We booked our Californian Road trip about three days out. A vague plan of Joshua Tree, Palm Springs, Malibu & Big Sur. After such a busy start to the year & it getting cooler here in Australia, it was a quick decision with my girlfriend Emma. Next to no planning from beginning to end, that wound up being one of the best weeks away.

If I had a dollar for every time Joshua Tree & Palm Springs has been recommended by family, friends & complete strangers we could have done this whole trip by private jet but alas we hired a car & drove the coast.

Here is a little visual journal with small notes on where to sleep eat & enjoy LA to Joshua Tree. The rest of this road trip I will be in a separate post as I took too many photos & needed to split this up.

Our first night was spent in downtown LA at hotel NoMad.

I landed first thing in the morning & while waiting for Emma to arrive, managed to wrangle an early check in and V comfortable day sleep (which I never manage to do at home, yay for vaycay). Apon Emma’s arrival we were straight up to the rooftop for poolside margaritas, a perfect way to ease the effects of jet lag.

The next morning we started the 2 hour drive to Joshua Tree.

Once past the iconic wind farms either side of the highway, (that seem to clog Insta feeds around April & I promise are way more beautiful in real life), the road to Joshua Tree is lined with eclectic stores and shop fronts. Interesting houses & desert gardens also dot between giant Joshua Trees (Yucca brevifolia) the national park is so famously named after.

We stayed 2 nights at the very sweet Joshua Tree Wilder Cabin. Each morning we spent drinking coffee to the sound of birds just waking, followed by a whole lot of laying around in the warm desert sun, listen to one Bob Dylan album on repeat, drifting in and out of sleep.

In the evenings we made pasta, drank beers & watched the colours of the desert change from harsh unrelenting sunlight, to soft hazy pastels, before millions of twinkling starts came out for some of the clearest star gazing I’ve ever experienced.

These few days in the still of the desert, so far removed from it all, were some of the most relaxing i’ve had in a long while.


Breakfast - We ate a few times at The Natural Sisters Cafe , they have great salads & the yummiest Ice Tea. Health Food cafes/stores are sometimes hard to find, so this was a welcome surprise.

We bought things at Wholefoods in LA, also a few bits in town & just made dinner at home, the Wilder Cabin has a fully functional kitchen with everything you need to cook.


Explore the town - Super interesting shops & vintage stores, on the last day we did some great vintage shopping in which I scored an epic pair of old 501s.