Golden State Inns Make Wacky Top Ten

The Featherbed Railroad and the Queen Mary make the cut.

OVERSTATING THE OBVIOUS: Not envelopes will be pushed or truisms shall be tested by us stating the fact that weirdism is embraced in California. Is that quite true, though, "embraced"? Or, rather, does our state live in a general aura of wackiness, and we instead embrace the normal, given that normalness is in shorter supply than extravagant outlandishness? That. That's the theory we'll rest upon. Which means this: When it is time to choose and pick and spotlight the oddest places in the Golden State, well, the chooser has her or his work cut out. Beyond that, really; there are oodles of places marching to their own drummer and raising their own freak flag and jumping to their own dance. And thank goodness, too. Isn't that how we like it out here on the West Coast, the home of do-your-own-thing-a-tude? recently took the plunge on finding the wackiest hotels in the world, and, lo and behold and wouldn't you know it: Two of the ten, a full one-fifth, are in California. Have a guess?

WELL... the photo above is one hint. The Featherbed Railroad Bed & Breakfast of Nice is one of the two, as it should be, given that you sleep in an authentic rail car. Each of the inn's rooms are different and distinct, but the old-timey feel that permeates the place is unwavering and era-less. Fun mystery events and such are part of the Featherbed tradition, too.

AND TO THE SOUTH... we have the Queen Mary, of Long Beach. Is it the best-known in-port-for-eternity ocean liner? Perhaps. Is it storied? It participated in World War II and zipped royalty and movie stars around the world. Is it purported to be haunted? So very ghosty, ghosty as all get-out, in fact, with the spooky tours to back it up.

So, other odd hotels of the Golden State: Do you need to step up the strange? As long as wacky top tens are in the making, let's hope that all stayover spots keep the uniqueness ultra-unique.

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