Visit Moorten’s Cactus Castle

moortens cactus castle historic landmark palm springs
Started in 1919 and completed in the 1920s, the officially designated historic landmark was once owned by the late actor, Charlie Farrell. Yes, that’s the same Farrell who has a street named after him running through the heart of Palm Springs. The Spanish design is made of poured concrete, which insulates the home and keeps it cool in the extreme summer heat.

The home was later purchased by Chester and Patricia Moorten. Chester, aka “Cactus Slim,” was an actor and one of Mack Sennett’s original Keystone Cops. The Moorten’s left Hollywood and moved to Palm Springs in the 1930s to open a nursery. That nursery is now Moorten’s Botanical Gardens, a must-see destination for desert landscape lovers. The famous cactus garden, located on the grounds of the home, has been visited by Presidents and celebrities, been featured on television shows like Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, and has been host to many weddings, concerts and other social events.

Moorten’s Botanical Gardens features over 3,000 examples of desert cacti and other desert plants. Guided and self-guided walking tours are offered throughout the year. Visit the website for prices and hours

LOCATION: 1701 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, California 92264. Call 760.327.6555 for additional information or visit

DIRECTIONS: From downtown Palm Springs, head south on S. Palm Canyon Drive. When you reach the bend in the road, turn right at the light. You will still be on S. Palm Canyon Drive. Continue for three shorts blocks and you will see Moorten’s on the right hand side of the street.

INTERESTING FACTS: The Moorten’s were friends of Walt Disney, who had a home at Smoke Tree Ranch. According to Moorten’s website, “They consulted Disney to help design the western theme of Frontierland at his new amusement park which later became Disneyland.”