I went on this long weekend trip with my good friend, Ellen. Together, we flew into LAX where we spent a few days visiting a few sites including Santa Monica Pier, The Griffith Observatory, Little Tokyo, Koreatown, and more. During the last two days of our trip, we drove our rental car to Joshua Tree and Palm Springs.
It probably wasn't smart of us to visit the desert during this time of year as the temperature was well above 105 degrees F. At one point, I remember us not wanting to step foot outside because of the burning heat. Thank goodness we had a functioning AC in our little Airbnb RV. Below are all the free sites we visited while in the desert.
Cabazon Dinosaurs - Free
On our way to Joshua Tree, we stopped at the Cabazon Dinosaurs, which is a roadside attraction with giant dinosaurs and a museum. We didn't go into the museum since it looked pretty small and we really came just to check out the roadside dinosaurs. There are two of them as pictured in this blog. The sun was scorching that day! Ellen and I had to go in and out of the car to protect ourselves from the heat and strong sun rays. We spent about 20 minutes here.
San Gorgonio Pass - Free
I'm not sure what the address is for this place, but it wasn't too far from the Cabazon Dinosaurs. It's really hard to miss. The windmills created so much wind that we could feel the pressure from inside the car. We were the only ones at the site, which made it really fun to take photos. The whole trip eventually became a photo session. I don't think this is a site for visitors, but we went anyways, and had a blast. Plus, the photos came out really nice. We spent about 30 minutes here.
Noah Purifoy Outdoor Museum - Donations Encouraged
The Noah Purifoy Foundation has an outdoor museum which is free, with donations encouraged. There was only one other group at the attraction when we arrived. The place is huge. There wasn't anyone monitoring the donations box. We were able to enter freely and spend as long as we wanted there. My first impression was, "whoa." There was just so many things on site. It kind of looked like a junk yard, but you could tell that somebody put a lot of thought into creating some of the pieces such as the toilet bowl heart pictured below. We spent about 45 minutes here.
Joshua Tree National Park - Included in America the Beautiful Pass
We were originally going to camp at Joshua Tree, but I'm so glad we didn't because of the heat and the insects that I later learned inhabit the park. We drove our car around the whole park. The road was extremely well maintained and barely had any cars. It was just about sunset when we arrived. Because of this, we even spotted a huge hare come out for food. It was so cute! We spent about 1.5 hours here.
Airbnb in Twentynine Palms - $113.08 USD
Of all my Airbnb experiences, this was the most creative, intimate, and cool experience. We stayed at a little RV in the middle of the desert under the starry night. It came equipped with BBQ gear, a hammock, and outdoor shower. Everything we needed was provided including towels and kitchen utensils. We spent a lot of time in the RV because of the heat. So thankful that there was AC. We spent 1 night here.