The Most Legendary Place to Stay In Every State
Choosing the right location for your getaway can make or break your trip, which is why most, if not all, people spend plenty of time thinking where to stay. With all the hotels out there claiming that they are the best and most popular, it’s difficult to point out which ones are worth checking into.
Luckily, every state in America has a hotel that precedes their reputation. Although there are many hotels whose claim to fame are their rich histories, scenic views, and relation to famous events, only a handful truly stand out. Here are some of your best bets:
Alabama: The Battle House Renaissance
Alabama’s very own Battle House Renaissance may sound like it has seen a lot of action in the past, but in reality, it has a more friendly history. Although the hotel is old enough to have witnessed the Civil War, it actually served as a confederate hospital during that time.
Much of what we see nowadays of the hotel are reconstructions after the original building burned down back in 1905. Today, it’s one of the most popular hotels in America, frequented by many famous personalities.
Alaska: Denali Backcountry Lodge
If your dream vacation consists of cooler temperatures and breathtaking views of Mother Nature, then Denali Backcountry Lodge is the place for you. This hotel in Alaska is not only perfect for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city life, but it is also a great place to get in touch with nature.
What’s unique about this lodge is that it is far from the usual grand hotels we normally see. It consists of cozy private cabins in the middle of Denali National Park, where you can go hiking, sightseeing, and fishing.
Arizona: Arizona Biltmore
Arizona Biltmore is perhaps one of the most popular hotels in the entire US of A. Before it opened in 1929, famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the same architect who designed the massive Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, was brought in for consultation on the structure’s overall design.
One cannot deny how unique and world-class the architecture is since its very foundation is made from Biltmore Blocks, which are square blocks with geometric designs made from hardened desert sand. Celebrities have been known to flock this hotel, mainly Marilyn Monroe and Irving Berlin.
Arkansas: Capital Hotel
Arkansas is home to many famous hotels, but none of them beats the Capital Hotel. This hotel is the personal choice of many politicians and famous personalities. A plaque can be seen before you enter the hotel stating that America’s 18th president, Ulysses S. Grant was a frequent guest.
Former president Bill Clinton also spent most of his time in this hotel during his two terms. He even built a presidential library near the area. Although its facade may look simple, its interiors are full of grandeur and luxurious features.
California: The Beverly Hills Hotel
Speaking of famous, there’s no place to go other than Hollywood, and the Beverly Hills Hotel in California is right in the middle of all its happenings. The Beverly Hills hotel might just be as famous as all the celebrities who stayed there.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono used the hotel as their sanctuary to escape the eyes of the media. You might also be familiar with the building’s pink and green exterior because it was used as the cover of the Eagles’ greatest hit, Hotel California.
Colorado: The Stanley Hotel
You can thank Stanley Kubrick for the spine-chilling reputation of the Stanley Hotel in Colorado. Being the model for the famous hotel in the classic horror film, The Shining, it’s no surprise that many people choose to check in here to get a first-hand feel of what it’s like to be in the said movie.
Although it’s not actually home to supernatural elements, the Stanley Hotel still has other things to offer, such as excellent service and a stunning view of the Colorado mountains.
Connecticut: Foxwoods Resort Casino
If you think relaxing should be the highlight of your vacation, you might want to think again when staying in Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Connecticut. This hotel rose to fame thanks to its vast number of gaming tables for casino games such as roulette, poker, and blackjack.
To top it all off, the hotel is surrounded by nearby retail outlets where you could easily spend all the cash you’ve won. You’re sure to get your game face on should you decide to stay here.
Delaware: Hotel du Pont
Nothing says grand and aristocratic better than professionally crafted marbles and highly detailed ceilings, which are exactly what you’ll see once you enter the Hotel du Pont in Delaware. The intricacy of the decor inside the grand hotel might make you a bit emotional, and it’s perfectly understandable.
