As one of the warmest cities in Russia -- a country with no shortage of snowy terrain -- Sochi seems an unusual place to host the Winter Olympics.
But that's not all that's notable about it.
It's also the latest hot spot for dacha-seeking oligarchs -- and President Vladimir Putin.
Plus it has gay bars (despite Putin).
Not necessarily in the gay bars, though.
1. Anyone who's anyone (or who can afford it) has a dacha there
The infamous Russian who put the "Russian Riviera" city on the map wasn't quiet the hair-shirted leader you might expect.
Communist dictator Joseph Stalin popularized Sochi after building a summer dacha -- Russian vacation home -- here in the 1930s.
In the years since, the destination has become a summering spot for a succession of Russian politicos -- all the way up to Putin, who has two dachas in Sochi.
Sochi dachas have also become increasingly in demand from the ultra-rich so-called oligarchs who divided up much of the Russian economy among themselves with the downfall of the Soviet Union.
The popularity of the resort among the wealthy and powerful has led to criticisms that it's become unaffordable to the ordinary Russians who flocked to the city after its establishment as a vacation spot in the 1950s.
You can tour the dacha that launched the locale, complete with a wax version of the "Man of Steel," avuncular pipe in hand.
Stalin's Dacha, Kurortny Prospekt 120, Khostinsky District; +7 (862) 267 05 02; tours - $10 -- by appointment
2. The Sochi Olympics aren't actually happening in Sochi
The Sochi Olympics aren't taking place in Sochi proper, which technically consists of one 32-square-kilometer district called Tsentralny.
Instead, athletes are competing in Adler, an area within Greater Sochi just north of Georgia's breakaway territory, Abkhazia.
A coastal cluster of venues south of Sochi proper house the Central Olympic Stadium and rink sports including ice hockey, curling and figure skating.
Outdoor events such as skiing and bobsleighing are being hosted within the Krasnaya Polyana resort area, about 50 kilometers away in the Western Caucasus Mountains.
3. Restaurants and bars will be smoke-free
In Russia, you're never far from a cigarette lighter.
Back in October, that was a lucky strike for the Olympics when a man whipped one from his pocket and quickly replenished the Olympic flame, which had blown out in the wind.
But the Sochi Olympics have committed to a smoke-free event, making it the 12th Games to do so.
This will be a trial in a country still in love with smoking -- nearly 60 percent of adult males and 40 percent of the total adult population admitted to smoking regularly in 2012, according to the World Health Organization.
The sale of cigarettes and smoking itself have been banned inside any Sochi Olympic venue, with the exception of specially marked smoke zones.
Smoking is also forbidden at bars and restaurants within the Olympic Park -- a step ahead of the nation.
Russia barred smoking in public spaces including airports and train stations last June, and will expand the ban to include cafés, bars and restaurants in June 2014.
It will also impose a minimum price (so long $2 packs), all in an effort to quell smoking-related deaths in Russia, which totaled 400,000 in 2012.
4. Sochi has gay bars
There are no gay people in Sochi, according to mayor Anatoly Pakhomov.
Curiously enough, however, there are gay bars -- at least one that's out of the closet, that is.
Sochi's Cabaret Mayak, catering to both gay and straight clients, features a midnight show by transvestite cabaret singers.
Despite homosexuality being a federal crime in Russia until 1993, Sochi was a gay hub during Soviet times for its relaxed beachfront vibe and distance from major metropolises within the Iron Curtain.
In July, Putin signed into law a ban on "gay propaganda," criminalizing the spread of information on "nontraditional sexual relations" among minors.
He's since lowered his sword, saying gay people will be welcome at the 2014 Olympic Games but adding in a Jan. 17 comment to a group of Olympic volunteers: "Please leave the children at peace."
Cabaret Mayak, Sokolova ul. 1, Khostinsky District; +7 (988) 238 30 40; open daily, year round; 21+
5. Sochi trained Russia's first space monkeys
It's a symbol of the 1960s Cold War space race etched into our collective imagination: a monkey, in full astronaut attire, manning a spacecraft.
Leading the way in Russia's monkey-manned space technology?
Sochi, of course.