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Retro-Tourism traveling in style: luggage tags

Ohio museums

Ohio Events

Bus trips

Sit back, relax, and leave the driving to Lakefront Lines who offer trips by motor coach. WCLV sponsors some of the casino day trips to explore Niagara Falls and Windsor, Ontario. These make a nice, affordable day trip -- you can't beat the price! They're usually around $17-$25 per person, which includes the whole trip plus a $15 meal ticket redeemable for cash -- and if you don't care for gambling and buffets (like me), you can cash in the ticket and eat elsewhere else. Niagara Falls has plenty to see and do, and in Windsor there's a nice old-fashioned steakhouse nearby, a gyro joint, and a good number of bars within walking distance of the casino.

Geneva On-the-Lake

This strip along the lake is the oldest summer resort in Ohio. It's home to the oldest putt-putt course in America (dating back to the 1920s), local wineries, lots of nostalgic and vintage carnival type amusements and rides. Madsen Donuts has been around since the 1930s with same recipe. Eddie's Grill is virtually unchanged from the 1950s. Kids still cruise up and down the main drag on Saturday nights.

official site
visitor's guide

public parks


Cities: Sandusky,

Vermilion, Port Clinton, Catawba, Castalia, Huron, Marblehead.

Sandusky is worth a day trip, or even a Saturday morning visit to pick up some movie rentals from Satch's. The downtown is wonderfully walkable, has plenty of historic buildings, and is right on Lake Erie! Worth visiting is the Antique Stop, the movie theatre, Great Lakes Museum on Meigs Street, the docks, barber shop, and some of the best diners in the midwest: Jolly Donut, Markley's Diner and the Port Sandusky Restaurant. Most of these places are all within walking distance.

Cheesehaven: same summer sausage recipe since 1948. Vintage signs on the highway and on their property are worth photographing.

The Blue Hole

The city of Clyde, Ohio, the real-life setting of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg Ohio

Put-In-Bay: Some vintage views of the island offered by Judnick Postcards.

Marblehead Lighthouse


High Street bookstores, shops and restaurants But never again the Kahiki


The hometown of Dean Martin, they have a festival in his honor every summer.


Henry Ford Museum (Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion House)

Forgotten Detroit

Michigan museums

Many times you can tour an architectural landmark by an American master, but the Snowflake motel in St. Joseph, Michigan is one you can actually spend the night in! With extremely low nightly rates and only 5 hours door to door from Cleveland, you can stay a night at a motel designed by William Wesley Peters (son-in-law and student of Frank Lloyd Wright).

But do it soon -- even though this "F. L. Wright meets the Fifties" motor inn is listed on our National Register of Historic Places, it's underappreciated by the locals and is now sadly endangered!


The Summit Diner along the Penna turnpike is one of my favorite diners anywhere. Same sausage recipe since 1960, great pies and burgers, and great neons. They have souvenir mugs with the neon likeness available for purchase at the counter.
Summit Diner, (814) 445-7154, 791 N Center Ave, Somerset, PA 15501

More diners to discover in the Western PA diner directory.

Although it probably isn't that far of a drive from Cleveland, I've never been to the Tri-State Antique Center's "Modern Living" section, but they have some interesting vintage furniture for sale (check their website for shop hours).
The Tri-State Antique Center, (724) 745-9116, 47 W. Pike St., Canonsburg, PA 15317


Hala Kahiki
2834 River Road,
River Grove, Illinois

best steakhouses

New York City

New York City Bartenders & Patrons

McHale's at Eighth and Restaurant Row is one of the few remaining authentic "Irish '30s New York" bars. Last time we were there we had the old Rheingold beer [good history] and a three-hour informative and interesting conversation with the bartender.

an image of a rheingold can

More rheingold images:

Hurley's at the foot of the RCA Building in NYC, a New York journalist tradition, Kerouac drank there-- now a despicable yuppie restaurant (the current owners moved it to a new location, so the restuarant goes on, but the journalist days are over)

To learn more about New York City's last century, check out the New York Times' NYC*100 -- an interesting collection of articles, images and a timeline (beginning with 1898).


Treasure Island, Florida is a vintage vacation mecca! For affordable retro-tourism, nothing beats it -- this area was the most space age in Florida, with mid-century moderm motels galore, all on the Gulf of Mexico. Many are still around today. The area is loaded with tiki lounges, historic restaurants, parks, and notable architecture -- even a tiki putt-putt course, tiki bookstore with attached open-air bar!

F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda visited St. Petersburg in the 1920s. Their favorite hotel was the Don CeSar, a luxury resort which is still open today. You can see postcards from the time when they stayed there.


Randy Garbin's by the way magazine

American Highway Project: Americana alongside the road.

Forgotten Roads Photography

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Did I leave anything out? Let me know!

Most recent update: $Date: 2004/01/06 03:40:15 $