Travel When Not Where: The Lost Generation

The resurgence of the post WWI era is evident in a variety of ways in the last decade. With the release of movies like Midnight in Paris, The Great Gatsby, and television shows like Downton Abbey, nostalgia for the roaring twenties and the Lost Generation are in full swing. My daughter’s school is doing a Gatsby themed prom.
When I travel, I love to mix it with history and literature. Imagining yourself back in time in a scene of good book, or imagining others lives a century ago has an allure. When I was in Paris, I visited the Shakespeare & Co. and walked the same streets as Hemingway and Fitzgerald. My husband pointed out the steps near the Pantheon that Owen Wilson sat on just before being whisked back into time. The twenties were wild, romantic, but also weighed down by a post world war cynicism.


Lately I have been on a Lost Generation reading kick. I recently finished The Paris Wife, a fictional account from the point of view of Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley. So the obvious next choice was to read The Sun Also Rises. While I picked up a copy of it, I also grabbed this book. It’s a fictional account told from Zelda Fitzgerald’s point of view. Reading these books and immersing yourself not only in a place but another time is great way to be inspired to travel. I am sure Midnight in Paris caused quite a few purchases of Paris vacations. Even if you can’t go to Paris, you can still travel back in time here in California.

In Southern California, The Los Angeles Art Deco Society has a calendar of events to take you back in time here in Southern California. Their mission is to celebrate and preserve the architecture, design, arts, music, dance, fashion and elegance of Art Deco. Events like Cocktails at the Purple Orchid or the Avalon Ball on Catalina Island in May. The Art Deco Society of California has frequent events in Northern California celebrating all thing Art Deco as well.

Dine, Dance, or & Watch


You can eat at Traxx, inside historic Union Station featuring American Cuisine surrounded by Art deco decor. Head to Del Monte Speakeasy, established in 1915 in Venice. Or dance at the Cicada club inside the historic Oviatt Building. See a silent film on the first Saturday of the month at The Cinefamily Silent Movie Theater for only $12.


Stay at the historic Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica. This Art Deco hotel boasts ocean views from every room.shangri_la








The Sunset Tower Hotel is in Hollywood. It was designed in 1929 and features the Tower Bar which is housed in Bugsy Siegel’s old










The Roosevelt Hotel combine history and contemporary style in the heart of Hollywood. The Tower rooms are the original from 1927 and is the birthplace of the Academy Awards in 1929. Have drinks at 25 Degrees or the Library bar.



16 responses to “Travel When Not Where: The Lost Generation

  1. Great post with a wonderful perspective of time rather than place! I read The Paris Wife last year and devoured it in only a few days but when I moved on to Z- the story of Zelda Fitzgerald I just couldn’t get into it for some reason. I’ll have to try again soon. On a side note I just attended a 1920′s themed murder mystery party and it was a total blast to dress up and talk the talk🙂

  2. I like the idea of going to a time instead of a place. 1920′s LA is certainly an era that can be romaticized. I want to stay at the Roosevelt, please. I watched Midnight in Paris after my Paris trip when I realized that the restaurant across the street from my hotel was in the movie. It’s where Owen Wilson first encounters Hemingway & Co. We went to eat there, and I was wondering why they had a picture of Woody Allen up on the window, so I Googled it.

  3. What a fun idea to travel to a time period instead of just a place. It must have been such a blast imagining that you were back in the 1920s in LA. If only the prices were the same as they were back then!

  4. A Gatsby prom sounds amazing and I wasn’t even a big prom person haha. I love the idea of traveling to a time period especially the 20s! Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler!

  5. I’m a firm believer in that, when you read while you travel, the vacation & the book stay with you longer . . . I like the twist of adding “visiting a time period,” and visiting a place that SCREAMS about a certain historical moment, while reading about said historical moment, to see if there is some method of time-travel that might come about.

  6. I loved following the resurgence of the 20s and how great would it be to see all the high school kids at that Gatsby themed prom. We drive up to LA a lot from San Diego but I’ve never really paid too much attention to the art deco. The events from the art deco society sound fun. We’ve gone to the Roosevelt for a wedding reception and it was absolutely gorgeous. Thanks to you, I’m going to be paying more attention.

  7. What a neat idea of travelling to the 20’s! I so wanted to stay at the Roosavelt when I was there, but my budget said NO! Maybe next time. Biggest thanks for joining us for #SundayTraveler this week.

  8. Off topic a bit but I may be the only person in the world who thinks The Great Gatsby is totally overrated. That said, great post. LA is so good for history even if it’s recent.

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