5 Reasons Pioneertown Motel is Your Perfect Desert Weekend Destination
Post-Work Escape:

5 Reasons to Head to
the Desert

May gray and June gloom got you down? High desert adventures await. Just two hours from San Diego and LA and 4,000 feet above sea level, the Pioneertown Motel is the perfect destination if you want heat (but not too much), some easy outdoor adventures at Joshua Tree, BBQ, live music, cold beer... need we say more?

We've got the inside intel to help you plan the ultimate after-work escape. So grab your bag, your sense of adventure, a good book (we've got a list of favs below) and let's get going.

5 reasons Pioneertown Motel is the perfect weekend destination.
  1. The Motel is surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty that the California desert is known for. The mountains, mesas, landscapes, and sunsets make it an idyllic place to enjoy nature in all its splendor.

  2. The setting and remoteness of Pioneertown is actually much closer than people think. Just a quick 2-hour drive from LA or San Diego and you'll feel totally disconnected from city life in the best way.

  3. Pappy and Harriet's "Pioneertown Palace" is right next door, and is undoubtedly one of the best and most unique venues to see live music in California.

  4. Joshua Tree National Park is just 20 minutes away. Many national parks require long drives and lots of planning, but Joshua Tree is easy to get to and perfect for an afternoon hike and picnic in the boulders.

  5. Pioneertown Motel is a relic of old Hollywood history, originally built by the biggest Western movie stars as a home base for filming. Pioneertown has played background to hundreds of Westerns.
We connected with Pioneertown Motel proprietor Matt French for some insider insight on the motel and surrounding area.
We’re driving out from San Diego. Is there anywhere we should stop along the way?
Crazy Coyote Tacos is an amazing roadside taco shop right off the freeway near the Cabazon Outlets.
What are the must-do summer activities at or near your motel?
Summer nights in the desert are simply magical. Lounging outside under the stars in shorts and a T-shirt is our favorite thing to do this time of year.
Based on those activities and this time of year, what type of clothing should we pack?
Lightweight clothing for sure. It gets hot in the summer, but it's not scorching like the lower desert where temperatures rarely drop below 100 degrees in July and August.
Favorite places to eat and drink within walking distance or a short drive?
Pappy and Harriet’s has great BBQ and is right next door. Otherwise, we recommend Kitchen in the Desert, an oasis of amazing food in 29 Palms.
Weirdest fact about Pioneertown?
The Red Dog Saloon was the town watering hole, but also served as a yoga studio, church, and post office throughout the years—all while serving cold beer and cheap food.
What else do we need to know?
The Red Dog Saloon is reopening Fall 2019.
Want more from the team at Pioneertown Motel?
Find more of their favorite desert haunts here.

Thanks Matt and team. We'll be seeing you soon.
Walking down to the beach

New Summer Soundtracks

No desert road trip is complete without the smooth sounds of summer.
Summertime Vibes
Simple Summer Joys
Farewell Summer Radio
You're all packed up, ready to hit the road. Wallet, dog, sunglasses, check. Windows down. What's the first song you throw on? Hit us up on social and let us know what your favorite summer song is.
Reading Animation

Shady Summer Reading List

Find some shade in Joshua Tree, escape indoors for some AC, or wait for the sun to dip below the horizon and enjoy these selects from our summer reading list.
Desert Sunrise
The True Summer Essential
It takes a special someone to endure the summer heat in the desert. Who will you be bringing to the Pioneertown Motel?

Tag your favorite summer travel companion and tell us why they're part of your desert survival pack. We’ll select our favorite post and send you both one of the collections above.