Calling all geeks, nerds and Poindexters: this is your final boarding call. Geek culture is exploding on-line across television, cinema and print media. What was once a subculture that was hidden in suburban basements and pushed around in the school hallways has now become a way of life that is celebrated as unique, quirky and cute. Whether you’re into computers, comic books or sci-fi, there are plenty of geeky destinations for those who are looking to incorporate some of their favourite pastimes into their travel itinerary.
For the computer and tech junkie, Silicon Valley is ground zero for computer innovation. Stop by the Computer History Museum in Mountain View or the Intel Museum in Sunnyvale to learn about microchips, motherboards and floppy disks.
Check out Stanford University to see where the new generation of computer genius is being trained (walking tours of campus guided by current undergrad students are available). Big tech companies like Apple, Yahoo and Google have their headquarters here, but the complexes are not open to the public, excepting Apple’s company store where you can buy Apple merchandise.
With comic book-inspired movies blowing up the box offices, the ranks of comic book nerds are expanding to new audiences and age groups. California is the hub of American comic book culture, with San Diego’s famed Comic Con billed as the main event. Taking place in July, this convention for all things comic draws over 130 000 people annually for four days of talks, exhibitors and sneak peeks. Japanese anime has attracted a super dedicated fanbase that rivals that of its American counterpart, so for anime geeks Tokyo is the promised land. Head to the Akihabara district where you will find stores that cater to anime fans as well as unique cafes and restaurants that are popular with the anime crowd.
If sci-fi is your thing, there are lots of great destinations that will tickle your fancy.
Are you into tv’s time travel sci-fi drama Dr. Who? Cardiff, Wales offers Dr. Who tourism maps that will take you to the sites where the show was filmed, as well as the Doctor Who Up Close exhibition. Check out Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham, England to do all the things you only see in the movies: launch rockets, twirl in a gyroscopic chair, and get onboard a real airship. Or if you’re looking for something even more intense, try Huntsville, Alabama’s adult space camp for your shuttle preparation training, including zero gravity exercises. Switzerland’s Maison d’Ailleurs, or House of Everywhere, is a self-described “Museum of science fiction, utopia and extraordinary journeys.” Exhibits cover a huge range of science and fiction related material.