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Ask Slashdot: Science Sights To See?

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the world's-biggest-chemistry-set dept.

United States 363

First time accepted submitter steevven1 writes "My girlfriend and I are planning a long trip across the United States for this summer, and we'd like to see the usual sights, but we both have a bit of a geeky side, and we were trying to think of science-related marvels to see along the way. So far, we have thought of places like the Very Large Array in New Mexico and Fermilab in Illinois. Any suggestions?"

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363 comments

on the east coast. (4, Informative)

Picardo85 (1408929) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157274)

Hayden Planetarium på American Museum of Natural History in New York

Re:on the east coast. (3, Funny)

Picardo85 (1408929) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157286)

I accidentally the wrong language :/

Re:on the east coast. (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157550)

"My girlfriend and I are ..." Not a real Slashdotter. They have no female friends etc. Still, good luck with that.

HAARP (1)

MistrX (1566617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157276)

If with 'long trip' Alaska is also included, then you could visit HAARP. :)
Might be interesting to see what all the 'new age' fuss is about in a scientific perspective. :p

Re:HAARP (2)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157540)

If with 'long trip' Alaska is also included...

I'm not sure subby realizes how many furlongs are in a USA.

Still, let the geek-fest begin...

Re:HAARP (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157734)

With my family, I covered a lot of the USA in about 10 weeks on three different trips, although that was back when petrol was really, really cheap (as opposed to just being really cheap, as it is now). My dad likes driving.

I don't remember seeing any man-made science (except for some big civil engineering, e.g. Hoover Dam) but there are lots of natural science things to see -- geology, animals and plants. Head to the national parks!

fun in Virginia (1)

miowpurr (1004277) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157290)

Two NASA facilities fun to tour are Langley and Wallops Island.

Re:fun in Virginia (2)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157340)

And if you're lucky at Langley, you can see the F-22 demo pilot practice the full airshow routine. (3-4 times a month) No way to predict when, but he did it just yesterday.

nerdy day trips (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157294)

there is a good list of nerdy day trips at nerdy day trips dot com

Bay Model in Sausalito (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157310)

http://www.spn.usace.army.mil/bmvc/

Seriously (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157326)

I'm betting you are 30 or younger.

Even if your girlfriend is even nerdier than you, take her to the mountainside, keep it secret until the last moment, tell her that she will see wonderful things, then take a plane to some random state to to some hiking, go geocaching or get into some adventure with your sweetie like a MacGyver episode.

I promise you, she will enjoy the surprise far, far more, whatever her nerdiness level is. You will also enjoy it, trust me :D

Re:Seriously (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157458)

Yes, because no matter how different a woman is, in the end they're all pretty much the same.

Besides, if he's below 30, chances are the only MacGuyver he knows will be the one from the recent "remake" movie... do you seriously wish that upon anybody?

San Jose area (4, Informative)

TheCycoONE (913189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157332)

When I was in California with my wife, we went to The Tech (http://www.thetech.org/) and the Intel museum (http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/company-overview/intel-museum.html)

We found the Tech interesting and wish we had more time to see it (we got there a couple hours before closing), the Intel museum wasn't anything special and could probably be skipped unless you really like looking at old silicon wafers or can't miss the opportunity to wear one of those bunny suits for a photo op.

Kennedy Space Center (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157334)

My family went there last fall and and the question I kept asking myself was "How did something that big move that fast?" Really it's more of an engineering thing I guess, but plenty of science went into Mercury/Gemini/Apollo.

Ben & Jerry's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157336)

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream factory in Burlington,VT? That must be science.... or art? Nevermind... :-)

UNIVAC building and ENIAC building in Philadelphia (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157338)

There is a historic marker UNIVAC (1950's) outside the former Eckert Mauchly building in East Falls - Philadelphia. The owners of the building worked with me and others to get a historic marker. They turned it into a farmers market with historic photos inside as a small museum. In West Philadelphia on the University of Pennsylvania's campus is another historic marker for ENIAC and a small museum inside the building.

