Where’s the Weirdest Place You’ve Ever Stayed?

My answer to that question: The Kings Canyon Lodge.

You can say a lot about the Kings Canyon Lodge—rustic, basic, pleasant, old fashioned, kitschy—all of which would be true. Perhaps the most accurate description of the Kings Canyon Lodge is this: plain ol’ weird.

For the record, there’s nothing wrong with weird.  My wife and I regularly seek it out when we’re on the road.  But this place…man, this place is on a different level of weird.

I mean no disrespect to the family who owns the lodge.  They seem like nice people. Really, they do.

We stormed into the lodge wet and cold after a weekend in the rain/snow. Things seemed a tad off from the get-go, but we’re easy-going folks. We shot a few rounds of pool with busted sticks, drank cheap beer, listened to fellow traveler’s tales. We watched on as a minor dispute erupted over a kitchen bill. A creepy picture of George W. Bush stood guard over the bar.

Eventually we retired for the evening, where we were serenaded by the proprietors in the adjoining room singing church hymns long into the night.

The whole experience was 100% weird. Would we go back? I see no reason why not.

So tell me, my fellow adventurous traveler, where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever stayed?



  1. Weird is SO subjective, but I like it! My ‘weirdest’ place could have been ‘Little Tokyo’, a very strange hostel in Sydney, or that place in Costa Rica with the Mariachi band playing all freaking night, the huge ass spiders, and the light switch in the shower (wtf?!), or maybe it was the beach house of Ian Flemming’s estate in Oracabessa, Jamaica… which me and a couple of friends bribed a gate guard to let us stay the night (long story!). Also, being a member of CouchSurfers has led to sleeping in some pretty weird places, and some pretty awesome ones too!!

  2. Kings Canyon is on our must see list. As far as weird goes, it’s not so much the places as it is the people. When one travels a lot, ya see it all and sometimes more than ya wanna see 😉

    1. Yep, you are absolutely right about the people making the places weird! When do you guys think you’ll head over to Kings Canyon?

      1. Hopefully next summer. We try to avoid snow at all costs while pulling an RV or I would try for Nov. I’ll be sure and ask for recommendations prior a visit 🙂

      2. Good call on avoiding the snow. That could get tricky! Especially in a place like Kings Canyon.

  3. I’ve spent a night in a blue school bus parked on a street on the south side of Chicago with a morbidly obese crack head and his two transvestite “cousins”. I’ve also stayed in the tenderloin district of San Fran which is another world entirely. Those were both weird in the extremely unpleasant, I need to take a shower in hydrofluoric acid kind of weird. Another place I’ve stayed which actually was the first to come to mind was a nudist hot springs “resort” in northern California. It was either Orr in Ukiah or Harbin in Lake county, I can’t recall which, but I’ve only been to one. Being from the closeted modest midwest, I had never seen so many people so comfortable in their birthday suits, nor had I ever seen so many people who looked so good in their birthday suits. We crammed about ten of us into a Chinook camper with a major gas leak with the shades drawn and got in with only two paid passes. The groping and fondling in the pools was only made more awkward by the fact that it was very poorly lighted. It was a good thing we were all stoned out of our gourds. I remember sleeping on the roof of the camper with my newly liberated nudity glorying in the light of the moon. I awoke in the morning covered in mosquito bites in places that had never known a bug. I smoked a joint and went in search of the driver to get us the hell out of there. Would I go back? Sure, why the hell not.

  4. I think I’ll top everyone with my weird place. Grandma Rickett’s in Killington, Vermont. It was this old woman’s house and it was disgusting. I was there with a youth church group to go skiiing. One of the teenagers had made the arrangements. Never again. It was dilapidated. Sure it was close to the mountain, so that was convenient, but it was beyond your worst imagining. She served some kind of unrecognizable mush in the morning and she was mean. I felt like I was at a boarding school and was being punished! Haha!

  5. iN Panama for my honeymoon – we went in-country..NOT a tropical island with white sand beaches and the cabana right there -why would we do that? Add that I was 4 mos pg.. we drove for three hours and as we got further away from base and the respective supporting cities there were less and less people and no one spoke even a lick of English. So we get to this lodge – it was beautiful, but think Shining in the summer time. not that big but I wil bet there were over 100 rooms – lovely grounds – big parking area… and not a soul was there but us.. oh and the proprietors didnt speak English either. We were put in a room under the eaves and there was a storm that night that banged the window covering open and shut and I stayed awake all night convinced that as soon as we were asleep, we were going to get murdered…

    1. Creepy weird! 100 rooms and nobody there? Maybe it was the offseason? I hope? This definitely sounds like the beginning of a horror movie. Redrum. Redrum. Redrum.

      1. I know right? And what made it worse was that my then husband was totally oblivious to the similarities and thought it was great….sure Babe we are in a foreign country in the middle of nowhere – no phones – no one knows where we are staying in a huge lodge that has no other guests with people who speak no English and use Machetes regualrly…I mean wtf.. I am all for exploring and adventure but right then I would have preferred and taken the cabana on the white sand beach….course I should have taken it as a sign –

  6. I once stayed in a hostel in Flagstaff, AZ where people would pop there head through the door of your hostel room in the middle of the night, look at you, then depart. Another would stay in a bathroom for hours on end with the light out (do not really want to know what they were doing). They did not seem to be guests….very strange behaviour!

    1. Good ol’ Flagstaff. Used to live there myself. Which hostel did you stay at? Because it sounds pretty weird. And very Flagstaff.

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