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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 1,161 Properties near Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium
Motel 6 Palm Springs East-E Palm Canyon $53
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 within 1 mi (2 km) of San Jacinto Mountains and Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium. Baristo Park and Ruddy's General Store Museum are also within 2 mi (3 km).

    The Saguaro Palm Springs $79
    The Saguaro Palm Springs

    The Saguaro Palm Springs

    1800 E Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
       
      3.8
      of 5, from 1,807 reviews
      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.

      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
        of 5, from 1,028 reviews
        0.0 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).

        Motel 6 Palm Springs Downtown $56
        Motel 6 Palm Springs Downtown

        Motel 6 Palm Springs Downtown

        660 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs
           
          3.6
          of 5, from 929 reviews
          2.0 out of 5.0

          Situated near the airport, this motel 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 15 minutes.

          Caliente Tropics Hotel $58
          Caliente Tropics Hotel

          Caliente Tropics Hotel

          411 E Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
             
            3.9
            of 5, from 4,227 reviews
            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.

            Vagabond Inn Palm Springs $61
            Vagabond Inn Palm Springs

            Vagabond Inn Palm Springs

            1699 S. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs
               
              3.6
              of 5, from 1,972 reviews
              2.0 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).

              V Palm Springs $119
              V Palm Springs

              V Palm Springs

              333 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs
                 
                3.9
                of 5, from 211 reviews
                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).

                Ace Hotel and Swim Club $149
                Ace Hotel and Swim Club

                Ace Hotel and Swim Club

                701 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs
                   
                  4.1
                  of 5, from 1,275 reviews
                  0.0 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.