The hotel might remind you a bit of famous works of art, especially since it was built by French and Italian experts. If you think that’s not grand enough, the Hotel du Pont also has a theatre inside, which is known as the fourth largest stage in America.
Washington D.C.: Watergate Hotel
It may be safe to assume that almost everyone thinks of the same thing when they hear the word Watergate. That’s because the Watergate Hotel in Washington D.C. became the setting for perhaps one of the biggest scandals in the entire American history.
In 1972, a few burglars working for then president Richard Nixon were arrested by police as they broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters, which was housed in the building complex. While it’s known to be the first multi-use complex in the US, the hotel was recently closed down for nine years to make way for repairs and renovations.
With its wide array of beachfront hotels, nothing else rings a bell quite like the Fontainebleau in Miami, Florida. The apparent art deco style makes it eye-catching for many tourists who visit the Miami beach.
But the Fontainebleau is more famous for its nightly pool parties attended by the most famous celebrities in Hollywood. Even celebrities of the past, such as Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, and Elvis were frequent visitors of the hotel, making it America’s most famous celebrity hangout outside California.
Georgia: Hotel Clermont
When one hears the word “hotel,” they typically won’t associate it with something risqué. However, the Clermont Hotel in Georgia offers exactly just that. The Clermont Hotel is widely popular throughout Atlanta because of its raunchy reputation and its in-house strip club.
The hotel also violated numerous health codes in 2009 leading to it being closed down. But as the saying goes, everyone deserves a second chance, and the Clermont Hotel was given another shot when it was renovated and reopened in 2017.
Hawaii: Royal Hawaiian
Hawaii is the ultimate dream vacation spot for most people, which is why one wouldn’t wonder if it’s home to countless hotels and apartments that can be rented. One hotel in particular though stands out from the rest, and that is the Royal Hawaiian.
The Royal Hawaiian is one of the oldest hotels in the island, withstanding the turmoil that was brought about by World War II. It served as a recuperation facility for the soldiers during that time. Through time, the hotel underwent plenty of renovations, making it one of the most visited hotels in Waikiki.
Idaho: Sun Valley Lodge
As a ski resort, it's ironic that Sun Valley Lodge in Idaho is named as such. A normal spot for skiers to converge, the hotel is known to be the first of its kind. Opening its doors back in the 1930s, the Sun Valley Lodge was promoted as a mountain resort that converts to a ski lodge during the winter.
During the summer, guests are free to roam its wide-open spaces, go hiking, and swim in its pools. Since the resort is in high demand, it went through renovations and expansions to accommodate more guests who want to visit in every season.
Illinois: Drake Hotel
Who knew that the New Year’s Eve in 1920 would be the beginning of a legacy in Illinois when the Drake Hotel first opened its doors. You surely won’t miss this hotel since you can view it from over a mile away thanks to its signature neon red rooftop sign.
Over the years, this prestigious hotel has attracted many visitors, including Marilyn Monore, Walt Disney, Winston Churchill, and even the pope. A hotel like this one will most definitely make you curious and unable to resist the urge to book a night or two there.
Indiana: French Lick Resort
It’s quite hard to forget a building, especially when it’s massive in size and colored bright yellow. Although the French Lick Resort in Indiana really pops out due to its bright hue, what makes it unforgettable is its cozy interiors and its dome-shaped lobby that can house numerous guests at the same time.
The unique circular atrium that spans around 200 ft. earned it the title “the eighth wonder of the world.” No wonder the hotel still receives many visitors up to this day.
Iowa: Hotel Blackhawk
Admittedly, having over 100 years of history is quite thrilling and interesting for most people, but Hotel Blackhawk in Iowa has more than just its 102 years of existence to boast. Hotel Blakchwak’s fame dates back to 1914, when it was first opened to the public.
Although quite old, the building is well maintained due to the numerous renovations it went through. But what the hotel is most known for though is not the structure itself, but the fire that happened in 2006 which was caused by an explosion in a meth lab in Room 803.
