What are you looking for?

Mother Hoods

Mother Hoods: Joshua Tree

Written by James Kicinski-McCoy


Is it just us, or does it seem as though everyone these days is looking to spend the weekend in the dreamy desert region of Joshua Tree? 140 miles east of Los Angeles and brimming with creamy, Instagram-worthy views, plus hiking trails for miles, it’s no wonder that everyone’s looking to get to this worldly wonder—stat. If you, too, are seeking a desert life getaway filled with artistic history, allow Geneva of Cosmic American, and mama to Prairie, to be your guide. If her Instagram feed wasn’t enough to make you want to pack your bags, below, she shares her hot spots (kid-friendly and not) in this beautiful desert oasis.

What are your favorite places in Joshua Tree to…
1. Eat with the kids? Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneertown is probably our favorite. It’s located on an old western movie set that you can explore, while you wait for your table. There’s farm animals and old west shootout shows! Once you get inside, relax and order yourself a bowl of mac and cheese and a margarita, and rest assured that the loud, vivacious atmosphere means no one will really notice if your kid has a meltdown. Keep in mind that if you’re staying in Joshua Tree, it’s kind of a long drive to Pappy’s, and their hours fluctuate, so double check them before you go. Our other favorite spot to take kids is the farm-to-table restaurant located on the grounds of 29 Palms Inn. The Inn is located on a natural oasis, and diners are welcome to go play on the grass, visit the turtles, or stroll through the onsite organic farm after their meal. And, if you’re looking for pizza, nothing beats Pie for the People, which is located right in downtown Joshua Tree. Order the Go Westo Ma Pesto. We also like Kitchen in the Desert, which is a kitschy-cute little cafe in 29 Palms.”

2. Eat with just adults? “Hands down, brunch La Copine (open Thursday-Sunday). It’s the most delicious and hippest little spot tucked away in the middle of nowhere. Also, I would recommend going to Pappy’s without kids to catch a concert or hang at their bar!”

3. Shop for kids? “There really aren’t great places here, in my opinion.”

4. Shop for yourself? “In Joshua Tree, I love to stop by BKB ceramics and I need all of the pottery they produce, as well all the items they curate. I think everyone should take home one of their mugs or planters as a souvenir. Also, Jen’s Pirate Booty just opened up a shop right next door to BKB, which sometimes has amazing sample sale pries!”

5. Play with your child? “I like to take Prairie down to Cactus Mart in Morongo Valley. It’s a cactus nursery that also has some farm animals to visit, and a couple of friendly kitties to give pat-pats to. On weekends, they have a flat bread taco truck. We like to grab a couple and go picnic at the nearby Big Morongo Canyon Preserve.”

6. Play with your adult friends? “We love to get a sound bath at the Integratron, or heading down to Desert Hot Springs for a day of soaking in mineral pools at one of the many spas down there.”

7. Get out in nature? The Joshua Tree National Park! A few of our favorite kid-friendly trails are The Barker Dam Trail (especially after a rain when the dam is full), The Boyscout Trail, and 49 Palm Canyon Oasis.”

8. Any good flea markets/thrift shops? “For cool curated vintage, The End in Yucca Valley or Moss and Ginger in Joshua Tree. For a very authentic desert experience, go treasure hunting at Sky Village Swap Meet in Yucca. Make sure and visit the Crystal Cave, and grab a breakfast burrito from the Sky Village Cafe, while you’re there.”

9. Any good museums/art installations? “Joshua Tree has a vibrant art scene, and there’s tons of galleries to visit! My favorite is visiting the World Famous Crochet Museum, Art Queen Gallery, and installations and shops, all located in little alley in downtown Joshua Tree. I would also recommend the High Desert Test Sites if they happen to have a tour while you are here.”

10. Where do you take out-of-town visitors? “To the Key’s View Overlook and Cholla Cactus Garden in Joshua Tree National Park. We also take them to Noah Purifoy’s Outdoor Desert Art Museum, which is an installation of sculptures made of found materials.”

11. Any tourist-y places that are worth it to visit? “Really this area is all about the National Park, and every place in the park is so cool. Pack yourself some water and some sunscreen, and go explore—you truly can’t go wrong! One tip, though: the 29 Palms entrance is usually less busy, so if you enter through that side, there is likely to be no line.”

Write a Comment

Share this story