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Summer is back, bigger and better with the world open once more! We’re full service here at The James, so we lined up a summer adventure for the books. Joshua Tree is a captivating day-trip destination, just two and half hours away, loaded with arts, culture, bites and sips, perfect to help clear your head of the hustle and bustle of LA. We curated a must-see list of things to do in the area:

GETTING THERE | LA’s Union Station offers trains that stop at Palm Springs Amtrak, where you’d hop onto a train into the JT desert. You can also find a ticket on a Greyhound bus for a steal, stopping first in Indio, then heading into the desert where you can enjoy free WiFi. If you’re more of a turn up the radio, roll down the window type person, hop in your car and head east!

CHOLLA CACTUS GARDEN | Approximately 12 miles south of the national park’s north entrance, Cholla Cactus Garden hosts 10 acres of landscape populated mainly by teddybear cholla among other dessert flora. It’s a site to see, so bring your camera to take home some snapshots of the unusual cacti and natural wonders of Joshua Tree.

FARMERS MARKET | Hosted every Saturday from 8am-1pm, pop into the downtown area for the Joshua Tree Certified Farmers Market located at Turtle Island. From fresh produce and flowers, to regular eco-friendly vendors, there’s so much to see, feel, smell and taste!

TIMELAPSE FILM FESTIVAL | Heading to the desert in July? Don’t miss the Timelapse Film Festival, the premier event for the timelapse community worldwide. Hosted at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center on July 24, the 2020-2021 theme is, “Tell Me a Story!” You can purchase tickets online starting July 1st.

JOSHUA TREE SALOON | Known as the gateway to the national park, the Joshua Tree Saloon has been serving great food and cocktails for more than 30 years. They have a weekly calendar of events and live entertainment, and are now serving all ages, so it’s a great place to stop for a bite to eat and twirl on the dance floor!

ART | Gaze the day away at one of JT’s art galleries, featuring artists and exhibits that’ll knock your socks off. Visit Joshua Tree Art Gallery – Your Cultural Outpost in the Desert, for a variety of art styles with exhibits rotating monthly. Gallery 62 is a cooperative members art gallery of the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council, where you can take in public sculpture, as well as regularly rotated exhibits. Just down the road, there’s 29 Palms Gallery, located at the Oasis of Maria, offering three different exhibits over July and August.

To unwind from your desert daze, travel back to The James and relax in one of our community spaces. Pop into the record lounge and put on some vinyl while you discuss your art trip, or head into the library with a glass of peppermint iced tea to reflect. One day not enough? There are great options to turn your day-trip into a weekend getaway with local Airbnb’s or nearby hotels. We’re already jealous of your desert retreat!

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