Do you dream of a geek-cation? One in which you can nerd yourself crazy with other like-minded folks? Well, look no further because we’ve put together a list of six of the nerdiest places to visit in the States, whether it’s gaming combined with jazz music and specialty coffee you want, or the chance to travel half a mile below the surface of the earth to have a real-time physics lesson, there’s sure to be something here to satisfy the geekiest of souls.
1.The Computer History Museum – California
This little slice of Silicon Valley heaven is a must for any computer nerds. Found in Mountain View, California, the Computer History Museumis unique in many ways, but it’s the one place to visit if you’d like to see a fully functional replica of the original Difference Engine by Charles Babbage. For those not in the know, this is considered to be the first ever example of a mechanical computer device and the team there still give demonstrations on it every single day.
2. Ground Kontrol – Portland
If you want to remember the golden age of gaming, then you absolutely have to get down to Ground Kontrol in Portland. They’ve preserved and kept alive the tradition of classic games, and alongside offering 60 classic video gems they also have 27 pinball machines too. As well as an 80s music and gaming night every Monday, every last Thursday of the month is new/indie game night in which you’re invited along to sample the best and newest independently developed video games. Unmissable!
3. Wayward Coffee – Seattle
Located in Seattle,Wayward Coffee styles itself as a late-night coffee house for geeks, offering a super eclectic mix of events. Every second and fourth Friday of the month is gaming night, when you can join the team for tabletop gaming, socializing, and delicious coffee. The first Saturday of every month is Jazz night with their in-house band, the North-End Jazz Quintet. They’re also open every single day of the year, including Christmas Day, if you want to get your geek on then, too. The team serve 100% organic, Fair Trade, shade grown coffee and milk, free of added hormones, so whether it’s a latte, a rich, dark espresso or even a green tea – you can drink to your heart’s content and geek out with other likeminded folks too.
4. Lake Geneva – Wisconsin
You can’t have a nerdy vacation without making a pilgrimage to the birthplace of Dungeons and Dragons. Lake Wisconsin, or more specifically 330 Center Street where E. Gary Cygax and Dave Arneson founded Tactical Studies Rules Inc., the company that published Dungeons and Dragons and other role playing games and products. You can watch a little film about gaming in the basement ofCygax’s house, here, to whet your appetite.
5. The Titan Missile Museum – Arizona
Maybe history – and more specifically – The Cold War is your thing. If so, then consider taking a trip to the Titan Missile Museum in Arizona. This is the only missile silo from the Cold War that admits tourists. You can see the missile used for training exercises, the control room, and the living quarters. Probably the most exciting part of the tour for anyone visiting would be the simulated launch the team do there, they also periodically offer visitors the chance to spend a night in the crew’s quarters too!
6. Soudan Underground Mine State Park – Minnesota
Calling all physics nerds, here’s your chance to visit a living, breathing scientific experiment deep in the Minnesota’s underground. TheSoudan Underground Mine State Park is a working subterranean lab. Within it, a neutrino detector looks for changes in subatomic particles emitted 460 miles away at the Fermilab particle accelerator. Visitors to the mine can also take a three-minute mine-cage ride for a real-time science lesson that takes place half a mile below the surface of the earth.