SUMMERTIME IS ON ITS WAY — and research from AAA says that in this economy, we’ll be taking a lot of road trips.  Although…maybe not in our vintage 1941 Cessna Family Car of the Air (see post below). Over the past year we’ve spotlighted some cool places to visit:

Got more? Share them via a Comment and starting tomorrow I’ll start featuring Retro Roadtrip destinations based on your input.

  1. Ms. Atomic says:

    Hi Pam,
    My husband and I look forward to road trips every year. You know you really love someone when you spend 12 to 14 hours a day driving… : )
    We actually got married on a road trip, from California to the Grand Canyon, went to Holbrook, AZ (stayed at the Wigwam Motel on Route 66), then to Phoenix/Scottsdale, AX (stayed at the Hotel Valley a wonderful MCM hotel- We rounded off the trip in Palm Springs, CA our 5th time there!

    Last year went did Nevada, Utah, Idaho, South Dakota, and Montana: In Great Falls, MT one must see the Sip and Dip Lounge at the O’Haire Motor Inn, they have Mermaid shows at the Bar (AND WHAT A BAR!!) the bar has not been changed since the 50s see my flickr for photos ( The Murray Hotel in Livingston, MT is also wonderful, the sign outside the hotel is to die for, the interior is very Western and super clean ( also a great bar next door.

    SInce we live in northern, CA we have visited the Madonna Inn a few times, glad you mentioned that place, it is a hoot!

    Sorry post is so long.

  2. Julie Rogers says:

    We love traveling our section of Route 66 in Illinois, but for a truly breathtaking trip, you have to visit The House on The Rock in Spring Green, Wis. (
    It’s … well, hard to describe. Imagine you had a ton of money to create massive — and tiny — themed rooms in an architectural wonder. You might, oh, fill one room with hundreds of mannequins done up as angels and a giant merry-go-round. Or have a three-story, sea-themed room with a multistory whale statue in the middle that looks like it’s trying to eat visitors.
    It’s trippy and wacky, and straight out of something your folks would drive you to in the 1960s.
    They’ve tried to update it with a resort and golf nearby, but this is still the 1950s-1970s wonder it always has been.

  3. Noah says:

    Hey Pam! check out the House on the Rock –

    It was constructed in Wisconsin by an architectural rival of frank lloyd wright, is huge, has tons of crazy touristey roadsidey attractions (biggest indoor carousel, tons of huge collections of furniture, machines, art, weird stuff, a very long room jutting out the side suspended by nothing, interesting architecture, etc.), and was featured in the Neil Gaiman book American Gods.

    i wrote a little about it too!

  4. Sooz says:

    Hi guys. We’re coming over from Australia in July and will be travelling in CA, TN, OH and PA. Any ideas about places/houses we should visit for a great 50s experience?

    We’ll definitely be going to La Villa Basque, thanks to the information on here.

    I’ve seen Falling Waters (Frank Lloyd Wright) and will be going back there again, along with Kentuck Knob.

    Anywhere else?


  5. Beth (Candy D.) says:

    Ms. Atomic, I’ve been dreaming of going to the Shady Dell for a few years now. But I live in the Northeast and don’t have any other reason to travel to that part of the country. I guess I will have to do some research–maybe I’ll find some other places nearby I’d like to visit.

  6. Elaine says:

    We love retro road trips and have traveled US 24 from north of Detroit to Colorado Springs. The tourist services are just about all gone but you get to go through the Main Streets of old towns where time has stood still. We had Gooseberry Pie on the town square somewhere in Illinois, and visited the town of Nicodemus which was founded on the prairie in Kansas by freed slaves. We traveled US 2 from St. Ignace, Michigan to Spokane, Rte 66 where possible, from California, over Sitgreaves Pass and through Oatman, CA, all the way east to Chicago. There are many vintage sights to see along there.

  7. Sooz says:

    Thanks Elaine, I’m glad to get some feedback before our trip. I found a great site called Roadside attractions that you can search by state and decide what it is you want to see. It’s great and I’ve bookmarked a heap of stuff to see on the way in each state we pass through.

    I’ve done a small part of Route 66 in 2007 and I absolutely loved Tucumkeri, it looked like time stood still.

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