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California Diary | Peggy Sue’s 50s Diner

I’ve always been fascinated by roadside America.

You know all of those random – and often quite bizarre – little places you find right slap in the middle of the desert, or on some back road, miles from habitation? The ones you look at and think, “Who on earth would look at this lonely stretch of road and think, ‘Yup, what this place needs is a dinosaur park: let’s make it happen!'” (Because it’s always dinosaurs, isn’t it? Seriously, I’ve almost lost count of the number of plastic dinosaurs I’ve seen by the side of the road in middle-of-nowhere-America*: what gives with the dinosaurs, people?)

(*OK, it’s been, like, three times I’ve see roadside dinosaurs. I’m not very good at counting, though.)

Peggy Sue’s 50s Diner is one of those places. It’s almost halfway between Vegas and L.A., and I’d look up the exact address for you, but I’m pretty sure you won’t have any trouble finding it:

Peggy Sue's 50's diner, California

We started seeing these signs just as we left Barstow, en route to Vegas, and as soon as I set eyes on them, I set up a clamouring. “Please can we go to Peggy Sue’s 50s diner?” I pleaded. “Please? Please? Please? Please? Please?”

“No,” said the family: not unreasonably, given that we’d just stopped for breakfast at iHOP, and who wants to go to a diner right after eating a giant plate of pancakes? Answer: this girl. But the answer was still NO, so I had to content myself with extracting a promise from them that we’d stop at Peggy Sue’s on the way back to LA, instead. Now, Terry, being obsessed with maps, was a little worried we wouldn’t be able to find the place again. I, however, had no such fears, and sure enough:

Peggy Sue's nifty 50's diner

roadside diner: Peggy Sue's 50's diner

You REALLY can’t miss it, trust me.

Peggy Sue’s isn’t just a 50s themed diner: it’s the real deal. It’s been there since the 50s (When it would just have been a plain old ‘diner’, I guess…), and although it’s been extended since then to include a huge gift shop, and the walls have been decorated with 50s memorabilia (Which they just called “stuff” back then…), it still has that authentically 50s vibe to it. Oh, and there’s an actual Peggy Sue, too: that’s not just the name of the diner. (Don’t you think that if you had a name as awesome as ‘Peggy Sue’, you’d just HAVE to buy yourself a 50s diner, though? I mean, it would be such a waste NOT to!)

interior of 50s diner

interior of 50s diner

interior of 50s diner

soda fountain in 50s diner

Er, I don’t expect they had the fake 50s people propping up the counter back in the day, either. Because that would just have been weird, wouldn’t it?

(Please excuse the blurry iPhone photos, by the way, and also the tragic irony of me finding myself in a 50s diner on the one day in the year when I WASN’T wearing a 50s-style dress…)

We were there for second breakfast, and I was starting to feel a bit guilty about having essentially eaten my way through Vegas, so I opted for the ‘Twiggy’ platter, which billed itself as the ‘diet’ option. Well, it WAS a salad, but it was almost as big as me, and really tasty, too, so I’m not sure how low-cal it was, but I did really enjoy it – and the wonderful service, from waitresses in 50s-stye uniforms, who called us all ‘hon’, and were so sweet I wanted to take one home with me. The family wouldn’t allow that either, though. They spoil EVERYTHING, don’t they?

Anyway, if you’re thinking Peggy Sue’s is just a 50s diner, you’re wrong: it’s also a dinosaur park. Because obviously.

Pegyg Sue's Diner-Saur park

roadside America: dinosaur park and 50s diner

roadside America: dinosaur park and 50s diner

roadside America: dinosaur park and 50s diner

God, I can’t tell you how much I love stuff like this. I know you probably think I’m joking, but I’m really not: it just seems like such a throwback to a more innocent time – a time when fake dinosaurs by the side of the road would be a reason to stop the car and take a look, and it’s the kind of thing that makes me feel nostalgic for something I haven’t actually experienced. Also, there were ducks:



Ya gotta love ducks, don’t you?

And so ends my Californian adventure: well, other than the video, which Terry is editing as I write this. I’ve already had to ask him to remove two scenes involving close-ups of my face without makeup, so we’ll just have to wait and see how that goes. In the meantime, it’s safe to start reading the blog again, because the holiday posts are over: until next time… (Well, until tomorrow, technically, because I have a U.S. beauty haul planned for then. That’s about makeup, though, so it totally doesn’t count…)


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  • Myra
    October 29, 2015

    Loved this post, and your enthusiasm

  • The Other Emma
    October 29, 2015

    Look at the white duck with the fluffy hair!! I love your holiday posts – they make me feel like I’m there with you, which considering I have a toddler who would destroy a plane if we attempted to bring him on it means that this is basically as close to getting to Florida / Vegas / Peggy Sue’ diner as I will get for the next few years!

  • The Other Emma
    October 29, 2015

    Look at the white duck with the fluffy hair! I love your holiday posts, you’ve got a way of setting the scene and making me feel like I’m there with you, which considering I’ve a toddler who would destroy any plane I attempted to bring him on means that this is the closest I will be getting to Florida / Vegas / Peggy Sue’s diner for the next few years!!

  • Andrea@WellnessNotes
    October 29, 2015

    How fun!

    There a is a 50’s-themed diner called Peggy Sue’s San Jose, California. I’ve only been once, but it’s a fun experience.

  • Theresa
    October 29, 2015

    What can I say? We Americans are fascinated by dinosaurs…

  • CiCi Marie
    October 29, 2015

    Oh my gosh I wanna go so badly! It looks awesome! And I had a little laughter snort about the 50s dress irony – exactly the kind of thing that would happen to me too e.g. the one day in my life I’m not wearing red lipstick etc.

  • Holly
    October 29, 2015

    If you love the road side attractions you should come see the Enchanted Highway in North Dakota. I think there is a youtube video. I have a guest room in Bowman I could put you up in too.

  • last year's girl
    October 29, 2015

    On one of my US road trips I had to stop on the highway to get a photo of me by the Glasgow, Kentucky cutoff. They had a dinosaur park too…

  • Erika
    October 30, 2015

    My first job was at a Fifties-themed diner. They are so fun! Loved the vacation posts. I always like posts like this, and yours are some of my favorites. 😀

  • Lucy @ La Lingua
    November 6, 2015

    What an amazing place! I’d love to go to a real old diner, I’ve only ever been to the modern wannabes. The dinosaur thing is so weird, I noticed that too! Naturally we really did treat it as a genuine reason to stop the car and get out.. xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua Italy

Autumn Leaves & An Outfit
California Diary | Peggy Sue’s 50s Diner