3.12.2012

desert getaway

Sometimes it feels so nice to just get away, even if it's not somewhere far. I've had the travel bug recently, so I started doing research on some short (and cheap!) trips my husband and I could take together. We've explored so much of Los Angeles together, that I decided it might be nice to change up the scenery. I looked at a map of Southern California and just started listing off places that we hadn't been to together. Then I saw it: Joshua Tree National Park. I couldn't believe that I had grown up in Southern California my entire life and had never been to Joshua Tree before! It's only 140 miles (about 2 hours) east of Los Angeles and has some of the most incredible desert scenery. 

We decided to make a weekend trip to the desert. The first day we spent walking around in downtown Palm Springs. I love Palm Springs. It is such a fun and relaxing place. We had a great time visiting different unique stores, taking pictures of cool art and natural beauty, and eating an absolutely delicious meal from Jake's. And besides dinner, everything else was free! There was so much cool stuff to see without having to spend a dime. 

Take a look at some of the things we checked out in Palm Springs:

windmills on the way to Palm Springs

abundant sunshine


it wouldn't be the desert without cactus


gorgeous fountain in this lovely courtyard we stumbled across

a very cool piece of art that functions as a fountain

beautiful flowers everywhere!

my favorite picture I took in Palm Springs

an awesome lamp from a vintage home furnishing store


After dinner and a movie in Palm Springs, we headed to Yucca Valley which is a tiny town in the middle of the desert near the west entrance of the National Park. The location was perfect because in the morning, we barely had to drive to get to the park. It's $15 per car for entry into Joshua Tree. Based on a great recommendation from my hubby's boss, we decided to hike along the Barker Dam Trail which is accessible from the west entrance. There are two other entrances to the Park and each has their own set of hikes, nature walks, and views. 

If you live in Southern California and have never been to Joshua Tree before, start planning your trip! The views are incredible. If you've never seen a Joshua Tree, picture something out of a Dr. Seuss book. They are weird looking, but they are stunning against the background of desert mountains and crazy rock formations. The Park is so well kept and preserved. The trail was really easy to follow. Everything was so picturesque. 

I highly recommend the Barker Dam trail, especially for novice hikers who want to see some excellent views but can't handle something too strenuous (also great for people with kids!). This trail is a loop that's a little over a mile long. Not only do you get up close and personal with the Joshua Trees, but you get to see the Barker Dam. Not going to lie, the water was kinda shallow and brown, but it was still a cool thing to see. 


Here are some of my favorite pictures from Joshua Tree National Park:




a Joshua Tree

Barker Dam


these trees came in all shapes and sizes!

strange, yet beautiful :)


We had such a fun time walking around the Park and just being amazed at how incredible everything was. It was great to take in the beauty of nature and also get out in the fresh air and be active. I love exploring new places, especially with my husband. This trip was spontaneous and last-minute, but the perfect getaway for a couple on a budget. We are always proving to ourselves that you don't need to have a lot of money to create lasting memories. So next time you find yourself in need of a daycation or a weekend getaway, consider heading over to Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, or both! You won't be disappointed. 




a perfect getaway -- it's a beautiful thing