We discovered these 22 amazing old pictures of some of the most gorgeous historical hotel lobbies from across the US. Have a scroll and step back in time with us to a more elegant era!
Travel & tourism
Antique travel trunks like these were like super-extra suitcases that offered more than just space for clothing that helped people easily pack and organize entire outfits, right down to the accessories. Here’s a peek!
What were cruises like a few decades ago, when all-inclusive on-the-ocean vacations were getting popular? Here, see food, entertainment, cabins/rooms & pricing from the most popular vintage 80s cruises and luxury cruise ships!
Nestled between the spectacular Maui coastline and the rolling green hills of a lush pineapple plantation was Maui’s luxurious original Kapalua Bay Hotel and Bay Villas. Take a look back!
When the infamous zeppelin airship Hindenburg caught fire and crashed as it was landing in New Jersey back in 1937, the spectacular disaster was caught on film and audio. Here’s how it went down.
In Hawaii in the ’70s, Waikiki was more than a beach. It’s a vibrant, exciting, cosmopolitan resort city on Oahu, only a few miles from bustling downtown Honolulu.
Take a look at these modest old-fashioned swimsuits for men and women, seen on real beachgoers and early movie actresses, with many high-quality and colorized vintage photos!
Look back to the ’70s and ’80s at vintage Sea World San Diego, when Shamu the Killer Whale was the ocean-themed amusement park’s star attraction.
With vintage beauty cases and old-fashioned train cases like these, women could be sure their hair was in order, their noses were powdered, and lipstick was in place – all to maintain a ‘proper’ look when traveling.
Imagine, up above the clouds enjoying a cheeseburger from McDonald’s for lunch or dinner. McDonaldland cookies for dessert. That’s what United Airlines’ McDonald’s Friendly Skies Meals offered kids in the 1990s!
Before it billed itself as the ‘World’s Most Experienced Airline,’ Pan Am started off a little more humbly – but already making the bold moves that would make the airline so legendary it became synonymous with international travel in the 20th century.
One of the most beautiful – and most imaginative – passenger centers in the world was unveiled when Trans World Airlines opened its iconic sixties modernist masterpiece – the TWA Terminal at JFK airport in New York. See it being built here, and how it looked in the early days.
Trans World Airlines, better known as TWA, was one of the major US airlines, moving millions of people to destinations around the globe. Find out the history of TWA, and see this collection of vintage ads to see how exciting flying used to be.
Starting when it first flew in the 1960s, the famous Boeing 747 jet airliner was not only bigger and more powerful than any other plane, was also a major technological marvel. The aircraft not only changed travel on an international scale, it provided a huge boost to thousands of businesses.
These idyllic scenes from old Atlantic City show the fancy hotels, beautiful boardwalk, busy beaches, and fashionable crowds – all part of why the city and the Jersey shore used to be one of the east coast’s top vacation destinations.
In the 1960s, Douglas was one of the biggest airplane manufacturers in America. Their DC-9, which first flew in 1965, was built to service both large and small airports, setting it apart from other planes of the era.
Through this rare collection of photographs and other ephemera, see what New York’s classically elegant old Ritz-Carlton Hotel was like once upon a time, starting when it opened in 1911.
These old ads make it clear that these vintage 1970s Winnebago motor homes – both big and small – were more than just a mode of transport. They could be your home away from home – or your home instead of a house.
What’s a Nauga? In the 1960s, the people behind Naugahyde vinyl upholstery found the unlikely answer. It turns out that the Nauga was an adorable monster-like mascot who made furniture a lot more fun.
Take a look back at vintage Knott’s Berry Farm – the California amusement park known as a Disneyland alternative, but one that boasted its very own ghost town.
Here, see two articles from the twenties about old-fashioned train & travel etiquette from the 1920s. They as much tell people what to do as what not to do when traveling the country by railroad.
Onboard these old Deluxe Overland Limited trains, every hotel luxury could be found – including a barber shop, valet service, a library, buffet meals, a mens’ clubroom, and a cafe dining car. Take a look!
Originally envisioned as a beer garden, this Florida destination has grown and grown. Here, see what the famous vintage Busch Gardens amusement park was like from the 1950s right through to the 1990s.
Check out some of the vintage Cessna propeller planes you could buy back in the fifties, sixties and seventies. They were popular for business use, but were also owned by celebrities and hobbyists.