Kansas: Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview
A lobby filled with elegant chandeliers and a gigantic 1,500 sq. ft. glass mural is bound to catch the attention of many people, and the Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview never fails to amaze all those who pass by its halls.
Made entirely of bricks, the building debuted as one of the grandest hotels in 1922. The Drury Plaza was also ahead of its time when it opened a rooftop bar, which was the first in Wichita. Some guests also claim that the building is haunted, and many people check-in the hotel to see for themselves.
Kentucky: Brown Hotel
Truly, a hotel’s reputation is cemented not just by its appearance, but also by its service. While many hotels will excel in one field and not in the other, the Brown Hotel in Kentucky became famous because of both.
Despite its humble beginnings, the 16-story building is remembered by people from all walks of life as a favorite gathering place, and a resting place for soldiers returning from Fort Knox during World War II. Notable personalities, such as Muhammad Ali, Barack Obama, and Elizabeth Taylor were also captivated by the hotel, prompting them to check in.
Louisiana: Hotel Monteleone
New Orleans is famous all over the world for its rich culture and vibrant nightlife, which is why it's only fitting for hotels in the area to have a similar feel. Hotel Monteleone is one of the hotels that outdid itself when it comes to embodying the spirit of New Orleans, Louisiana.
Don’t be fooled by its white facade, because inside is a party that would get your blood pumping. You’ll be able to tell Hotel Monteleone apart from other hotels because it has a Carousel Bar that serves up the best drinks in Louisiana.
Maine: Westin Portland Harborview
Although it was once known as the largest hotel in Maine, Westin Portland Harborview got off to a rocky start. Many people know this hotel because it was the same establishment that did not allow Eleanor Roosevelt to bring her dog.
The hotel was further involved in unpleasant scenarios when Ozzy Osbourne threw pool furniture off the hotel’s rooftop, an act which was reenacted by guests who were huge fans of Osbourne. It’s a good thing though that the hotel was able to get back on its feet when it underwent a $50 million make-over in 2011.
Maryland: Inn at Perry Cabin
Located right across Chesapeake Bay is the Inn at Perry Cabin in Maryland. Most people would recognize the estate as the backdrop of the comedy film Wedding Crashers.
But because it’s surrounded by tall trees and a calming river, the Inn at Perry Cabin was converted to a resort and vacation spot for those wanting to take a break from their busy schedules. The Inn at Perry Cabin features a spa, sailboats, and a fine dining restaurant in the middle of nature.
Massachusetts: Omni Parker House
Omni Parker House in Massachusetts takes the lead when it comes to the most number of milestones. The hotel is known to be the oldest functioning hotel in America, which is why it’s normal for it to have witnessed many historical events through time.
In fact, this is the very place where Charles Dickens first recited A Christmas Carol, and where John F. Kennedy held his bachelor party. This is also the same hotel where Emeril Lagasse started his career in the culinary field as a waiter.
Michigan: Grand Hotel
If you want a blast from the past type of experience, then you should highly consider checking in to the Grand Hotel in Michigan’s Mackinac Island. Although you’ll still have mobile service and a functioning Wi-Fi, you won’t be able to spot any cars in the island.
If you want to get around, you’d have to do it old school and ride a horse-drawn carriage. But the crowning glory of this hotel is its vast front porch, considered as the world’s longest.
Minnesota: Saint Paul Hotel
Before being branded as “St. Paul’s Million-Dollar Hotel,” the Saint Paul Hotel in Minnesota was first named The Windsor. It eventually became a theater and an arcade. It wasn’t until 1910 when it underwent a multi-million dollar worth of repairs and reconstruction, which is why it was coined its name.
After the repairs, it was finally turned into a hotel with a whopping 255 rooms. Throughout the course of its history, it has served many notable guests, including John F. Kennedy and Charles Lindbergh.
Mississippi: Beau Rivage
Not many hotels in the world are able to boast its splendor and its size. The Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi is lucky enough to be a hotel that prides itself as being the tallest building in the state.
