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The highways are a-calling and the open road beckons. You're ready to channel your inner Easy Rider and hit the tarmac for a rubber-rolling odyssey across the dusty deserts of Arizona or the salt-washed freeways of California. It's a real American adventure, but where to stay along the way?

Cue the motel, the age-old motorway pitstop that's gained a revered place in the annals of US pop culture. With their unique multi-room designs and iconic signage, these simple, stripped-down pads have long been serving dedicated roadsters and drivers. These days, they can be much more than just a place to rest the head between bouts of driving. Some come with intriguing Pop Art interiors that showcase a medley of colourful Cadillacs and vintage motors. Others have pools and games rooms to keep a carful of people entertained for the evening. And there are even motels close to major attractions – check out the motels in Niagara Falls – that have worked to shed the image of highway pitstop to offer wallet-friendly stays to sightseers.

Of course, parking is a common feature throughout. These are motorway-hotels, after all. Drivers will be happy to find there's always a space to rest up the wheels, sometimes even right outside the door of their room. That's great news if you're the sort who likes to be the last off the lanes in the evening and the first streaming down the highways after sun up.

Search Expedia and you'll discover top-rated motels all over the United States. From stylish motels in Houston that cling to the toll roads that encircle the Lone Star State's largest metropolis, to cool Californian motels in San Diego that offer a bargain pad near the Pacific Coast Highway and the rolling surfer waves to boot.

A fine examples of this sort of stays comes with the Motel 6 in Texas. With oodles of parking, that modern and contemporary place has clean doubles and twins with big bathrooms – great for recharging the batteries before pushing on with the roadtrip. Then there's the art-filled Cadillac Motel in Niagara, where the rooms burst with pictures of hot rods and convertibles, retro lazy chairs, faux leather coverings and more characterful little touches that will appeal to all petrolheads.

No longer just for drivers, the motel is an affordable and convenient choice of stay that can really crank up the charm and character.