Here are some of the vintage Beechcraft propeller airplanes some people were buying back in the sixties and seventies. As these ads reflect, these small planes were most commonly used by corporate executives,
This little airplane safety card pamphlet was given to passengers on board Pan Am’s double-decker Strato clipper propeller plane (Boeing 377, aka Stratocruiser) in case of an emergency.
Look back at the experience passengers in the thirties, forties, fifties and sixties could expect when they sailed the high seas in high style on these fabulous old cruise ships.
The 1967 Mercury was said to be ‘for men who like their action big! You sense this the moment you take the wheel. It’s a Ford Mercury. This is the Man’s Car with a heritage of performance! Cyclone!’
In the late 1930s, aviator Amelia Earhart mysteriously vanished on her flights around the globe. See original newspaper reports at the time of her disappearance and a look back at the mystery 25 years later.
See what it looked like inside the Titanic – the interiors of fancy lounges, dining rooms, first-class cabins and other luxurious delights – before the ship sunk to the ocean floor on her maiden voyage in 1912.
The HMS Queen Mary ship was a luxurious vintage vessel that, after many years taking travelers around the globe, was permanently docked in Californiaand turned into a tourist attraction and hotel.
New York City’s luxurious original Waldorf-Astoria was among America’s first big hotels. When it was built during the Victorian era, it was considered the finest hotel in the world – and soon became the most famous, too.
Take a trip back to the past – go sightseeing and learn more about what Washington DC was like in the 1950s! The classic tour is here, from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial to the White House.
From desert sands, to mist-enshrouded rain forests, and snow-mantled mountain peaks to miles of beaches, in the ’60s, you could set your own pace when you visited Washington state.
American Airlines was one of the first companies to offer passenger flights in the US. The industry’s biggest success came after WWII. Here’s a look at the history of the airline’s first decades!
Take a look back at how Marine World Africa USA, the huge theme park/zoo located north of San Francisco, looked back when it opened back in 1986!
Journey back to the turn of the century… to another time and another place. The Grand Floridian Beach Resort. An oasis of elegance that’s the first of its kind since the golden age of pleasure travel.
Here’s a look back at vintage Southern California and Los Angeles, as the old visitors’ bureaus used to show it off to potential tourists back in the sixties!
The King Tut roadshow – aka the Treasures of Tutankhamun exhibit – was eternity wrapped in Plexiglas: infinity with explanatory tape decks; a golden age of the ages, with a gift shop.
Smokey the Bear, the friendly brown bear that said, ‘Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires,’ was a powerful force in stopping forest fires. Here’s his story.
Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion is filled with 999 retired spooks and spirits who have taken up permanent residence at this California theme park. Sneak a peek!
In 1906, a short film called ‘A Trip Down Market Street’ ended up being a valuable record of old San Francisco just before the huge earthquake and fire destroyed much of the city.
Two planes collidced over Arizona in 1956, resulting in the deaths of all 128 people aboard. The Grand Canyon airplane crash was the worst air disaster until that time, and changed the history of airline safety.
United Airlines flights in the ’50s offered a whole different kind of experience compared to now. Here, see what the travel industry hoped to provide to passengers!
The mystery of Pan Am Flight 7, flying between San Francisco to Honolulu, crashed mysteriously midway between the two cities. The cause has yet to be determined.
Look back at Hawaii during the huge tourist boom of the ’60s, which helped thousands fall in love with the state – but also forever changed the islands’ landscape.
In a case study of terrible timing, the huge Habana Hilton hotel in Havana, Cuba, wasn’t even open for a year when it was taken over. Find out more here!
Even before Hawaii became a state in 1959, it was a top tourist destination – and for good reason. See how the tropical islands looked back in the fifties!
A look back at some of Florida’s historic hotels — the most magnificent resort hotels of the Victorian era, and where — and if — they stand now.
See scenes from the San Diego’s World’s Fair – a venue with gorgeous scenic beauty in a matchless climate – that took place from 1915 to 1917.
After World War II, when the railroad companies had to transport troops around the country, they upgraded the service. Here’s a look back at some of what the railroads were offering to entice passengers back in the late 1940s.
Take a little 60-year leap back in time, and see how San Francisco looked back in 1955 in this video homage to the city by the bay.