Weekend Guide to Joshua Tree

things to do in joshua tree - angela liu

I visited Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree a few weekends ago so it’s time for a weekend guide! When most people think of Joshua Tree, they think of camping instead of exploring. I’ll touch on places to go and things to do in the desert if you’re not there to camp. I notice a lot of my visitors love travel guides that I post so I hope this is just as helpful for your upcoming weekend trip.

Where to Eat

Let’s start with food because I know that’s the first thing on everyone’s minds. The desert is quite simple. You’re either strolling or you’re eating unless you have plans to go offroading. I stopped by some pretty great eats (and some not-so-great), but let’s stick with the positives.

Frontier Cafe

things to do in joshua tree - angela liu

My parents and I came here every morning for coffee because it feels familiar. The decor and service remind me of what you find in Silverlake. The Cold Brew is great and under $5. I also tried their breakfast sandwich which was delicious! It was an egg, arugula, tomato, house sauce on a brioche bun. The indoor decor and patio are also incredibly cute and inviting.

Weekend Guide to Joshua Tree - Angela Liu

Pappy & Harriet Pioneertown Palace

pioneertown - joshua tree weekend guide

Okay, I didn’t actually eat here. We walked in on a Friday night and there happened to be a sold out show. It is the talk of the town and it is deep in the MFing desert. I’m driving there and all I could think is where am I going? Am I lost? Am I about to star in Hills Have Eyes IV? So if you’re in town, don’t be like Angie. Make a reservation ahead of time or go in on a weekday.

Joshua Tree Saloon

I didn’t take any photos unfortunately because after being turned away at Pappy’s, I was hangry. I know I scarfed down a TNT burger aka spicy ass burger, which was bomb. My dad had a half stack of ribs and my mom had the Portobello Burger. Both were equally amazing. Weekends are the nights to go have fun and hang by the bar. It was really busy and we left just before karaoke started. The Saloon has pretty legit bar food and also a fantastic brunch menu. The wait is LONG on the weekend; I waited for over an hour. Long story short, don’t go there hangry.

Where to Go

Quite honestly, there’s bits and pieces of Joshua Tree and Yucca that you can explore but there aren’t any specific places that I’m like, YOU HAVE TO GO THERE OR DIE.

There is this cute little section of town on the Highway that houses an artist community. There are a couple of thrift stores, but once you walk into the community is where it gets rad.

things to do in joshua tree - angela liu

joshua tree weekend guide - angela liu

You read it right. A CROCHET museum. And yes, you can walk in and be surrounded by every crochet design you could possibly dream of.

joshua tree weekend guide - ohh angie

joshua tree weekend guide - angela liu

There’s a random room with Avante Garde light installations that I only thought existed at The Broad.

joshua tree weekend guide - angela liu

And the ground has doodles on them everywhere. It feels like you’re Alice in Desertland.

And Of Course…

Ask anyone why they go camping in Joshua Tree and they will tell you at least one of these two things: to see the stars or the sunrise. The stars were legit bright and clear. It was fantastic just looking up and star gazing. I also caught the sunrise, which was even more magical than I imagined.

joshua tree sunrise - ohh angie


joshua tree sunrise - ohh angie


If you’re camping in Joshua Tree National Park, I suggest stepping into town for a day and explore. There’s a Farmer’s Market and random little thrift stores, as well as everything I mentioned above I suggest you visit. Take a lot of photos because the desert is just so photogenic, you’d be silly not to. Have fun!

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