Photos of Americans on holiday in the 60s show the golden age of motels

By Naomi Leach

Long before Airbnb and Couchsurfing, there were motels. Glorious motels with citrus-coloured bed sheets ...

Guests enjoy the pool at Belvedere Manor. Photo / Getty Images
Guests enjoy the pool at Belvedere Manor. Photo / Getty Images

As their neon lights blinkered enticingly across the highway, motels offered the Baby Boomer generation a symbol of fun in an era of civil tension and political change.

Embracing the freedom of the road that early automobiles offered, American holidaymakers in the 1960s could enjoy weekend escapes in glamorous accommodation that boasted swimming pools, diners and even gyms.

Guests working out in the South Winds Motel gym with a fitness trainer. Photo / Getty Images
Guests working out in the South Winds Motel gym with a fitness trainer. Photo / Getty Images

Illustrating the modcons and comforts of the age, a postcard of a motel interior reveals an early television as the centre piece of a brown bedroom decorated with pops of citrus-coloured bed sheets and trendy chairs.

A family eats breakfast together while on holiday at the Grand Motel in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Photo /  Getty Images
A family eats breakfast together while on holiday at the Grand Motel in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Photo / Getty Images

In dazzling vintage images, in which Don Draper would not look out of place, motel guests can be seen lounging by the pool in bathing suits and high-waist swim shorts.

And a formally dressed hotel audience are captured watching a dance performance from girls dressed in Hawaiian style grass skirts.

Popularised by Elvis Presley and greater airline connectivity, Hawaii and tiki-culture heavily-influenced the tourism industry of the age and the islands were the most desirable destination in the United States to vacation.

Driven by their kitsch appeal, some holidaymakers are now trying to revive the faded motel industry which has dwindled in popularity in recent years.

These vibrant snapshots offer a glimpse back in time to the glory days of motels.

Two women in bathing suits playing shuffleboard in the Cavalier Motel courtyard at Bass River, Massachusetts. Photo / Getty Images
Two women in bathing suits playing shuffleboard in the Cavalier Motel courtyard at Bass River, Massachusetts. Photo / Getty Images

- Daily Mail

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