So you or your spouse just received orders to MCAGCC Twentynine Palms. DON'T PANIC! Crying will not change the orders (It will just ruin your makeup, trust me on this one). Pack some sunscreen and a dust-mop and get moving!
I know, it sounds like the worst place in the world. I've been told this place should count as hardship duty. No doubt, it's hot and tiny, but there's more to it than just a dusty town in the middle of the desert.
On Base: Housing on base isn't widely available and there generally is a wait for it. They are in the process of building some bigger homes (3 bedroom minimum) for junior enlisted Marines and their families, but I am unaware of when that is supposed to be done. The work has begun, though.
The on base and off base housing is run by Lincoln Military Housing.
Off Base Military: There is also housing available about 5-6 miles off base. It goes by the name 801, but the real name is Vista Del Sol. Lincoln recently started managing these units as well. They are not gated, but are patrolled by PMO 24 hours a day and on base rules (dog breed restrictions, hands free phones while driving, etc.) still apply.
Off Base Non-Military: There are a few places to live if military housing isn't for you (which is understandable). The Automated Housing Referral Network (or AHRN) is a great place to start if you're looking at renting off base.
There are some new home communities that have gone up in the last 4 years and various other homes for sale in the area if buying is more of what you're looking to do.
Don't forget to look into Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley. Joshua Tree is about 15-20 minutes from Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley is about 20-30 minutes. If you're up for a little bit of a commute, these are also great options.Pin It Now!
The town of Twentynine Palms is small, there is no arguing that fact. However, it is possible to enjoy your time there. I was born and raised in a big city and even I loved this little town. There was a short period of culture shock and "Omg. What did I do to deserve this?", but eventually, I learned to appreciate it.
There are a lot of recreational options available to those living in Twentynine Palms. A lot of them can be found on the City of Twentynine Palms website.
In addition to the local things to do, Twentynine Palms is located about 1 hour from Palm Springs, 3 hours from San Diego, 2 and a half hours from Los Angeles, and 2 and a half to four hours (depending on the route you take) from Las Vegas. These cities are all close enough for long weekend trips and often, people will head "down the hill" to Palm Springs for a date night or to catch a movie.
Shopping options are limited. Options include the MCX and home store on base in Twentynine. Half an hour down the road, you can find Wal-mart, Big Lots, Sears, a small stand alone JC Penney, and a few other chain stores and restaurants. If you are looking for more options, your best bet is to make a day trip to Palm Springs.
There is a small municipal airport located in Twentynine Palms, but it's mostly used by small planes and private pilots. The closest airport is the Palm Springs International Airport. The airlines that service the Palm Springs Airport are limited and include: Allegiant Air, Alaska, US Airways, American, Delta, Horizon Air, Sun Country (Seasonally), United, and Westjet. The Ontario International Airport and McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas) are the next best options with more airline options available, although they are farther away.