1962 Ford Ranch Wagon -- Transportation to and from the Ocean Ranch Motel, at Virginia Beach, for a family of 7 during the 1960s. (S.H.Smith photo, August 1964)
Frequently visited Shore Locations, how about Virginia Beach
Our family of seven went to the shore at Virginia Beach, five summers in a row; 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1968. A 1962 Ford Ranch Wagon was our transportation to and from the Ocean Ranch Motel the first four years. We were treated to a significant upgrade the final year, after dad purchased a 1968 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser Station Wagon.
A recent query about the Ocean Ranch Motel prompted this post. Kathy Gilbert overheard me talking about family visits to that motel. Her family often went there in her youth and recently when in Virginia Beach the first time since the 1970s, she could not figure out which of the many high rises replaced the Ocean Ranch. I was also not quite sure the last time I was down there about seven years ago, so I checked if historic aerial photo existed for Virginia Beach; they did!
The following is a 1960s postcard showing the Ocean Ranch Motel, between the Ocean & Atlantic Avenue at 32nd Street in Virginia Beach, Virginia. In 1964, someone told dad about this motel, raving about how friendly and relaxing it was. Later in life, dad revealed, for him, those summer weeks at that motel created some of the most relaxing times in decompressing from the stress of his job.
The following 1960s postcard shows the swimming pool & some of the outdoor dining at the Ocean Ranch Motel. The owners of the motel became friends with mom and dad. They even sent Christmas Cards to our family.
A review of the Virginian-Pilot newspaper revealed the Ocean Ranch Motel opened May 4, 1957, as a 42-unit, two-story, motel; with a separate building, along Atlantic Avenue, housing registration lobby, a restaurant/coffee shop, and the manager’s apartment. Future plans were for an identical 42-units to eventually be built in the grassy lot which they owned south of the swimming pool.
Using that information, the search was on for the earliest historic aerial photo, following 1957, in the oceanside region of Virginia Beach at 32nd Street. The Ocean Ranch Motel property clearly stands out on a 1974 aerial, as annotated.
Seaside Amusements, neighboring the Ocean Ranch, to the south, were a favorite of the three boys in the family. It seemed to be pretty easy to rack up free games, in either the pinball machines or the games of chance.
The following is a 2022 aerial photo of the exact area, previously displayed of the oceanside region of Virginia Beach at 32nd Street. The present Hampton Inn Virginia Beach–Oceanside, at 3107 Atlantic Avenue, is pointed out; that is where the former Ocean Ranch Motel stood from 1957 until the late 1980s. The replacement building is 8-stories, with 120-rooms; with all rooms being ocean view; it originally started out as a Days Inn Oceanfront.
The grassy beachfront Neptune’s Park, just to the south of the Hampton Inn Virginia Beach—Oceanside, frequently features live music throughout the day. A giant statue of Neptune overlooks the park.
The following is a 2022 northward photo of the Virginia Beach boardwalk at 32nd Street. The Hampton Inn Virginia Beach–Oceanside, at 3107 Atlantic Avenue, is pointed out; that is where the former Ocean Ranch Motel stood from 1957 until the late 1980s.
Click on this LINK for a yorkblog.com Full View of the photos in this post.
Links to a few other vacation related posts include:Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts