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Eight retro motels sure to inspire road-trip nostalgia

September 05, 2018 / Megan Wood

America’s love for automobiles paved the way for the iconic U.S. road trip. Motels, a name that blends the words “motor” and “hotel,” really took off in the ‘30s and ‘40s, when tourists needed a safe and inexpensive place to sleep while exploring the far reaches of the country. These properties provided some of the services associated with hotels, but the decor, parking lots, and regional architectural flair differentiated them from their pricier hotel counterparts. However, after World War II and the construction of limited-access interstates, motels started to fall out of favor. And eventually, they were superseded by a new craze: uniform chain hotels. Today, some motels celebrate their vintage pasts and put on a new retro shine. With that in mind, take a look at our list of eight retro motels, from California to New Jersey, all worthy of a visit. If it was good enough for Marilyn Monroe, it’s good enough for us. Established in 1938, th...