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What To Expect On a Getaway To Twentynine Palms

What To Expect On a Getaway To Twentynine Palms

If you enjoy hiking, wildlife viewing, and delicious food, Twentynine Palms in California is your perfect getaway.


4 min read

January 14, 2022

Clear skies, star-filled nights, expansive deserts, and purple mountain vistas—Twentynine Palms is unlike any other place in the world. Tune into your inner desert dweller and head over to this hidden gem of a town for an incredible getaway shaped by the distinct energy of the southern Mojave Desert. Home to the Joshua Tree National Park headquarters and the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms is a unique destination that’ll have you feeling like the coolest cowboy in town.

All The Things To Do In Twentynine Palms

1. Check in at 29 palms inn

If you’re staying a while in the desert, you may as well check in at the coolest Twentynine Palms hotel. Located near Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave Trails National Monument, and Mojave National Preserve, 29 Palms Inn is the ideal base from which you can commence your exploration of the city of Twentynine Palms.

2. Grab a Tasty Breakfast at Cactus Trails

Cactus Trails on Adobe Road will serve the perfect hearty and healthy breakfast you need before you start exploring Twentynine Palms. Dig into a delicious Cactus Omelette and you’ll understand what we’re raving about. This meal is made with eggs, diced cactus, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and jalapeno, and served with your choice of hash browns, fries, or fresh fruit and toast—yum! 

As strange as it is stumbling upon Samuelson's Rocks in Twentynine Palms, their story is even stranger than fiction.

3. Embark on a Treasure Hunt of Samuelson’s Rocks

One wouldn’t expect to find philosophical musings carved on boulders in the desert, but that’s exactly what Samuelson’s Rocks are. Etched by Swedish homesteader John Samuelson almost a century ago, these rocks are total hidden gems in Twentynine Palms you’ll love coming across.

4. Go Stargazing with Sky’s the Limit Observatory and Nature Center

Spending a night under the stars is simply a must-add to your list of things to do at Twentynine Palms. Trust Sky’s the Limit Observatory and Nature Center to provide you with a memorable stargazing experience—be prepared to fall in love with the sparkling night skies of Twentynine Palms.

5. Take a Guided Tour of Keys Ranch

Keys Ranch is one of the most interesting spots you can visit in Twentynine Palms. Located in Joshua Tree National Park, Keys Ranch is a prime example of early settlement in the California high desert. Ranger-led tours of the ranch include the story of the decades Bill and Frances Keys spent working together to live in this remote location. Their Twentynine Palms house, school, store, and workshop still stand, and the grounds are full of cars, trucks, and mining equipment.

The Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Art Museum is an open-air museum with an offbeat collection of folk art.

6. Pay a Visit to the Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Art Museum

Admire obscure art by checking out the outdoor Noah Purifoy Desert Art Museum. Set in Joshua Tree, this collection of assemblage sculptures—all created on-site between 1989 and 2004—is quite an interesting sight to see in Twentynine Palms. Most sculptures are large enough to walk into and experience from different angles, so make sure you take a good look around the weird desert art and take cool pictures.

7. Watch a Play at Theatre 29

Theatre 29 is a community theater putting on performances for the Greater Morongo Basin residents for over 20 years. If you’re staying in Twentynine Palms for a few days, make sure to check out the theater’s upcoming performances and book a seat for you and your travel partner(s).

The Arch Rock is a large natural geological formation about 30 feet tall that you'll encounter on a Joshua Tree hike.

8. Hike to the Famous Arch Rock

If you only have time to complete one hike in Twentynine Palms, it should be the nature trail leading to the famous Arch Rock in Joshua Tree National Park. Short, easy, and incredibly photogenic, this must-do hike in Joshua Tree rewards you with the most beautiful of views. If you arrange to make it to the Arch Rock around golden hour, you’ll watch the sunset and take amazing photos of the desert landscape.

9. Munch on Caribbean Food at Kitchen in the Desert

Kitchen in the Desert is a pleasant surprise you’ll love to discover in Twentynine Palms. Located on a property with rich history and unmistakable charm, this amazing Twentynine Palms restaurant serves delicious Caribbean and New American fare in a casual fine dining atmosphere. Everything on the menu pulls inspiration from Trinidadian family recipes, and every meal is made with whole, raw ingredients to standards that respect authentic island food.

Keys View is Joshua Tree's highest viewpoint, offering panoramic views of mesas, mountains, and the Coachella Valley.

10. Say Goodbye to the Desert at Keys View

You’ve been exploring the ins and outs of Twentynine Palms quite thoroughly. But before you head back home, the last item you need to check off your list of things to do in Twentynine Palms is getting a bird’s eye view of its surroundings. To do that, head straight to Keys View, preferably on a clear morning. Not only is this Joshua Tree’s highest viewpoint offering sweeping panoramas of mesas and valleys, but it also takes in two of Southern California’s biggest summits: Mount San Jacinto and Mount Gorgonio.

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