03/04/2013 09:44 am ET

Florida In The Age Of Technicolor Motels (PHOTOS)

Florida has always attracted a steady stream of sun seekers, but the beachcombers and the cities they visited looked exceedingly different only a half-century ago when hip, young travelers milled around the pools of brightly colored, art deco motels. This was back when "motel" wasn't a pejorative and Disney World was a construction site; when Florida was a constellation of resorts connected by roads running parallel to an open coast and through endless swamps.

The heyday of technicolor Florida, a version of the state that served as a lab for testing the beta version of the newfangled bikini, still has its appeal. Even today, as the state buckles under the weight of high-rise condominiums, which jostle each other in endless quarrels over beach access, the styles of the 1950s and '60s still hold sway. Modernist and, of course, art deco still reign supreme in Miami and many of the motels, though worse for wear and renamed, remain open.

Most of all, mid-century Florida and the glamor it represented lives on in the memories of the young people who made that era great and who, later in life, returned to the Sunshine State to live out their days next to warm water and warm memories.

This great collection of postcards from Florida's most glamorous era showcases what the state once was and why so many Americans flocked and continue to flock to the sandy shores.



Florida In The Technicolor Age