Moorten Botanical Garden: The World's First Cactarium

Some trends I don’t really get, but others I’m so on board with. The whole cactus culture thing is one I totally support. Living on the East Coast means that the cactus I see are usually on the teensy side, unless I’m visiting one of the many botanical gardens at my disposal. Every trip I take to the West Coast leaves me blown away by the amount of cacti, and I love it.

I’ve said before that my method of trip planning is to search through Pinterest, Instagram, then Pinterest again. I’ll see a blog post with gorgeous photos, but then I’ll look up the place in geotags on Instagram because – well – blogging isn’t real life and photos can be deceiving. If I decide to give the place a shot, I head back to Pinterest to gather more intel.

Moorten Botanical Garden was a place I had seen on countless it-girl feeds before, and so I added it to our list of spots to check out. Here’s my experience:

What: Moorten Botanical Garden is a family owned botanical garden that boasts about 3,000 examples of cacti and other desert plant life. The garden, which was established in the 1930s, is a one acre plot of land in Palm Springs. It’s open year round, but with limited hours in the summer because – holy hell – Palm Springs gets hot. Admission is $5.

Where: We lucked out when we realized the garden was within walking distance of our hotel. It’s right on Palm Canyon Drive, so you could easily grab a snack at King’s Highway (the Ace Hotel’s restaurant, a former Denny’s that’s been converted into hipster diner haven).

Parking: You can easily find street parking. Palm Canyon Drive is a “busier” Palm Springs street, so pull onto a side street and snag a spot.

Crowds: As I said above, the garden is actually only an acre – so it’s on the teensier side. I didn’t know this before we went, but I stuck with my normal method of checking out cool West Coast spots: own the time change and go early. My Greek husband and I showed up right as they opened at 10 a.m. and were able to explore the garden (and the cactarium!) on our own for about a half an hour before anyone else showed up. It wasn’t too crowded by the time we left, but if you’re going for the photo opp – show up early!

Yay or Nay: Such a YAY. We had a really sweet time here; we took our time checking out and reading up on the plants, we chatted for a while with the owner’s wife, we met a particularly sassy hummingbird and we picked up some $1 cacti to bring home to Baltimore. This dreamy little space is every bit as magical as it appears in photos, so if you’re in the area definitely stop in!

For your viewing pleasure: my Greek husband, carrying my purse, checking out a gigantic aloe plant.