The Michelin Guide to Going Home for the Holidays

A traveler’s guide to the small towns

Ares Gabriel


Photo from Unsplash.

Ah, humble home. It’s been a while. After almost a year of traveling abroad, you’re finally back to where it all began: a nondescript town in the middle of what seems like nowhere. Or maybe you’re just planning a trip home for the impending holidays and hoping to make it as painless as possible to visit the birthplace of your nightmarish high school years. More cows than people, more people with Raider Nation flags in the back of the truck than is ideal (the ideal number will always be zero), and more churches per square mile than any other town in America. You missed the quaint town, right until the moment your car rolled up to the exit sign and reality began to set in.

This is nothing like sipping wine on the steps of the Pantheon in Paris. Heck, it’s not even like getting a pint at your local in Northern Ireland. But that’s why the Michelin Guide exists! Originally published by Michelin Tires as a way to let travelers know what hotels were good to stay at and which restaurants boasted the finest cuisine, the Michelin Guide is an enduring institution that mentions only the finest of places. And not to worry, your town is on it!

Check out the official recommendations of the Michelin Guide for Nondescript Freeway-Adjacent Towns.

Places to Stay

The creepy Best Western on the edge of town

The red lights on the giant billboard tell you the price. Somehow it always costs more than that, including the slice of your soul that you’ve sold to get here. On the brightside, it’s right next to the freeway if you decide you can’t hack it.

1.5 stars

The Motel 6 whose parking lot is a liminal space

The parking lot has always given you bad vibes, and you aren’t sure why. In the distance, you can see the blinking blue neon in the windows of the city’s worst dive bar. The inside of your non-smoking room smells faintly of smoke, but not cigarette smoke – fire??? Was that blood always on the pillow, or did you get another nosebleed in your sleep? Will any of your questions be answered? At least the vending machine has Hot…



Ares Gabriel

Living a life of post-bohemian heartbreak so you don’t have to. Amateur bone re-articulator, professional wit.