Loving the eccentric Pacific Northwest

The USA's Pacific Northwest is known for its magnificent landscape, its cities of progressive thought and innovation, its music and its coffee. It's a region that's not afraid of the kook-factor. In fact, it loves it. Check out these oddities that add to the Pacific Northwest's particular flavour.

Oregon Vortex, Gold Hill: It lures visitors with its unexplained phenomena: How did that broom stand up on its own? Why did that guy look shorter when he changed places with his girlfriend? What made that water run uphill?

Florence's Sea Lion Caves, Oregon: First, you get to pretend you're Batman and take an elevator 200 feet down into a cave. Then you get to watch the sea lions in their natural amphitheatre.

Gracie's Sea Hag Restaurant & Lounge, Depoe Bay: Where barmaids use wooden sticks to play choreographed numbers on liquor bottles. It's good, noisy fun, kind of like a small-town version of Coyote Ugly.

Kennedy School, Portland: Located in a former elementary school, this hotel has soaring ceilings, coatrooms for closets, and chalkboards in the guest rooms. Play hooky in the school halls and check out the cool art. Have dinner and drinks in the school cafeteria - but no spitballs!

Velveteria, Portland: A wildly impressive museum dedicated to the art of the velvet painting. Portraits of Mary and Jesus hang side by side with unicorns, sad clowns, and Elvis. The exuberant collection includes a black-light room and an ample collection of nudes.

Marsh's Free Museum, Long Beach, Washington: A quick pit stop that's half souvenir stand and half circus sideshow, starring conjoined calves and other taxidermied wonders, as well as Jake the Alligator Man, a mummified half man, half alligator tabloid star.

Science Fiction Museum, Seattle: You don't have to be a fan of the genre to enjoy checking out the sheer breadth of movie costumes, television props, scale models and sci-fi weaponry, and, well, let's be honest - it attracts a crowd that's as interesting as the displays.

Archie McPhee, Seattle: Shop at these fine purveyors of novelties and accoutrements. They sell glow-in-the-dark extraterrestrials, punching nuns, bacon bandages and yodeling pickles. Yes, you need one of all of these.

So, any prime oddities we overlooked? Let us in on your kooky secrets.