I enjoy traveling back roads. There's less traffic, less stress and more interesting things to see. A couple of weeks ago as I was traveling home from North Carolina (more about that later) I was driving down U.S. Highways 321 and 301. I couldn't help looking at all the old motels and relics of the days when these roads were the way to travel. Beginning in the 1930s, automobile travel became more and more popular, and roadside accommodations grew to serve the travelers. From campgrounds to cabins to motor courts, the lodging evolved and following World War II, the major north-south highways were lined with motels to serve vacationers.
After the Interstate system was begun, most of the travelers changed routes and the boom days were over. In the more prosperous towns the roadside motels were torn down for other growth, but in some areas they still exist. Along the stretch of 301 and 321 I traveled, there were some that are still in business, while others are dusty ghost towns.
I found the Vintage Roadside site to be full of interesting information on the history of motor lodges, as they were first known.
Here are a couple of pictures of sights that caught my eye.
|A large motel, appears to be still in business|
|The Interstate, which apparently was a large truck stop and restaurant complex. Now a ghost town.|
|A great sign on a roadside restaurant|
|And another great sign on an old motel|