Bisbee, Arizona: Shady Dell RV Park and Dot's Diner

Vintage diner alongside aluminum travel trailers (available for overnight or weekly rental). Includes 1949 Airstream, 1950 Spartanette, 1950 Spartan Manor, and more.
Address:
1 Old Douglas Rd, Bisbee, AZ
Directions:
1.5 mi E of town on 80, 1/2 block off traffic circle.
Hours:
Check in: 2pm, Check out 11 am. (Call to verify)
Phone:
520-432-3567
Admission:
Rates: $40 -$125, depends on size.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Shady Dell RV Park and Dot's Diner

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Shady Dell RV Park

The older comments on this classic RV park seem to emphasize the lack of "phony 50s nostalgia", but there was a ton of it when I visited and we loved it: our relatively inexpensive El Rey unit had a vaguely Polynesian thing going on, and every drawer we opened, out popped another vintage book or magazine or exotic geegaw. This turnaround must have come in with the new owners, a young couple who collect this stuff. When we were there, their mother happened to be down and took us on a tour of the other trailers, snapping our picture in various settings and telling us about her role in Spielberg's Always.

Old Bisbee was pretty cool too, and there's a great little co-op grocery just a block past the underpass.

[Jonathan Culp, 12/03/2008]

Shady Dell trailers.

Shady Dell RV Park and Dot's Diner

Spent an evening in one of the restored travel trailers at the Shady Dell recently, and lemme tell ya, I was mighty impressed. All the trailers are a genuine step back in time, both inside and out. We got to see the inside of most of them by playing "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" with the other guests, and each trailer is outfitted with lots of authentic 40's and 50's furnishings. There was no trace of any hokey fake nostalgia, either, thank God. There also didn't seem to be any trace of the place being up for sale. They were booked solid both the night we were there and the following evening. And there are new additions. Their newest "room" is a dry docked 38-ft.1947 Chris Craft yacht, and we saw what will become the 9th trailer after it's restored.

[Dean Jeffrey, 09/12/2003]

Dot's diner.

Shady Dell RV Park and Dot's Diner

The scoop on Dot's Diner is that it's an authentic ten-stool 1957 Valentine that served Los Angeles patrons for 26 years, sat idle and neglected for 13 more, and was then moved to Bisbee and the Shady Dell RV park in 1996. It took six months to restore it, but from the looks of things, the effort was well worth it. And the food is great! I had three meals there, and the place was always full (and with locals, too. Always a good sign.) And just like the Shady Dell, there wasn't a whiff of phony '50s nostalgia; just good food in a cool place.

[Dean Jeffrey, 08/18/2002]
Shady Dell RV Park and Dot's Diner

Looking for help to find a vintage trailer court with the trailers serving as motel rooms. Trailers are probably 8-wides (Spartan, Hicks, etc.) When speaking to my mother about a Route 66 special I witnessed on T.V. she said that at one time there was a vintage trailer park where the trailers where rented out by the evening like a motel. Growing up in an 8-wide myself I would love to stay in one more (for old times sake)! Don't get me wrong, I suppose that there are alot of trailers rented out by the evening and even hour in this great free country but this was along the lines of the Wigwam Motel (clean and well kept). I don't know if this place is or was in Oklahoma but I am pretty sure it was along old Route 66 somewhere in it's 2400 mile span.

[Jody Kramme, 08/11/2001]

Smiler Dean Jeffrey suggests: "The vintage trailer motel that Jody Kramme mentions is probably the Shady Dell RV Park & Campground in Bisbee, AZ. There are eight restored travel trailers from the '40s and '50s that are rented out. There's also a vintage diner. Shady Dell was written up in Smithsonian Magazine a few years ago." Also, the Shady Dell was reportedly up for sale earlier in 2001.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Queen Mine TourQueen Mine Tour, Bisbee, AZ - 1 mi.
Renegade Studios Folk ArtRenegade Studios Folk Art, Bisbee, AZ - 2 mi.
Virile Copper Miner StatueVirile Copper Miner Statue, Bisbee, AZ - 2 mi.
In the region:
The Thing?, Dragoon, AZ - 46 mi.

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