Standing at 32-stories tall, the hotel was able to fully recuperate after closing down for a whole year after the damage brought about by Hurricane Katrina. Most people view it as Mississippi’s very own Las Vegas these days.
Missouri: Chase Park Plaza
Only the most famous among all the famous people used to be spotted in Missouri’s Chase Park Plaza back in the 30s up until the 60s. It’s not that hard to imagine why many people flock to this hotel when big celebrities such as Nat King Cole and Bob Hope played in front of other celebrities.
With its reputation, the Chase Park Plaza became a host to the biggest parties in the city and a popular hangout for the stars.
Montana: Hotel Finlen
It may not seem like much today when compared to the more modern hotels of the 21th century, but Hotel Finlen was the crème de la crème and one of the finest establishments during the 1920s.
Inspired by New York’s very own Astor Hotel, Hotel Finlen is a 200-room building with its own personal charm. Similar to other great hotels, Finlen Hotel also had famous guests during its glory years, including Charles Lindbergh, President Harry S. Truman, and John F. Kennedy.
Nebraska: Hotel Deco XV
Hotel Deco in Nebraska is not your usual hotel, run-of-the-mill hotel. If it’s not obvious yet, the building in itself is aptly named as such because of its art deco style.
Originally, the hotel was built to be an office building in the 1930s but was then converted to a hotel in 1989. In order to remain faithful to its original theme, the hotel’s interiors were renovated to keep up with the times but still have that old feel to it.
Let’s face it, Las Vegas is perhaps the only place in the US where people know the names of each establishment by heart. Thanks to its reputation as the number 1 gambling location in America, almost all businesses, including hotels, have made a name for themselves all over the world.
If you ask around, most visitors in Vegas would say Bellagio is among their top picks for the best hotels. It’s easy to see why, especially if you have an enormous fountain filled with lights right outside.
New Hampshire: Wentworth by the Sea
If you’re looking for a hotel that plays a significant role in the history of America, then Wentworth by the Sea in New Hampshire is the perfect place for you.
Although it’s not the only hotel to host important meetings for politicians and international delegates, Wentworth by the Sea was the chosen hotel of Japanese and Russian officials when they signed the treaty that ended the Russo-Japanese War back in 1905, known as the Portsmouth Peace Treaty. This treaty also earned President Theodore Roosevelt a Nobel Peace Prize for his involvement in the negotiations.
New Jersey: Claridge Hotel
Towering over Atlantic City in New Jersey is a historic red building that has been standing there since 1930. Many people know it as Claridge Hotel and was given the nickname "the Skyscraper by the Sea" due to its size.
Eventually, when Atlantic City’s reputation as the hottest seaside getaway started to dwindle, the hotel had to modify its focus based on the people’s demand and operated as a casino during the 1980s. Nowadays though, the Claridge Hotel returned to being a hotel without a casino.
New Mexico: La Fonda on the Plaza
During the 1600s, there weren’t many hotels worth noting, but La Fonda on the Plaza in New Mexico has withstood the test of time.
Although the hotel itself is not hundreds of years old, the place where it now stands used to be the location of various inns. It’s only appropriate that another hotel be built in their place, and La Fonda proved to be a huge success. La Fonda on the Plaza is known for its art and historical tours.
New York: The Plaza
New York is indeed the Big Apple, and the Plaza Hotel is a perfect match for the city’s lifestyle. Many people call this hotel the most famous hotel in the entire US and even the entire world.
Of course, the hotel and all its staff are determined to do their best to provide excellent service to their guests mainly because they’re at the heart of the City That Never Sleeps. The hotel has also been the chosen setting for many blockbuster Hollywood films such as Home Alone 2, The Great Gatsby, and Sleepless in Seattle.
North Carolina: Biltmore
Originally intended as the Vanderbilt family’s private residence, the inn on Biltmore Estate in North Carolina has charmed many guests throughout the years.