Kitt Peak (4, Informative)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157344)

If you don't mind driving up long, windy roads and turning off your cell phone, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory has a visitor center at Kitt Peak -- they have a bunch of telescopes there, including a solar telescope, so it's possible that they might be observing if it's not too windy. (it was too windy when I went there).

http://www.noao.edu/outreach/kpoutreach.html [noao.edu]

Experimental Breeder Reactor 1 (4, Interesting)

slim (1652) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157352)

Near Arco, Idaho, is the site of Experimental Breeder Reactor 1 [wikipedia.org].

"At 1:50 pm on December 20, 1951 it became the world's first electricity-generating nuclear power plant when it produced sufficient electricity to illuminate four 200-watt light bulbs."

It's decommissioned now, but the building and much of the original equipment is still there, along with good museum exhibits.

You haven't said what route you're taking across the States, but Arco is along the "Oregon Trail" as documented in the guidebook "Road Trip USA [amazon.com]" (which I thoroughly recommend, having driven four of its cross-country routes)

Cape Canaveral (1)

lk (50892) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157364)

Kennedy Space Center has some impressive buildings, but the museum sucks -- looks like it has been forgotten there.

You might even catch a launch: http://kennedyspacecenter.com/events.aspx#2011/11/0/

Arizona (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157368)

I'm from Belgium but in Arizona I can recommend:

        - Pima Air and Space museum near Tucson
        - Titan Missile Museam near Tucson as well
        - Biosphere II in Oracle, Arizona
        - Meteor Crater near Winslow

Barringer Meteor Crater (3, Interesting)

slim (1652) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157372)

The Barringer Meteor Crater near Winslow, Arizona is a must-visit if you're passing within, ooh, two hours drive from it.

If it was in any other state, it would be the biggest hole in the ground in the state. But it's in Arizona.

The Grand Canyon has to be seen too. You could call that nerdy if you're into geology.

Re:Barringer Meteor Crater (2)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157502)

For geology, I preferred Blanchard Springs Cavern in Arkansas and Mammoth Cave in Tennessee.

Re:Barringer Meteor Crater (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157830)

Mammoth Cave is in Kentucky

Re:Barringer Meteor Crater (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157604)

Not as visually interesting as Barringer Meteor Crater, but while visiting Langley AFB you will be on top of the Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chesapeake_Bay_impact_crater.

The Virginia Air & Space Center - is nearby in Hampton VA, and has a large collection of NASA stuff http://www.vasc.org/

Natural world? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157380)

Does this question include natural features that are scientifically interesting? I can't think of any off the top of my head, but I know there are some interesting ones out there.

Clay Center Observatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157384)

If you visit Boston area Clay Center Observatory ( http://www.clayobservatory.org/ ) is worth seeing.

Last Chance to See (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157386)

The public men's room in Golden Gate Park. Beautiful views with chubby men who are more than happy to accomodate your desires. Plaque on the wall announces that George Michael once sucked here.

Big Ones and smaller too (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157402)

Smithsonian Air and Space museum, Smithsonian History museum, Spy museum, Washington DC
Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Einstein's House, Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, Princeton, New Jersey
Edison Labs, West Orange, New Jersey
Dinosaur State Park, Connecticut
Falling Water, Pennsylvania

Smithsonian museums (3, Informative)

bug (8519) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157408)

If you hit Washington, DC, then you should definitely check out the Smithsonian along the Mall. The National Air and Space Museum is especially good, although crowded in the summer. Make sure to check out the kid's section, which has a bunch of wind tunnels and other fun things that adults will get a kick out of. They also have a really great annex full of cool aircraft next to Dulles airport about an hour west of the city. It would also be a terrible shame if you didn't visit one or more of our national parks while you're in the US. Our varied landscape and remote stretches of wilderness define the character of our nation perhaps more than any other single thing. Just make sure to pack plenty of water and basic survival gear, as some of the parks can be quite remote and wild. Wherever you end up visiting, you'll want to keep a sense of scale in mind. The US is rather large, in ways that many of our visitors aren't really mentally prepared for. Consider limiting yourself to one or two regions, so that you get more time actually seeing things instead of racing from place to place. I hope you enjoy your visit!

