Pioneertown, CA

Step into the Old West in Southern California

Photograph courtesy

Those guys with the tall hats and the guns don’t mean you any harm. The Pioneertown Posse’s “Mane Street” shoot-out is a Saturday ritual in Pioneertown, a former Wild West movie set 32 miles from Palm Springs that for years has been a bivouac for music fans. They file into Pappy & Harriet’s to catch acts big (Robert Plant’s performed here) and indie (rock twanger James McMurtry plays in June)—and to soak up Bloody Marys with the honky-tonk’s mesquite-smoked tri-tip. The Pioneertown Motel, built with the set in the 1940s by the likes of Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, is bare-bones but clean and comfortable. Six miles away in Yucca Valley, go prospecting at the Sky Village Swap Meet or test your spine on the mechanical bull at Willie Boy’s Saloon & Dance Hall. On Sunday nights there’s line dancing.


52 Great Weekends