Historic Site in Joshua Tree National Park

Image by Ovidiu Hrubaru Shutterstock

Looking like an 1870s frontier town, Pioneertown was actually built in 1946 as a Hollywood Western movie set. Gene Autry and Roy Rogers were among the original investors, and more than 50 movies and several TV shows were filmed here in the 1940s and '50s. These days, it's fun to stroll around the old buildings and drop into the local honky-tonk for refreshments. Mock gunfights take place on ‘Mane St’ at 2:30pm every second and fourth Saturday, April to October.

Within staggering distance is the atmospheric Pioneertown Motel, where yesteryear’s silver-screen stars once slept during filming, and whose rooms are now filled with eccentric Western-themed memorabilia; some have kitchenette.