The closest lodging to the entrance to Joshua Tree National Park, the funky 29 Palms Inn scatters a collection of adobe and wood-frame cottages, some dating back to the 1920s and 1930s, over 70 acres of grounds that include the ancient Oasis of Mara, a popular destination for birds and bird-watchers year-round. Guests can sign up for free one-hour nature walks guided by a naturalist. Innkeeper Jane Smith's warm, personal service more than makes up for the cottages' rustic
qualities. The contemporary fare at the inn's convivial restaurant, ranging from pasta to seafood, is more sophisticated than its Old West appearance might suggest and sourced by an on-site organic garden. The on-site art gallery and pool please families.