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Help Plan a USA Vintage Road Trip for Our International Visitors!

Posted on: October 20, 2012

Mod Betty is donning her Retro Roadmap Hostess apron once again, wicked excited to share some of the vintage mom and pop places across the US with some Retro Roadmap readers from Australia!

But since I haven’t been everywhere (man) I would love some help from you swell readers.

Let’s show them the vintage “charm” of the USA 😉

Silver State Map Charms

Here’s the deal:

Lee & Holly are from Australia and will be visiting The States this November. He works in film, as a photographer and says the theme for their 3 week visit is “All Things Retro

They’ve been here before and are in love with all sorts of Americana like vintage signs, motels, diners, bowling alleys, drive ins, vintage clothing – you know, the places you can only see in the USA, and all of the stuff that us Retro Roadmappers dig!

Lee writes:

Holly and I love an adventure and meeting quirky people (I mean that in all respect) and we love America and its people.
The numerous times we have visited the US we have been treated so well, especially when we got off the beaten track and often find that being from another part of the world we are somewhat of a novelty.

And the coolest part of their trip?

They’ll be driving – from Los Angeles across to New York City in an actual vintage 1961 Chevrolet Bel-Air:


Holly’s dad loves old Chevys and has imported a number into Australia over the years, so it only took a little bit of encouragement from him to have Lee find a vintage car over here for their trek, then have it shipped back home when they return.

How awesome is that?!

How envious am I? 😉

But if I can’t be on a road-trip like that the next best thing I can do – with your help – is make sure they have an awesome time visiting the truly authentic old places that make this country so great.

The Retro Roadmap Vintage USA Road Trip Map

Their plan is to take 3 weeks to get from LA to NYC, avoiding the main highways whenever possible, so they can visit small towns, see cool places and meet interesting people along the way.

They’ve got a few stops they are interested in making along the way, and those have somewhat given shape to their route, but I’m sure there are more places to add to the map.

View USA Retro Roadmap Roadtrip! in a larger map

So this is a call to arms for Retro Roadmap Readers – let’s work together to make sure our guests have a great visit, by populating their map with all sorts of  cool old vintage and retro places!

Here are the states that need some vintage suggestions:

  • Nevada
  • Utah
  • Colorado
  • Nebraska
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Ohio

I’ve pretty much got PA, NJ and NY covered, but those other states are where I could use some help. Not just for their trip, but to have places that are recommended by actual readers, added to the official Retro Roadmaps.

You know it’s my dream to have an alternate universe travel map of the US populated with nothing but recommended vintage places to stay, eat, shop, have fun and meet people. Like stepping back in time without leaving all of the conveniences of the present.

florida roadtrip

Do you live in one of the states listed above, and could suggest places? Or have you traveled through and have some recommendations? Maybe you’ve got relatives, or friends / classmates / Facebook pals / that live in those states who could lend a hand?

I know how fun it is to show off the cool vintage places near us when we have guests visiting, and maybe you or your pals would like to do the same, for Lee and Holly?

Lee is looking forward to documenting their visit with still photography and on film, as a remembrance of this grand tour of the US. I’ve already made him promise to share photos with us all!

So there you have it, “my fellow Americans” 😉 We’ve got guests coming over and want to make a good impression and show them what the real US is all about. The nice folks you meet along the way, and the vintage places you can’t visit anywhere else in the world.

OMG!! Jasper Johns!!

I’ve made the Google map shareable so you can add your own pins to the map, and please put your name on your pin so they know who to thank. Suggestions can be collected in the comments section below.


A number of people have asked me how to add a pin to the map, and here are some easy steps. If you have any questions about how to do it just email me at ModBetty AT RetroRoadmap DOT com!


Go to the link below the map in the post where it say View USA Retro Roadmap Roadtrip! in a larger map

View USA Retro Roadmap Roadtrip! in a larger map <<- THIS LINK RIGHT HERE 🙂


  • Click the link, that will open up the entire map
  •  Search for the place you want to put on the map, using the search bar(That should hopefully bring up a listing in the left hand column and a pin on the map)
  • Click on the pin on the map and the info bubble that pops up should have a Save To Map option
  •  Click on the Save To Map option and select the USA Retro Roadmap Roadtrip Map as the map to save it to
  •  Hit save and Voila! It should be saved to the USA Retro Roadmap Roadtrip Map

Madonna Inn San Luis Obispo CA Google Maps

You should get  a message at the top of the map where it says that your pin has been saved to the map with a link to the map. Click the link , and you’ll be brought to the map.

If you want to edit your entry just hit the Edit button on the top of the left hand column list, then select the pin you want to edit. You can change the pin style, description, all sortsa stuff!

I just realized you may need to have a Google Account to do this, but if you don’t have one and want to add places to the map, just put your places in the comments here on this post, and I’ll add them to the map.


24 responses to "Help Plan a USA Vintage Road Trip for Our International Visitors!"

  1. Matt Smallwood Oct 22, 2012 at 02:52

    Welcome to the States, Lee and Holly. May you have a fun and eventful trip….just good events, of course. Does this mean we should another RR get together at the end of their trip in the Philly area? Throwin’ it out there… 🙂

    • Mod Betty Oct 22, 2012 at 15:27

      Matt – if their schedule works out I’m hoping to meet up with Lee and Holly – will keep everyone apprised of the details as they develop!

  2. Matt Smallwood Oct 22, 2012 at 03:01

    Okay, now I’m a little perplexed, MB. How do you create a yellow pin on the map I have an idea in Illlinois….the world’s largest catsup bottle in Collinsville? It is very close to the historical National Road in the St. Louis area.

