Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Highway 39

August 26, 1963 

Hi - Guess who stayed here on your recommendation? Nice place. Wayne loves the pool. Since Saturday afternoon have seen Knotts and D.land - Oy, my poor feet! Going to go to Marine land today-
Gerri, Art, Milana and Wayne
Photo credit:  http://michael5000.blogspot.com/2012/05/wednesday-post_09.html
As a boy of 7 or 8 years old, I can remember being in the back seat of the car heading down Beach Blvd. (back then, it was "Highway 39"). The anticipation of getting to the beach was almost unbearable, and I would look out the window for familiar landmarks.
Photo credit: http://occinema.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/highway39-drive-in.jpg
I knew when I saw the Hi-way 39 Drive-In that we were at least half way there, and not long after I would be able to smell the salt air. Back then, Highway 39 was a highly desirable vacation destination, and people from all over the country would come here and stay in one of the motels that line the street. Like the postcard says, "3 minutes to Knotts Berry Farm, 9 minutes to Disneyland; near beaches". The perfect family vacation!

Fast forward 50 years, and these quaint motels are looking pretty run-down and not so quaint. They're really interesting from a photography point-of-view, but I probably wouldn't stay in one with my family! They appear to cater to long-term renters who rent by the week or month, tend to be down on their luck, and can't scrape together first and last for a traditional apartment. As I was driving home from the beach last weekend, I stopped to photograph a few that are still standing.
The Starlite
The Tahiti
The Riviera
The Sahara
The Robin Hood
The Covered Wagon. These folks came out to make sure I wasn't with the press!
I had some nice blue twilight skies in those 
first three photos, so linking to Skywatch Friday. Have a great weekend, and get out there and take some photos!

29 comments:

  1. These are so cool photos, as I never seen a real American motel :) The night photos always fascinate me

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very wonderful pictures of real americana in the right colors. Love to see this old? signs. You can almost smell and hear the atmosphere.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree...'real americana'....we have a few in neighboring cities...never thought to photograph them at night so their vintage beauty can shine through. Thanks for the inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love the old (looking) signs. I don't think I would want to stay there either...

    ReplyDelete
  5. love the signage, though, even if the places are a bit seedy!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I took vacations in the late 60s with my grandparents, going to Disneyworld and Gatlinburg, TN. The photos and postcards bring back fond memories. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great pictures, and great memories. I really enjoy this blog!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love these! I might not want to stay in some but those signs are worth stopping for and photographing and you did a great job capturing them.
    Wonderful shots!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nice set of shots - think I agree about staying in those places - they may be a bed of last resort!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love the motel signs shining through the night and your memories of the past. A great travel post!

    ReplyDelete
  11. These are just wonderful. The colors are so rich!

    ReplyDelete
  12. You have great 1950s-1960s motel pictures. Their signs are amazingly symbolic of that optimistic era. The evening skies in those first three photos are terrific. Perfect time to be there. I had relatives in Anaheim and remember spending days at D-land.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. Feel free to stop by any time.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wonderful, colorful captures for the day!!! I do have to agree with Taken for Granted, they are great 1950-60s motels! What great shots! Happy SWF! Hope you have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Beautiful shots. Happy sky watching.

    Skywatch

    ReplyDelete
  15. Excellent photos of old motel signs. Keep on clicking.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow, these are awesome captures! The signs and lights are cool. Thanks for sharing, have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Love the pics but I wouldn't want to stay in them either. There seems to be a big segment that loves staying in the old motels as part of the experience of the 50's and 60's. They weren't that great then and and they haven't got any better.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I enjoyed this sequence. The signs work so well for photographic subjects.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow I feel like walking in the memory lane. Love your shots!


    Kim,USA

    ReplyDelete
  20. Fun post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love these hotel photos, you did a great job. These family-run hotels are past their prime because everyone wants to stay at a chain hotel these days, I know we're guilty of that.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Great shots!
    Hope you're having a wonderful weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  23. That was such a sweet childhood memory! I know that going to the beach is one of the most important parts of being a kid...it's just magic! :-) Those motels from that era were all-important to families but now as you said they are less so. You got some beautiful photos of some of them! Time changes, and sometimes it's a little sad.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Sure brings back memories of an earlier day..

    ReplyDelete
  25. Great shots, evoking a sweet nostalgic feeling...

    ReplyDelete
  26. What a cool adventure, love those roadside motels and the stories they share

    ReplyDelete