Iâm just back from spending some time out in the wild, wild west of Texas â" the Big Bend country.
Along with spectacular sunsets and the occasional snake crossing the highway, roadside attractions in the Trans Pecos include some carefully preserved motor hotels like the ones that dotted the country in the dozens in bygone days.
Theyâre still alive and well in West Texas and over the years Iâve stayed at a few. Some of my favorites include the Stone Village Motor Court in Fort Davis, Alpineâs Antelope LodgeÂ and the Thunderbird motel in Marfa.
Of course, Dallas has its popular Belmont Hotel, which opened in 1947 on Fort Worth Avenue and was lovingly restored by developers a few years ago into a trendy hotel and eatery. The views of the skyline from there canât be beat.
Across the street from the Belmont the kitschy old Alamo Plaza Courts was knocked down two years ago and is still just a weedy lot.
Perhaps seeing that some of these great old travel courts can be reborn is one of the reasons I was sad to watch the old Continental Inn in Richardson get demolished for redevelopment. I wrote about the placeâs glory days in my Business section column today.
The 1960s era roadside hotel was once one of the glitziest places to catch some zzzzzzs along Dallasâ North Central Expressway.
Sure, in recent years the place has been a dump.
But you should have seen the Belmont Hotel before it was redone.
These old motor hotels â" at least the ones that have been fixed up â" offer one-of-a-kind accommodations and a time warp to past days for travelers who are willing to hunt them out.
The Stone Village motor court I stayed at in Fort Davis even had wifi. Whatâs not to like.
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