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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 1,077 Hotels near Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium
Palm Canyon Resort by Diamond Resorts $70
Palm Canyon Resort by Diamond Resorts

Palm Canyon Resort by Diamond Resorts

2800 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
     
    3.8
    of 5, from 1,633 reviews
    2.5 out of 5.0

    Situated in Palm Springs, this golf condo building is 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from Indian Canyon and 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium. Ruddy's General Store Museum and Agua Caliente Cultural Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km).

    Vagabond Inn Palm Springs $75
    Vagabond Inn Palm Springs

    Vagabond Inn Palm Springs

    1699 S. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs
       
      3.6
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      2.0 out of 5.0

      Situated near the airport, this motel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium, Ruddy's General Store Museum, and Agua Caliente Cultural Museum. Baristo Park and Heusso Gallery are also within 2 mi (3 km).

      Motel 6 Palm Springs East-E Palm Canyon $52
      Motel 6 Palm Springs East-E Palm Canyon

      Motel 6 Palm Springs East-E Palm Canyon

      595 East Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs
         
        3.3
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        2.0 out of 5.0

        Situated in Palm Springs, this motel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium, Baristo Park, and Ruddy's General Store Museum. Agua Caliente Cultural Museum and Plaza Theatre are also within 2 mi (3 km).

        Caliente Tropics Hotel $89
        Caliente Tropics Hotel

        Caliente Tropics Hotel

        411 E Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
           
          3.9
          of 5, from 4,148 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.

          Best Western Inn at Palm Springs $100
          Best Western Inn at Palm Springs

          Best Western Inn at Palm Springs

          1633 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs
             
            3.7
            of 5, from 969 reviews
            2.5 out of 5.0

            Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium, Ruddy's General Store Museum, and Agua Caliente Cultural Museum. Baristo Park and Heusso Gallery 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
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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.

              Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs $104
              Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs

              Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs

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

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