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Desert X in Coachella Valley is Worth the Road Trip from LA


Last week, we headed to Palm Springs and Palm Desert in Coachella Valley for the Desert X Exhibition. If you’re in the Los Angeles area between now and May, you should definitely take a day trip to check out this amazing art exhibition.

If you haven’t heard of it, Desert X is a recurring international contemporary art exhibition with specific art installations created around the desert by acclaimed international artists. The purpose is to present public art that responds to the conditions of the desert, the environment, and indigenous communities to promote cultural exchange and education programs. 


Although I’ve driven through Palm Springs many, many times on my way to Phoenix, I’ve actually never spent any time there. We stayed at the JW Marriott Palm Desert. I’m so glad that we decided to visit mid-week. There were a few of the installations that were very busy, but the majority of them weren’t too busy. The hotel was in a great location to drive back and forth to some of the installations. This was my first time at this specific hotel and I have to tell you, it was amazing. The grounds were simply stunning. We didn’t have a ton of free time to spend at the hotel, but we did manage to sneak to the pool for a drink to relax in between visiting installations. 


The one thing about Desert X that was rather difficult is that they are spaced all over the Coachella Valley. You have to drive to each individual installation. There’s also a lot of walking required to get to the various installations. The exhibition is definitely easier for able-bodied people. I am not sure someone with crutches or a wheelchair would be able to participate in some of the installations, especially those that were way out in the sand. I also think walking would be difficult for small children. We brought our Frenchies and they struggled a bit with the walking. 


My biggest regret from the trip is that we didn’t have more time. We were only able to get to 5 of the 12(ish) installations. I would have liked to go to all of them. Thankfully, Desert X is sharing them on their Instagram page, so I’ve been able to check them out on there too. If you do want to visit Desert X, I would suggest you consider two saving two days to see the installations. We arrived around noon on Wednesday but we had to get back to LA by Thursday morning. If we had the time, we could have spent Thursday seeing the rest of the installations. Staying over one night is plenty of time, as long as you have two days to check out the installations. 


I also noticed that the time of day was clutch. I loved the two exhibits we saw at dusk. There is something so much more meaningful about the glorious sunset sky while taking in the artwork, at least for me. There was a moment at the last installation we say, Jackrabbit Homestead. We walked up just as the sun went behind the mountains. The sky had those gorgeous red and purple colors. As we walked around the little house, a song started to play. We figure it must have been motion detected. I can’t recall the words exactly, but it created this really amazing ambiance to have the song, the sunset, and this active art installation all around us. That moment really captured all of my senses I felt pure bliss.

@poshinprogressDesert X was so cool! ##travelwithme ##losangeles ##roadtrip♬ Send Me on My Way – Vibe Street

If you have the chance to go to Desert X, I’d highly suggest it. Other than wishing I had seen all of the installations, I have no regrets. It was a lovely way to spend two days in the desert. 

Looking for other California stories? Click here.

 
Last week, we headed to Palm Springs and Palm Desert in Coachella Valley for the Desert X Exhibition. If you’re in the Los Angeles area between now and May, you should definitely take a day trip to check out this amazing art exhibition.

If you haven’t heard of it, Desert X is a recurring international contemporary art exhibition with specific art installations created around the desert by acclaimed international artists. The purpose is to present public art that responds to the conditions of the desert, the environment, and indigenous communities to promote cultural exchange and education programs. 


Although I’ve driven through Palm Springs many, many times on my way to Phoenix, I’ve actually never spent any time there. We stayed at the JW Marriott Palm Desert. I’m so glad that we decided to visit mid-week. There were a few of the installations that were very busy, but the majority of them weren’t too busy. The hotel was in a great location to drive back and forth to some of the installations. This was my first time at this specific hotel and I have to tell you, it was amazing. The grounds were simply stunning. We didn’t have a ton of free time to spend at the hotel, but we did manage to sneak to the pool for a drink to relax in between visiting installations. 


The one thing about Desert X that was rather difficult is that they are spaced all over the Coachella Valley. You have to drive to each individual installation. There’s also a lot of walking required to get to the various installations. The exhibition is definitely easier for able-bodied people. I am not sure someone with crutches or a wheelchair would be able to participate in some of the installations, especially those that were way out in the sand. I also think walking would be difficult for small children. We brought our Frenchies and they struggled a bit with the walking. 


My biggest regret from the trip is that we didn’t have more time. We were only able to get to 5 of the 12(ish) installations. I would have liked to go to all of them. Thankfully, Desert X is sharing them on their Instagram page, so I’ve been able to check them out on there too. If you do want to visit Desert X, I would suggest you consider two saving two days to see the installations. We arrived around noon on Wednesday but we had to get back to LA by Thursday morning. If we had the time, we could have spent Thursday seeing the rest of the installations. Staying over one night is plenty of time, as long as you have two days to check out the installations. 


I also noticed that the time of day was clutch. I loved the two exhibits we saw at dusk. There is something so much more meaningful about the glorious sunset sky while taking in the artwork, at least for me. There was a moment at the last installation we say, Jackrabbit Homestead. We walked up just as the sun went behind the mountains. The sky had those gorgeous red and purple colors. As we walked around the little house, a song started to play. We figure it must have been motion detected. I can’t recall the words exactly, but it created this really amazing ambiance to have the song, the sunset, and this active art installation all around us. That moment really captured all of my senses I felt pure bliss.

If you have the chance to go to Desert X, I’d highly suggest it. Other than wishing I had seen all of the installations, I have no regrets. It was a lovely way to spend two days in the desert. 

Looking for other California stories? Click here.

 

Stacey Freeman: I am a Style Maven, Mommy, Educator, and Traveler.