One of the demands we had when driving Route 66 in a Mustang last year, was that it was a ‘do or die’ type of vacation. No structure, no bookings, no routine – just maps, a car and our suitcases. Each day we poured over our maps in a diner, marking how far we would drive the next day, picking out towns on the route that sounded awesome, or that we had heard good things about.
One of the places that is in all the guide books and the documentaries is the Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon, Missouri. After a somewhat shaky start to the state, and a not so nice time in St Louis, a small town was a sign of relief after a previous day of stress.
You’re greeted by this incredible sign first of all:
I am obsessed with kitsch and 50s/60s America, and this place does not disappoint.
The current owners have been running the place for over 30 years, and they are frickin’ adorable. I fell in love with them. Ramona is the cutest, and worth the stay alone. I have never had a goodbye HUG from a hotel before. So lovely.
We stayed in late March, and it was a cold one (as you can see from the trees in my photo. It meant that the motel was quieter than usual, not such a bad thing, as we were given the keys to room 66!
Albeit basic, it’s a standard motel, so you still get a huge tv and microwave and all the usual amenities. Room 66 has walls adorned with memorabilia from the mother road. It felt cosy, and we slept really, really well.
In terms of nightlife, Lebanon isn’t party central. There’s a rad vintage bowling alley across the road, which even for a Wednesday night seemed to be the hub of activity for the town. A short drive down the road provides you with a bunch of chain restaurants and strip malls. This mix of the old and new is exactly why I loved everything about our stay here.
If you’re driving near or around the town, I urge you to stay here. Even if you’re not driving Route 66, it’s worth it for the experience alone!
We didn’t need to book in advance because it was low season – but I’m pretty sure this place gets crazy busy. If you’re a bit more of a worrier, you can book by clicking here.
What is the biggest road trip you’ve done? Any favourite hotels?