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Get Your Nerd on With These Geeky Vacations

Jo Piazza
Managing Editor
May 29, 2014

(Photo: Thinkstock)

It’s never been cooler to be a nerd. It’s gotten so cool to be a geek that we are a little worried the cool kids are going to become the protagonists in the next wave of teenage angsty romantic comedies. 

Everyone’s favorite “Stand By Me” star Wil Wheaton rocked the Internet this week with his new nerded out talk show on the SyFy network, the eponymous Wil Wheaton Project.

Wheaton is something of a geek culture expert and the poster boy for the fact that good things can and will happen to boys who prefer Dungeons and Dragons to football games during their formative years. The show is now being called “Talk Soup” for nerds and discusses everything from paranormal reality shows to the latest season of “Orphan Black.” 

In honor of Wil and nerds everywhere, we wanted to bring you some of our favorite geeked-out trips that you should feel very cool to be taking this summer.

For the Geeky Rocker

Not cool enough for Coachella? Neither are we. Why not rock out at Rock Comic-Con, the festival in Denver that marries comics and music in a single nerd-tacular event. This June the festival features music by Magic Cyclops, Total Ghost, and Daenerys & The Targaryens (“Game of Thrones” reference anyone?), just to name a few. Rock Comic Con will also feature a slew of professional cartoonists from DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and indie publishers who will be painting live art throughout the night. A portion of the proceeds from the event go to Kirby4Heroes, a scholarship for the literacy program Comic Book Classroom. 

For the Space Geek

Attending Space Camp as an adult is a longtime dream of mine that I repeat daily to our Editor-in-Chief. Alas, she continually ignores my pleas. Most of us can’t afford to spend the $250,000 it will cost to get a trip on Richard Branson’s rocket ship. But we could pay the $549 it costs to go to Space Camp as a grownup! Their weekend program includes model rocket construction and launch (weather permitting), training on astronaut simulators, including the 1/6th gravity chair and Multi-Axis Trainer, plus hands-on spaceflight history education amid one of the world’s largest spaceflight collections.

For the Dino Geek

What kid didn’t dream of growing up to hunt for dinosaur bones? Now you can sign up to join the Museum of Western Colorado for half-day paleontological tours, raft trips through the spectacular Ruby Canyon geological area, and one-day dinosaur digs. We recommend the dig in the Jurassic Gladiator Pit. While there, you will take a short drive to the Mygatt-Moore Quarry in the Morrison Formation. After an introduction to the excavation techniques and surrounding geology, you assist paleontologists in the removal of dinosaur bones and teeth belonging to Jurassic giants such as Allosaurus and Apatosaurus

(Photo: Thinkstock)

For the Computer Geek

You will want to swing by the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. — an entire museum dedicated to computing. The extensive exhibits track the 2,000 years the science that has helped computers take over our lives today. Learn about computer history’s game-changers. Play a game of Pong or Spacewar. Meet the early pioneers of computer science. Discover the roots of the Internet and see over 1,100 historic artifacts.

For the Car Geek

Make a pilgrimage to Carhenge in Alliance, Neb. This geeky art installation is exactly what it sounds like — the ruins of Stonehenge recreated with cars. ”Carhenge, which replicates Stonehenge, consists of the circle of cars, 3 standing trilithons within the circle, the heel stone, slaughter stone, and 2 station stones,” their website tells us. It was originally built by the artist Jim Reinders as a memorial to his father, and dedicated at the June 1987 summer solstice. Sadly there is no camping on site, but there are plenty of motels nearby.

(Photo: Carhenge)

For the Star Wars Geek

Sadly, you cannot travel to Endor, but you can visit the Tatooine shoot locations in California (something we learned from our favorite geek travel blogger Nerd Approved). ”You can actually start in the Redwood forests to see the setting for the forest moon of Endor. Drive south into Death Valley for the road to Jabba’s Palace and sweeping, barren vistas. Finish the drive in Yuma at the Sarlacc Pit (not in it though).” We have a list of maps here that can help you on your journey. May the Force be with you.

(Photo: Thinkstock)