Welcome to Fifty Grande’s Best of the U.S. Bucket List series. This is your one-stop travel guide to the best, most unique and quintessential experiences of a city, state or event. Want to know how to “do” the Joshua Tree, Calif.? We’ve got you covered. Curated by experts, vetted by in-the-know locals, this is all you need to have the best trip ever. If we’ve written a Bucket List, we recommend you go. If it’s on this list, it’s the best this place has to offer right now. Consider this your one-stop answer to “What are the best things to do in Joshua Tree?”
There is an air of mystery that blows through the desert winds in Joshua Tree. You are surrounded by hardy flora and fauna like Joshua trees, Mojave yucca, a variety of cacti, jackrabbits and lizards. There is a seemingly endless sun and space, as well as creative outposts hawking food, art and other goods. Joshua Tree National Park and its nearly 800,000 acres of stunning rock formations and Dr. Seussian namesake trees is perhaps the main draw of the area, but the towns that surround it, Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms, along with nearby Yucca Valley, are popular destinations in their own right. They, too, are full of desert wonder, with funky outdoor art galleries, Western movie sets and hearty country kitchens.
For some, Joshua Tree and all its calm is a much-needed weekend or week escape. For others, the desert has become their home, a place where being off the grid is the status quo. Whatever the intent, what visitors find is one of the more unique and beautiful destinations in the west. You’ll visit to commune with nature, get some sun, watch breathtaking sunsets and moonsets, stumble upon roadside attractions, wonder at all the little desert creatures, buy art and handiwork and just decompress.