What To Do Around Coachella: 5 Journeys For Desert Adventure

There’s plenty to do out in the desert during the Coachella 2016 takeover, whether you’re looking for a change of pace in the music mania or a memorable way to fill time between Weekend 1 & 2. We’ve compiled a handful of side-journey ideas to keep your sense of adventure on point! Get so much more out of your Coachella experience with the following add-on experiences.

Coachella Side Shows

With Coachella taking place during two weekends, a week of potential small-stage excellence was born in the lull between installments of the longstanding desert fest. The full lineup of sideshows has been announced, featuring gigs that take place in Southern California around the festival’s two weekends (April 15-17 and 22-24). This year’s agenda features a wide range of performers including The Kills, M83, Matt and Kim, Miike Snow, Unknown Mortal Orchestra

and many more. Check out the entire schedule here.


Gigantic dinosaurs

Remember the huge dinosaurs in the 1985 Tim Burton’s classic Pee-wee’s Big Adventure? They actually exist, and you can visit them if you happen to be in the middle of nowhere. Dinny the Dinosaur is a 150-ton fake Brontosaurus on-site, along with Mr. Rex, a 100-ton homage to the Tyrannosaurus rex. Knott’s Berry Farm sculptor Claude K. Bell build them in the ‘60s, with the intention of luring people to his Wheel Inn Cafe. It’s one hell of a great place for an Instagram check-in.



Between Coachella weekends, you don’t have to go far to burn your beer money. While Las Vegas is still a few hours out, gambling is legal right there in the desert. A wide range of casinos are available for your blackjack, craps and roulette needs in the area, from the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon, one of the largest casinos in California, to Spa Resort Casino in Palm Springs and Agua Caliente Resort & Casino in Rancho Mirage, with plenty more to find out among the tumbleweeds.


Joshua Tree  

Joshua Tree National Park encompasses more than 500,000 acres of California desert, filled with Joshua “trees,” which really aren’t trees at all. They belong to the yucca family, which puts them in more shrubbery territory. Earthquake faults weave all through the park, the tectonic movement forcing water to the surface and, in turn, making for bursts of life in the most seemingly unlikely places. Fans of bands who used to be awesome can even hike out to where they shot the promo pics for U2’s legendary album The Joshua Tree. Unfortunately, the tree has seen far better days, falling into the hands of souvenir hunters with chainsaws in recent years.


Hot Springs and New-Age Spiritual Adventures

If you’re into detox spas, spiritual retreats and more, there’s plenty to do around the Palm Springs/Desert Hot Springs area. We Care Detox Spa and Spiritual Retreat will put you through a juice-fast program, as well as a magnesium detox and something called “raindrop therapy.” And the Hacienda Hot Springs offers a Finnish rock sauna and a range of spa treatments using native plants and herbs from the garden.