Want to time-travel on your next vacation? Staying at the oldest hotel in whichever state you’re visiting will do the trick, offering at least a glimpse of an earlier era. From colonial inns to grand railway hotels from the Gilded Age, the U.S. is home to many historic lodgings filled with character and with tales to tell. (For lodging history of a more recent sort, check these classic images of motels with a vintage vibe.)
24/7 Tempo has attempted to discover the oldest hotel in every state, using a variety of state and local tourism and historical websites, as well as those maintained by various hotels themselves.
It’s difficult to come up with a list that’s both definitive and authoritative. Many of the establishments that are now hotels began as private residences, taverns, even bordellos, and the exact year they were first built, or first welcomed overnight guests, is often vague or disputed.
In addition, these historic hotels have inevitably undergone numerous transformations throughout the years. Typically, their architecture and decor have been updated, they have changed ownership multiple times, some may have closed down completely for various periods, and a few have even been completely rebuilt. (These are the original locations of famous restaurants you can still go to.)
Nonetheless, the hotels mentioned here all have verifiable links back to their origins, however much they may have changed or evolved, and every one of them will offer a taste of the past.
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