Desert Adventure: Sonic Healing, Lunch & Joshua Trees

Photo Credit: The Integratron

Ready for the quintessential California experience? Hop in the car, turn up the tunes, and head out into the high desert towards Joshua Tree. But stick with us here. This desert adventure isn’t about exploring the great outdoors (although you’ll definitely see some of those funky shaped cacti along the way). This adventure is about resetting your chakras in a mystical structure designed by aliens, followed by lunch at a foodie haven that’s out of this world. Do we have your interest piqued?

Sound Bath at The Integratron

The Integratron is a modernist dome structure designed by UFO-ologist and “alien contactee” George Van Tassel in the late 1950s. Inspired by the writings of Nikolas Tesla, Moses’ Tabernacle, and telepathic information Van Tassel received from visitors from the Planet Venus, the large wooden dome was constructed atop a powerful intersection of geomagnetic forces about twenty miles north of Joshua Tree. Van Tassel claimed the unique geometry of the building further amplified the already heightened magnetic field, making the Integratron capable of rejuvenation, reversing the aging process, and time travel. As an added bonus, the acoustics of the circular space are beyond compare.

For the last 30 years the Integratron has been privately owned by three deeply spiritual sisters. Their focus is to preserve the unusual building while sharing its acoustical properties with visitors via the Integratron Sound Bath. For the uninitiated, a Sound Bath is a sonic healing session. According to the Integratron website, visitors “rest comfortably in the deeply resonant, multi-wave sound chamber while a sequence of quartz crystal singing bowls are played. Each bowl is keyed to the energy centers or chakras of the body, where sound is nutrition for the nervous system. The results are waves of peace, heightened awareness, and relaxation of the mind and body.” All inside a dome designed by aliens, in the middle of the Californian desert.

Advance reservations are essential. Sound baths are offered 4-5 times each day, Thursday through Sunday. Each month opens for booking two months ahead of time, with the exception of July & August when the dome is closed.

Located in the town of Landers, CA the scenic drive to the Integratron will take about an hour from Twin Palms Resort. Instead of going all the way to Joshua Tree on CA-62 E, take the turn off for CA-247 N towards Pioneertown and Landers and follow the signs.

For the ultimate experience, we suggest booking a late morning Sound Bath. After all that sonic healing you’re going to be hungry, and we know just the place for lunch.

Lunch at La Copine

Just minutes down the road from the Integratron, you’ll find a little restaurant that’s so authentically good it’s been written about in the New York Times and Vogue. Although it may look like just another diner on a dusty road, this women-owned spot serves up deliciously seasonal and comforting food that appeals to Integratron pilgrims, foodie enthusiasts, and brunching locals. Perfectly-dressed salads might be topped with creamy burrata or a farm-fresh fried egg. A bulging wagyu beef steak sando is served with a tonkatsu demi glace. The chicken piccata is accompanied by grits, topped with lemon-caper butter sauce and fresh sorrel. And make sure to leave room for dessert! La Copine’s menu changes with the seasons, and rarely disappoints.

As with the Integratron, advance reservations are essential. The reservation process is a little unusual, as it’s completely done by text, but instructions are clearly outlined on their website info page. Each month opens for booking 28 days ahead of time, so set yourself a reminder on your phone. Trust us, it’s worth the effort. La Copine is open 11am–4pm, Thursday through Sunday. Limited walkup seating is available for the patio on a first come basis, but waits can be long.

If you can’t get reservations at La Copine, Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown offers a completely different (but still very Californian) dining experience. This self-proclaimed “magical desert roadhouse” has good BBQ, live music in the evenings, and a funky biker-rockstar-hipster vibe that earned it a segment on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. Open Thursday through Monday.

So there you have it. The quintessential California desert adventure. A little woo-woo. A lot delicious. And you’ll see some of those crazy Joshua Trees along way. Enjoy!