I Pulled Over for This! Neon Lights and More from our Bay Area Road Trip

Sometimes when out and about I stumble across a neat sign or abandoned building, a place really cool to look at, but perhaps not much more than that and doesn’t need a blog post all to itself. This is always the case with road trips, so today I bring you a round up of some interesting sites and great neon in my last post from our Bay Area road trip. Enjoy!

A gas station doing in an ornate Spanish Revival style, with a small cupola at the top. Faded letters read "Barnsdall Oil Co. and Rio Grand Oil Co." Blue and white tile frame old doorways and windows.

A gas station doing in an ornate Spanish Revival style, with a small cupola at the top. Faded letters read "Barnsdall Oil Co. and Rio Grand Oil Co."

Close-up of the upper portion with the faded letters that read "Barnsdall Oil Co. and Rio Grande Oil Co."

Close-up of the boarded doorway for the mens room, which is framed by blue and white tiles.

Close-up of the round window that has been broken out, ornate details frame the window, and branches from a tree flank either side of the photo's edges.

Barnsdall-Rio Grande Gas Station and Wheeler’s Restaurant 7825 Hollister Avenue, Goleta. Abandoned.

The stunning Art Deco meets Spanish Revival remains of the very first Barnsdall-Rio Grande Oil Company gas station rests up against a beachside golf course and behind chainlink fence. A faded and tilting sign notes the building’s significance, and that it was used in the film The Postman Always Rings Twice. You can see it in action here.

Marquee and entrance for the Sunset Drive-In, which features a neon sun setting, with neon letters reading "Sunset Drive-In" on the marquee it reads "Sunday Swap Meet Jurassic World: Dominion" in red letters. A corrugated metal fence behind the marquee has a large red arrow with white letters inside that read "Entrance"

Back of the Sunset Drive-In screen, which is painted yellow with red lines going down every ten feet, with large red letters reading "Sunset"

Sunset Drive-In 255 Elks Lane, San Luis Obispo. Operational.

Located across the freeway from the iconic Madonna Inn, the Sunset Drive-In is still operating, and I hope to go to a movie there sometime in the future when we stay at the Madonna Inn, which we have been planning to do ever since we moved here!

Red blocks read "Motel" with a dark blue chevron shape below.

River Lodge Motel 1955 Theatre Drive, Paso Robles. Appeared to be being renovated.

A neon sign is painted with "Jesse's" however the neon over the top reads "Jamie's" and there is a martini glass in the middle.

Large cocktail glasses made of wood make a border along the outside of the bar, each with a letter "J" carved in.

Jesse’s/Jaime’s 229 Salinas Street, Salinas. Operational.

I was amused and confused by this small neon sign, which read “Jesse’s” in painted letters on one side with neon over the top reading “Jaime’s.” I also loved the wooden drinks with Js on them that surrounded the outside.

A large blade style neon sign reads "FOX" in yellow letters.

The Art Deco style box office for the Fox Theater.

Fox Theater 241 S. Main Street, Salinas. Operational as a local entertainment venue.

Originally opening as the T & D Theatre in November of 1921, this stunning Art Deco theatre was sold in 1930 to Fox, and then renamed and remodeled. Today it operates as a venue for live performances and event rentals.

Art Deco eagles top two doorways.

Former bank building 301 Main Street, Salinas. Undergoing renovation.

Large neon sign reads "Pub's Prime Rib Cocktails"

Pub’s Prime Rib/Growers Pub 227 Monterey Street, Salinas. Operational.

A large red, yellow, and white neon sign features a large sombrero and reads "El Sombrero Motel"

El Sombrero Motel 210 Abbott Street, Salinas. Operational.

A large red sign reads "Marin Joe's Restaurant" in neon.

Marin Joe’s 1585 Casa Buena Drive, Corte Madera. Operational.

A neon hammer makes up a good majority of this yellow, green, and black sign that reads "Lumber Goodman Building Supply" below a plastic sign reads "ACE Hardware"

Goodman’s Hardware Building Supply 775 Redwood Highway, Mill Valley. Operational.

A red and white neon sign reads "Tamalpais Motel No Vacancy" and sits atop a red Spanish tile roof.

Tamalpais Motel 680 Redwood Highway, Mill Valley. Operational.

A tall white tower leads up to a blue sign reading "Codding" in neon script, and topped with a sputnik burst.

Coddingtown Shopping Center. 733 Coddingtown Center, Santa Rosa. Operational.

This towering Googie spire features a rotating sign, reading “Codding” on one side, and “Town” on the other, luring in people to mall that first opened in 1962.

A massive fiberglass dachshund wears a chef's sign with a shield that has two yellow Ds on it, he also wears a blue bowtie with white polka dots.

Doggie Dinner head, corner of Sloat Boulevard and 45th Avenue, San Francisco.

Once upon a time, dozens of these comical dog chefs dotted the Bay Area, but today just this lone one remains on display, standing as a reminder of the old Doggie Diners, a local fast food chain that started in 1948. The last one closed in 1986, and after much debate, this one doggie head was restored. Today the chain is attempting to be revived, and you can purchase t-shirts and mugs featuring the iconic dachshund.

A neon space capsule rises on the right side of the Beep's Burgers sign, with "Beep's Burgers" spelled out in neon. A gold neon arrow points to the left.

Beep’s Burgers 1051 Ocean Avenue, San Francisco. Operational.

We pulled over to Beep’s literally two minutes before they closed on our last night in town. I do hope to return one day, as this burger joint has been operating since 1962, and boy what a sign!

The large blade neon sign for the Fox Theatre which reads "Fox Oakland" and below the marquee reads "Oakland" in neon and below "June 14 Orville Peck 17 & 18 Ludovico Einaudi 19 Pod Save America"

Fox Theater 1807 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland. Operational as a local entertainment venue.

While I’ve wanted to do a Bay Area trip for awhile now, our main reason for going was to see Orville Peck perform at Oakland’s Fox Theater. This stunning theater opened as a movie palace in October 1928 and closed in 1966. Falling victim to arson, water damage, it was lovingly restored and reopened in 2009 as a live entertainment venue.

I hope you enjoyed! I can’t wait to get back out on another road trip!

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