Want to feel like you’re in Morocco without leaving the US? Do it the Aerie way and head to southern California! This season, our design team traveled to Morocco to get inspired for our newest collection. When it was time to bring the collection to life in a photoshoot, we figured out a way to get some of that same Moroccan inspiration… on a REAL budget. Find out what to see, where to stay and what to eat from Aerie Creative Director, Summer.

What to see

Sand dunes

An accessible world wonder, just under 2 hours from Palm Springs in Brawley, CA. It’s an easy day trip and you get real Moroccan desert vibes, like Erg Chebbi or Merzouga, without ever leaving the US.


  • Watch out for ATVs! Wear bright colors to stand out… neon Desert Sweatshirt if you have it!
  • Bring and drink lots and lots of water. It’s hot out there.
  • Watch out for snakes! Rattlesnakes and sidewinders are known to be in the area. We also learned on our trip to look out for the scariest snake of all… the fake snake. If you want to spice up your trip and scare your friends, throw one in your bag (or theirs)!


You too can meet the realest camel out there, Nadia! She lived in the wilds of Arizona until this year. Today, she’s a 9-year-old lady living her best life on a 10-acre farm with 4 camel friends.

Where to stay

The Joshua Tree House

This dreamy Joshua Tree spot has Moroccan-inspired decor, the most amazing rugs and lots and lots of cacti. We did one day of our photoshoot at the Hacienda, which has select dates available overnight trips. If not, you can stay at The House or The Casita for your own Moroccan adventure.


  • BEWARE OF PRICKS! By the end of the day, we were all full of cactus needles. Some of us still have the scars to prove it.

Sands Hotel & Spa

The Sands is a Moroccan dream come true, with architecture and design that feels like a riad, a traditional Moroccan house with a garden or courtyard in the middle. If a vacation at the pool and spa is your thing (and why wouldn’t it be?!), this is the place for you.

The Pink Cabana

Location, location, location! The Pink Cabana is connected to the Sands, so you can do Morocco without ever leaving the comfort of your hotel.

A full day of eating Moroccan style looks like:

  • Breakfast: Tumeric and honey granola or a Moroccan pancake (baghrir)
  • Lunch: Cabana meze or Naan tartine.
  • Dinner: Harissa chicken with a Moroccan mint iced tea on the side.

The Purple Palm

This famous spot may not have traditional Moroccan food, but the design is Morocco all the way—check out those tiles!

Is there a Moroccan-inspired spot you love near you? Comment below & tell us!

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