The old west lives on in a small town located north of Joshua Tree National Park. A little place called Pioneertown California. It’s unlike any other and is a true hidden gem in California. Not only that, but it’s the most photogenic place so you’ll want to know everything before heading there. Plan to spend at least an hour exploring this old western town in the middle of nowhere. In this blog, I outline all you need to know before visiting the old west town, Pioneertown in California.
Pioneertown was built in 1946 to mirror an 1880s old-western village. It was Dick Curtis’ dream to build a “Living Breathing Movie Set”. So he gathered up investors (27 to be exact) to build the town of his dreams, Pioneertown. Some of the famous investors are Roy Rogers, Dick Curtis, and Russell Hayden.
The goal was to build a town where they could work and play. Back in the day, all of the shops were fully functioning. Today, only a few of the shops in Pioneertown are functioning and the rest are strictly for show.
When to Visit Pioneertown
Since it’s close to Joshua Tree National Park and it’s a desert, it gets extremely hot during the summer months. So plan on visiting in the cooler months from November-April when the weather is mild and the crowds are low. We went midday on a Wednesday and we were basically the only ones there.
How to Get to Pioneertown
Located in the Yucca Valley (San Bernardino County) and is only 25 minutes away from the famous Joshua Tree National Park. Finally, you can road trip from Los Angeles (two hours), Palm Springs (40 minutes), and San Diego (2.5 hours).
Pioneertown Mane Street
Mane Street Shops
Only some of the shops on Mane street are functioning and the rest are strictly for show. Here are the ones that are still operating today:
- Pioneertown General Store: all things vintage, accessories, and western-inspired. They are open Thursday to Monday from 10:30-5 pm but a note on their website that they run on desert time so hours will vary.
- MazAmar Art Pottery: a small pottery shop with handmade goods. They are open every day from 10:30-6 pm.
“There is a special spirit here that attracts folks from around the globe. You may catch a meteor shower, happen upon a sold-out show, dance under the stars or simply pass time around a fire.”
The Pioneertown Motel which is located in the middle of nowhere California has to be the quaintest place I’ve ever seen. We only walked around the property for a bit but chatted with the owner enough to know we want to come back for a night’s stay here!
Visit Pappy + Harriets
Pappy and Harriets is a restaurant and live music venue all in one. They note on their website that sometimes the two get in the way of each other so when heading here make sure to check if there is a concert that night. They do take reservations, so head to their website for more info!
Thanks for reading my “Guide to Visting Pioneertown in California” post. I hope this helps you plan your trip to visit and for more of my California Guides head here! If you’re traveling this way you don’t want to miss my Top Photo Spots in Joshua Tree post.
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