Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Sigh...Still Daydreaming About Vacation. Anybody Ever Heard Of The Pink Motel? Status: More Vintage Motel Goodness.
We discovered this place quite by accident a few years ago. We were driving to the east coast without a destination in mind, taking random east bound two lane blacktop roads when we passed through Cherokee North Carolina. There are lots of little towns like this all through the Smoky Mountains so it was just pure luck that we found this place!
The Pink Motel must have one of the most appealing vintage neon signs anywhere. People who
have never been to Cherokee NC know about it. People drive through Cherokee just to stop by and
photograph it. We did one better. We've stayed here twice in our travels out east. The Smokies are
just so beautiful. And this is coming from a guy who's been to the Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountains,
Redwood forests of the north west, the Canyonlands and deserts of Utah, the beaches of Florida
and southern most Texas and even California. We've been on a few road trips.
There is a river right out side the back door of the rooms of the Pink Motel. There was even a family
or two of ducks hanging out back there! You can rent tubes and catch a ride upstream from the
motel and float back down to your room! How cool is that? Need to get your gamble on? Cherokee
is on Rez land and there is a giant casino in town. There's also all the fun small town things like go
carts, skeeball and putt putt golf. All around you you'll find hiking, mountain biking, and all manor of
We chose white water rafting! This is the Big Waterfall at the end of the trip we took. It wasn't this
crazy the whole trip but it was a great way to find out how much we REALLY liked white water
rafting! Sucks that the closest real rafting is about a six hour drive from St. Louis. At least it's not a
TEN hour drive! We'll be doing this again. We went out with a company called Rolling Thunder and
we liked them a lot. They were very professional and inspired confidence in us virgins, but they
were a lot of fun in that "summer camp" kinda way too. They had all kinds of inside jokes about each
other that they shared with us and sang songs on the bus ride up river. The guide we had was very
knowledgeable about the area, his job and the river in general. We all asked lots of questions
during the quieter parts of the river. We shut up and did what we were told on the more challenging
sections. The big guy up front next to me even fell out of the boat!
I was lucky enough to have a little rain in the evening that made for some great night time shots of
the sign. It was nice and cool the whole time we were there too. This was just before that oppressive
heat bubble expanded over to the east coast. We could have used a little of that heat in that cold
The interior of the Pink Motel is pretty standard. You get two big beds that are comfortable enough
to sleep on, you get a little fridge and along with the grills out back you can really save some cash
on the food bill if you're a frugal traveler like us. You get a standard TV with cable (kept us occupied
for hours!). I can't remember if there is Wifi but I bet there is. Just your usual motel expectations.
Could have used a microwave.
But then there's this! A beeeuuutiful Pink Bathroom! Sweet! Check out how the tub is partially sunk
in to the floor. See, you don't have to go to estate sales to find Pink Bathrooms!
There are lots of kitschy shops and tourist traps right down the street from the Pink Motel too.
Check it out. Let's go Pan Fer Some Gold! How much fun must this be for all the kids? It looks like
something out of a theme park like Six Flags or Silver Dollar City! Then there's the "Other" Wigwam
motel. This is just about a block away from the Pink Motel. Don't get too excited though. There
aren't any Wigwams to sleep in here. It's just a building with regular rooms. They must have
re-purposed the sign when one of the other Wigwam Villages went out of business. At least the
sign was saved!