HIGH DESERT DAY TRIP
Palm Springs is known for chic shopping (hello Trina Turk) and restaurant scene but to experience the desert in a new way, head out to the high desert for a day trip during your next Palm Springs vacation. A 30-minute scenic drive North on the 62 will take you to the quiet town of Yucca Valley. On the outskirts of Joshua Tree National Park, the town is an eclectic mix of old gas stations and big-box stores like Walmart and JC Penney’s. Tucked between you’ll discover a slew of high-end vintage stores with incredible clothing selections and locally owned restaurants and coffee shops.
Here are some of our top picks for an outing to the high desert:
Head 15 minutes north from Yucca Valley on Old Woman Springs Road (known to Palm Springs locals as the “backroad to Las Vegas”) and you will land at the Integratron, a 38-foot high, 55-foot diameter, all wood dome surrounded by the Mojave Desert. Originally designed to be an electrostatic generator for the purpose of rejuvenation and time travel by George Van Tassel, the Integratron now offers 60-minute sonic healing sessions, also known as “sound baths”. The sound bath experience starts upon arrival in the hushed atmosphere of the property. With hammocks strung between the trees and inviting seating areas covered with handwoven rugs, serenity sets in as soon as you step foot onto the area. After an initial briefing downstairs inside the actual dome, you are lead upstairs to select your mat and blankets for the experience. The next 25 minutes are for mediation while listening to quartz crystal bowls played live. You will be resting comfortably in the deeply resonant, multi-wave sound chamber while a sequence of quartz crystal singing bowls are played, each one keyed to the energy centers or chakras of the body, where sound is nutrition for the nervous system. The result is heightened awareness and relaxation of your mind and body in a way you have never experienced before.
Tip: During season (January through March/April) plan on booking at least a month in advance. Plan on wearing comfortable clothing and arriving an hour early for your sound bath experience. Visit their website for pricing and to book your experience: integratron.com.
With your senses heightened, gather for a meal at Copine just 6 miles South of Integratron on Old Woman Springs Road. Don’t let the odd location and low key exterior fool you. Step inside to a sunny diner rehabbed by East Coast couple Nikki Hill and Claire Waldsworth. Open Thursday through Sunday their menu reads like a “Silver Lake love letter” according to Eater Los Angeles. Their sample menu boasts highlights like Duck-Chicken Mousse and with new items continually added, you are bound to find a culinary surprise that rivals even the best Palm Springs restaurants.
Tip: check their website lacopinekitchen.com before planning your trip. Hours of operation tend to change.
With your belly full of good eats from Copine you may need a little pick me up on your way back to Palm Springs. Stop at Frontier Café on the corner of Twentynine Palms Highway and Pioneertown Road. This hidden gem serves local Joshua Tree Coffee Company roast (pick up a bag to brew at home) and completes the ambience with art and music. Their blended chai is memorable as well as local Madhouse pie (we have our eye on the brown sugar bacon pecan pie).
Tip: Don’t forget to check out the two vintage clothing stores next door Thursday nights are Open Mic at Frontier, with their beer & wine menu you might just want to stay for the evening. cafefrontier.com.