The Classic American Road Trip
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The Classic American Road Trip


2+ wild hearts

A full tank of gas

A plan

Being willing to abandon the plan

Original Pilot in Gold

When it came time to photograph the core AO sunwear collection, with styles born out of classic American culture, we immediately thought of taking our shades on a classic road trip. Road trips create a unique experience that marries seeking out the past with discovering the new, and emerging somehow changed, exactly our design philosophy at AO. With a long weekend coming up fast, we thought we’d share some of our favorite spots to hit in Palm Springs and Joshua Tree.

The Route: Meandering through Joshua Tree and Palm Springs. We marked several points of interest on our map (and we do think the proper road trip requires a paper map) but left plenty of time to veer off course.

Day 1

Every road trip morning deserves an epic breakfast, preferably from a local favorite. Enter The Jelly Donut in Twentynine Palms.

Skull Rock – You may be able to picture it from the description, but the point of a road trip is you need to see everything yourself!

Giant Rock – not just a big rock, perhaps the biggest freestanding rock! It’s a place of myth, considered mystical by Native Americans, a former gathering point for UFO believers, you’ve got to go and see what energy you pick up.

Original Pilot in Silver

Quaint photo ops – If your road trip doesn’t include a quirky impromptu quick photo session, did it even happen?? We could suggest some places, but it only really counts if you find them yourself. 

Dinner with an atmosphere you’d never find at home. We’re partial to Pappy & Harriet’s.

Day 2

(You know we’re getting more donuts)

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park – Hike through a picturesque valley hoping for a sighting of desert bighorn sheep.

Abandoned Salton Riviera – Like modern ruins, this abandoned resort area lets your imagination run wild. Zombie apocalypse? 21st century archeologists? Enjoy a few hours imagining what the area once was

Returning to Palm Springs – Dine at a local institution – like The Tropicale.

Day 3

Exploring Palm Springs. In an urban environment, we like to really throw out the plans and wander wherever our feet take us. Palm Springs has plenty of options whether your thing is- mid-century modern architecture, people watching with a Margarita, soaking in the desert sun, checking out art or aircraft museums, or taking a local hike. We recommend going lo-fi and getting all of your advice from locals.

The Windmills in Palm Springs

Some general tips to remember on your trip

  • Let time move slowly and don’t overdo it, there’s always the next road trip
  • Take way too many pictures
  • Leave life behind, no death grip on your cell phone or hours scouring Yelp for the best tacos – fully check out for a few days
  • Bonus style points for renting the perfect classic car for your trip

Shop the AO collection to be ready for your next road trip.

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