Retro trip to California
Replies: 16 - Last Post: Dec 16, 2012 5:48 PM Last Post By: socalman
Dec 7, 2012 11:10 PM
Retro trip to CaliforniaMorning all!!!
we are planning a trip to California next year in August (yes yes, I know, terrible time of year - no choice etc etc!) and we are eager for tips of places not to miss..... We are retro fans and really fascinated in 1920's - 1950's America and would love to stay in some interesting motels, or visit some quirky museums, or eat at some great retro diners - any recommendations of places?
At the moment we are traveling in a big circle - LA up to SF and across to Vegas and want to visit Palm Springs - but we would really like to get off the tourist trails and stay in some interesting places - we are not really interested in Monterey or Big Sur - but can't wait to see San Fransisco and the older parts of Vegas....
Any suggestions of places just not to miss? Any record stores for amazing Rock and Roll? Or bars that play Elvis 24/7?
Thanks heaps!!! Littleminx
Dec 8, 2012 12:00 AM
Dec 8, 2012 12:03 AM
Dec 8, 2012 12:43 AM
3Look here at the website for the tv show diners, drive ins and dives, where you can search for featured restaurants by city/zip code http://www.foodnetwork.com/local/index.html#/38.736171/-97.222306/3/
You dont say which route you are taking when you leave san franciso for vegas,but Reno ,nevada is a good stop for 50's era type motels and some dive diners. Check out the diner in the Golden Nugget Casino downtown, home of the awful awful burger, and dont forget to see the old Reno Arch and the car museum.
Depending on how flush with cash you are, you can rent some great retro homes for a night or two in Palm Springs for reasonale prices, especially in Summer which is their low season. I believe even Elvis;s old home is available for rent, (the website is under construction)
The Madonna Inn, halfway between LA and SF has been mentioned here before, http://www.madonnainn.com/
The Bradbury building was built in 1893, but was used heavily as a film site in Noir films in the 1950's (as well as in the classic sci fi movie Bladerunner). http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?_adv_prop=image&fr=yfp-t-521-s&va=bradbury+building
Amoeba Records in the Haight district in San Francisco
After looking at all the old classic films like Longisland bob suggests, go to a film site like IMDB which lists the filming locations for the movies, to find places in the film you though were cool.
Dec 8, 2012 6:19 AM
Dec 8, 2012 7:23 AM
5Retro in Las Vegas unless you go to Fremont Street (downtown) long ago met the wreckeers ball. Having grown up in the San Bernardino area if my recall is correct the Wigwam Motel on Foothill Blvd. is in the city of Rialto and was long closed but may have been reopened . Rialto however is a crime hellhole so I would hesitate staying there even if the Wigwam motel has been reopened.
For retro lovers Riverside with a recently renovated downtown and it Mission Inn is a better bet for retro fans than Ghettodino though it too has taken a hit from California;s ongoing economic meltdown..
Even though San Benardino is home to the first Mc Donalds & Taco Bell. In fact except for a weekend huge old car show along Old Route 66 in spring San Bernardino & Rialto are best avoided.
Better look for retro California in the old downtown's of Redlands, Corona, Orange, West Covina, Pasadena, Torrance, El Segundo, Orange,Claremont and in San Diego's North Park, Normal Heights, Point Loma, Kensington& Talmadge Park districts.
Dec 8, 2012 8:19 AM
6This article from the San Francisco Chronicle discusses some of the stuff that can still be found on old Route 66 in Arizona.
You might want to get a copy of Lonely Planet's California Best Trips (Note that this edition won't be out until February.) Look at the first edition as well; it seems to have more quirky things, like a tour of Northern California film locations.
Take a look at the free walking tours of San Francisco Some look like they might interest you: Alfred Hitchcock's SF, North beach (center of the 1950s Beat Era), Art Deco tours.
The town of Locke is pretty quirky, "the only town in the United States built exclusively by the Chinese for the Chinese." The thing to do, besides checking out the Chinese gambling museum is to have a drink, or even better, lunch at Al the Wop's. It's a classic dive bar, but even if it seems full of bikers, it's a place you could take Grandma. . A review
Locke ia about 1.5 hours from SF, but driving through the Delta to get there can be pretty scenic and will not at all fit your idea of California.
Dec 8, 2012 9:46 AM
Dec 8, 2012 1:28 PM
8I recommend that you visit the website of the self-proclaimed "retro daddy" - Charles Phoenix, and follow him on Facebook. His FB page is great as he updates frequently with his travels, and he visits the coolest retro sites, mostly in California. You may want to take one of his tours too.
"Charles’ fun-filled school bus adventures visit kitschy and classic attractions in city and suburbia.
His perennially sold-out 'Disneyland' Tour of Downtown Los Angeles shows the heart and soul of the city as a big theme park. Touring legendary attractions — Old Chinatown, Olvera Street, Clifton’s Cafeteria, Angels Flight, and Bob Baker Marionette Theater, Charles proves 'Southern California doesn’t have one Disneyland, it has two!'
Other field trips have included landmarks and legends of Downey, CA, Ontario, CA, and Denver, CO."
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/charlesphoenix.usa?fref=ts
Dec 8, 2012 1:59 PM
Dec 8, 2012 8:41 PM
Dec 9, 2012 6:32 AM
Dec 9, 2012 4:09 PM
12This company provides great tours of LA from a historical perspective, whether it be through the lives of great LA writers Charles Bukowski or Raymond Chandler, or following some of LA's most notorious crimes from the 1920s-50s, like the Black Dalhia: http://www.esotouric.com (You can occasionally get discount tickets of 50% off on Goldstar: http://www.goldstar.com/los-angeles/events?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=esotouric )
The Los Angeles Conservancy also provides guided and self-guided walking tours of historic Downtown Los Angeles, which would also cover the 1920s-40s. http://lac.laconservancy.org/site/PageServer?pagename=walking_tours
By August, Clifton's Cafeteria downtown should be open again. You won't find much more unique and interesting retro restaurants in LA! http://www.cliftonscafeteria.com/
For historic Hollywood restaurants, there is Musso and Frank Grill (open since 1919, very expensive but full of history http://www.mussoandfrank.com/history/ )
Dec 11, 2012 12:25 PM
13de Young Museum, California Academy of Sciences, The Wigwam Motel,
Dec 11, 2012 12:38 PM
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