Tag Archives: Palm Springs

Blue-ish Skies in Palm Springs, dr. Seuss at Joshua Tree, dinner in Pioneertown

We did wake up to blue skies which was a welcome change. Outside our sweet little Airbnb casita, we sat beside the pool (not heated so too cold to swim in) and looked out across the green lawn and tall palm trees to the snow-capped mountains in the distance. It finally felt like we were in California (or Tucson). After a nice chat with another Airbnb guest from Rochester NY (by way of Sparta, Wisconsin) and our very nice hosts (she from Dublin, he from Illinois) we set out for a day at Joshua Tree National Park, about an hour drive northeast.

En route we stopped for a very good breakfast (huevos rancheros, mike’s mess – scrambled eggs with goodies) at the rustic Crossroads Cafe in the town of Joshua Tree, then onto the park visitors center where a very nice ranger originally from Romania gave us some great recommendations for short hikes and drives in the park. We also discovered that Dirck is now at the grand old age of 62 able to get a year pass to any national park for $20, cheaper than the $30 one day pass to Joshua Tree.

The weather was nippy (glad I brought my light down jacket) but the sky clear, albeit not always blue, and we spent several hours hiking and diving past the strange Joshua trees, which look like giant bristle brushes used to clean the inside of bottles. Dr. Seuss must have visited. We felt like we were walking The Lorax. The strange giant boulder formations (skull rock and jumbo rocks) were cool to see and we took two easy 1 mile walks (Hidden Valley, Barker Dam). We had a spectacular views from Key Point of The rugged San Bernardino mountains and in the distance the Salton Sea and even Palm Springs. Like Palm Springs, there were also telltale signs of flooding at Joshua Tree but the water had receded by morning in both places, fortunately.

Dinner was delicious ribs, steak, red rice and margaritas at Pappy and Harriet’s, a large ramshackle honky tonk place in Pioneertown, a strange forlorn community high in the mountains on a former film set for westerns. A band was setting up for a sold out show and tons of cars made the climb up a rough mountain road, with some sections covered with dirt after receding floodwaters. Unfortunately it started raining on our drive back to Burbank. Next trip: idlewood.

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Very wet day in flooded Palm Springs

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When in Palm Springs…

We are going to Palm Springs next month for only two days but I have enough recommendations from my well-traveled relatives to last far longer. Here they are in case others can use:

From Mike:

  • Birba is a great choice. The night we went, the kitchen was slow, but that may not always be the case, and the food is really good.
  • Our first night there we stayed at a place called Arrive, which we liked and wasn’t too steep.
  • If you like going out for cocktails at all, you should definitely go to Seymours. Very cool, old PS place.
From Em:
We stayed at the Orbit In which was amazing. But I would try to book right away. It seems to fill up fast. It has a sister property the hideaway. Both were quiet and not party hotels at all. They are right in the heart of PAM springs and walking distance to the main drag. I would stay in Palm Springs and drive to Joshua tree which is about 45 minutes away. You could do a day in Palm Springs and a day In Joshua tree.
Here are the restaurants we went to:
  • Melvyns: Old school steak house in a hotel with live music and table side cooking. I made reservations, but on the day of, so don’t think they were too busy.
  • King’s Highway: Located in the Ace Hotel.  Has a sort of Flinestones Mid Century Road Side vibe with yummy food.
  • Birba: Good pizza.  I made reservations.
  • Norma’s: We went here for a decadent breakfast.  Located in the Jonathan Adler-designed Parker Palm Springs.  For me, the decor of the hotel sights were worth it.  But it was pricey.  We made reservations.
  • El Jefe: We got snacks at this bar located in the famous Sagauro, the Rainbow Hotel.
  • Sherman’s Jewish Deli: For bagels to go on the way to Joshua Tree
  • The Visitor’s Center is located  in a famous Mid-Century Gas Station and has some good maps.
Places that we wanted to try, but didn’t get to:
  • Mr. Lyon: Retro Restaurant with cocktail bar.
  • Hadleys for famous Date Nut Shakes
  • Bootlegger Tiki for Tiki Drinks.  There’s a really cute coffee shop in the front of this place called Ernest Coffee.
The food overall was not outstanding, but the decor of some of the places was pretty incredible.  We borrowed bikes from our hotel and looked at all the mid century housing.  We also did a full day at Joshua Tree.

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