A Road Trip After Dark

A relic from Hollywood Westerns in the middle of the desert is worth a road trip in the dark.

If we were to tell you to drive 30 miles into the expansive Mojave Desert in the dark, north of Palm Springs, and then stop when you see what looks like an abandoned roadhouse, you might ignore our advice. Please, don’t. Not this time. Because you’d miss one of the best mingling and music hot spots that was once a cantina (in the Westerns, at least).

Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, owned by cool girls and former New Yorkers Robyn Celia and Linda Krantz, stands on a revamped Hollywood movie set that once filmed classics like The Cisco Kid. Where Roy Rogers walked is now the stage for artists like Vampire Weekend, Widowspeak, Lucinda Williams, and Sean Lennon. And, on most nights, a show won’t cost you anything but the drinks you buy at the bar.

Being basically in the middle of nowhere, Pappy & Harriet’s is, understandably, a place to come to early, sit down, and stay late. Dinner is cooked Mesquite BBQ-style on the outdoor grill, and served promptly at 5 and 7 p.m. Expect spicy Tex-Mex and live music every night. Best to make reservations, particularly if the band is one that’ll attract people from miles away. Many shows are all ages, and on Sundays when house band The Hot Fudge Sunday plays, surprise guests have been known to take the stage with them (Band of Horses, for example).

Pioneertown_pappys wikimedia
*pappy and harriets outside

Photos courtesy of Pappy & Harriet’s

Title photo couresy of PMDrive1061 via Wikimedia

If you're not already a member, sign up now to start earning points toward incredible Joie de Vivre experiences and free air miles with your very next stay at one of our boutique hotels, each with its own unique brand and personality.