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Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium

Learn how one family’s love of desert plants became a Palm Springs horticultural institution.

The Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium was established by husband and wife Patricia and Chester “Cactus Slim” Moorten, back in 1939. This couple were Palm Springs celebrities, assisting Walt Disney with the design Disneyland’s Frontierland. Their contribution to the cultural and horticultural life of their city is commemorated on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.

The gardens continue to be lovingly curated by Patricia and Chester Moorten’s family. As you enter, look out for the family home, fondly known as Cactus Castle. Thousands of specimens sourced from all over the world are represented here, yet the one-acre (0.4-hectare) gardens retain a homey intimacy. The species are categorized geographically, taking visitors through exhibits of real terrain. 

Spend an hour exploring over a dozen arid biomes, such as the Baja California Peninsula, the South African-Succulent Karoo, the Mojave Desert and Mexico-Gran Desierto de Altar. Not limited to cacti, the gardens also display agave, bombax, and South African aloe plants. An interesting collection of rocks, crystals, fossils and gold-mining relics break up the flora and enhance the desert themes. 

Guided tours of the gardens are available, but it’s recommended that you book ahead. The garden staff are happy to answer questions.

Plants are available for purchase from the nursery, but make sure you’re permitted to take them home before buying. Allow yourself an hour for a thorough visit. 
The Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium is about 1.5 miles (two kilometers) from downtown Palm Springs and there is on-street parking The gardens are closed Wednesdays and the admission price is minimal.


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Lodging Near Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium

See all 1,176 Properties near Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium
Caliente Tropics Hotel $68
Caliente Tropics Hotel

Caliente Tropics Hotel

411 E Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
     
    3.9
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    2.5 out of 5.0

    Combining Polynesian and tiki style with up-to-date features, this hotel is just 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) from downtown Palm Springs' shopping, dining, and arts; the airport and Cathedral City are 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) away.

    Best Western Inn at Palm Springs $80
    Best Western Inn at Palm Springs

    Best Western Inn at Palm Springs

    1633 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs
       
      3.7
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      2.5 out of 5.0

      Situated near the airport, this hotel is steps from San Jacinto Mountains and Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium. Ruddy's General Store Museum and Agua Caliente Cultural Museum are also within 2 mi (3 km).

      Ace Hotel and Swim Club $119
      Ace Hotel and Swim Club

      Ace Hotel and Swim Club

      701 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs
         
        4.1
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        3.5 out of 5.0

        Built on the foundation of a mid-century motel, Ace Hotel & Swim Club is 0.3 mile from Moorten Botanical Garden, 2 miles from the Palm Springs Art Museum, and 6 miles from the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

        V Palm Springs $136
        V Palm Springs

        V Palm Springs

        333 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs
           
          3.9
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          4.0 out of 5.0

          Situated in Palm Springs, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of San Jacinto Mountains and Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium. Ruddy's General Store Museum and Agua Caliente Cultural Museum are also within 2 mi (3 km).

          The Saguaro Palm Springs $112
          The Saguaro Palm Springs

          The Saguaro Palm Springs

          1800 E Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
             
            3.8
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            4.0 out of 5.0

            The Saguaro Palm Springs is a 5-minute drive from El Paseo, and 3 miles (4.8 km) from Palm Springs Art Museum. Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Station is a 15-minute drive, and further afield, Joshua Tree National Park is 50 minutes away.

            Hotel Zoso $89
            Hotel Zoso

            Hotel Zoso

            150 S Indian Canyon Dr, Palm Springs
               
              3.7
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              4.0 out of 5.0

              This contemporary hotel in downtown Palm Springs is steps from dining and shopping on Palm Canyon Drive, 3 blocks from the Palm Springs Convention Center, and 2 miles from the airport.

              Palm Mountain Resort and Spa $69
              Palm Mountain Resort and Spa

              Palm Mountain Resort and Spa

              155 S Belardo Road, Palm Springs
                 
                3.8
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                3.0 out of 5.0

                Situated in the heart of Palm Springs, this resort is adjacent to Palm Canyon Drive, the city's main cultural and shopping thoroughfare.

                Motel 6 Palm Springs East-E Palm Canyon $56
                Motel 6 Palm Springs East-E Palm Canyon

                Motel 6 Palm Springs East-E Palm Canyon

                595 East Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs
                   
                  3.4
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                  2.0 out of 5.0

                  Situated in Palm Springs, this motel is close to Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium, Tahquitz Canyon, and Baristo Park. Also nearby are Ruddy's General Store Museum and Agua Caliente Cultural Museum.