On the road again...again.
July 28, 2008 3:37 PM   Subscribe

Is there an online resource for finding and viewing eclectic or eccentric or cheap motel/motor lodges that are preferably non-chain & independently owned?

I asked this question on a sunday afternoon in May and got virtually no response, So I'm trying it again :-)

I plan to be traveling around the eastern half of the U.S. (basically the parts of the U.S. east of the Mississippi River, but not new england or NY/NJ) for the entire month of September. Id love to find motels that haven't changed their architecture since the 50s 60s 70s or 80s and/or have interesting/older furniture and decor. Theme motels would be very cool, as well. Amenities are not nearly as important as uniqueness. Half-star and one-star places can be cool finds too. My goal is theme-based photography.

Ive tried to go the expedia/hotwire/travelocity route and they don't seem to have what I'm looking for. I also found motelguide.com, but there are no links or pictures or details, just lists of phone numbers. interestingly enough, roadsideamerica.com didnt have anything like this either (their listings are mostly big-chain). unusualhotelsoftheworld.com/ also yielded few results.

Since the motel would be the next day's destination, pictures of the exterior and an interior of a representative interior would be greatly appreciated.

If anyone has any specific recommendations, they would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!
posted by sandra_s to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I did a west coast version of this (and can give you some links if you even come west!) but never found a single source -- best I could do was a combination of AAA magazine articles and combing Lonely Planet guides (which seemed to do the best job of highlighting the neat ones).
posted by feckless at 4:14 PM on July 28, 2008

Motel Americana?
posted by esmerelda_jenkins at 4:29 PM on July 28, 2008

I look for low-rated places on TripAdvisor (and checking comment to make sure they're not wretched) and am usually pretty happy with that. It's not a guide to just quirky, but I often find that limiting by price and stars and looking near where you're going but not right in the thick of things winds up getting you into some pretty interesting places. Best to crosscheck to see if the place has its own website, but there are a lot of nifty indie places in bost TA and in the AAA print guides if you happen to have a AAA membership.
posted by jessamyn at 4:38 PM on July 28, 2008

I've used HostelWorld, where you can look specifically for cheap hotels, guesthouses or short-term apartments. Also check with the Chamber of Commerce for whatever area I'm looking at. You can find some interesting places that way. Lonely Planet or Rough Guide are really good sources, both print and online.
posted by fiercekitten at 5:34 PM on July 28, 2008

Unusual Hotels of the World has a North American section.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 6:31 PM on July 28, 2008

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