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palm springs

Desert X: Mirage

TravelShannon GuerreroComment

Have you heard of Desert X?  If you haven’t, it’s ok, you aren’t completely living under a rock.  I drove out to Palm Springs back in February and saw some billboards on the side of the freeway that looked like snapshots of the landscape behind the sign.  I didn’t think anything of it.  Fast forward a few weeks and I learned that these billboards were apart of a multi-project art installation in Palm Springs called Desert X.  So if you’ve seen pictures of a house made solely of mirrors, a zig zag wall or giant mirrored posts in the shape of a U all over your social media, that is Desert X.

If you’re still a little lost, here is a brief explanation of what Desert X is.  From February through April, the Coachella Valley and the surrounding desert became a canvas for curated site-specific artwork.  Basically there were 16 artists that created 16 pieces of artwork spanning over a large portion of the desert.  I'm not talking like tiny paintings or sculptures on a pedestal.  These pieces of work were life-size and really used the desert as a part of the art.

Unfortunately, I was little late and couldn’t find time to drive out to check all the exhibits out before they closed.  Good news!  A few of the installations still remain on view.  Luckily, the one artwork I did want to see, the Mirage mirror-house by artist Doug Aitken is still open through October 31, 2017.  

Mirage is a ranch-style house built solely using reflective, mirrored surfaces.  It sort of blends into and disappears into the surrounding desert landscape.  The house looks different throughout the day, as the light bounces and reflects the desert scene.  It's pretty awesome because it literally just gets lost in the vastness.

To get here is fairly simple.  It’s located basically at the beginning of Palm Springs at the top of West Racquet Club Road.  If you’re coming from Los Angeles, just take the 10 and get on highway 111 which then turns into North Palm Canyon Drive.  When you see the Carl’s Jr. on the corner of West Racquet Road and North Palm Canyon, turn right.  Head to the top of the road where the guard house will give you further directions.

Come early for two reasons!  First off, it's the summer now, and it's in the desert.  It will be hot during the day.  I was there at 10am and it was almost already unbearable especially since mirrors reflect heat.  Two, come early because it is a limited engagement and one of the only Desert X installations that is still open, meaning it's a popular attraction.  The earlier you get here the less of a crowd.  That's my rule of thumb in general.  Early bird gets the worm!  

These are the hours it is open, but is subject to change.  So before heading there, check out this site!
Monday to Friday open from 3:30 pm to 7 pm
Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm

 

Spend the rest of the day or the whole weekend here after!  Or at the very least, grab brunch at Cheeky's just down the street.  Check out the below for some Palm Springs and Joshua Tree inspiration:

5 Weekend Trips From LA

TravelShannon Guerrero2 Comments

Whether you're a Los Angeles resident or on a vacation in sunny Southern California, sometimes it's nice to get out of the big, bustling city.  These tried and true destinations are all great ways to relax, explore and see more that Southern California has to offer.

All are less than a few hours drive from Los Angeles, so what are you waiting for?  Get going!

PaLM SPRINGS

About 2 hours East of Los Angeles

Whether you just want a calm weekend away or are looking for a fun time, Palm Spring is the perfect getaway.  It’s just close enough of a drive but far enough away to feel like a mini vacation.  There are a ton of great things to do around Palm Springs including visiting Salvation Mountain and really great places to grab a bite.  Or you can just spend the whole weekend here on a lounge chair by the pool.

Read More: 
Palm Springs: Weekend Getaway
Why Salvation Mountain is Worth the Trek
Five Most Instagrammable Spots in Palm Springs

SANTA BARBARA

About 2 hours North of Los Angeles

Santa Barbara is also a great alternative for an easy getaway.  Its cool Spanish colonial vibe and surfer atmosphere makes it the perfect relaxing destination.  The beach is dreamy and there are plenty of cute upscale shops and restaurants around town.  The best part is its nestled in the Santa Ynez Valley known for its local vineyards and wineries.  I would also highly recommend an afternoon or sunset sail aboard the Sunset Kidd

JOSHUA TREE

About 2.5 hours East of Los Angeles

If you love camping and hiking, Joshua Tree is the perfect place for you to fall off the grid for a weekend.  I am mean off the grid.  Cell phone reception in the park is rare.  Even if you’re not super into camping like me, I can promise you there is so much more to Joshua Tree.  The massive boulders and cool looking Joshua Trees, which fun fact are not cactus, create a landscape in this National Park that will leave you feeling like you’re on another planet.

Read More:
Joshua Tree: Top 6
Glamping vs. Camping: Joshua Tree

LAKE ARROWHEAD + BIG BEAR

About 1 hour East of Los Angeles to Arrowhead + 1 hour to Big Bear

I’m grouping these two destinations because they’re fairly close together and are the epitome of a weekend in the mountains.  It’s also only a short drive between Lake Arrowhead to Big Bear.  They’re similar in that they both have a lake, hiking, and a cute small town with shopping and restaurants.  One perk is the air up there is definitely cleaner than in Los Angeles.

CATALINA

About a 1 Ferry from Long Beach or San Pedro

If you're craving an island getaway but are low on time and funds, Catalina is the spot for you.  Even better it doesn't take a day by plane to get to this island. There are actually two places you can go on Catalina, or rather two ports, Avalon and Two Harbors.  Avalon is by far the most popular and most well-known between the two.  I actually didn't know Two Harbors existed before visiting it.  Both are filled with lots of hikes of the beautiful island and cozy stores and restaurants.  Bonus: You can take the ferry for free on your birthday!

5 Most Instagrammable Spots in Palm Springs

TravelShannon Guerrero4 Comments

This one’s pretty simple.  I’ve rounded up the spots that I think are the 5 most Instagrammable locations in all of Palm Springs.  Words aren’t really needed, so I’ll just leave you with some Instagram-worthy pictures.

 

one

SAGUARO - If you’ve never heard of the Saguaro, you’re hearing it here first then.  This is quite possibly the most colorful place you can go.  It has a wall or door every color of the rainbow.  Is your favorite color green or how about purple, yes they have a door for you.

 

two

THAT PINK DOOR - Yes, that pink door.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, this is the place to go if you want a basic Palm Springs picture.  And by basic, I mean awesome.  It’s actually someone’s front door, so just be courteous when you visit.  Find it here: 1100 E Sierra Way.

 

THREE

SALVATION MOUNTAIN - I went into detail about why you should visit Salvation Mountain (here), but if you’re still not convinced, just go!  It is such a beautiful piece of artwork that will leave you in awe. Not to mention, every angle and view here is completely Instagram worthy.

 

four

TREE-LINED STREETS - I mean it is called Palm Springs, right?  You can find these Palm Tree lined streets virtually anywhere.  We found some great streets in the neighborhood area by the Pink Door.

 

five

CABAZON DINOSAURS - If you stop by Cabazon for shopping or a Hadley’s Date Shake, which let’s face it you should,  make another stop at the Cabazon Dinosaurs.  They’re just that fun, random photo op you love.

 

Hope you've been able to find some Instagram inspiration for your next trip to Palm Springs!

Yours Truly // Shannon