Joshua Tree

September 22, 2022

We’re kicking February off strong with a classic love story, a trek across country, and a vacation in the desert. My partner and I got engaged back in September but missed the opportunity to have an engagement party due to Covid. So instead, we packed up and SUV with our dog Harley, drove from Chicago to California, and had an engagement shoot in a designer’s dream house. Here’s a designer’s guide to Joshua Tree. I’m keeping it light because you should really just find a cool place to stay, unplug, and get the occasional takeout when you’re here.

Where to Stay

Casa Elata

We had limited options when it came to Airbnb because we had our pup, but Casa Elata did not disappoint. This quaint desert house had everything we needed for a relaxing getaway. The best feature of this property was the back yard, equipped with a fire pit, deck, hot tub and cooling tub. You could find us here having a morning coffee or a night cap after dinner.

Casa Mami

Casa Mami is a designer’s dream house. We first saw it in Dwell a few years ago and new we had to visit the house one way or another. We rented out the space for a few hours and had the most magical engagement shoot with Hightail & Honeymoon. Check out their website to “shop" the house or book your stay!

Other Places I Love:

Palo House

The Joshua Tree House

Little Jo Cabin

Where to Eat/Drink:

Natural Sisters Cafe- “Comfort food with a Natural twist”

Frontier Cafe- Eclectic Space for sandwiches, salads and gourmet coffee

Wine & Rock Shop- Boutique store selling indie decor and cool wines

What to Do:

Palm Springs!

Spend the day in Palm Springs. This was by far my favorite day. Check out the Ace Hotel and take a picture in front of the Laura Berger Mural. Head to Angel View for some major thrift finds. Check out Mohave Flea for cool artisan clothes and home decor. Grab lunch at Midmod Cafe.

Explore Joshua Tree National Park

This is probably the most underrated national park. The massive rock formations are an incredible site and will transport you to the set of the flintstones or Jurassic Park. The cholla cactus garden is a must see… I suggest going at sunset.


Of course you have to shop in Joshua Tree. The small town is full of oddity stores, wine shops, vintage stores, and thrifting. Some favorites: Ricochet, Angel View, Hoof & The Horn


The Station

If you’re looking for the “classic” tourist photo-op spots check out these. The Station, Pioneertown, Salvation Mountain, and Noah Purifoy’s Outdoor Mountain.