L. Frank Baum, creator of the world-famous story The Wizard of Oz, was born on May 15, 1856. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was first published in 1900, and it is one of the most popular children books ever written. As a child, I used to know the lyrics to every song from the movie, something I didn’t realize until I was about fifteen and found myself singing the songs as I was watching the movie!
If you’re a fan of Frank Baum and the Wizard of Oz, it might be fun to plan a little vacation celebrating his birthday. There are actually quite a few sites around the country
Ok, so this hotel doesn’t actually have anything to do with Frank Baum, other than the fact that it’s about three miles from Chittenango, New York, which is where he was born. Chittenango, New York, is a very small town, but they do have several Frank Baum sites there. There’s the Wizard of Oz Museum, an Oz Cream Parlor (cute!) and a yearly festival called Oz Fest which is held in late May or early June. And yes – there are even actual yellow brick roads, which have been inlaid into the sidewalks. The town’s original yellow brick road is what gave Baum the idea for the movie.
The Culver Hotel – Culver City, California
If you’ve seen The Wizard of Oz movie, you surely remember all the wonderful munchkin characters. The characters were played by a large number of midgets, most of whom stayed at The Culver Hotel, which was a short distance from the studio. Over the years, the hotel fell into disrepair, but it was completely remodeled and re-opened in 1997, almost 60 years after the movie was made. A “Munchkin Reunion” was held for the 14 surviving actors from the film.
Hotel del Coronado -San Diego, California
The crown-shaped chandeliers in the gorgeous, 10,000 square feet Crown Room, the hotel’s formal dining room, were designed by Frank Baum. He apparently did a lot of the writing for The Wizard of Oz at this spectacular hotel on Coronado Island in San Diego, California. In fact, rumor has it that Baum’s designs for Emerald City were based on the hotel.
Dorothy’s House in the Land of Oz – Beech Mountain, North Carolina
Not really sure about this one. It looks interesting, but again, doesn’t really have anything to do with the book or the movie other than the name.
Victory Inn – Wamego, Kansas
I only included this hotel because it’s in the town where you can find the Oz Museum. Could be a fun weekend trip with the family!
I’m actually shocked to find that no real, Wizard of Oz theme hotel exists, especially given the popularity of the book and the movie. There’s a business opportunity there, I think!