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A pool glows next to a lantern-lit retro bar with palm trees and sunset sky behind.
Hotels.comThe Vagabond Hotel, Miami, Florida

This company will pay you $10k to spend the summer visiting the best retro beach motels

You and a friend will check your phones at the door and document your trip via Polaroid instead.

Erika Mailman
Written by
Erika Mailman

Remember checking into that beach motel and then riding your bike barefoot to the shore to watch surfers catch a wave, the radio blaring Dick Dale songs? No? Well, whether you did or didn’t, here's your chance to do it now! That’s because is looking to hire its first-ever motelier to spend the rest of the summer visiting the best retro beach motels. 

You and the friend of your choice will be indulging in deep nostalgia, leaving your cell phones behind to instead document your travels with a classic Polaroid camera. There will be no music streaming here; you’ll listen to a solar-powered AM/FM radio. You’ll protect your skin with old-fashioned bright white zinc sunscreen on your nose, vintage sunglasses, and striped umbrellas. You’ll pluck your beers from a cooler and slow down to enjoy a simpler time when motels were minimal structures with fewer bells and whistles.

You’ll be staying at 10 different motels across the country, from the east coast to the west coast, all with great ocean access. Along with your $10k travel stipend, you get $5k to spend on those necessary beach treats like sno-cones and saltwater taffy.

The astroturf deck of a hotel room with two white chairs, a bright aqua door, and yellow paint surrounding the window to the interior.
Hotels.comThe Waikiki Village Retro Hotel in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Which motels are included? Here are a few. The Waikiki Village Retro Hotel in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, offers every astroturf-meets-palm-trees vibe you’ve ever wished for, while Casa Morada in Islamorada, Florida, lets you walk the retro boardwalk to the lagoon.

There are two Long Island choices: the Sound View Greenport in Greenport, New York, and the eclectically furnished Montauk Beach House in Montauk. The Vagabond Hotel in Miami, Florida is an Art Deco masterpiece of aqua and tangerine stylings and mid-century Modern furniture, and we love the adorable single room rustic cottages lined up in a row at the Lincolnville Motel in Lincolnville, Maine, some with vintage record players inside.

Other great options on this quest for summers past include the Cambria Beach Lodge in Cambria, California; the Parker Beach Lodge in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts; the LOGE Westport in Westport, Washington; and the Pearl Hotel in San Diego, California. 

The exterior door of a beach motel has a small brick courtyard holding an aqua Adirondack chair and a yellow bike.
Hotels.comThe Cambria Beach Lodge in Cambria, California

So, what qualifies you for this job? A love of vintage architecture and lifestyle, adoration of beach vibes, and appreciation of thrifty accommodations. No experience necessary, but you must be 21 or over. The online application asks a few easy questions, like ‘If you time traveled to 1950, who would you spend your beach vacation with?’ Apply here starting July 20. Deadline is Aug. 5. 

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