It happens every year: as soon as the weather warms up, our attention heads south. More specifically, to Florida. Warm beaches, ocean breezes, and a fruity drink are the cure for a long, dull winter.
If you’re planning your first getaway in far too long, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed by where to go. Take a deep breath; we’ve got you covered with all the best retro suggestions for your vacation.
Miami Beach has so many art deco hotels, it’s difficult to pick just one. But the laid-back retro-chic vibe at the Beacon South Beach is unbeatable. Built in 1937, it has undergone interior renovations but its architectural structure remains intact – including its famous bright blue neon lighting. In fact, that sign inspired the teal and white art deco decor that you’ll find throughout the hotel.
Located right on Ocean Drive, you’ll get a chance to enjoy the sultry beach days and vibrant nights just steps from your room.
Since it’s opening in 1935, this charming, brightly colored hotel has been owned by the same family. They’ve perfected the blend of vintage charm and contemporary comfort. The interior of the hotel still features its 1926 staff-operated elevator and the original switchboard.
Just two miles away is its Cabaña Club, a private beach getaway for Colony Hotel guests with 250 feet of private beach and a heated saltwater pool.
Despite its decidedly Spanish exterior, mid-century modern is on full display at the Flagler Inn. From the color choices (avocado and tangerine) to the wood-paneled furnishings, you’ll feel like you’re on the set of Mad Men. Even its layout, with its glistening pool in the central courtyard, is a throwback to the era.
1950s charm aside, the real draw of the Flagler Inn is its location. In the heart of historic St. Augustine, you’re near it all: shopping, dining, beaches, and historic sites.
A vintage motel built in 1947, the Hotel Palms offers a unique retro getaway. The hotel seamlessly blends vintage cool with a casual beach vibe, with its bright, geometric patterned exterior and surfboard-decorate coffee shop. Its 11 rooms offer throwback touches such as bunk beds, record players, and more geometric patterns.
Of course, the big appeal here is its location. Situated a mere three blocks from the Atlantic Ocean and just east of Jacksonville, the Hotel Palms is conveniently close to the excellent dining, shopping, and culture the area has to offer.
Built in 1951, the Magic Beach Motel is situated just steps away from Vilano Beach, right on the Atlantic Ocean. This art deco gem was renovated in 2012, but kept its retro vibe: vibrant colors, round windows, and famous flamingo decor. Even the original murals have been beautifully restored by local artists.
At night, the Magic Beach Motel comes alive thanks to its famous neon sign, adorned with a top hat and white rabbits. With its family-friendly, welcoming feel, this motel is ideal for an east coast getaway.
One step through the door of the Postcard Inn and you’ll be looking for the Beach Boys. Because this hotel is all about the 60s surfer chic. Each of its quirky rooms is uniquely decked out with a cool beach vibe. Think giant ocean murals and surfboards in the corner, as well as local artwork and photography.
The Postcard Inn is located on the soft white sands of St. Pete Beach. But if you need a break from the sun, the vibrant downtown and its newly constructed pier are just a short drive away.
The Thunderbird is a magnet for repeat visitors. Its giant neon sign, unchanged since its opening in 1957, is the ultimate welcome sign for visitors to the St. Petersburg-area hotel. Located right on the white sandy shores of the gulf, this historic landmark offers suites and efficiencies decked out with a vintage beach vibe.
You’ll find plenty to do at the Thunderbird, including its heated pool, hot tub, and the widest beach in the area just steps away. If you want entertainment, Ikki Woo Woo’s Tiki Hut has live music almost every day.
Looking for retro glamour? You’ll find it at Miami’s iconic Vagabond Hotel, a mid-century charmer that was famous (or infamous) for being the Rat Pack’s hangout. The Miami landmark opened in 1953 and has been the epitome of laid-back cool ever since. Its 42 rooms are kitschy-cool, decorated with vibrant colors, geometric murals, and authentic 1950s design elements.
The Vagabond is located just blocks from the beach on Biscayne Boulevard, the perfect starting point for exploring all that Miami has to offer.