If you think of the desert as a place dotted with spine-wielding cacti, you’re right. But it’s also a place of cool and shady palm oases, delicate succulents, and fabulous bursts of springtime color. See examples of the region’s varied plant life—as well as species from other desert environments around the world—at this low-key, family-run garden. Started in 1938 by the Moorten family as a private arboretum, the family now invites the public to follow a winding trail to see more than 3,000 types of desert-loving plants.
As you explore, look for brightly colored rocks and sparkling crystals, fossils, and pioneer and mining relics among the plantings. The Moorten family’s tranquil Mediterranean-style home, nicknamed the “Cactus Castle,” is located in the Palm Grove Oasis, and it hints at the style of the region before the skinny-tied Rat Pack sashayed into town.