If you’re interested in taking a break from basking in the Palm Springs sun, then head west. The wild wild west that is. Forty-five minutes from Santiago Resort, you’ll find yourself transported to the old western town known as Pioneertown.
Founded in 1946 by a group of Hollywood investors, including Roy Rogers and Gene Autry, Pioneertown at first glance, looks like a movie set. And, you’d be partially correct. The town has a storied Hollywood past, with more than 50 films and television programs filmed there in the ‘40s and ‘50s. However, it is an actual town that was created to provide production companies a location to enjoy while also utilizing their businesses and homes in the movies. As of 2019, the town has a population of 420.
Tip: There is limited cell phone service. If you are meeting others, plan a spot in advance. You may not be able to post all of your Instagram selfies so take photos, enjoy Pioneertown and post them later.
The town is an excellent location to take in the history, entertainment and meet the artisans that make up this charming community. The best time to visit is on the weekends because during the week, it can seem like a ghost town. Most of the shops are closed during the week but on the weekends, you’ll experience a lively atmosphere filled with something for everyone.
The Pioneertown Film Museum is now open to visitors so you can see the history of this movie set turned community. The museum is free to visitors but donations are appreciated.
Although this is an actual community, there are two groups of re-enactors that perform original authentic old west shows for visitors. The shows are on Saturdays at 2:30pm on Mane Street in front of the Pioneer Bowl. The shows are free.
If you are in the mood to connect with nature, Pioneertown is surrounded by The Pioneertown Mountains Preserve where they have scheduled Ranger-led hikes or explore the various hikes on your own. Hike, bird watch or just enjoy the beautiful landscape.
If shopping is more your thing, on Mane Street you will find many artisans and craftspeople that sell a variety of handcrafted and unique items for yourself or to give as gifts.
Pioneertown General Store https://pioneertowngeneralstore.com/
Mazamar Art Pottery https://www.mazamar.com/
Jessie Keylon’s Art Studio https://www.jessiekeylon.com/
JoAnne’s Goat Soap Shop https://www.facebook.com/JoanneSimplySoap/
Chaparrosa outfitters https://pioneertown.wixsite.com/chaparrosasaddleshop
A day on the old frontier can build up an appetite. Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace is the place for comfort food and live entertainment. Enjoy a veggie burger, pulled pork sandwich, baby back ribs or their Tex Mex options.
Another option would be to visit the Red Dog Saloon which reopened its doors on August 28,2020 after years of being closed.This establishment offers a variety of tacos as well as cocktails and spirits. They also can their custom draft cocktails on-site so you can take them to go. https://www.reddogpioneertown.com/
A day of exploration of the great frontier can be exhausting so we look forward to greeting you back at the resort and hearing about your wild wild west experience.