Re:Smithsonian museums (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157724)

If you do Air and Space, you want to do the one out by Dulles Airport. That's the one that has a space shuttle, Enola Gay, tons of other awesomeness.

FrDoSt pist! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157414)

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World's Largest Ball of String (1)

benwiggy (1262536) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157424)

Don't forget the world's largest ball of string in Darwin, Minnesota. Although there may be others.

Discovery World in Milwaukee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157428)

Tomorrow I'm going on a date to Discovery World. We're in our early twenties.

The Geek Atlas by O'Reilly (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157430)

Try this :)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Geek-Atlas-Places-Science-Technology/dp/0596523203/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322141665&sr=8-1

Clay Center Observatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157434)

In Boston area Clay Center Observatory ( http://www.clayobservatory.org/ ) is worth visiting if you are interested in state of the art imaging of fast moving objects in earth object. There is also ham radio club in the premises.

Hoover Dam! (2)

aunchaki (94514) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157440)

Hoover Dam is worth a visit. It's overwhelming in its size and design. I hope they're re-opened the full tour that I took in the early 1990s (it was closed to tourists after 9/11 and incrementally re-opened later).

Re:Hoover Dam! (3, Informative)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157510)

When I was there in 2008 they had a 30min tour and a 4hr comprehensive tour.

Both are well worth it.

Re:Hoover Dam! (2)

slim (1652) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157622)

Or the Grand Coulee dam. Or the Glen Canyon dam.

All well worth a visit, depending on your route.

They all have informative visitor centres, and some insight into how to escape a recession ;)

Check out the The Geek Atlas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157442)

Check out the The Geek Atlas by John Graham-Cumming. It spans 128 places covering various technologies from biological viruses to aviation, space and computers. Gives nice background information and is worth reading even if your not traveling

"Girlfriend"? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157448)

You're kidding nobody with that one.

Re:"Girlfriend"? (1)

Quantum_Infinity (2038086) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157562)

What's with the same old stupid 'girlfriend' humor? Geeks are themselves responsible for their 'girlfriend-less' image. Because they somehow manage to take pride in disparaging themselves when it comes to girlfriends and don't miss any opportunity to project themselves as lonely, girlfriend less pr0n addicts.

Re:"Girlfriend"? (1)

slim (1652) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157634)

It's the same with the stupid "sitting indoors with delivery pizza" stereotype.

I hate it.

I know plenty of geeks with nice wives/girlfriends, who eat healthily and exercise.

Re:"Girlfriend"? (1)

slim (1652) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157644)

... er, responding to myself. But that should have been:

"I know plenty of geeks with nice wives/girlfriends/husbands/boyfriends"...

Re:"Girlfriend"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157808)

Or childish comic book fan who plays with toys and takes star-something way too seriously.

Thank Big Bang Theory.

Summer is Over in North America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157450)

I am not sure where the OP is from but it is winter in North America though officially the calendar says autumn. Maybe the trip should be postponed until summer arrives in 2012.

Re:Summer is Over in North America (1)

hcpxvi (773888) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157560)

Presumably "this summer" means the next summer to occur, i.e. summer 2012. But if they are taking a road trip across the States, then maybe they are not wussies. Such a trip is perfectly possible in the winter. The wife and I drove from Mississippi to California and back over Christmas 1987, in our '76 Dodge dart, taking in the Hoover dam, Carlsbad, the Grand Canyon, San Francisco etc. Meteor crater was officially closed when we visited it, so we drove down the snowy road and hiked up to the rim. Never mind the museum, it is worth just looking at the big hole in the ground.

