Geek Travel Guide

Copyright © 2001-2013 Serious Cybernetics

Original 2001 research by Andrew Pam <xanni@sericyb.com.au> and Katherine Phelps <muse@glasswings.com.au> for Rosanne Bersten, editor of e)mag.

This guide is based on places we've either visited ourselves or had recommended to us that we think may be of interest to other geeks.

Last updated 18 February 2013

Please email corrections and suggestions to Andrew Pam

All countries and states are listed in alphabetical order.

Index


Aotearoa (New Zealand)

Stonehenge Aotearoa
Stonehenge Aotearoa is not a replica of the ruin on Salisbury Plain in England. It is a complete and working structure designed and built for its precise location in the Wairarapa. It is however, similar in size to the original Stonehenge.

Australia

Museum of Victoria
Includes CSIRAC (the only first-generation computer still in existence) and Bell's experimental telephone equipment.
National Wool Museum
Features a working 1910 Axminster Jacquard carpet loom!
Parkes Observatory
Siding Spring Observatory
Smythesdale Computer Museum
Well worth a visit - much of the equipment is in working order and visitors are permitted to play!
Traralgon Computer Museum

Austria

Ars Electronica Center, Linz

Belgium

Sundial Park Genk
Site of the first Digital Sundial
The Atomium
Designed by the engineer André Waterkeyn for the 1958 International Exhibition of Brussels, the Atomium is a structure that is half way between sculpture and architecture, symbolising a crystal molecule of metal by the scale of its atoms, magnified 165 billion times.
The Mundaneum (in French)
The Mundaneum was created in 1910 out of the initiative of two Belgian lawyers. Paul Otlet and Henri La Fontaine aimed to gather together all the world's knowledge and classify it according to a system they developed called the Universal Decimal Classification. Otlet regarded the project as the centerpiece of a new 'world city' - a centrepiece which eventually became an archive with more than 12 million index cards and documents. Some consider it a forerunner of the internet (or, perhaps more appropriately, of Wikipedia) and Otlet himself had dreams that one day, somehow, all the information he collected could be accessed by people from the comfort of their own homes.

Canada

The Canada Science and Technology Museum
The Ontario Science Center
From Mary Shaw <mary.shaw@cs.cmu.edu>: They have a Jacquard loom, which I had the good fortune to see in operation one day. Curious thing -- it's the textile people that feel ownership for this, not the computer people.

France

La Villette (Cité de sciences et de l'industrie), Paris
From Gordon Peterson <gep2@terabites.com>: The Museum of Science and Technology (including the La Geode Omnimax dome, where they also host Omnimax film festivals)... this place is simply a joy...
The Eiffel Tower
Moulin de l'Epinay
From Seth Golub: It's a fascinating and clever mechanical device.
Chantier Médiéval de Guédelon
A mediaeval castle under construction using only authentic 13th century techniques and materials.

Germany

Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM), Karlsruhe
In english, the Centre for Art and Media Technology
AUTO & TECHNIK MUSEUM Sinsheim
TECHNIK MUSEUM Speyer
Twin transport and technology museums in nearby cities, both with IMAX - the Speyer museum is the only one I know with both flat and dome format IMAX cinemas and it also hosts IMAX film festivals!!
Zeppelin-NT, Freidrichshafen
Zeppelin rides!
Deutsches Museum, Munich Germany
Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg
The largest model railway in the world and one of the most successful permanent exhibitions in Northern Germany.

Greece

Technology Museum of Thessaloniki

Israel

The National Science, Planning and Technology Museum, Haifa

Italy

The Institute and Museum of the History of Science, Florence
The (Leaning) Tower of Pisa
Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia
From Seth Golub: An excellent technology museum in Milan, Italy.

Japan

Akihabara Electric Town, Tokyo
Here's a Photo essay on shopping at Akihabara.
NTT InterCommunication Center (ICC), Shinjuku Tokyo
Tokyo Wan Aqua-Line
If you like massive engineering projects, visit this combination bridge, artificial island and tunnel right across Tokyo Bay
The IBM Computer Museum (in Japanese)
Sanyo Solar Ark, Anpachi, Gifu Prefecture
TEPCO Electric Museum, Tokyo (in Japanese)
From Larry Hosken <web+comment@lahosken.san-francisco.ca.us>: Old calculators, surveying equipment, astronomy equipment, microscopes and more. Because students use the items as subjects of their papers, some items have excellent interpretive text.
Earth Simulator, Yokohama
The fastest supercomputer in the world.

