A DAY IN PALM SPRINGS
An impromptu afternoon of desert site-seeing. The Palm Springs Art Museum, the aerial tram up to the San Jacinto forest, and a journey to the Noah Purifoy Desert Art Museum. Plus two videos heyo heyo!
After spending the night at an Airbnb with some friends celebrating a birthday, we left the next morning (aka this day) around 2:30 PM. So hopefully this gives you an idea of what you can do with a few hours in the desert.
It was blazing hot (over 107 degrees F) when we left the Airbnb, so I wanted to find a place with air conditioning. I’ve always wanted to go to the Palm Springs Art Museum, and they may have the ugliest website (here) but the museum itself is great!
Tiny snail on the stairs up to the museum.
The collection was formed by donations from Palm Springs’ affluent residents aka wealthy Hollywood people. It also has Native American and “Western” art. It actually started in 1938 as a “Desert Museum”, specializing in Native American artifacts and science.
Letting Zach lead the way. He was more than surprised and delighted to see this life-like sculpture of these two American tourists.
“Drops of urine falling from the sky”
The glass collection, lit up by a sci-fi glow
Another view of the 3 level gallery.
After about an hour and a half we popped back outside from the basement level
Walked up from the Palm Springs Art Museum to Palm Canyon Drive. There were a lot of shops and restaurants and stuff to see.
Wish we were wearing sunscreen…
Poked into this candy shop, Rocket Fizz. Was immediately delighted cuz they had My Neighbor Totoro playing on the TV. They also had a selection of Japanese candy.
Zach had a dream to find his favorite orange cream soda (which they sell but didn’t have in stock)
I also found my holy grail candy quest item, MANGO lucas. They had 5 and I bought all of them. It’s so hard to find the mango kind!
Walked up to the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum. It’s a small space, but you should pop in and read a bit about history of this area, especially the important tensions and discrimination against Native Americans and immigrants as Palm Springs developed.
There was a little General Store here (that was closed for the summer), but it’s supposed to resemble a General Store straight out of 1900.
Walked back over towards the museum and hopped in the car to meet up with Kiki at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.
Here’s the site to learn more about the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
There was no service so THANK GLOB we saw Kiki immediately. If you’re meeting up with somebody there…pick an easy meet up point!
We got our tickets once we arrived, and it was after 4pm so we got a few dollars off.
You get a timed ticket, and go through multiple waiting area zones.
We are finally in! This tram takes about 10 minutes to get to the top, and it rotates so you can get a nice view from any place inside the tram car.
Here’s a video of the whole tram + San Jacinto Forest experience! Hope you liiiike.
Kiki’s vertigo suffering a lil’ bit, but the views were so beautiful!
Big trees and rock formations the higher up you go.
The view back towards the valley
The tram is fun though, for sure.
Just being the ladies that we all know we are in our hearts
This is the San Jacinto State Park, it’s a forest in the middle of a mountain in a desert.
Such a different environment than the desert below. And it’s 30 degrees cooler up here.
Desert View Trail, was just a little loop around this grassy field. Here’s a list of hikes you can do from this area. I noticed a lot of hikers with rock climbing pads on their backs, so there might be some good climbing here too!
Beautiful little growths on the forest floor
Pilates giving me muscles, dang
Wanted to see a fox, but didn’t get a peek
A quick stop at the lookout view of the valley. Palm Springs. So flat.
Down from the mountain, and back through the desert. Rushing to get to the Noah Purifoy Desert Art Museum before sunset! We e-mailed the Noah Purifoy Foundation for directions, and they sent them right away.
We got to the site just before it was completely dark. We only had about 20 minutes to wander around before it was pitch black and terrifying.
Here’s a peek at the space at dusk!
Noah Purifoy is an artist that is from the South, but is deeply connected with Los Angeles, Watts Towers, and the California Arts Council. When he was 72 he moved to Joshua Tree and created these large scale “junk” art installations.
Piece on KCET about the “junk dada” and Purifoy’s work in the desert.
There are a bunch of sculptures missing that are a part of LACMA’s exhibition “Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada.”
The sculptures are a mix of materials that look familiar (gloves, toilets, etc) and things only familiar in the sense that it was metal or wood.
Many of the structures look like theaters, or gathering spaces
It was so quiet and dark, my mind started to race about all the genius murderers who would wait out here in the middle of Joshua Tree for dumb LA art loving idiots who would come after dark…
Took a quick pic and jumped out of there!
Said hello to the dinos on our way back to Los Angeles
Recognize it from PeeWee’s Big Adventure? You can go inside the dinos during the day…but at night it’s just dark.
Hope this was interesting!
Thanks for reading.
Much love friends.