St. Louis, Missouri (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157452)

Take a ride on a rotating elevator in the St. Louis Arch. It's a real feat of engineering and it's an interesting place to visit. If you become friendly with the people controlling the elevator, they will let you see the graphical Visual Basic application which runs the whole thing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gateway_Arch

Laser Energetics Lab - fusion research (2)

virchull (963203) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157462)

The "Laser Lab" in Rochester, NY does research on fusion. Tours show the entire apparatus. Check tour schedules because they are not every day.

The Glore Psychiatric Museum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157472)

Not a hard science site, but one that exhibits the pseudo-science that was used in the treatment of mental illness.

Geeky fun in D.C. this summer (3, Informative)

Tronster (25566) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157474)

As a video game geek, a few recommendations:

This summer (2012) the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C., will be hosting "The Art of Video Games".
http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/archive/2012/games/ [si.edu]

In New Hampshire, there is one of the largest (if not the largest) arcade of classic video games: "Fun Spot"
http://www.funspotnh.com/ [funspotnh.com]

If thirsty and heading through NJ, there is always the semi-famous "Barcade":
http://barcadejerseycity.com/directions/ [barcadejerseycity.com]

Re:Geeky fun in D.C. this summer (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157570)

This summer (2012) the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C., will be hosting "The Art of Video Games".

And if you're in DC and haven't already been, make sure you visit the National Air and Space Museum...

Trinity Site (4, Informative)

airnewt (830564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157478)

Depending on when you go, you can also go to the Trinity site on White Sands where the first atomic bomb was tested. They open it up only twice a year on the first Saturday in April and October. If you are already down in New Mexico for the VLA there is the National Solar Observatory near Alamogordo.

Re:Trinity Site (3, Interesting)

grumling (94709) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157632)

Seconded. And the VLA has more comprehensive tours on the Trinity Site weekends.

But there's more to it than that, there's the Atomic Museum in Albuquerque, some stuff in Los Alamos, and if your into such things, Roswell.

Sorry to sound like an ad for New Mexico. There's a lot of lousy parts of the state, too.

NSA's National Cryptologic Museum (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157484)

in Ft Meade, Maryland

Re:NSA's National Cryptologic Museum (1)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157750)

Seconded. (It's what I came here to post.) Probably the most interesting museum I have ever been to.

If you get the opportunity, have a docent give you a guided tour. Most of them are retired NSA workers.

While you're near Chicago... (2)

An dochasac (591582) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157486)

Yerkes Observatory [uchicago.edu] in Williams Bay, Wisconsin still holds the world's largest refractor in a beautiful 19th century building. The Astronomer royale of Scotland once called it, "The Taj Mahal of astronomy" and perfectly fits the stereotype of what an observatory should look like. Their visiting hours are meager and much of the lovely grounds was turned into a housing development during the property bubble, but it's well worth a visit.

Venture further north to the Wisconsin Dells, a down-to-earth tourist trap where you'll find water parks, Indian trading posts and.... the Mir space station? [roadsideamerica.com] Yep. One Mir copy fell out of orbit, the other is somewhere in Russia and this one is in Wisconsin.

The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry [msichicago.org] isn't my favorite science museum, but it is big and was recently updated.

The university of Chicago's old Stagg Field [wikipedia.org] was demolished (happily, via non-nuclear means) but you can visit a sculpture at the site of the world's first man-made atomic pile.

Observatories, caves ... (1)

hcpxvi (773888) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157500)

If you are in LA, drive up the mountain to the Mount Wilson Observatory in honour of Edwin Hubble. If you like observatories you can do the one in Griffith Park in the same day (if it isn't closed for refurbishment). It has appeared in at least one Star Trek episode. If in the southern deserts, visit the Hoover dam and Carlsbad Caverns. In San Francisco, I thought the exploratorium wasn't bad as science museums go.

Re:Observatories, caves ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157832)

If you like the Griffith Park Observatory for its Star Trek connection, head to the Oviatt Library on the nearby campus of Quake State, er, CSU Northridge and pretend you're graduating from Star Fleet Academy. If you look off to the right/east side, you can almost see the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance, just like in the movie. Well, no, not really, because the GGB is about 400 miles north and west from there. Use your imagination.

Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center (3, Informative)

Herbster (641217) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157522)

http://www.cosmo.org/ [cosmo.org] I went here this summer, it's in Hutchison, KS, and has a wide range of actual flight hardware from various space missions - including the Apollo 13 CM. There's also an actual SR-71 Blackbird and genuine V-1 and V-2 rockets from WWII. Worth a trip if you're passing through!

KSC and Soudan Mine (0)

Quantum_Infinity (2038086) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157526)

I recommend - Kennedy Space Center in Florida. That's from where the space shuttle used to get launch. It's pretty cool. Soudan Underground Mine in Minnesota (neutrino detector) - Also there is Lake Superior coastline close by so it can be a fun trip which gives you your science fix (neutrino detector), creep fix (being three quarters of a mile underground in a mine) and nature fix (beautiful Lake Superior coastline and state parks)

Marry her! (1)

JBoelke (523928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157536)

The Sir Adam Beck Generating Station for Niagara Falls. The Boston Science Museum, the lightening show is always worth it. Some of the Big Science Museums have reciprocity memberships with others across the country, perhaps joining one will save you $ on the entrance fees. Get some books on CD for your trip. Brief History of Time, and Robert Heinlein, star ship troopers, the moon is a harsh mistress are nice and long. And get her a diamond ring! Any girl friend who is willing to go on a long car trip to see science stuff is wife material!

Cosmosphere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157544)

There's the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas: http://www.cosmo.org/
And Cheyenne Mountain/NORAD in Colorado Springs.

Edwards AFB and Los Alamos (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157546)

Edwards AFB - you need to book in advance, but you get to visit the NASA Dryden FRC. Camp in the forest above Los Alamos and watch it twinkle, while imagining the strange green glow (best done in summer)

Depents what your interests are (1)

ocean_soul (1019086) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157556)

Cape Canaveral seems an obvious suggestion. Maybe the White Sands Missile Range, if you're interested in this stuff (you can visit the Trinity ground zero). Maybe Google headquarters if you into computers.

USAF museum in Dayton Ohio (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157582)

Is very worth stopping by and free.

The Henry Ford museum in Detroit is good too but their car exhibit - which is 80% of the reason to go - is down right now for remodeling. They also have some huge locomotives, other steam engines, farm equipment, and machine tools. When the car exhibit is back up it is totally worth it. They also offer a tour of the Ford Rouge manufacturing plant.

The best site: (1)

deego (587575) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157586)

The best "science sight" to see is that of beautiful galaxies and wormholes upclose, as seen in "Contact." For that you do what Dr. Arroway did - you visit the beautiful scenery in New Mexico/Arizona/Puerto Rico. Now, I know that's a reward in itself, but don't rest there. Don't forget to put on a headphone and listen to alien signals.

White Sands MIssile Range Museum (2)

sk999 (846068) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157594)

If you are already in New Mexico, this place is on the highway between Las Cruces and Alamogordo. You reach it by going through the security gate for the Missile Range itself.

The Henry Ford (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157612)

Dearborn, MI (near Detroit) -- new name for the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village. Old Henry realized that cars (and his Model T in particular) were changing the American landscape. He set out to preserve interesting bits by moving them to his collection...like the Wright Brothers workshop where their first airplanes were built.

The Black Hole of Los Alamos (1)

hyperwall (1055328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157628)

If you are in the Los Alamos area you must check out the Black Hole of Los Alamos. It is a surplus shop with all kinds of lab equipment and government surplus items. The late owner used to work in nuclear weapons research before deciding nuclear disarmament was a better option. Really a pretty neat place with all kinds of junk.

http://www.blackholesurplus.com/ [blackholesurplus.com]

Also, if you go near Roswell you should check out The International UFO Museum and Research Center. It's cheasy, but it's only $5 to get in. There are a handful of neat little shops and restaurants with alien themes around town that I enjoyed when I was there as well.

http://www.roswellufomuseum.com/ [roswellufomuseum.com]

WV and PA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157636)

as you pass by the New River bridge in WV is spectacular
Titusville PA where oil was first drilled for is techy history

A couple of other options (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157652)

On a trip across the country we visited Dinosaur National Monument in Utah and the Argonne National Lab West in Idaho. The latter had the first atomic reactor to produce power. The latter has been merged into the Idaho National Lab. Here is a description of the reactor
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experimental_Breeder_Reactor_I It is open to the public between memorial day and labor day.

