Joshua Tree is a community of artists, musicians, working families, business people, telecommuters and retirees. Downtown has art galleries featuring local artists, several beautiful gift shops, outfitters, music, great food and more. Cultural institutions include the Hi-Desert Cultural Center, home to the Hi-Desert Playhouse; the Joshua Tree Retreat Center, a world-famous meditation, yoga and conference center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and his son, Lloyd Wright; and Harrison House, a North African-inspired work of art built by the late composer Lou Harrison, and now a venue for chamber concerts and dance recitals; and the Noah Purifoy Foundation's Joshua Tree Outdoor Museum, which celebrates the late world-famous artist's grand assemblages.
The City of 29 Palms is the home of Joshua Tree National Park Headquarters, Oasis Visitor Center, and the northeast entrance to the nearly 800,000-acre national park. The city also serves as a gateway to Mojave National Preserve and the Mojave Desert Wilderness areas, Kelso Dunes, Amboy Crater, Route 66, Death Valley and other desert destinations to the north. Known for its spacious desert and mountain vistas, clear skies, brilliant star-filled nights, and world-class murals and public art, 29 Palms is a desert oasis for artists and nature lovers, a quiet getaway for visitors, a scenic location for photography and filming, and a friendly community for families, snowbirds and retirees.
Yucca Valley is the economic heart of the Joshua Tree Gateway Communities. In Old-Town you can visit many small, unique shops filled with antiques and gift items, businesses ranging from car repair to computers, art supplies to a dance studio and much more. C & S Coffee Shop and Las Palmas Authentic Mexican restaurant offer delicious meals. Drop into the Frontier Café and get your latte or expresso with a homemade sandwich or croissant. It’s a great place to walk and browse. Mid-Town is the heart of Yucca Valley where you’ll find Town Hall, the Community Center, the Library and Hi Desert Nature Museum. Four restaurants, three grocery stores and a wide variety of well established businesses line both sides of the highway. From State Route 247 east is Yucca Valley’s newest Up-Town area highlighted by major chains such as Super Walmart, Home Depot, Marshalls, Ross and Applebee’s. They are joined by several medical offices and clinics, a major car dealership and more than 20 fast food and casual dining locations. Throughout town there are Joshua Trees, saguaro cactus, yucca and many other plants that bloom adding a burst of color to the changing seasons. The town’s setting may be rural, but commerce is booming in Yucca Valley! Come for a day – stay for a lifetime!
Built in 1946 as a movie set for westerns, Pioneertown, in the scenic Sawtooth Mountains above Yucca Valley, provided a place for actors to live while they worked. Pioneertown hosted the movies of Gene Autry, “The Cisco Kid” with Duncan Renaldo, “Annie Oakley” starring Gail Davis, “Judge Roy Bean” with Edgar Buchanan, “Range Rider” with Jock O. Mahoney, and “Buffalo Bill Jr.” with Dick Jones. Shoot-outs still occur on Mane Street, every year from October to May, as Pioneertown’s Old West actors don their costumes, mount their horses, fill their guns with blanks and create reenactment skits on weekend afternoons for all ages, for free. Make sure to visit Pappy & Harriet's for some live music. Stay the night at Pioneertown Motel.
Morongo Valley lies along the western edge of the Mojave Desert and near the northern edge of the Coachella Valley. It is a nature-lover’s paradise with wonderful, starlit nights and a friendly, small-town environment. A popular destination in Morongo Valley is the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. The preserve is nestled among the Little San Bernardino Mountains. The desert oasis at Big Morongo Canyon is one of the 10 largest cottonwood and willow riparian (stream) habitats in California. The upstream end of the canyon lies in the Mojave Desert, while its downstream portion opens into the Colorado Desert. The Morongo fault running through the canyon causes water draining from the surrounding mountains to form Big Morongo Creek and the marsh habitat.
The Landers area, or the Homestead Valley includes the communities of Flamingo Heights, Landers, Johnson Valley and Yucca Messa. The Area is home to the Johnson Valley Off Highway Vehicle Recreation Area, which draws off-roading enthusiasts by the thousands, including those who flock to the area each February for the Nitto King of the Hammers. KOH is the largest off-road racing event in the country and is one of the most grueling off-road competitions in the world. Also in town is the world's only Integratron, a fusion of art, science and magic.
Wonder Valley, the unincorporated rural enclave east of 29 Palms, is a burgeoning oasis of artists, musicians, and those seeing refuge from hectic urban life. Visitors to Wonder Valley can explore the fun and funky at the Glass Outhouse Art Gallery or The Palms Restaurant and Saloon, or they can opt to explore nature in the wild beauty that is the Cleghorn Lakes Wilderness Area, a 40,000-acre preserve accessible from Amboy Road.