How Retro Can You Go-Go in the American South?

Retro hotel in Savannah Georgia visits dog friendly art gallery

Retro hotel's pet lover visits Savannah City Market retro art gallery that is pet-friendly, too!

In the American South, how retro can you go on a single vacation? Without a functioning time machine, what wonderful amenities from the traveling past can you experience for the first time, rediscover with delight, or introduce your children to?

Well, if you’re staying at The Thunderbird Inn, you’ve got the lodging part nailed. We’re the all-American classic roadside motel, circa 1964. We’ve got the modern touches you can’t live without, like free WiFi, but we also have cool retro décor, old fashioned customer service, and something else you might remember from yesteryear – reasonable rates.

Arrive in style, traveling the retro way. Amtrak will deposit you in Savannah at a train station constructed in 1962 – a meticulously kept architectural artifact of the era. (Even if you aren’t traveling by train, it’s worth a drive out to the station to see it.) Or boomers can relive their college days and ride the gray dog – the Greyhound Bus, that is, whose terminal is one of the Thunderbird Inn’s neighbors.

When the president of the U.S. came to town, the mayor of Savannah took him to lunch at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room, once a Depression-era boarding house that catered largely to the railroad crowd. The Crystal Beer Parlor, famous as a Prohibition Era beer joint, has reopened and hasn’t changed much over the years (except for the fact the beer is legal.) Locals lunch there on crab stew and corn bread.

And you can literally eat the past for dessert, too. Leopold’s Ice Cream has preserved the recipes that made this family-owned eatery a Savannah icon in the first quarter of the last century. Tutti-fruiti, anyone?

We have more tips on how to incorporate the All-American retro touch into your vacation, and we’ll share them in future blogs here. Until then, enjoy time travel!


Declaring itself The hippest hotel in Savannah™, the delightfully quirky, Thunderbird Inn (42 rooms) is where the historic downtown Savannah location and hip motel eccentricities meet up. Featured in New York Times, Southern Living,,, Dog Friendly magazine, the downtown inn-motel recaptures the southern retro spirit of the Swinging Sixties. The youthful General Manager, Mark Thomas, has directed the much-touted marketing toward a bold, free-spirited and young again approach, making the most of the popular resurgence of retro in the United States. Discounted Savannah lodging was never so much fun! Ask about discount local coupons, Staff Picks, MoonPie® on your pillow, and dog friendly / pet-friendly vacation accommodations. 611 West Oglethorpe Avenue, Savannah, GA USA 31401. Toll Free Reservations (866) 324-2661; International +1/912-232-2661; Fax 912-233-5551. Twitter: @TBirdInn; E-mail; Web:

Copyright (c) 2012 The Thunderbird Inn / Betty Darby