The Netherlands (Holland)

The University of Amsterdam Computer Museum
Teylers Museum in Haarlem
From Mary Shaw <mary.shaw@cs.cmu.edu>: It's not only a science museum, but it captures perfectly the walnut-and-brass atmosphere that I associate with the elegant scientific instruments of the early 20th century.

Slovenia

Cyberpipe's computer museum

Sweden

Rune's PC-Museum.com

Switzerland

Bolo's Computer Museum (in French)
European Organization for Nuclear Research
Birthplace of the Web, suggested by Jean Armour Polly <mom@netmom.com>
Musée de l'horlogerie et de l'émaillerie, Geneva (in French)
From Gordon Peterson <gep2@terabites.com>: An incredibly cool watch and clock museum...

UK

Science Museum South Kensington, London
Includes the Babbage Analytical Engine and Difference Engines #1 and 2! You can also visit the museum's small objects store in West London and the large objects store at the Science Museum Wroughton in Wiltshire
Bletchley Park (Alan Turing and the cracking of the Enigma cipher)
The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich (first modern clocks & watches)
The Cambridge Museum of Technology, Cambridge
The Museum Of Science & Industry In Manchester
From Andrew Sherman <andrew.sherman@sun.com>: Home of the world's first stored-program computer.
The Museum of Submarine Telegraphy at Porthcurno
From Larry Hosken <web+comment@lahosken.san-francisco.ca.us>: Has old telegraph equipment and people who know how to use it. Also, old radios, information about cable-laying and more.
Whipple Museum of the History of Science, Cambridge
From Larry Hosken <web+comment@lahosken.san-francisco.ca.us>: Old calculators, surveying equipment, astronomy equipment, microscopes and more. Because students use the items as subjects of their papers, some items have excellent interpretive text.
Enginuity
From Guy King <guy.king@zetnet.co.uk>: A rather good if small local science exhibition and hands on centre - great for kids.
The Natural History Museum
The London Transport Museum

USA

Moon Trees
From Evelyn Mitchell <efm@tummy.com>: Trees grown from seeds that orbited the Moon 34 times on Apollo 14.

Alabama

Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville Alabama

Arizona

Pima Air and Space Museum, Tucson Arizona
Incorporating:
Titan Missile Museum, Sahuarita Arizona

California

The Exploratorium, San Francisco California
The Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose California
The Computer Museum of America in San Diego California
The University of California, Davis Computer Museum in Davis California
Sightseeing for Geeks (mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area California)
Nerd Tour of Silicon Valley California
Computer History Museum, Mountain View California
The NASA Ames Exploration Center at Moffett Field California
Zeppelin flights, Moffett Field California
The Intel Museum in Santa Clara California
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Menlo Park California
Machine Project, Los Angeles California
The Hewlett-Packard Garage, Palo Alto California
Laserium, Van Nuys California
Balboa Park, San Diego California
Includes the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
California ScienCenter, Los Angeles California

Colorado

National Institute of Science and Technology, Boulder Colorado
From Evelyn Mitchell <efm@tummy.com>: Home of the atomic clock.
Atlas Missile Silo, Weld County Colorado
Contributed by Evelyn Mitchell <efm@tummy.com>.

Florida

Behind-the-scenes Disney tours, Orlando Florida
Some tours include information about the animatronics and the computer system that runs the park. Similar tours may also be available at the other Disney theme parks.
Kennedy Space Center, Orlando Florida

Georgia

Scitrek, Atlanta Georgia

Illinois

Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

Indiana

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

Iowa

Iowa State University
From Don Kresch <dkresch@wi.rr.com>: Birthplace of the Atanasoff-Berry Computer, the first digital computer according to the US Supreme Court.

Kansas

Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center
From Branden J. Moore <bmoore@forkit.org>: There are MANY historic space artefacts and even an SR-71. Their collection rivals the Smithsonian's. This is where they did the restoration of the Liberty Bell-7 Mercury capsule.
The Marr Sound Archives
The Marr Sound Archives, a unit of the Special Collections Department, holds nearly 250,000 sound recordings in formats that include LPs, 78s, 45s, cylinders, transcription discs, instantaneous cut discs and open-reel tapes. The Marr Sound Archives is also a leader in the field of audio preservation and digitization. The Marr's sound preservation studio preserves modern as well as obsolete audio formats, and its digitizing and RealAudio capabilities allow it to provide world-wide access to sound recorded on almost any analog or digital source. Also includes The Raymond Scott Collection.