Great Salt Lake swim (2)

Swami (84553) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157662)

It's a simple science experiment, and worthwhile to experience at least once. You are surprisingly buoyant in the dense water, compared to fresh water or ocean swimming.

Air and Space Museum (0)

caseih (160668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157748)

The Air and Space Museum in DC is amazing I've heard. I've always wanted to go there.

Re:Air and Space Museum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157780)

Dont forget the annex at the airport. The bigger planes arent downtown

Re:Air and Space Museum (1)

syntheticmemory (1232092) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157836)

The air museum in Pensacola is small but very interesting. My father was a field mechanic for Pratt & Whitney before he joined the Navy during WWII. Seeing the old radial engines probably brought back memories for him, though he ended up navigating C47s' in the Pacific.

Kansas Cosmosphere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157762)

For something in the middle of the country, check out the Kansas Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, KS. A very, very good air and space museum, and home to unique objects like the Liberty Bell 7 capsule and the Apollo 13 Command Module.

http://http://www.cosmo.org/

Haven't seen these mentioned yet–– (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38157776)

On the west coast, the Exploratorium in San Francisco. Then drive down I-280 and see the SLAC – don't know if they have a visitors center. Over to Berkeley to see UCB. Moffett Field and 1 Infinite Loop Drive in the Sili Valley. Carry on south to L.A. and visit JPL – call to find out about seeing the museum in the visitor center – and Caltech; both in Pasadena.

On the east coast Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills, NC. The MIT museum and MIT, including the Infinite Corridor, in Cambridge.

Illinois (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157788)

If you are in Ill, and more appropriately Chi-town, you must go see Chicago museum of Science and industry. If you are coming out west, we have far too many active projects going on, so items will not be as available. However, I know that this is not science, but since you are driving and on your way west, you really should see the Grand Canyon. Now, there is a glass ledge in which you get to walk out on and OVER the canyon. You can do the same at the sears tower in chi-town(yeah, yeah, I know it was renamed, but any local will know it as the sears; besides you can not miss it if you are in the city). If you make it up to Seattle, stop in at Boeing's museum. You can sit in a SR-71 and see how it felt (cramped and primitive). Beautiful lines on her though.

couple of techie museums.... (2)

ridgecritter (934252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157806)

National Atomic Museum at Kirtland AFB near Albuquerque, NM
National Museum of the Air Force, at Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, OH

New Mexico stuff (3, Informative)

shadowfaxcrx (1736978) | more than 2 years ago | (#38157822)

You said you'd be in New Mexico. There are lots of geek places to visit. Geologically, Carlsbad Caverns is incredible. By far the most impressive public-access cave I've ever been in. In addition to the VLA, there's Los Alamos (several museums dedicated to nuclear stuff), Cloudcroft (the solar observatory near there in Sunspot), Alamogordo's Museum of Space History, White Sands (largest gypsum-sand desert in the world. Nothing but blinding white as far as you can see), Valley of Fires - a huge ancient lava flow that you can walk around in/on. There's Bandelier outside of Santa Fe - the 10,000+ year old human cliff dweller settlement. Check their website before you go though - they've had issues with wildfires and flash floods, so what's open at any given day is in flux right now.

If you want different geek fun, Roswell is always amusing with all their UFO stuff. Even the McDonalds is shaped like a flying saucer.

There's more in the state too, like the lightning field, etc, but those suggestions should keep you busy for awhile.

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