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!