My trip out to California was one I had been looking forward to for an entire year. After my sister got engaged early 2017, I knew I would have to privilege to spend some time out where she lives (at the time, Long Beach/Huntington Beach) when wedding time came around. Doug and I are kind of obsessed with the desert and exploring new terrain so we decided to tack on an extra adventure to Joshua Tree National Park before heading to the coast for the wedding festivities. Here is a little re-cap of our adventure and some recommended spots to check out!
Joshua Tree, California
This entire place is like nowhere I had ever been before. Honestly, it feels like being on another planet- in the best way possible. Highly recommend stopping here for a least a night or two if you ever find yourself in the L.A. area with access to a car! It's only a two hour drive from LAX and thirty minutes from Palm Springs. Some spots worth stopping:
INDIAN COVE CAMPGROUND: What a treat! There are HUGE boulders and rock formations everywhere with plenty of trails and open desert to explore. It looked like an amazing place to camp, either primitive or with an R.V., and I would love to come back out here and sleep under the stars.
JOSHUA TREE SALOON: Granted, the was the only restaurant open on Christmas, but it was SO GOOD. The burgers are huge and the salads are fresh- and honestly, by watching other people's food go by, you can't go wrong here.
JOSHUA TREE COFFEE: A great stop in town for some freshly roasted espresso. The almond milk latte was excellent!
PANORAMA LOOP TRAIL: A scenic and moderately difficult trail with gorgeous plant life and spectacular views of the Yucca Valley, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree and the San Bernadino Mountains. It is about 7 miles round trip with 1000 foot elevation gain, but is a pretty gradual incline. Highly recommend this trail to see the best of the park.
THE GEODOME: One of my Christmas present's for Doug was a night spent in the desert, inside a chic geodosic home (because duh, what else do you get your desert-loving beau?)- and it was the absolute bomb. You can find it here to book! Everything was perfect, from the modern interior, to the private outdoor lounge area to the very warm and cozy heat system (very necessary this time of year). Definitely a treat!
MILK AND HONEY: Had the best almond milk latte of the week at this local coffee spot.
HUNTINGTON BEACH PIER: The best spot to watch surfers right below you and spot some stingrays (when we were there, there were hundreds....).
GREAT WHITE: Our one stop in Venice- super cool, laid-back vibes, with amazing modern art and unique, fresh and delicious food. I got a harvest bowl chock full of local produce and Doug got a cheeseburger, which was cooked and dressed perfectly. They also have unique iced lattes: charcoal, turmeric and matcha! We shared an almond milk matcha and it was divine.
BRUXIE: Waffle sandwiches. Not the healthiest meal but definitely worth the treat! Fried chicken, runny egg, bacon, siracha syrup between two Belgian waffles- YUM.
SESSIONS: A cool, laid back cafe with amazing cold brew and espresso, sandwiches and salads right on PCH. A total locals spot with one of the best lunches of the week.
LITTLE CORONA TIDE POOLS: About 20 minutes on the PCH from Huntington Beach, this little cove is a slice of heaven. Come check out the gorgeous views and the tide pools full of creatures and enjoy the rock formations and a pristine beach off the beaten path.
PCH BIKING: Rent a cruiser and take to the streets! The bike path up and down the PCH is the perfect way to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine and ocean view without getting covered in sand.