I love a roadside attraction. But one you can spend the night in? Sign me up! The Wigwam Village No. 2 in Cave City, Kentucky is one of only three remaining wigwam motels in the country. At almost 100 years old, this rustic motel is a classic piece of kitsch and Americana.
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The History of the Wigwam Village No. 2
Inspired by Tee Pee Barbecue (built by James H. Estes in 1927) in Long Beach, California, Frank A. Redford built his first teepee in Horse Cave, Kentucky in 1933. Two years later, he added six additional teepees for travelers to stay in to his gas station complex. But he had bigger dreams for his hospitality business.
In 1937, he built the Wigwam Village #2 in Cave City, seven miles south of his original location. The kitschy roadside motel includes 15 rooms, two public restrooms and one large, central teepee that was once used as a restaurant and gift shop.
While the name “wigwam” doesn’t accurately describe the shape of the motel rooms, Redford didn’t like the word “teepee” and worried travelers wouldn’t know how to spell it. Despite the inaccurate appropriation the name stuck.
Redford patented the design of the unique motel rooms in February 1936 and ultimately franchised the concept. By the late 1940s there were seven wigwam motels across the country in Kentucky, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Arizona, and California. Today the only other two remaining wigwam-shaped motels are located along Route 66 in Holbrook, Arizona and San Bernardino, California.
In 1988, the Wigwam Village No. 2 was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Fun Fact: The teepee-shaped motels were the inspiration for the Cozy Cone Motel in Pixar’s “Cars” movies.
What it’s Like Inside the Wigwam VIllage
The Wigwam Village No. 2 has 15 guest rooms: 10 with one double bed and five with two double beds. The layout varies slightly depending on the room type, but each room has its own bathroom, wifi, cable TV and air conditioning.
I’m not a tall person (5’2″) by any means, but if you’re anywhere close to 6-foot you’re going to want to watch your head. Some of the wigwam’s doorways are a little short, especially into the shower.
The rooms are definitely dated, but overall, we found ours to be clean and comfortable. I did love original touches like the red zigzag tile in the bathroom though! If you plan to book a room, remember it will be for the kitsch and novelty — not the high-quality amenities.
Plan Your Stay at the Wigwam Village No. 2
The Wigwam Village No. 2 is currently open year-round. This is a great place to stay whether you’re just passing through or spending some time in Cave City (you won’t want to miss the amazing Mammoth Cave tours).
In addition to the amenities in the individual rooms, the property has a grills, a picnic area, and small playground.
Wigwam Village No. 2, 601 N. Dixie Highway in Cave City, Kentucky
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I would love to hear from you! Have you stayed in a kitschy roadside motel? Would you visit the Wigwam Village No. 2?