Since it was preserved to retain the look and feel of an actual home, many people feel as if they are owners to a 250-room mansion with scenic views of nature in their own backyard. Added to the estate is a swimming pool, a library, and a high class restaurant to make you feel as if you’re the heir to the Vanderbilt fortune.
North Dakota: Hotel Donaldson
Not a lot of people realize it, but the Hotel Donaldson in North Dakota became a symbol of Fargo’s rebirth. After being devastated by a fire that consumed most of the city in the 1890s, the Hotel Donaldson was then built to help the city recover from its losses.
Although the hotel is quite small, only having 17 rooms in total, many of the city’s residents value the establishment as it pays homage to different artists, having rooms named after a different one.
Ohio: Golden Lamb Inn
The Golden Lamb Inn in Ohio is widely known as the oldest hotel in the area. In the past, the Golden Lamb Inn was a small resting place for passing travellers who are heading towards Cincinnati.
It’s been around for so long that twelve of America’s presidents for the past 200 years have stayed the night in the Golden Lamb when they visited Lebanon, Ohio. It also houses the oldest restaurant in the entire state where many people still eat and grab a drink with their friends.
Oklahoma: Mayo Hotel
You’ll easily see why Mayo Hotel in Oklahoma is one of the most famous hotels in America. Its interior is simply breathtaking and can make anyone’s jaws drop. When it was first built and opened in 1925, it claimed the title of the tallest building in the state.
It was also quite innovative since it was the first hotel in Oklahoma to have ceiling fans and cold running water, perfect for the warm weather in the area during the summer months.
Oregon: Timberline Lodge
If you’re a movie buff, you can easily tell that the Timberline Lodge in Oregon is also the same hotel where Jack Nicholson’s character in the film The Shining met his demise. Director Stanley Kubrick chose the hotel’s exteriors as the face of Overlook Hotel in the horror film.
Although most guests still check in to the Timberline Lodge because of the famous Hollywood movie, there are also other visitors who come here to relax, go skiing, and admire the scenery.
Pennsylvania: Inn at Leola Village
Most historical places end up getting demolished, especially when they’re not well-preserved. The Inn at Leola Village almost became a convenience store, but luckily met a different fate and is now still up and running to serve guests from far and wide.
The hotel, which consists of 64 rooms, consists of an old farmhouse, a tobacco barn, and a carriage house which was converted into the hotel’s registration area. Once you check in here, you’ll be able to get in touch with Pennsylvania’s rich history.
Rhode Island: Ocean House
There are plenty of oceanside hotels, especially in Rhode Island, but none of them stand out the way Ocean House does. Most rich Northeasterners frequent the Ocean House because of its impressive appearance and perfect location.
Having 159 rooms to house guests looking for a break from city living, the Ocean House eventually closed down, but a replica was built in its place and was designed to have 49 rooms and 18 suites for a more exclusive stay and experience.
South Carolina: The Willcox
The fire that destroyed the Highland Park Hotel in 1898 paved the way for the construction of the Willcox in Aiken, South Carolina.
Frederick Willcox, the Englishmnan who built the hotel, only had his best interests for the people looking for a place to stay, and with the Highland Park Hotel gone, he was convinced to build a new hotel for everyone. Aiken is popular to those who are interested in horseback riding, and the Willcox is certainly their favorite place to check in.
South Dakota: Hotel Alex Johnson
One thing that Hotel Alex Johnson in South Dakota and Mount Rushmore had in common is that both of them started being constructed almost the same time. Just a day older than the famous mountain, Hotel Alex Johnson has been well preserved throughout the years.
Its decor is quite unique in such a way that it gives off a hunting lodge feel to its guests. Because of its long standing history, the hotel also has its fair share of ghost stories, one including Alex Johnson himself.
Tennessee: The Hermitage
Aside from having the goal of being one of the finest hotels to ever be built, the Hermitage Hotel in Tennessee was first and foremost created to impress. At the start of the 20th century, Nashville, Tennessee was one of the places which was quickly commercialized, and having a hotel as grand as the Hermitage is perfect for the city.
