24-Hour Desert Escape

Take a 24-hour road trip to the mystical and authentically Americana part of the golden state, which has inspired such bands as U2, Queens of the Stone Age and the Foo Fighters.
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Co-authored by Jeff Game

Ride in the steps of the Cisco Kid, gaze into the rings of Saturn and catch some great music at an institution of Rock-n-Roll.

The restlessness stirs inside and the feeling of roaming in wide-open spaces is overwhelming - start up the convertible- the desert is calling.

Just over a two hour drive outside of Los Angeles awaits an affordable and very hipster-friendly getaway in the California Desert towns of Twentynine Palms and Pioneertown U.S.A. Take a 24-hour road trip to the mystical and authentically Americana part of the golden state, which has inspired such bands as U2, Queens of the Stone Age and the Foo Fighters.

Living in Los Angeles, we literally have the city that never sleeps at our doorstep. Oftentimes though, we find ourselves in need of a serious escape from this non-stop metropolis. When that time comes, there's nothing better than a short 24-hour escape from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives to get out of the city and recharge our batteries, all while keeping our budget firmly in tack.

A trip like this needed a shot of Steve McQueen cool -- we hit the open highways in our newly rented American icon of muscle cars, the Mustang convertible.

With the top down on the Mustang, and the wind blowing in our hair, we blew right past the Hwy10 exit of the more well-known desert vacation spot, Palm Springs, on our 24-hour journey.

We were looking for a desert location that offered a unique vibe, lots of adventure and hidden gems that we wouldn't find anywhere else. If you want to splurge, we've got you covered with some jaw-dropping picks, and if you're into saving some dough, your options are just as cool and social media worthy.

Check out our list of Sleep, Go, Explore and Eat picks for Twentynine Palms and Pioneertown.

Splurge It: 29 Palms Inn
For more than 85 years, the sprawling 29 Palms Inn has been a mystical oasis in the desert, with an eclectic assortment of room and cottage choices. The West End Cottage is a roomy upgrade, with two rooms, a kitschy kitchen, backyard with BBQ and your own piano in the parlor. The West End Cottage starts around $255.

Saving Dough: JT Village Park Experience
A steal of a deal has to be a cool Air B&B special near Joshua Tree National Park. This 1940's remodeled home is walking distance to the historic Joshua Tree Saloon, and comes with a stylish cowboy pool in the rustic backyard. This little gem has everything needed for a desert dwellers escape. The JT Village Park Experience starts around $115.

Splurge It: Coyote Ridge Stables
One way that a city slicker can take in the openness that the desert offers is by horseback. The folks at Coyote Ridge Stables have a private 2-hour riding tour with just you, your riding guide and the serene desert wildlife. The Lizard rock private tour will run you $150.

Saving Dough: Pappy & Harriet's Pioneertown Palace
The legendary and family run music desert haven Pappy & Harriet's Pioneer Palace has been packing in crowds for decades now. On a given night, music lovers can catch such chart-topping acts as Arctic Monkeys, Vampire Weekend, Lucinda Williams, and hall of famer Robert Plant once stunned the Sunday night crowd by sitting in with the house band of the night. Big name acts can run $35; however most of the shows at Pappy's start at the low, low price of free!

Splurge It: Coyote Telescope Star Tours
The desert sky is already lit up with a stargazer's buffet of celestial delights, so why not get up and personal with the heavenly body. A 2-hour private star tour with Coyote Telescopes is one of coolest ways to see a galaxy far, far away. The 2-hour guided tour for six or less people is $175.

Saving Dough: 29 Palms Creative Art Gallery
Get your artistic side on with a relaxing a creative class at the 29 Palms Creative Art Gallery, a short walk from 29 Palms Inn. Classes range from painting pottery, to hand building clay creature or painting of all kind. Classes range in a variety of prices; a couple can build their own dinosaur family starting at $55 per couple.

Splurge It: 29 Palms Inn Restaurant
Farm-to-table is all the rage in the world gastronomy; however at the 29 Palms Inn Restaurant, it is a way of life with their own Faultline Farms providing the freshest ingredients. It does not get much fresher than housemade breads, soups, dressings and desserts, along with a bountiful crop of fresh from the garden fruits and vegetables. Dinner at the poolside setting bistro start around $50-100 for two.

Saving Dough: Pie for the People
Starting out as food truck following the music festival scene in the early 2000's, Pie for the People have honed their New York style pizza making chops and are now a staple to any desert foodie journeymen. You can't go wrong with the daring David Bowie pizza, that features bacon, jalapeños and ricotta cheese -- a rock star of a pie.