Greater Palm Springs, and the surrounding area, is a luxurious retreat for sun-seekers, but beneath that glossy veneer lurks a world of weirdness. These oddball attractions offer a glimpse into the eccentricities of desert culture.
Drive east of Palm Springs toward the Salton Sea to see the iconic Salvation Mountain, a 50-foot mound of adobe, straw, and multiple layers of paint built in the 1980s as a kitschy and colourful religious monument.
Constructed in the late 1950s with blueprints allegedly delivered by aliens from Venus, this gleaming acoustically perfect dome in the desert near Joshua Tree National Park hosts “sound baths,” featuring soothing tones created with quartz bowls.
Located near Joshua Tree in Landers, this collection of found-object sculptures—dozens of large structures adorned with broken furniture, toilets, tires and rusted pieces of metal—is the work of late artist Noah Purifoy.
On the way to the Cabazon Outlets (just northwest of Palm Springs), pay a visit to Dinny and Mr. Rex, two giant model dinosaurs. Don’t miss the creationist museum located inside Dinny’s stomach.
Artist Kenny Irwin’s massive Palm Springs backyard is jam-packed with light-adorned sculptures, crafted with brightly painted junk. The display is only open to the public over Christmas, but looky-loos can catch a peek from the street any time of the year.
[This story appears in the January 2019 issue of WestJet Magazine]
Why You Should Visit Big Sur, California, in 2019
Nearly a kilometre of the Pacific Coast Highway was destroyed after a landslide in May 2017, making access to towns, such as Big Sur, difficult or, in some cases, impossible. Last July, after 14 months of work, the highway fully reopened and the area is welcoming visitors.