Experience The Good Life At This Enchanted Austrian Museum

As if immersed in a Grimms' fairy tale, one of the world's most charming museums is nestled deep in the woods — at the end of a long, winding road. But rather than grandma's cottage, the destination is the equally cozy Rolls Royce Museum in Dornbirn, Austria. Red-hued hoodies are optional, but curiosity is inherently mandatory and will be rewarded in grand style along the way.

The museum is housed in an old textile mill and boasts the world's most extensive collection of Rolls Royce cars, outside the private collection of The Sultan of Brunei, who holds the record for the largest private collection. But, car enthusiast or not, the Rolls Royce Museum woos you with its vintage vibes, history, and — of course — The Spirit of Ecstasy, the angel-like hood ornament for which the brand is known.

And if the inner workings of a car engine aren't your thing, no worries. The aesthetic alone is enough to make you forget the outside world exists. Plus, if you're missing Queen Elizabeth, you can see (aka take a selfie with) historic Rolls Royce from the royal family's collection.

But the museum itself is just half the experience. Take that meandering drive down Gütle 10, and you'll be treated to waterfalls, gorges, proper afternoon tea service, and the story of Eleanor Thornton — the car enthusiast who inspired the iconic flying angel hood ornament.

Glamour, gears, and a spot of tea or whiskey

If you're thinking, "well, that looks random," you're not wrong. The road leading to the textile mill-turned-car museum is a verdant stretch known for its many hiking trails and outdoorsy adventures. So, some travelers find it on happenchance after canyoning in nearby Vorarlberg or hiking along the waterfalls, suspended footbridges, and gorges of Rappenlochschlucht.

But once you catch sight of the building, it's an instant "yes." Because there's so little hoopla — just a simple sign — you wonder, "oh, what little adventure have we here?" Once inside, your senses are electrified by more than three floors of exhibits of rare Rolls Royce, including Old Hollywood glamour favorites and a 1937 Phantom III, which belonged to the British Royal family and remains a visitor favorite on Tripadvisor. It's expertly curated, but it also feels like someone invited you into their private garage, where they've left a few engine tinkering projects here and there.

You'll catch a glimpse of vintage toolboxes spilling over with gadgets and gears, and then 10 feet away, a gleaming Rolls with doors flung open to reveal unimaginable emerald leatherwork, as captured by Facebook visitors.

You can always visit without an appointment — a mere $6, at current currency conversion rates, but if you schedule in advance, you can take advantage of the full amenities. For example, you can be welcomed with a glass of champagne for just $3.50. Or, go all in with English tea service and cake buffet ($16.40 per person) or an around-the-world style whiskey tasting for $7.20 per person.

A worthwhile road trip!

A visit to the Austria and Rolls Royce Museum is as easy as a flight to Vienna. In fact, Austria's Travel Portal reports that Austrian Airlines offers direct flights — generally less than 10 hours — from major U.S. cities, such as New York, Chicago, and Washington, DC. And from London, a direct British Airways flight is only about two hours.

But you might also want to consider working it into any number of European jaunts since Austria is nestled near Germany, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, and other very road-tripable countries. By car, it's just four hours from Munich to Austria, but just be sure to check with your rental car company to ensure you're allowed to take your hired car across the border. Most Tripadvisor contributors' experience has been it's rare for a rental company to prohibit it (though there may be a small fee), but it's always worth asking. Just be sure to remember to stop at a gas station before entering Austria to purchase a vignette (toll sticker).

While there, you can explore Lake Constance, which borders Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Dornbirn and The Rolls Royce Museum are just ten miles away from its southernmost shores!