With the hotel’s architecture and design, and a grand staircase to wow passersby, Hermitage has attracted many famous people, including Babe Ruth, Charlie Chaplin, and Johnny Cash.
Texas: Driskill Hotel
The Driskill Hotel in Texas might look like a hodgepodge of different themes, but it is so well-made and elegantly put together that it has been captivating many guests up until this day. Some would say that there is beauty in simplicity, but clearly, the Driskill Hotel wanted to prove otherwise.
When you look outside, you’ll see the Roman influence on its exterior appearance while the rooms are heavily influenced by the Victorian era. Despite this, the Driskill Hotel is one of the many hotels that never ceases to amaze people.
Utah: Ruby’s Inn
Those off to see the Bryce Canyon National Park would usually get pointed to Ruby’s Inn. It’s location is perfect for those going to the park since it’s the nearest lodging you can find there.
Ruby’s Inn offers many activities for the adventurous guests, such as ATV tours and horseback riding. But don’t think that this lodge is stuck in the past because it also offers a VR simulator of an aerial tour of Utah. No need for a helicopter ride as you explore the desert landscape.
Vermont: Inn at Shelburne Farms
Vermont is home to dairy products, such as cheese and ice cream, as well as different farms, wineries, and breweries. If you want to get the most of your stay in this state, then you might want to consider staying in a place where you’d get to truly immerse yourself in life in Vermont.
The Inn at Shelburne Farms is not just a hotel, but is also a fully functioning and sustainable farm where guests can get a tour of the sustainable farming procedures in the state.
Virginia: Jefferson Hotel
Being included on the National Register of Historical Places is an honor that the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia was lucky enough to achieve. Ever since its opening in 1895, the hotel has become an iconic location in the city.
It’s marble facade and Beaux-Arts style interiors are all present thanks to the brilliant minds who were also responsible for the design and architecture of the New York Public Library. Several US presidents and celebrities have also walked the halls of this hotel.
Washington: Fairmont Olympic
Located in the heart of Seattle, Washington, the Fairmont Olympic Hotel has been a part of the lives of the people in the city for many years. The hotel’s location is originally where the University of Washington once stood.
Many of the residents in downtown Seattle go to this hotel for gatherings both small and large. Currently, the building is undergoing an extensive restoration that is expected to transform the overall look of the lobby and other gathering areas within the hotel.
West Virginia: The Greenbrier
Situated on a whopping 11,000 acres of land, the 710-room hotel is a far contrast from the humble way of living in West Virginia.
The hotel even markets itself as “America’s Resort,” because not only does it have more than sufficient accommodations, but it also boasts a vast property with 10 lobbies, nine restaurants, eight bars, a 100,000sqft casino, and a golf course. Since 1778, the hotel’s mineral springs and massive architecture have been attracting many guests from different parts of the world.
Wisconsin: The Edgewater
Many people retreat to hotels to escape the city life, but The Edgewater in Wisconsin gives the best of both worlds to all its guests. Sitting along the banks of Lake Mendota, you won’t feel that you’re near a bustling city once you’re staying in The Edgewater.
Waking up to the view of the lake provides a relaxing feeling, and activities such as boating and waterskiing will help your vacation become a bit more exciting than you expected it to be. The Edgewater’s charm also attracted famous visitors such as Elvis, Bob Hope and the Dalai Lama.
Wyoming: Old Faithful Inn
When one hears Yellowstone, they automatically associate it with the Old Faithful, which is why naming an inn after the famous geyser is an excellent strategy to win the hearts of tourists. The Old Faithful Inn, located in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming gives guests a close up view of the Old Faithful geyser since it is visible from the hotel’s patio.
Although it’s quite pricey, tourists who are staying in the Old Faithful Inn can easily get a good look at the tourist attraction without having to fight off a sea of people.