The Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico
Thunderbird Inn in Savannah, Georgia
Austin Motel in Austin, Texas
The Sunset Motel in Brevard, North Carolina
The Sunset Motel is a quintessential roadside destination in a scenic swath of North Carolina. Redolent of the 1950s and '60s, this renovated retro palace will transport you back to the days of poodle skirts, jukeboxes, and beehive hairdos.
Old Santa Fe Inn in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Packed with Southwestern charm, the Old Santa Fe Inn pays homage to the cultural traditions of its historic and dynamic city. The motel is located blocks away from Route 66, and it features handmade furniture, local artwork, and modern amenities.
The Red Caboose in Ronks, Pennsylvania
Rail enthusiasts and tourists alike adore The Red Caboose in Ronks, Pennsylvania, which consists of 38 cabooses painted in honor of America’s most famous railroads. The funky motel, which opened its doors in the 1970s, offers free movies in a nearby barn, Amish buggy rides, an old-school nickelodeon piano, and more.
Hotel Palms in Atlantic Beach, Florida
Just three blocks from the ocean, Hotel Palms has offered respite to travelers since 1947. Guests can relax in the private courtyard, grab a local beer at The Lounge, and sleep in a room with beach-inspired decor.
Kate’s Lazy Meadow Motel in Catskills, New York
Owned by Kate Pierson of the The B-52s and her partner, Monica Coleman, Kate’s Lazy Meadow Motel lies deep in the Catskills in Upstate New York. The motel features midcentury modern suites and cottages decked out in dazzling colors and with charming tchotchkes.
Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona
Visitors to the Wigwam Motel stay in freestanding concrete-and-steel structures that resemble the tepees of the Plains Indians. Built in 1950, this wigwam village still attracts travelers on historic Route 66 who appreciate Americana and crave a little nostalgia, which is enhanced by the collection of vintage cars parked on the property.
Wikimedia Commons via Carol M. Highsmith
Dog Bark Park Inn in Cottonwood, Idaho
Amigo Motor Lodge in Salida, Colorado
The Amigo Motor Lodge first opened for business more than 60 years ago, but after recent renovations it's taken on a new life and a fun, modern vibe. Visitors will now find trendy furnishings, minimalist design, concrete countertops, and quirky wall accents that offer words of inspiration—all of which bring a contemporary attitude to a classic roadside lodge.
Harbor Hotel in Provincetown, Massachusetts
With 129 rooms, the “retro-glam” Harbor Hotel embodies the easygoing spirit of Cape Cod. The Cabana Bar alongside the spacious pool, a fire pit, and an expansive patio allow guests to take full advantage of the colorful waterfront setting.
Ohio House Motel in Chicago
Visitors to downtown Chicago can't miss the Ohio House Motel, with its funky diamond motif and classic 1960s architecture. Inside the budget boutique motel, midcentury modern accents bring retro flair to the property's 48 rooms.
The Big Texan, Amarillo, Texas
Built to resemble a main street from the Old West, the kitschy 54-unit Big Texan motel offers modern amenities amid the decor of the late 1800s. Visitors will enjoy horse stalls, a Texas-shaped swimming pool, and a steak restaurant that offers a free 72-ounce steak dinner— as long as you can eat it in one hour!
Caliente Tropics Resort, Palm Springs, California
Once patronized by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, this unique hotel has plenty of the Polynesian tiki charm that embodied Palm Springs in the 1960s. The newly renovated lodging boasts stunning natural surroundings, picturesque views of the San Jacinto Mountains, and a swanky outdoor pool.
To jumpstart your holiday season, check out Bob Vila's favorite affordable stocking stuffers for everyone on your list!