Eddie turned the big 3-0 a few weeks ago and I wanted to take him on a road trip to celebrate! We’ve never explored Nevada outside of Las Vegas, so we decided a getaway to Death Valley would be new and fun. Filled with ghost towns, saloons, sand dunes, and more, we headed out for a weekend of desert exploration. Sharing where we stayed and what we saw!
Designed To Death
Our stunning Airbnb in Beatty is called Designed to Death - it’s located just minutes from Death Valley National Park’s entrance! It was a 3 bedroom 2 bath palace for Eddie and I, and one of the coolest places we’ve had the pleasure of staying at. Such a beautiful, peaceful home to return to after each day’s explorations.
The owners, Mikel and Karen, put so much love and thought into the house. The rock fireplace, gallery walls, floor to ceiling windows, and all the gorge furniture and decor - we loved it all.
Isn’t this kitch stunning? All the tiling, the butcher block countertops, black cabinetry, and that accent lighting. Wowza! We brought food and groceries with us as the hosts warned the closest grocery story is an hour away, and the kitchen was perfectly stocked with all we needed for our stay. One of the most fun evenings was spent here listening to music, drinking, and making spaghetti with Eddie.
From the dining room and kitchen is a hallway that leads to the 3 bedrooms, all decorated so sweetly! The house would be perf for a family or group of friends.
One of the two bathrooms in the house.
We stayed in the master bedroom, which has it’s own bathroom attached. Just love the black walls and those floating wood shelves!
One of my fave parts of the house was this dreamy patio. Those mountain views! Such a fab place to hang, I spent my mornings out here with a cup of coffee and brekky. Couldn’t get enough of that hanging chair!
Ryholite Ghost town
About a 10 minute drive from our Airbnb is the ghost town of Rhyolite, an old gold rush boom-town that was founded in 1904 and died by 1916. It was so interesting to see photos of what life was like back then. People were lured to the desert by the promise of gold found among the quartz in local mines, and buildings were built very quickly. There were hotels, stores, a school, an ice plant, two electric plants, a hospital, and more.
One of the only buildings still standing from back then is Tom Kelly’s Bottle House. Kelly collected 50,000 bottles in less than six months from the many saloons in town, and with them he built a three-room house, complete with a porch and gingerbread trim.
The Goldwell Open Air Museum was super interesting, and located right next to Rhyolite. It’s an outdoor sculpture park filled with all sorts of odd, cool art. Free and open to the public 24/7!
The International Car Forest
About an hour north of Beatty is a town called Goldfield, which is home to The International Car Forest - the project of artists Chad Sorg and Mark Rippie. We were the only ones there when we visited, and it has to be one of the creepiest/coolest places we’ve ever explored. Over 40 cars, trucks, and vans have been partially buried in the dirt so that they stick up into the air. If you like weird art, this is definitely a must-see.
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes were one of the most magical places we visited on our trip. They’re the most accessible dunes in Death Valley National Park, with a parking lot located right next to them so you can jump out of your car and explore. We went during golden hour before the sun set, and it was seriously dreamy. Eddie and I took our shoes off and walked in the sand taking in the stunning views.
wild burros in beatty
One of the things I was most excited to see during this trip was the famous wild burros of Beatty. I love donkeys so much and the thought of seeing them in the wild had me squealing! I looked for them every day while we were there, and by our last day had given up hope that I would see them for myself. But on our last night in town while we were driving home from the sand dunes, it happened. Eddie was driving when I spotted them near the side of the road. “STOP THE CAR!!!” I shouted!!
He pulled over and I finally got to see the burritos with my own eyes. They’re just so sweet and peaceful! I made sure to keep my distance- they stared at me for a bit but continued hanging out and eating.
Aren’t they the cutest!! I love them so much.
The perf ending to our stay in Death Valley. This was such a fun trip and so different from our usual California getaway. From here we drove to Vegas for a couple nights stay, which was fun as always.
Have you ever visited Death Valley? What were your fave things to see? Tell me all about it in the comments!