If your idea of a vacation consists of lounging on the couch and binge-watching the latest sci-fi series, why not try something a little different? Of course, many fantastic destinations are ideal for nerds. However, spending time away from home does not have to mean soaking up the sand and sun. From New Jersey’s hidden gems to the technology of Tokyo, there is something out there for all geeks and nerds.
The Harry Potter Studio Tour is a must-see for any fan of J.K. Rowling’s work. These are the studios where the movies were filmed, not just a theme park or a Hogwarts replica! This massive tour gives you a glimpse into the attention to detail that went into making the films by allowing you to tour the actual sets and see the props and special effects used.
The Meramec Caverns are a 4.6-mile network of foreboding caves where Wild West history unfolded amid geological marvels. Legend has it that Jesse James and his brother used the caves as a hideout in the 1870s, leaving artifacts behind. While the claim is debatable, the Jesse James Wax Museum is in Stanton. Even if the James stories are legends, Meramec is home to The Wine Table, a six-foot-high onyx table with three legs.
The National Videogame Museum, like the Museum of Pop Culture, is a nerd’s paradise. If you’re a gamer or enjoy learning about the history of video games and how they’ve influenced our world, this is the place to be. This museum can be found in Frisco, Texas. One of the most remarkable aspects of this location is that you can play various video games from multiple consoles over the years, including arcades and more.
For something a little more grounded in reality, NASA’s Adult Space Academy offers four-day programs that will give you a taste of astronaut training. Yes, we know that space camp is typically reserved for the young, but these adult programs in Huntsville, Alabama, are the real deal. You’ll go through the same machines as the pros to prepare for zero gravity, learn the fundamentals of rocketry, and sleep in windowless pods with five other grown-up astronaut wannabes.
Waikato, New Zealand
First and foremost, New Zealand is one of the coolest geek and nerd travel destinations. For Lord of the Rings fans, New Zealand is an excellent vacation destination. There are numerous unique attractions to visit throughout the country. After all, the entire trilogy was shot here. Going to Hobbiton is one of the most popular things to do. Of course, the whole collection is still in Waikato. Also, consider visiting Mackenzie County, the original filming location for Pelennor Fields. New Zealand is unquestionably one of the most stunning, incredible, and spectacular travel destinations for geeks and nerds.
Whether you like the BBC television show ‘Sherlock,’ the film versions starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, or the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, London is the place to go for your fix of the most famous British detective. If you like Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock, this tour will take you to filming locations for the BBC television series, including Speedy’s Cafe, Irene Adler’s Belgravia home, and where he faked his death at St. Bartholemew’s Hospital. If you want to see and hear about the historical background of the books as well as visit locations from the BBC show, this tour has it all.
Someone mentioned a library hotel… Even New York City can’t compete with the one-of-a-kind and completely fabulous Sylvia Beach Hotel. I can’t think of a better place to stay with rooms themed after great authors like Mark Twain, J.K. Rowling, Agatha Christie, Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and many more. It’s the ideal destination for all book nerds, with plenty of local attractions, restaurants, and a beautiful beach. It may not be sunny every day, but imagine curling up with a good book in the hotel’s library on a rainy day.
Get entangled in the web of intrigue at the impressive Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., where you can attend spy school and learn how to sneak cookies without anyone noticing. Meanwhile, you can enjoy the incredible 50 Years of Bond Villains exhibit.