Location is everything, so we like the 1950's retro Golden Bear Motel on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley. We fly up from L.A., eat at Oliveto in Oakland, and check in for a good night's sleep, knowing that in the morning we can walk across the street to Café Fanny, Alice Waters's breakfast place. Then we usually stop at Acme Bread and wait for Kermit Lynch's wineshop to open. Later in the day, we drive up to the vineyards.
Richard and Anita Larsen
La Habra, Calif.
The Peaks of Otter Lodge in Bedford, Virginia, is best for what it lacks: TV's, phones, and radios. Instead it offers solitude, the Appalachian Trail, lakeside dining, a porch with rockers, great mountain views, and even a resident park ranger.
My favorite place to spend the night is the 1937 Wigwam Village Motel on Route 31W near Cave City, Kentucky. Sleeping in one of the tepees makes me feel as if I've stepped back in time.
During the 1950's and 60's, Grover Thomas's Roping Cowboy Motel in Kingman, Arizona, was my favorite. Every afternoon, the staff would deliver bowls of freshly made vanilla ice cream to the rooms. Guests gathered on the patio in the evenings to exchange travel stories or watch an amateur magic show. Both Mr. Thomas and the Roping Cowboy have left this world, but the memory lives on clearly in me, for I am Grover Jr.
J. Grover Thomas Jr.
Short Hills, N.J.
On an island in Lake Champlain, the Shore Acres Inn in North Hero, Vermont, has spectacular water and mountain views. The dining room offers terrific "comfort food" specials such as Yankee pot roast.
It's more like a B&B with cottages, but I vote for the High Tide Inn in Camden, Maine. It overlooks the rocky beach; occasionally I've seen foxes along the shore.
J. Scott Chase
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