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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 1,241 Properties near Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium
Best Western Inn at Palm Springs $90
Best Western Inn at Palm Springs

Best Western Inn at Palm Springs

1633 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs
     
    3.7
    of 5, from 1,054 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).

    Ace Hotel and Swim Club $135
    Ace Hotel and Swim Club

    Ace Hotel and Swim Club

    701 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs
       
      4.1
      of 5, from 1,297 reviews
      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 $187
      V Palm Springs

      V Palm Springs

      333 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs
         
        3.9
        of 5, from 231 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).

        Vagabond Inn Palm Springs $57
        Vagabond Inn Palm Springs

        Vagabond Inn Palm Springs

        1699 S. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs
           
          3.6
          of 5, from 1,990 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).

          Caliente Tropics Hotel $71
          Caliente Tropics Hotel

          Caliente Tropics Hotel

          411 E Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
             
            3.9
            of 5, from 4,261 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.

            Palm Mountain Resort and Spa $89
            Palm Mountain Resort and Spa

            Palm Mountain Resort and Spa

            155 S Belardo Road, Palm Springs
               
              3.8
              of 5, from 2,029 reviews
              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 $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
                of 5, from 647 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).

                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 966 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.