Route Overview
      6 Activities to Visit

      Day 1

      153 mi

      Roadside Dinosaurs, Joshua Trees, and a BBQ Roadhouse

      Ease yourself into the desert lifestyle by retracing the steps of early tourists. By the end of the day, you'll be in one of America's most remote national parks, worlds away from the city.
      Photo credit: Courtesy Courtesy Mission Inn Hotel & Spa

      Day Itinerary

      08:305 min

      Los Angeles

      Open Details
      55.9 mi1 hr
      The Mission Inn
      10:001 hr 30 min

      The Mission Inn

      Open Details
      In the years before speedy freeways, driving from Los Angeles to the desert could take all day. It only takes an hour to reach the Mission Inn now, but back when dusty, bumpy roads had to cross farmland, those tourism pioneers would break their tiresome journeys here with long lunches. The inn began as a modest hotel in 1876, but subsequent embellishments turned it into a rambling, castle-like icon that takes up an entire city block. Ten U.S. presidents have signed the guest book; one of them—Richard Nixon—was even married here. So was movie star Bette Davis, to husband number three. Other notable guests have included Albert Einstein, Booker T. Washington, Will Rogers, Amelia Earhart, and Helen Keller. A favorite of ghost hunters and wedding parties alike, the hotel is stuffed with art and curiosities collected from around the world a century ago.
      There are several restaurants, including the casual Las Campanas, which opens for lunch in the tree-shaded courtyard daily at 11am.

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      • California Desert: Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, and the San Andreas Fault
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