    • Mod Betty Oct 22, 2012 at 09:24

      Matt- you are the 3rd person in 2 days to ask me how to put a pin in a map, and I apologize, I forget that regular folks don’t spend their lives creating maps like I do! I’ll post a little web how to thing on my maps page, so everyone can find out 🙂

      • Matt Smallwood Oct 22, 2012 at 13:50

        You are too kind, Beth. Thank you for being sympathetic to my plight….:-)

        • Mod Betty Oct 22, 2012 at 15:28

          Just updated the post with instructions AND a screen shot. Hope that helps! If you have any Q’s just put them here. Thanks!

  3. Matt Smallwood Oct 22, 2012 at 03:07

    It’s kinda far south, isn’t it? My bad….though a drive on the Great River Road south to St. Louis might be fun. 🙂

  4. Mod Betty Oct 22, 2012 at 13:15

    Suzanne from the Retro Roadmap FB page writes:

    Hi Beth,
    Suzanne Sullivan McGillicuddy commented on Retro Roadmap’s link.
    The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO. It’s a national historic hotel that inspired Stephen King to write The Shining. They have ghost tours – we didn’t have time since we visited the day we were flying home, but it was worth walking around. Here’s a link:

  5. Matt Smallwood Oct 22, 2012 at 13:53

    By the way, that’s a fabulous black coat you’re wearing in the map picture. 🙂

    • Mod Betty Oct 22, 2012 at 14:54

      It’s actually a great vintage 70s forest green, with fur collar and trim. Got it when the Salvation Army Thrift Store was still in Rehoboth Beach!

  6. Mod Betty Oct 22, 2012 at 15:30

    Here are some comments from our Retro Roadmap Facebook Page readers Ryan Smolar – thanks Ryan!

    Ryan Smolar We’ve found that NY Times book “36 Hours” to be a great resource for hitting a lot of towns for short periods of times.

    Ryan Smolar This is my favorite spot in CO

    Ryan Smolar I-70 is the best. They gotta try Mountain Style Pizza:

  7. Lee Kelly Oct 24, 2012 at 00:24

    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. We are busily trying to get ready for this adventure and time is ticking down.
    Very exciting!

    • Mod Betty Oct 24, 2012 at 08:11

      Lee – I know! I just realized that Nov 1 is NEXT WEEK! I’ll see if we can get some folks in the states I’m weakest in – that will also help me learn my own geography 🙂

  8. Maureen Oct 25, 2012 at 12:21

    Sorry to say that The Maples Motel is closing for the season after this weekend and won’t re-open until May.

    • Mod Betty Oct 25, 2012 at 12:53

      Aw, bummer! Glad to know that they’re going to open again tho! Thanks Maureen.

  9. road_maven Oct 27, 2012 at 08:25

    I am sorry I’m such a moax but I can’t seem to pin the map. Hopefully some charitable soul will help me. These are my suggestions.

    Bradford, PA — Zippo Lighter Museum

    Jamestown, NY – I Love Lucy (Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz) Museum (also includes Lucille Balls childhood home and grave)

    Cleveland, OH – Ralphie’s house from A CHRISTMAS STORY complete with Leg Lamp

    Chicago, IL- The Weber Grill. The original restaurant near Buffalo Grove, IL is gone but they do have 4 other locations. The restaurant was started by the company that makes the iconic and fabulously retro Weber Grill . The kitchen is equipped with several huge Weber Grills and most menu items are prepared on them. I had the best prime rib of my life at the original location several years ago. I don’t know if it belongs on this list but you two have to eat. See for more information…


    • Mod Betty Oct 27, 2012 at 18:05

      Not a problem Peter – especially since you just taught me a new word – MOAX! -Love it! And these are all fun destinations!

  10. Matt Smallwood Oct 27, 2012 at 10:48

    My Bad, that coat appears to be black on my monitor. LOL. Is that how you know Deny Howeth, you lived in Rehobeth? I know she grew up and lives nearby now. And thank you SOOOOOOO much for showing Matt, and everyone else, how to pin a Google map. YOU RAWK!!! 🙂 Yes, I would love to meet you, Cliff, Lee and Holly sometime soon.

    • Mod Betty Oct 27, 2012 at 18:15

      No worries, I’d love to have that coat in black as well! I do know Deny as well, she’s a pal of Retro Roadhusband’s pal clan from down the beach.

      • Matt Smallwood Oct 28, 2012 at 05:49

        I have heard “down the shore” to refer to a trip to a Jersey shore community. But never “down the beach” to refer to Delaware beach towns. Have I missed it all these years? 🙂

        • Mod Betty Oct 28, 2012 at 08:53

          Ha! Well I do know that the DE beach is the beach and the NJ shore is the shore, but you outed me as a New England gal when I said “down the beach” – It’s a regionalism that hasn’t left me! We also say going Down The Cape or Going Up New Hampshire. Love that kinda stuff, even if it makes me sound like ODD Betty 😉

  11. Lee Kelly Oct 29, 2012 at 00:53

    Well well well,

    I guess my thoughts were correct when deciding not to spend too much time around Nebraska and Iowa ha ha doesnt seem like anyone has anything to add in this part of the world?
    Perhaps we will find some gold out there to add for your own adventures through that part of your country.
    Time is ticking down now…

    • Mod Betty Oct 30, 2012 at 09:07

      Lee- the hurricane worked in your favor and you’ll see that I have been able to add a lot of pins to your map – now it’s up to you to sort out which ones you want to go to! Safe travels, and I hope we get to meet up with you guys when you’re in PA!