Turn Back the Clock: Incredible Historic Hotels

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    Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, CA

    Located on the beaches of Coronado, near San Diego, CA, the Hotel del Coronado enjoys a place near the top of the nation's most iconic seaside resorts. Since The Del first opened in early 1888, it has hosted countless presidents, politicians and celebrity guests, and is even rumored to house the restless spirit of Kate Morgan, a guest who died in the hotel under rather mysterious circumstances.

    Photo courtesy of Hotel del Coronado

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    The Liberty Hotel in Boston, MA

    The Liberty Hotel sets a high standard when it comes to repurposed buildings. Located in Beacon Hill, the Liberty once held "guests" of a different kind when it was the Charles Street Jail, and the original cruciform-shaped granite edifice remains. Boston visitors will find the hotel much more luxurious than the jail cells the building once housed.

    Photo courtesy of Liberty Hotel

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    The Palmer House in Chicago, IL

    The historic Palmer House has been welcoming guests to Chicago since 1873, making it the nation's oldest continually operating hotel. In the early 1900s, the hotel was a hub of social activity in the city, with guests like Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens and several US Presidents spending time there. After a multimillion-dollar renovation, the Palmer House continues to offer guests luxurious accommodations just a few blocks from the Magnificent Mile.

    Photo courtesy of (c) 2013 Hilton Worldwide

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    The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO

    The history of the Broadmoor dates back to 1918 when the hotel welcomed the first guests into what would become one of Colorado Springs' most highly-decorated properties. Located in the southern Rockies, the Broadmoor offers guests the perfect base for enjoying the great outdoors or relaxing in the luxurious day spa.

    Photo courtesy of The Broadmoor

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    The Biltmore Hotel in Miami, FL

    Built in 1926 in Coral Gables, just outside of Miami, the Biltmore Hotel has been designated a National Historic Landmark. George Merrick, the man behind the community of Coral Gables, combined his loves of the lush Florida landscape and of Mediterranean architecture into what would become of the country's most fashionable resorts. Judy Garland and Bing Crosby frequented the hotel, and everyone from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Al Capone stayed here at some point.

    Photo courtesy of Biltmore Hotel

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    The Royal Hawaiian in Honolulu, HI

    Known as the Pink Palace of the Pacific, the Royal Hawaiian opened in 1927 at a cost of $4 million. Located on 10 acres of Waikiki beachfront, the Royal has seen a wide range of guests pass through its doors, including Shirley Temple and Kevin Costner. During World War II, the hotel closed to the public and was leased to the US Navy as a place where soldiers serving in the Pacific Fleet could rest and recuperate.

    Photo courtesy of rjones0856

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    The Peabody in Memphis, TN

    The most famous guests of the Peabody in Memphis may walk on two legs, but they're most definitely not human. They're ducks! After General Manager Frank Schutt went on a hunting trip in the 1930s, he and his friends thought it would be funny to let their live duck decoys go for a swim in the lobby fountain, and a tradition was born. Today, guests can see the famous Peabody ducks march down to the fountain twice daily.

    Photo courtesy of The Peabody Memphis

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    The Waldorf Astoria in New York City, NY

    Everything about the lavish Waldorf Astoria -- the landmark Park Avenue hotel -- is completely representative of New York, from the Art Deco architecture to the lavish guestrooms. When the Waldorf Astoria opened in its current location in 1931, it was the tallest and largest hotel on the planet, and it remains one of the most famous to this day.

    Photo courtesy of (c) 2013 Waldorf Astoria

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    Mayflower Park Hotel in Seattle, WA

    Seattle's Mayflower Park Hotel got its start in 1927 under a different name, the Bergonian, and has been in operation ever since. The first guests of the hotel only paid $5.50 for a suite! Today, the beautifully restored hotel still displays a 1776 Grandfather clock, an 1810 English Regency breakfront and the original terracotta detailing on the facade.

    Photo courtesy of Mayflower Park Hotel

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    La Posada in Winslow, AZ

    La Posada -- the Resting Place -- was designed by legendary architect Mary Colter in 1929, and while she is best known for her hotels in the Grand Canyon, she considered this Arizona hotel to be her masterpiece. When the hotel closed to the public in 1957, it looked like the beautiful building would be demolished, it was eventually saved by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and guests can again stay in the meticulously restored property.

    Photo courtesy of Daniel Lutzick - La Posada Hotel & Gardens

About Lydia Schrandt

Lydia, photo editor and Readers' Choice Production Manager for USA TODAY 10Best, has traveled to more than 30 countries in Europe, Asia and North and South America, and has lived in Albuquerque, Galveston, Austin, Thailand, Korea, China, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil and now Spain. When she's not at her computer in a cafe, she's out photographing the city, writing fiction or cheering on Barça.

Read more about Lydia Schrandt here.

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