for business, but it was easy to remain 6 ft apart from everyone, since Pioneer Town was practically empty.
- Joshua Tree Coffee Co
What’s a Joshua Tree trip without stopping at its local coffee shop? My boyfriend and I loved our drinks so much, we went 2 days in a row! We ordered iced hazelnut lattes and mint nitro iced coffees. They were strong and creamy, the perfect blend! Our only complaint was the unfriendly customer service, which was a total bummer.
We are already trying to plan another Joshua Tree trip in the future, hopefully during a time that is cooler (and definitely not in July). We didn’t get to hike Arch Rock like we had planned to since the 100 degree heat was draining, but we decided to cool off and enjoy our airbnb instead, which was still great!