¡Hola! I’ve visited the Coachella Valley twice, and I loved it even more the second time. It’s such an intense place filled with treasures and other curiosities. My best advice is to explore beyond your comfort zone. Here’s a plan you can try.
Sunset at the Windmills
Watch the sunset from the windmills on Indian Canyon Drive; it’s one of the most beautiful experiences. However, don’t be surprised to see other Instagrammers capturing the moment, too. Make new amigos — and followers! There’s room for everyone.
Joshua Tree National Park
Wake up early and drive to Joshua Tree National Park, about a 45-minute drive from Palm Springs. The road to this mesmerizing place is a spectacle unto itself. You will enjoy the magnificent landscape and its spindly trees. Remember: Look but don’t touch, and definitely save your energy to climb the jaw-dropping rock formations.
Art on the Land
Explore the art installations of Joshua Tree, such as Andrea Zittel’s otherworldly Planar Pavilions and Noah Purifoy’s Joshua Tree Outdoor Museum. It’s a wonderful atmosphere for appreciating art, and the sculptures make for great photo-ops, too.
Transport yourself to another time at this former Old West film set originally founded by Hollywood stars like Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. You can enjoy a cold beverage at the historic Red Dog Saloon — for a great price — and stay for the live music.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
The best part of the world’s largest rotating aerial tramway is when it ascends dramatic Chino Canyon. For about 10 minutes, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the valley floor. You’ll be surrounded by even more amazing views and natural beauty at the top. Bring a sweater along, even if it’s warm down below. You’ll thank me later.
• Note: The Tram is slated to reopen from its annual fall maintenance on Oct. 7. Check the Tram website for confirmation, pstramway.com.
After heading back down from the San Jacinto Mountains, it’s time for a little retail therapy. I’m always on the hunt for hand-knitted ponchos to add a boho touch to my outfits. I like The Frippery for vintage finds, but Iconic Atomic and M Vintage are fantástico as well. You’ll find something souvenir-worthy among the retro garments and wares.
PHOTOGRAPH BY @BEARLEADERCHRONICLE