gifting experiences: venice beach + joshua tree

i have a hard time keeping secrets. especially the good kind - the surprise kind. which is why it took everything i had to keep this trip a secret from taylor. he and i have been gifting each other with experiences since the beginning of our relationship, but his september birthday didn't allow for much travel in recent years.

with this in mind, i proceeded to plan the perfect five day trip to los angeles and joshua tree national park. below are some images from our travels (scroll to the bottom of the post for my recommendations in both areas).

*indicates photo above

STAY: the most incredible airbnb's we've ever stayed in - one in venice beach + one in joshua tree*. (our stay in venice included awesome cruiser bikes we used the whole weekend!)

DO | LA: book a surf lesson or camp with Quinn at Eat Sleep Surf* / wander along Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice and check out all of the boutiques

DO | Joshua Tree + Palm Springs: get lost exploring the neighborhoods in Palm Springs* / Joshua Tree National Park* / Moorten Botanical Garden / Integratron (reservations recommended)

EAT | DTLA + Venice Beach: Juice Served Here* / Grand Central Market* / Santa Monica Farmer's Market (where the local chefs shop) / Gjelina / Poke Poke / The Butcher's Daughter / Gjusta / Deus ex Machina / Mexican street vendors at Olympic/Central in DTLA (weekends)

EAT | Joshua Tree + Palm Springs: Ernest Coffee / Workshop / Pappy & Harriet's (go for an open mic night - reservations recommended) / Joshua Tree Coffee Company