Unusual things to see in Palm Springs: Cabot’s Pueblo Museum

A view across the horizon where Cabot's Pueblo Museum peeks up.

Bringing culture and people together by creating and fostering an artistic community was the purpose of Cabot Yerxa’s Pueblo Museum. Rich in history, innovation and design, Cabot’s Pueblo Museum is a local and tourist attraction that brings in thousands of visitors each year. This peaceful attraction offers personal tours, school tours, memberships, art and culture, venues for celebrations, and community events that are fun for the whole family!

Cabot’s Pueblo Museum – What is it?

In short, Cabot’s Pueblo Museum is the former homestead of Cabot Yerxa, a traveller, entrepreneur, and artist who established a colony in Desert Hot Springs, California. An innovator in creative design, began construction on his home site in 1913 and decades afterwards the Museum would open officially  in 1950. Cabot built his entire pueblo by hand with bricks he made in his own courtyard as well as reclaimed wood and other materials and objects that he collected in and around the area.

Some parts of the structure you can see today even include pieces from his original homestead, which was built in 1913, and abandoned cabins that he bought for the sole purpose of reusing some of the pieces. It’s even said that Cabot straightened out bent nails just to be able to repurpose them.

An Indian carving towers over visitors.Inside this vast, 5,000 square foot Hopi-inspired pueblo with 35 rooms, 60 doors and 150 windows are Cabot’s collections from travels around the world. Inside, you’ll find Native American artwork, Cabot’s own art, artifacts, souvenirs, and gifts.

Located only 600 yards from the home, Cabot also dug a well for drinking water after he discovered the mineral waters of Desert Springs. It was from his discovery of both hot and cold mineral waters that Cabot came to name the area “Miracle Hill.” With naturally heating temperatures up to 180 degrees, these waters are known to be quite therapeutic!

What to See & Do at  Cabot’s Pueblo Museum

In addition to a 45-minute audio self-guided and/or virtual tour of the grounds and house building, Cabot’s Pueblo Museum also offers some very neat crafting classes which have included things like foil action figure sculpture making, Navajo inspired drawings, portrait design creations, and postcard making.

Also, in an effort to learn with and through the arts, the museum encourages the use of lesson plans they’ve developed based on the life and work of Cabot, as well as the museum’s own art collection. In fact, sometimes the museum even offers a two-for-one admission for tours if you bring in an art project! The museum is a great place to go with a group, but it is also a great option for a solo outing.

The museum has community programs throughout the year like Day of the Dead in October and Earth Day in April, but it also offers monthly events including storytelling and Artisan Day. Storytelling includes the adventures of Cabot Yerxa and Artisan Day involves local artists sharing their work with the Coachella Valley. Community programs and events are aimed at sharing culture with the community. If you aren’t quite interested in a full tour, or you can only stay for a short visit, grounds-only tours are offered for $5 and include a two-room entry so that you’re still able to see some parts of the inside of the pueblo.

Does Cabot’s Pueblo Museum do weddings?

Cabot's Pueblo Museum at SunsetThinking of using this beautiful hillside retreat as the backdrop for a special day? You can do that, as the museum hosts plenty of magical events. You can rent either the smaller or larger courtyard, or you can reserve the entire museum for your event. Prices to book normally range between $700 and $2,500 per day.

The museum is closed on Sundays and Mondays but it is open for business from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM the rest of the week. Before you leave, don’t forget to stop by The Trading Post, the museum store, as it has gifts for everyone. Here you’ll find everything from pottery, jewelry and books to artwork and souvenirs.

What’s nearby?

While you’re in the area, why not stop off to see a few other local hotspots or try your hand at some rock climbing? One of the most noteworthy local attractions is Joshua Tree National Park, which is less than an hour west and offers self-guided audio tours as well as a thrilling off-road tour.

Looking for another fun activity to do inside to escape the desert heat? There are dozens of escape rooms around the area including one that is Titanic Themed. With plenty of places to eat and sleep in the area, and lots of local and tourist attractions to visit, too, there’s no reason to not go exploring.

For an unusual experience quite contrary from other activities found in the area, Cabot’s Pueblo Museum is a quirky and eccentric must-see whether going at it alone or with friends and family. Pack a snack and take a tour, or pack a lunch and eat on the grounds – just don’t miss out on this wonderful piece of historical innovation.

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Palm Springs Traveller Staff