Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Pioneertown was built back in the 1940s as a live-in old west movie set. For years, actors would live in the town while filming, and these homes were used as part of the film sets. The history is fascinating, and you can read more on the wiki page or the California tourism page.
Today, the town is an unincorporated community village with a population near 350. Pioneertown is a popular tourist destination, especially on the weekends when re-enactment groups perform old west gun fights. The local bowling alley and Pappy and Harriet's Pioneertown Palace (restaurant and music venue) seem to be other popular draws to the town.
We showed up on a random weekday and the whole town seemed to be shut down - I don't think we saw one other person. We walked around the deserted Mane Street and looked inside all the store-front windows we could find. It was definitely a fun step back in time!
Also worth a mention: the town of Yucca Valley is eclectic and vibrant, with coffee shops and thrift stores. You have to drive through Yucca Valley on the way to Pioneertown, so be sure to stop and have a look around!
Other California posts here and another wild west town right here.