Hi Times — All The Best From Joshua Tree And Beyond!

With all the talk of half-day Fridays and rampant Jitney-related Facebook updates, you’d think those New Yorkers have the market cornered on rad summer getaways. But, us Angelenos know a thing or two about proximate mini-vacations, especially with our wealth of destinations (and sub climates!) to choose from.
Lately, we’re spending our weekdays pining for the moment when we can hit the gas and speed on out to the Hi-Desert. While June in the Mojave might seem a little...off-season, we actually think there's no time like the present to explore the fantastic array of shops, galleries and bars popping up in Joshua Tree and nearby Pioneertown and Yucca Valley. So, pack your bags! Whether your vibe is more boots 'n spurs or earth goddess, get ready for one smokin'-hot weekend.
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Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace
Is Pappy and Harriet’s the perfect storm of barbecue, live music, dancing, and Hollywood? Yup, pretty much. Since 1982, this desert institution’s been the place to grab a cold one on a former Western movie set. Plus, major bands—everyone from Leon Russell to Vampire Weekend—have graced the stage. You never know who might show up next!

Pappy & Harriet’s, 53688 Pioineertown Road, Pioneertown, 760-365-5956.

Photo: Courtesy of Pappy & Harriet's.
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High Desert Test Sites
Founded and administered by the High Desert art community’s high priestess, Andrea Zittel, HDTS is a series of open-desert locations where visiting resident artists create experimental installations exploring themes of “contemporary art and life at large.” Stop in at the HQ in downtown Joshua Tree for driving maps to the sites, and don’t miss our personal favorite: a trail registry by L.A.’s own Scout Regalia.

High Desert Test Sites, 6470 Veterans Way, Joshua Tree.

Honorable Mention: Traipse over to Radio Free Joshua Tree’s new Listening Lounge to hear what all the locals are into. 61597 29 Palms Highway, Joshua Tree, 760-475-4860.

Photo: Courtesy of Aurora Tang.
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BKB Ceramics
Sculptor Brian Bosworth creates rock or Styrofoam cast planters as a practical application of this sculptural art. And, we are practically beside ourselves about them. He recently opened up shop in Joshua Tree, where you can view the full range. Nowhere to perch your brand new planter? Luckily, while you’re there, you can pick up a wild geometric occasional table by Von Tundra Outpost who shares space with BKB.

BKB Ceramics, 6460 Veteran’s Way, Joshua Tree, 760-821-3765.

Photo: Courtesy of BKB Ceramics.
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If your aura’s feeling a little besmirched, there’s no better cure than a sound bath at the Integraton. If magnetic vortexes and alien activity aren’t your cup of tea (to which we wonder, What is?!), at the very least you’ll get down with this one-of-a-kind building, which also happens to be acoustically resonant and relaxing. It’s like lying down in a giant cello (read: utterly fantastic).

The Integratron, 2477 Belfield Boulevard, Landers, 760-364-3126.

Honorable Mention: Vibe out even more with Andromeda Society, an amateur astronomy group whose meetings and star parties are open to non-members.

Photo: Courtesy of Integratron.
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Art Queen & World Famous Crochet Museum
Artist and community leader Shari Elf is incredibly busy. Besides launching local anti-Walmart campaigns and presenting alternative business plans to Dollar General on behalf of Joshua Tree, in her “spare time” she co-founded Art Queen Gallery with New York-based artist Randy Polumbo. She also curates a small gallery of her own work and she put together the only-in-Joshua-Tree World Famous Crochet Museum. Because, why not?!

Art Queen & World Famous Crochet Museum, 61855 Highway 62, Joshua Tree.

Photo: Courtesy of Art Queen & Crochet Museum.
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Hoof & The Horn
Husband-and-wife team Jen Michael and Adam Yuratovac opened Hoof & The Horn as a visual and retail homage to their transplanted hometown in the Hi-Desert. Stocked with arid essentials — everything from Midnight Rider to Earthquaker Devices guitar pedals — this must-stop in Yucca Valley will get you geared up in no time flat.

Hoof & The Horn, 55840 29 Palms Highway, Yucca Valley, 760-365-6100.

Photo: Courtesy of Hoof & The Horn
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Mojave Sands
Maybe the boutiquiest boutique hotel out there, every last detail of the Mojave Sands has been thoughtfully rendered, mulled-over — and handmade. Owner and proprietor Blake Simpson renovated nearly every aspect of the five-room motel himself, an undertaking that lasted a whopping nine years. The result is a comfortable, hip spot just a few paces from the entrance to the park.

Mojave Sands, 62121 29 Palms Highway, Joshua Tree, 760-799-1603.

Honorable Mention: If themed vintage trailers and kidney-shaped pools are more your thing Hicksville Trailer Palace is spot-on. Don’t forget to grab some Buds. 29 Palms Highway at El Reposo Circle, Joshua Tree.

Photo: Courtesy of Jen Siska.
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Noah Purifoy Outdoor Art Museum
After gaining notoriety with a piece constructed from charred debris from the 1965 Watts Rebellion, acting as founding director of the Watts Towers Art Center, and spending over a decade working with L.A. art and advocacy groups, Noah Purifoy moved his practice to Joshua Tree in the late 1980s. There, he constructed his large-scale assemblages, which now comprise the Outdoor Art Museum. Like the Watts Towers, it’s a unique, strange, and striking art experience unlike anything else.

Noah Purifoy Foundation, by appointment only, 213-382-7516.

Photo: Courtesy of Noah Purifoy Foundation.
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The End
Fans and followers of Kime Buzzelli remember her shop Show Pony, which at the time felt like the axel around which Echo Park turned. Since it’s closing in 2009, we’ve more or less waited with baited breath for Buzzelli to make another foray into retail. Our moment has (finally!) come in the form of The End—a tougher desert babe counterpart to the L.A. powder puff that was Pony.

The End, 55872 29 Palms Highway, Yucca Valley, 760-418-5536.

Honorable Mention: Keep your eyes peeled for the next Annual Art Swap Meet, brought to you by Artist Amy Yao and Ooga Booga’s Wendy Yao. (Last year’s flyer here.) In the meantime, the Sky Village Swap Meet happens every Saturday and Sunday. Nice. 7028 Theater Road, Yucca Valley, 760-365-2104.

Photo: Courtesy of The End.