Skip to main content

The oldest hotel in every state

The Dunleith Historic Inn in Natchez, Mississippi.Dunleith Historic Inn/Facebook

The INSIDER Summary:

  • Many hotels in the US date back to the country's founding β€” and some are even older.
  • The Seaside Inn in Kennebunk, Maine, for example, has been run by the same family for nine generations.
  • Many flock to historic hotels in the hopes of spotting a ghost: The Gold Hill Hotel in Virginia City, Nevada, is allegedly haunted by former guests.

The US is filled with glamorous, modern hotels, but there is something special about staying in a history-filled establishment that helps tell the story of a destination's local culture.

From colonial bed and breakfasts in New England to stagecoach stops from the Old West, there are plenty of places to spend the night that history buffs will love.

With the help of Historic Hotels of America, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, INSIDER has compiled a list of the oldest (or nearly the oldest) hotel in every state.

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

ALABAMA: The Battle House Hotel, Mobile

This hotel has an important place in Alabama's political history.
Aleeta P./Yelp

While it opened to guests in 1852, the Battle House Hotel in Mobile, Alabama, was built on the same spot as a military headquarters that Andrew Jackson set up during the War of 1812.

After a devastating fire in 1905 and falling into disrepair several times over the years, the Battle House Hotel re-opened for good in 2009.

ALASKA: The Historic Anchorage Hotel, Anchorage

The hotel is located in the heart of downtown Anchorage.
The Historic Anchorage Hotel/Facebook

After it first opened in 1916, the Anchorage Hotel quickly became an important fixture in the city.

Today, the hotel is said to be haunted by some of Anchorage's historical figures. For example, guests often report sightings of Anchorage's first Chief of Police, Jack Sturgus, who died mysteriously near the hotel in 1921.

ARIZONA: Hotel San Carlos, Phoenix

Actors Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable have both stayed at the glamorous Hotel San Carlos.
Hotel San Carlos/Wikipedia

The site where the historic Hotel San Carlos stands was once home to Phoenix's first school house and the city's fourth brick building.

The Italian Renaissance-style hotel was built in the 1920s. It became a hot spot for actors visiting from Los Angeles and prominent members of Phoenix society. The hotel underwent its last major renovation in 2003, but it has stayed true to its historic roots.

ARKANSAS: The Capitol Hotel, Little Rock

This hotel has called itself Little Rock's "front porch" for over 140 years.
The Capitol Hotel/Facebook

This grand hotel first opened in 1870, and has been an important landmark in Arkansas' capitol ever since.

One of the hotel's most remarkable features is its giant elevator, which is said to have been built so that President Ulysses S. Grant and his horse could fit inside.

COLORADO: The Cliff House at Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs

The Cliff House will make you feel like you're in a Victorian mansion.
The Cliff House at Pikes Peak/Facebook

The Cliff House at Pikes Peak was a popular stop for stagecoaches traveling across the state in the 1870s.

Later on, the hotel became a luxurious vacation spot for important figures such as President Theodore Roosevelt, P.T. Barnum, and Thomas Edison. The hotel is still a popular destination for Colorado vacationers today.

DELAWARE: The Inn at Montchanin Village and Spa, Montchanin

The Inn at Montchanin Village dates all the way back to 1799.
The Inn at Montchanin Village and Spa

The Inn at Montchanin Village is situated in a 19th century hamlet that has been beautifully restored. Twentyeight rooms are spread across 11 buildings dating back from 1799 to 1910.

Whether you wander around the estate or dine at Krazy Kat's restaurant, which used to be the town's blacksmith, you'll feel transported back in time.

FLORIDA: The Florida House Inn, Fernandina Beach

Union soldiers stayed at this inn during the Civil War.
Turkey T./Yelp

The Florida House Inn, which opened in 1857, is located in one of the state's most historic areas β€” Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island.

The shipping, shrimping, and tourist industries were booming after the Civil War, making the Florida House Inn the perfect destination to those visiting the area for work or people looking to take a vacation (during the war, it housed soldiers).

The inn remains today as a tribute to "Old Florida."

GEORGIA: River Street Inn, Savannah

The River Street Inn is located in a gorgeous brick building on the Savannah riverfront.
Riverstreet Inn/Facebook

Savannah's historic district acts as a stunning look into the past when it comes to Southern architecture.

The building where the inn now stands was originally used to store cotton, the city's main export, in the 19th century, and was built in 1817.

Visitors to the inn will still get a warehouse feel when they visit today.

IDAHO: The Idaho Hotel, Silver City

This isolated hotel is the perfect place to unplug.
Caity M./Yelp

Silver City, Idaho, is a historic mining town that feels as though it has been frozen in time. The Idaho Hotel only adds to the town's historic charm.

The hotel opened in 1863 in nearby Ruby City, although it eventually expanded and moved locations to Silver City.

Last edited by Demerara_Guy

ILLINOIS: The DeSoto House Hotel, Galena

Upon opening in 1855, the DeSoto House Hotel called itself the "largest hotel in the West."
DeSoto House Hotel/Yelp

The architecture and design of the DeSoto House Hotel feel just as glamorous as they did in the 1850s.

