Retro Travel 

100 Things to Do On Route 66 Before You Die

Recently a publisher, on recommendation of Jim Ross, approached me with an intriguing proposal – write a book about Route 66 that is in essence a bucket list. The challenge fascinated me. How do you whittle down America’s longest attraction, a 2,000 mile corridor of fascinating museums, quirky folk art parks, historic sites, renovated motels, ghost towns, dynamic cities, time capsule restaurants and diners, and breathtaking natural attractions into a list of one hundred must see locations? I accepted the challenge and the result is a fun new book scheduled for…

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Architecture Preservation 

Lighting of the green at the Boots Motel!

We’ve been watching the restoration of the Boots Court Motel in Joplin, Missouri for years, from the “Save the Boots Motel campaign”,  until they reopened in 2012 and we got to visit and check it out in June 2011. This latest, and possibly the last piece of the  renovation not only highlights what a great job they’re doing for preservation of the motel, but for renovation all along Route 66! “Bringing back the neon” was not invented in the movie “Cars” but it’s an important step to bringing back the…

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Preservation Retro Travel 

Ohio House Motel Chicago – a survivor

Distinguished by its fabulous diamond shaped exterior, the Ohio House is a fabulous example of mid-century architecture right in the middle of downtown Chicago. Other architectural points of interest include the matching suspended sign, held up by a geometric metal grid which is itself reflected in the pattern block fence that runs along Ohio Street. Rough-faced stone walls and a large stainless steel sign on the east facade add to it’s distinctly Chicago Mid-Century design. The architect for the motel was Arthur Salk of Shayman and Salk, who also designed…

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Retro Travel 

Mid-Century Motel Monday: Mamaroneck Motel, New York

One of our favorite parts of Mid-Century travel is finding those fabulous out of the way motels for an affordable price. One of our biggest challenges on our trip back east was finding something near New York City. We knew we wanted to stay close by – because we were spending the day in Manhattan. Just 21 miles north we found the Mamaroneck Motel. Although the website doesn’t do it justice, it’s a fabulous retro motel that you wouldn’t notice if you didn’t know it was there. The motel has…

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Retro Travel 

Phoenicia Lodge is retro fun in the Catskills

Phoenicia Lodge has been on our  Mid-Century Motel directory for a long time – so when we planned a trip through upstate New York, we knew we had to stop and meet up with Brian and Sara who have lovingly restored and cultivated a fabulous Lodge in the gorgeous Catskills! The town of Phoenicia is small and quaint and a lot of fun. We had dinner at Tavern 214, an excellent restaurant there,  and enjoyed walking around the cute stores in the small downtown. As far as the Lodge goes,…

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Retro Travel 

Retro Roadtrip: The Blue Swallow, Tucumcari, NM

We have had the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, NM in our Motel Directory for a long time.It’s as much of an icon along Route 66 as the WigWam Motels. Owner Lillian Redman, a legend along Route 66 ran the motel from 1958 to 1997.  By a stroke of luck, owners over the years after she sold the motel managed to restore instead of modifying (and thus destroying the charm) the old motel.  The rooms have been “modernized” but only to accommodate the comfort of guests and going to great…

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Retro Travel 

Introducing our new “Motels for Sale” feature

If you haven’t checked out our Mid-Century Motels site, please do! We’re adding new motels every day and this week we’re proud to announce our “Motels for Sale” page. In order to promote preservation of these American Icons, we’re encouraging people to purchase and preserve motels from the Mid-Century era.  We hope to connect preservation-minded quality buyers with properties that should be saved for future use by enthusiastic travelers. We’ll be hunting for Googie signs, great locations, small cozy motels that other listing agents might overlook. If you’re interested in…

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Retro Travel 

Retro Roadtrip: The Sunset Motel

This motel came as a recommendation from two different readers, Jim Ross and Jerry McClanahan with the EZ66 guide.  We added it to our stays along Route 66 in New Mexico. This little motel is a bargain, clean, updated (good or bad depending on whether preservation is a priority or modern comforts) and family owned and operated. Most rooms have have a flat screen TV and free wireless access. They serve a small continental breakfast in the office and there are microwaves, refrigerators and coffee makers in each room. The…

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Retro Travel 

Ghost Towns of Route 66 – Glenrio and Endee

While traveling the mother road (also known as Route 66) over spring break, we were fortunate enough to find out about a side road – well, it used to be Route 66 proper, but as Sally said in the movie “Cars”, “The town got bypassed just to save ten minutes of driving.” and that couldn’t ring more true with the towns of Endee and Glenrio. Both are still fantastically picturesque but in a sad haunting way – you only wish you could picture them the way they had been. Using…

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Retro Travel 

A linear time capsule of epic proportions

By Jim Hinckley It is a time capsule of epic proportions with an overlay of Disneyland and America’s longest attraction for a legion of international enthusiasts. It is iconic Route 66, America’s most famous highway. From Chicago to Santa Monica this Route 66 renaissance is serving as a catalyst for the refurbishment and restoration of historic motels, restaurants, trading posts, diners, and even gas stations. For the rare businesses that survived changing times, bypass, and an often precipitous decline in revenue this reawakening is the owners reward for patience and…

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