Fun, Funky Motels Near the New York Thruway
April 26, 2014 9:35 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for tips on interesting, old-fashioned motels between Buffalo and Syracuse.

I live in Michigan; my girlfriend lives in Massachusetts. Sometimes we meet in the middle for long weekends. Buffalo is pretty much equidistant from our houses, and when we have enough cash there are lovely places there to stay via airbnb. But when we are trying to do it on the cheap, it's more challenging.

I wonder if anybody knows of any inexpensive but fun old motels, or cabins, anywhere between Buffalo and Syracuse along the thruway or a bit north or south of it? I have an affection for funky old places that have survived from before the interstates went in. Cheap is OK, asthetically strange is OK (I've stayed in places where the room had different wallpaper on every wall). Clean, safe, and functional are the top criteria; within 40-60 minutes of scenery and/or a place with good beer are bonuses, though on these weekends we tend to spend most of our time in the room, so off the beaten track is perfectly OK.

Under $80/night is fine. That rare wonderful place for $55/night is the ideal.
posted by not that girl to Travel & Transportation around New York (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Ooh, man. I live in Syracuse and I'm drawing an absolute blank on this. I've put out the question on Facebook; hopefully I can come back with something. I have to imagine that there might be something around Seneca Falls.
posted by JimBJ9 at 11:34 AM on April 26, 2014

I think you should take a close look at Niagara Falls. Thanks to the Honeymoon Capital of the World industry remnants, there are sections of town 10-15 minutes off the beaten path with places like that. One example.
posted by gnomeloaf at 12:48 PM on April 26, 2014

The Gould Hotel is a 95 year old hotel in downtown Seneca Falls.
posted by JimBJ9 at 3:28 PM on April 26, 2014

Check out Geneva, NY. There are some wineries there. The Belhurst Castle is neat and has faucets in the hallways that dispense wine, but it's above your price range alas.
posted by Melismata at 4:12 PM on April 26, 2014

In Buffalo you should check out Salvatore's Restaurant & Garden Place Motel. It's an experience.
posted by punkrockrat at 8:59 PM on April 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Well you could try the Miami Motel in Canandaigua. Rates start at $69 it says. Not too far from exit 43. The motel is right on a highway and nothing special in the immediate vicinity, but Canandaigua is a gem; breweries and a nice downtown and the lake. You can sometimes do beer tastings at the NY Wine and Culinary Center. I have driven by the motel but have never been inside. It definitely fits the requirements for "interesting" and "old-fashioned." I don't know about clean, but it would be safe and functional.
posted by evilmomlady at 4:53 AM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

The only other response that I got was The White Inn in Fredonia, NY (other side of Buffalo).

Personally, I'd go with evilmomlady's suggestion. It sounds like it fits what you're looking for and the area is quite gorgeous.
posted by JimBJ9 at 6:37 AM on April 27, 2014

This is really embarrassing, but I just remembered a spot that might fit what you're looking for, in my own freaking hometown, no less.

Graziano's Inn & Italian Restaurant in Canastota, NY.

I've never been in the inn, but the restaurant looks like it's straight out of the '70s. It's the kind of place where the proprietor (Tony, who has done this for longer than I've been alive) will come over and ask how your meal is and if there's anything he can do for you. He's a former boxing trainer and the restaurant has a lot of memorabilia to reflect it. It's a very neat piece of Americana. And the food is old-school, but wonderful.
posted by JimBJ9 at 6:22 AM on May 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Keeping JimBJ9's idea in mind for future trips.

The Miami Motel was perfect. $69/night. The room had been beautifully remodeled: ceramic tile bathroom, flawlessly repainted walls and ceiling, new high-quality furniture, lovely decor. The bed was super-comfortable. The insides are spiffier than the outside, but not decorated in-period. The owner was friendly and outgoing without being overbearing. The continental breakfast was pretty good. Each room has a table and chairs outside, and we spent quite a bit of time out there, eating, drinking our coffee, reading, and talking. A terrific microbrewery is right next door, Canandaigua and all its upscale upscale-ness is close by, a fun local diner (Sweet Sue's Country Diner) is just a few miles down the road. I'd never been to the Finger Lakes region and enjoyed the scenery very much. Thanks so much, evilmomlady, for the tip.
posted by not that girl at 6:19 AM on May 27, 2014

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