Guests are encouraged to take a self-guided walking tour of the property, and the hotel also offers a video detailing the hotel's history. With stunning Victorian-inspired interiors, it's no surprise that the hotel is a popular wedding venue.

OWA: Hotel Julien, Dubuque

President Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain have stayed at this hotel.
Hotel Julien Dubuque/Facebook

Hotel Julien is located in the Old Main district of Dubuque, Iowa. The luxurious vintage-style hotel may not have always been called "Hotel Julien," but some sort of hotel has occupied the site since 1839.

Despite many changes over the years, the current Hotel Julien has been under the same ownership since 1962.

KANSAS: Midland Railroad Hotel, Wilson

Scenes from the movie "Paper Moon" starring Ryan and Tatum O'Neal were filmed at the Midland Railroad Hotel in 1973.
Tamara M./Yelp

Today's Midland Railroad Hotel first opened in 1899 as the Power Hotel. In its early days, the hotel was a popular stop for travelers on the Union Pacific railroad going between Kansas City and Denver.

After a fire nearly destroyed the hotel in 1902, it was restored and reopened as the Midland Railroad Hotel. The hotel's latest renovation took place in 2003, which restored the establishment with 1920s style in mind.

KENTUCKY: Talbott Tavern, Bardstown

The hotel is also home to a popular restaurant and bar.
Roland S./Yelp

The Talbott Tavern in Bardstown, Kentucky, looks like a quaint old house, but it is actually a charming inn.

The tavern is one of the older hotels on the list, having offered food and shelter to travelers since the late 1700s (it was built in 1779). It was particularly popular among people traveling west by stagecoach. Even pioneer and explorer Daniel Boone stopped at the tavern during his travels.

MAINE: Seaside Inn and Cottages, Kennebunk

This oceanfront inn goes all the way back to 1660.
Seaside Inn and Cottages/Yelp

The Seaside Inn has been run by the same family for nine generations. The inn you can visit today first opened in 1756, although there has been some sort of inn on the site since 1660, according to the family that runs it.

The earlier inn used to often house ferrymen who took passengers across the Kennebunk River, but today it's a relaxing family vacation destination.

MASSACHUSETTS: Concord's Colonial Inn, Concord

Massachusetts is the perfect destination for people interested in early US history.
Concord's Colonial Inn/Facebook

Concord's Colonial Inn has seen its fair share of history. The oldest building on the property was built in 1716. During the Revolutionary War, the inn was used to store arms and provisions. Later, in the 1830s, Henry David Thoreau lived in the inn while he attended Harvard.

From 1889 on, Concord's Colonial Inn has operated similarly to how it does today. Plus, its location also has plenty to offer when it comes to history. The inn is located near Minute Man National Historical Park and Walden Pond State Reservation.

MINNESOTA: The Saint James Hotel, Red Wing

The Saint James Hotel opened on Thanksgiving Day in 1875.
St. James Hotel/Wikipedia

The Saint James Hotel is located in Red Wing, Minnesota, on the banks of the Mississippi River. It opened in 1875 to serve an influx of businesspeople traveling to the area for wheat-trading.

The Red Wing Shoe Company bought the hotel in 1977, restoring the hotel to its beautiful historical past.

MISSISSIPPI: Dunleith Historic Inn, Natchez

This inn sits on a sprawling 40-acre estate near the Mississippi River.
Dunleith Historic Inn/Facebook

The Dunleith Historic Inn is a grand estate that once belonged to a single family. While the main building dates back to 1856, the property features a carriage house, dairy barn, poultry house, and greenhouse from the 1790s. It is listed as a National Historic Landmark.

MISSOURI: The Elms Hotel and Spa, Excelsior Springs

The Elms Hotel is made of limestone from Missouri.
The Elms Hotel & Spa/Facebook

People initially flocked to the area where the The Elms stands today in the 19th century for the reported healing powers of mineral waters in the area.

Land developers took the opportunity to build a community on the newly-popular site and settled the town of Excelsior Springs. The Elms Hotel was not far behind, first opening in 1888. The hotel burned down and was rebuilt twice before the limestone structure still operating today opened in 1912.

The Elms went through a $20 million renovation in 2011, restoring it to its historic glory as well as updating its luxurious spa.

MONTANA: Grand Union Hotel, Fort Benton

The Grand Union hotel opened seven years before Montana officially became a state.
Dawn S./Yelp

Visitors of the Grand Union Hotel in Fort Benton, Montana, often visit the area to follow the Lewis and Clark Trail and enjoy the beauty of the Missouri River.

Both the town and the hotel were particularly prosperous during the steamboat era, given its proximity to the Upper Missouri River.

After several changes in ownership and many restorations, the Grand Union Hotel opened as it is today in 1999, fittingly on the 117th anniversary of its original opening.

NEBRASKA: Historic Argo Hotel, Crofton

The Argo Hotel still operates in its original brick building from 1912.
Historic Argo Hotel/Facebook

Like many historic hotels in the Midwest, the Argo Hotel opened because of new railroads in the area.

The hotel opened in 1912, when trains from Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul began traveling to and from Crofton, Nebraska. The increased business in the area called for sufficient lodging to be built, and so the Argo Hotel was born.

A native of Crofton still runs the Argo Hotel today, which is not only a bed & breakfast but also a lounge and steakhouse.