Wigwam Village Motel No. 2
Cave City, Kentucky
"Sleep in a Wigwam," the sign promises. And you won't be disappointed. This Wigwam Village Motel is one of a very few surviving "teepee-style" motels from Tourism's Golden Era (today, we thankfully live in the Cubic Zirconium Era). It was the first, built in 1937 by Frank A. Redford, who found his inspiration in authentic Sioux Reservation teepees and ice cream cone-shaped buildings popping up along highways.
This place is full most nights. We highly recommend a stay here -- the rates are reasonable, and it's in the belly of the Mammoth Cave mecca, with easy access to local cave attractions, Floyd Collins memorabilia, and more.
Fourteen wigwam uwnits are arrayed in a semicircle, facing the a larger gift shop and guest registration teepee. Steam Heat, tile baths, cable TV, large playground, picnic tables and grills, no pets allowed.
Owner Ivan F. John is an enthusiastic booster of the wigwam experience. He told us the property sits over a potential sinkhole, so a cave (or cave-in) attraction may be somewhere in the Wigwam's future.
Tour of the Basement
The big Wigwam has a full basement, including heating apparatus and refrigerators from the old restaurant. In the early days, the upstairs was a cafe, and the gift shop was in the cellar. Ivan says that the owner before him gutted everything, sold all the furniture and historic memorabilia at auction by Sotheby's, so there's not much here. A couple of half filled boxes of rocks, some pot holders in wooden souvenir bins. There's a safe in the back of the cellar, but it's locked.