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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 1,023 Properties near Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium
Motel 6 Palm Springs Downtown $60
Motel 6 Palm Springs Downtown

Motel 6 Palm Springs Downtown

660 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs
     
    3.6
    of 5, from 881 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.

    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
      of 5, from 576 reviews
      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).

      Hotel Zoso $90
      Hotel Zoso

      Hotel Zoso

      150 S Indian Canyon Dr, Palm Springs
         
        3.7
        of 5, from 1,780 reviews
        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.

        V Palm Springs $187
        V Palm Springs

        V Palm Springs

        333 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs
           
          3.9
          of 5, from 201 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).

          Palm Canyon Resort by Diamond Resorts $81
          Palm Canyon Resort by Diamond Resorts

          Palm Canyon Resort by Diamond Resorts

          2800 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
             
            3.8
            of 5, from 1,700 reviews
            2.5 out of 5.0

            This family-friendly Palm Springs condo building is within 2 mi (3 km) of San Jacinto Mountains and Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium. Indian Canyon and Indian Canyons are also within 3 mi (5 km).

            Caliente Tropics Hotel $68
            Caliente Tropics Hotel

            Caliente Tropics Hotel

            411 E Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
               
              3.9
              of 5, from 4,186 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 1,933 reviews
                2.0 out of 5.0

                Situated near the airport, this motel 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).

                Best Western Inn at Palm Springs
                Best Western Inn at Palm Springs

                Best Western Inn at Palm Springs

                1633 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs
                   
                  3.7
                  of 5, from 995 reviews
                  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).