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San Luis Obispo, California: World's First Motel

Most recently called "Motel Inn," opened on Dec. 12, 1925 by Arthur Heineman as "Motor Hotel." By fate or economy (the stories vary) it became the first to squeeze the words into "motel." All that's left is the bell tower and the sign.

Address:
2223 Monterey St., San Luis Obispo, CA
Directions:
Northeast edge of town, just off of the entrance ramp onto northbound US 101 at exit 204. Bear right onto the parallel service road, not left onto the highway.
Hours:
Not open, but visible. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Visitor Tips and News About World's First Motel

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World's First Motel.

World's First Motel

Some palm trees around the property look charred, like there may have been a fire here years ago. The Motel Inn closed in 1991. Many of the buildings were torn down in 2006; only two fragments of the original buildings exist, including the mission-style bell tower. The Motel Inn is now the administrative building of the hotel next door, the Apple Farm Inn.

[Jenni E., 05/17/2023]

First motel.

World's First Motel

World's First Motel: Seems there is only one wall left.

[Lindsey Ferguson, 11/06/2015]

Motel Inn sign.

World's First Motel

There has been some sort of makeover on the first building, it's new and has a historical plaque. However that original "motel" sign is gone, which is disappointing. The 2nd building looks like even more of it has been demolished. Interesting stop.

[CS, 04/13/2013]

First motel.

World's First Motel

The individual rooms are gone. They used to stretch between the two remaining buildings, one which contained the office.

[Roger Hendrix, 07/23/2010]

Most recently called "Motel Inn," it opened in 1925 as "Motor Hotel," and by fate or economy (the stories vary) it became the first to squeeze the words into "motel."

World's First Motel

Looks like some kind of renovation is underway. Fenced off but easily visible.

[Raphael, 07/11/2010]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Poly Canyon: Abandoned StructuresPoly Canyon: Abandoned Structures, San Luis Obispo, CA - 1 mi.
Bubble Gum AlleyBubble Gum Alley, San Luis Obispo, CA - 1 mi.
Madonna InnMadonna Inn, San Luis Obispo, CA - 2 mi.
In the region:
Sticky USA Candy Demos, Pasa Robles, CA - 20 mi.

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