Maryland

The National Cryptologic Museum (of the NSA!) in Ft. Meade, Maryland

Massachusetts

The Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge
From Larry Hosken <web+comment@lahosken.san-francisco.ca.us>: This place is a geek paradise. In addition to wandering the halls, you can see:
MIT Museum
Some technology, some fusion of technology with art.
Tech Model Railroad Club
A model railroad controlled by old telephone switches.
Harvard University
From Larry Hosken <web+comment@lahosken.san-francisco.ca.us>: Has [part of] the Harvard Mark I, a huge old computer.
The French Cable Station Museum at Orleans, Cape Cod
The Museum of Science, Boston
Flying Saucer Pizza Company, Salem

Minnesota

The Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul
From Adam Engelhart <abe@engelbot.com>: Features such attractions as a musical staircase, a nifty computer-controlled sculpture in the foyer, a laser theater, and a convertible IMAX/Omnimax theater. Highly recommended.
Soudan Mine High Energy Physics Lab
From Eric <eric@mongoosedog.com>: In the rare event that a geek visits northern Minnesota, this is a great stop.

Missouri

The City Museum
Saint Louis Science Centre

Montana

The American Computer Museum (Compuseum) in Bozemann, Montana

North Carolina

The Metalmorphosis Mirror Fountain kinetic sculpture by David Černý at Whitehall Technology Park in Charlotte, North Carolina

Nebraska

Strategic Air & Space Muesum
From Evelyn Mitchell <efm@tummy.com>: Between Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska just off I-80

Nevada

The Pinball Hall of Fame

New Jersey

InfoAge, Wall New Jersey
Liberty Science Center, Jersey City New Jersey

New Mexico

Trinity Site
From Evelyn Mitchell <efm@tummy.com>: Open two days a year.
The Very Large Array
Contributed by Evelyn Mitchell <efm@tummy.com>.
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Contributed by Evelyn Mitchell <efm@tummy.com>.
Telephone Pioneer Museum of New Mexico, Albuquerque
From Larry Hosken <web+comment@lahosken.san-francisco.ca.us>: A huge collection of old telephones. Switchboards, exchanges. Photos of cable-laying, and the story of perhaps the bravest telephone switchboard operator ever.
National Atomic Museum, Albuquerque
From Larry Hosken <web+comment@lahosken.san-francisco.ca.us>: Enough information about nuclear weapons to destroy your mind 16 times over.
New Mexico Museum of Space History, Alamogordo
From Larry Hosken <web+comment@lahosken.san-francisco.ca.us>: A pretty good space museum with rockets, historical displays, and electronic control systems.

New York

The American Museum of Natural History, New York

Ohio

Mansfield Memorial Museum
The home of Elektro, the Oldest U.S. Robot.

Oregon

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

Pennsylvania

The Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Ken's Computer Museum in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania

Tennessee

Oak Ridge National Lab/American Museum of Science and Energy, Oak Ridge
From Larry Hosken <web+comment@lahosken.san-francisco.ca.us>: Visit the American Museum of Science and Energy and sign up for a tour of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. During WW2, this lab made radioactive materials for the Manhattan Project. There's an old reactor to see. Also, the tour will show you some of the new, not-so-deadly things they're working on now.

Virginia

The University of Virginia Computer Museum in Charlottesville, Virginia

Washington

Pacific Science Center & Space Needle, Seattle Washington
IMAX *and* a Laserium! The one at the California Academy of Arts and Sciences in Golden Gate Park San Francisco has closed, unfortunately, so this one is worth visiting instead.
Experience Music Project, Seattle Washington
This is what happens when you get funding from Microsoft - visitors to the museum are lumbered with a poorly designed (and surprisingly heavy) portable computer that scans barcodes on the exhibits and has software bugs - complete with a mandatory training course and a fully staffed helpdesk to handle visitor problems and complaints! Amazing but true.
Boeing Factory Tours, Everett Washington

Washington, DC

The Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC

Wisconsin

The Jefferson Computer Museum in Jefferson, Wisconsin

Online

The Retrocomputing Museum
Mind Machine Museum
The Obsolete Computer Museum
The Virtual Museum of Computing
The Home Computer Museum in Germany
The International Home Computer Museum
The Museum of HP Calculators