To Caitlin Sandburg, her hometown of San Francisco provides a safe haven--for oddballs.
"Once you've been here long enough, nothing surprises you," says the hospitality exec. "Whether it's a naked person walking down the street, someone dressed in full drag, or 'Burning Man' types, no one really raises an eyebrow. Being a freak here is so normal."
Even so, according to Travel + Leisure readers, there are five cities in the nation that have more weird people than the City by the Bay. In this year's America's Favorite Cities survey--in which readers ranked 38 cities for features such as romance, thrift shops, craft beers and, indeed, quirky locals--the results show how a city can be nicely shaped by its kookiest denizens.
One top five city, for instance, offers a hotel fashioned out of a former psychiatric hospital and donuts sprinkled with faux meth. Another winner is famed for its offbeat bars--like the one decorated for Christmas year round, or another that regularly holds armadillo races.
Onward, to the cities with the most kooks per capita.
--By Katrina Brown Hunt
See All of America's Quirkiest Cities