Have you been dreaming of visiting Joshua Tree and neighboring Yucca Valley, California? If not, you should - especially since it's less than 2.5 hours from our happy little home base in Encinitas. If you're local, a quick getaway is within reach, or if you're planning a summer vacation to the San Diego or Los Angeles area, Joshua Tree is an amazing and easy add-on! You could certainly spend weeks in the area and not even scratch the surface of this artsy and gorgeous part of the world, but we headed out for just 48 hours and got a great taste (the kind that leaves you wanting more!) of the local life through supporting small, local shops. We put together this sweet little shopping travel guide so you can visit our favorite spots in the high desert of Joshua Tree and find some unique goods and gifts.
Thread Spun is a product of the desert in so many ways. The owner, Heidi, grew up in Phoenix, Arizona - affectionately called the Valley of the Sun. The colors, scents, and artists that inspired her to start this little sustainable shop are rooted in the vibrant sunrises and sunsets of the Sonoran desert, a childhood spent playing in washes amongst the Saguaros, and the lessons on handwoven textiles and hand-thrown pottery from her grandmother. Traveling to Joshua Tree and the Yucca Valley, and especially adventuring within Joshua Tree National Park, feels a lot like going home. Keep reading to see which Joshua Tree shops and boutiques inspired us the most during our recent getaway.
Teocali Brand - Yucca Valley
Teocali is just our kind of shop - everything inside is fair trade and handmade by a network of artisans, families and collectives living in Mexico. The founder created Teocali to offer beautiful products that promote and preserve traditional artisan techniques. The goal of the shop is to support sustainable and ethical design and to create fair pay for artisans. Does this sound familiar, at all? This sweet space is currently operating as a pop-up shop in a small yet vibrant trailer behind La Copine (as if there wasn't already enough reason to visit!). Inside, you'll find gorgeous handmade ceramics nestled amongst unique turquoise jewelry, handwoven tunics and more.
Acme 5 Lifestyle - Yucca Valley
The Outpost by Acme 5 Lifestyle, located in Yucca Valley near Joshua Tree, offers a huge selection of beautiful boho modern furniture and eclectic decor designed into living vignettes. This shop is a visual masterpiece, with texture and color around each and every turn. Inside (and outside in the back!), you'll find small treasures by local Joshua Tree-area artists, custom leather couches, specimen aloe trees and teak furniture, and even fire pits carved from boulders. If we were furnishing our desert dwelling, this is where we would start...and probably finish too. This is one of the most beautiful and unique spaces we've seen, and we think you will agree.
Mojave Flea Trading Post - Yucca Valley
Mojave Flea is a marketplace featuring makers and merchants from the surrounding desert area and beyond. Visitors to Yucca Valley can shop 10,000 square feet of independent shops and makers offering everything from vintage clothing and cowboy boots to furniture and natural scents. This is a shop you could spend hours in and still feel like there's more to be discovered. Come for the unique, local art and leave with however many goodies you can carry. If you ever find yourself in Palm Springs or San Francisco, they've got marketplaces there, too!
Holistic Ranch - Yucca Valley
This sweet shop and grocer focuses on connecting the consumer with regenerative agriculture and biodynamic/organic products and also offers an option to stay in their gorgeous Airbnb. Oh, did we forget to mention that they also save horses from slaughter and rewild them? Pretty amazing. Inside, you'll find natural and organic groceries, snacks and drinks alongside other fun finds! This includes an entire clean beauty section that features some of our favorite products, including their very own line of Holistic Ranch apothecary! Hint hint....you may soon be able to shop this line even closer to home...This is a great one-stop shop where you can grab organic groceries for your trip alongside a locally-sourced candle to gift a loved one at home.
Wine and Rock Shop - Yucca Valley
Wine & Rock Shop is a sight for sore eyes, a mirage for weary travelers, and an oasis of natural and organic wines, cold craft beer, fine goods and good times in the vast expanse of the Southern California High Desert. This is the best spot for delicious wines that won't leave you hungover in the desert heat. While you're there, you can scoop up apothecary from Wonder Valley, unique cookbooks and kitchen goods, oh - and rocks! Yes, it's true, crystals and rocks abound. Keep your eyes peeled for the kind alien that beckons to you from the Twentynine Palms Highway.
Sun of the Desert - Joshua Tree
Our super talented friend, Jimmy Brower (of West Perro), recently opened this high desert general store after moving south from Oakland. His shop now houses his West Perro creations and Workwear Vintage alongside an eclectic collection of home goods, apothecary and pantry goods inspired by desert life. This is *the* place to go for vintage denim, gorgeous handwoven palm sun hats, delicious bubbly drinks and more. You are sure to find something special, and probably a few things you didn't even know you needed. Say a big "hello!" for us.
HeyThere Projects - Joshua Tree
HeyThere Projects is conveniently located near the entrance to Joshua Tree National Park. This unique art gallery showcases emerging and established artists in a setting surrounded by vast natural splendor. Just recently, in the Spring of 2022, the space was expanded to include a retail marketplace featuring folk art, books, zines, wearables, ceramics, and desert lifestyle supplies. You could spend an afternoon just admiring the art. Don't miss the wall of curios - it's pretty spectacular.