LA To Palm Springs – The Perfect Weekend Road Trip

7 December 2018
Read Time: 2.8 mins
When you think of the classic American road trip, California comes straight to mind and one of the best road trips to take has to be the Los Angeles to Palm Springs two hour drive. Heading along the I-10 there are a few stops to make like Cabazon Dinosaurs, a giant dinosaur park perfect for the kids or even just a good selfie. 
 
Then once you make it to Palm Springs keep heading on to the must not miss Joshua Tree Nationa Park and Salvation Mountain. There’s so much to see and do in-and-around Palm Springs, the new California hot spot to see on your next trip stateside. 
 
Here’s a list of what to do en route to and then once you arrive in the man-made desert oasis... 
 

Cabazon Dinosaurs

An absolutely bonkers pit stop that you can not miss. The giant 100-tonne dinosaurs which are visible from the freeway were even featured in the movie, Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure. The larger than life creatures a great for a photo even for the kids at heart. 
 

Take a photo with the wind turbines

One of the most impressive panoramas on the drive has to be seeing the wind farm lining the San Gorgonio Pass. The colossal turbines spin on top of the hills in the distance and make for the perfect picture beside being simply impressive to look at.

The Saguaro Palm Springs

The Saguaro hotel in Palm Springs is probably the most photographed hotel in Palm Springs. This is because of the bright, multi-coloured walls and doors that make up the property with a central swimming pool.
 

The Ace Hotel

Another stunning hotel to stay in, or even just visit for the pool, bar and great photo opportunities. Known for its ‘cool’ hotel cred, the Ace doesn’t skip a beat with its Palm Springs accommodation which looks like something straight out of a movie set, the pool, of course, being the star of the show. 

Architecture Tours

Palm Springs is such a stunning destination being a man-made oasis in the middle of the dry desert. Wrapped by barren mountains dwarfing the towering palms spread throughout, the mid-century architecture integrates purposefully and beautifully into this landscape and taking a tour of the homes that make it up is one of the best things to do while in town.
 

Joshua Tree National Park

It wouldn’t be a trip to Palm Springs without a drive or hike through Joshua Tree. Drive just one hour north of the Coachella Valley in Twentynine Palms and you will find Joshua Tree National Park which covers 794,000 acres. Made up of two desert ecosystems: the Colorado and Mojave Deserts, it’s a beautiful stretch of desert that you’ll want to tick off the bucket list.

Outdoor Desert Art Museum in Joshua Tree

Greater Palm Springs has some incredible museums to see, from Palm Springs Art Museum to Palm Springs Air Museum. However, Noah Purifoy’s Desert Art Museum is a particularly unique experience, featuring peculiar and larger-than-life outdoor art installations.
 

Salvation Mountain

Finally, no trip to Palm Springs is complete without a trip to Salvation Mountain. The shrine is an ‘influencer’s dream for the photo opportunity, however, the magical and colourful shrine to God was created by Leonard Knight and is a sight to behold whether you’re religious or not. It is an incredible art installation in the middle of the desert. Truly a sight to behold. 
 

 

Sam Aldenton

Sam Aldenton is a Flight Centre travel writer/video producer and former retail and youth trend forecaster. When she's not off discovering the world’s best pizza (an obsession picked up from her 4-years in New York), she makes her home in Brisbane, Australia. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @samaaldenton.