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A Geek's Tour Of North America? 1335

PlanetThoughtful writes "Later this year I'm taking advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to backpack around the U.S. and Canada (Sept 2003 to whenever I have to come home again). Being a lifelong Australian geek (think of Steve Irwin and then stop, because I'm nothing like that and neither is anyone else, Steve Irwin included) I'm desperately curious: what would make it to the travel itinerary of Slashdot's all-time geek-tour of North America? Think electronics, architecture, astronomy, enlightenment! Think gadgets, bookstores, software, comics, The Library Of Congress, The Smithsonian, Wanting To See Really Amazing Things! Think travelling on a budget, then forget about that if it's a 'You Must See This Before You Die' sort of suggestion. And then stop thinking about these things, and actually tell me!"
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A Geek's Tour Of North America?

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  • Graceland (Score:5, Informative)

    by Muerto ( 656791 ) <{david} {at} {}> on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:17PM (#6514415)
    You must go to graceland/Memphis. There are so many neat things to see there.. not really a techie mecca, but it will give you ideas on what to spend your money on... make a waterfall in your tv room!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:30PM (#6514725)
      The NRAO in Greenbank, WV is an interesting visit if you're in the area. (I'm thinking about the Hiking part, and there is some great hiking in that area).

      It has several HUGE antennas for radio astronomy, and they give the tour in an old 1950s diesel bus. Modern cars can only come within a certain distance, as they have too many electronics, and mess up the observations.

      Very cool, although short, tour.
  • Burning Man (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:17PM (#6514420)

    you will not be disappointed
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:59PM (#6515202)
      How to have the Burning Man experience from the comfort of your own home:

      Pay an escort of your affectional preference subset to not bathe for five days, cover themselves in glitter, dust, and sunscreen, wear a skanky neon wig, dance close naked, then say they have a lover back home at the end of the night.

      Tear down your house. Put it in a truck. Drive 10 hours in any direction. Put the house back together. Invite everyone you meet to come over and party. When everyone leaves, follow them back to their homes, drink all their booze, and break things.

      Buy a new set of expensive camping gear. Break it.

      Stack all your fans in one corner of your living room. Put on your most fabulous outfit. Turn the fans on full blast. Dump a vacuum cleaner bag in front of them.

      Pitch your tent next to the wall of speakers in a crowded, noisy club. Go to sleep. Wake up 2 hours later in a 110+ degree tent.

      Only use the toilet in a house that is at least 3 blocks away. Drain all the water from the toilet. Only flush it every 4 days. Hide all the toilet paper.

      Visit a restaurant and pay them to let you alternate lying in the walk-in freezer and sitting in the oven.

      Don't sleep for 5 days. Take a wide variety of hallucinogenic/emotion altering drugs. Pick a fight with your boyfriend/girlfriend.

      Cut, burn, electrocute, bruise, and sunburn various parts of your body. Forget how you did it. Don't go to a doctor.

      Buy a new pair of favorite shoes. Throw one shoe away.

      Spend a whole year rummaging through thrift stores for the perfect, most outrageous costume. Forget to pack it.

      Listen to music you hate for 168 hours straight, or until you think you are going to scream. Scream. Realize you'll love the music for the rest of your life.

      Get so drunk you can't recognize your own house. Walk slowly around the block for 5 hours.

      Sprinkle dirty sand in all your food.

      Mail $200 to the Reno casino of your choice.

      Go to a museum. Find one of Salvador Dali's more disturbing but beautiful paintings. Climb inside it.

      Spend thousands of dollars on a deeply personal art work. Hide it in a funhouse on the edge of the city. Blow it up.

      Set up a DJ system downwind of a three alarm fire. Play a short loop of drum'n'bass until the embers are cold.

      Have a 3 a.m. soul baring conversation with a drag nun in platforms, a crocodile, and Bugs Bunny. Be unable to tell if you're hallucinating.
    • Re:Burning Man (Score:5, Informative)

      by CAIMLAS ( 41445 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @05:09PM (#6515346) Homepage
      Wow, I might just go to that. Sounds like a dream come true. :)

      That reminds me of something else:

      The Blue Man Group

      Basically, it's a group of really cool percussion, all orchestrated in amazingly unique and inventive ways. There's a lot of science in their music, which is quite fantastic - especially if you're into percussion at all.

      As far as other things to not miss: the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum is a perrenial favorite of mine. If you're in NYC, I really enjoy the Museum of New York City (which chronicles the history of the place as it grew - interesting if you're into futuristic city building schemes such as archologies, etc.).

      It's hard to tell what you're after, really. Cool architecture? I really enjoy going through the various tunnels connecting Jersey and Manhattan. I find it fascinating to see the train yards of Detroit from the air, which are right near the airport. There are also sights such as Mount Rushmore, which are traditional tourist sights, but are fairly marvelous in their creation, too.

      Needles Highway, in the Black Hills of South Dakota is also an amazing place to drive about.

      Then there's Vegas, for the Ricer in you: florescence.

      The Golden Gate in San Franscisco is nifty.

      Large buildings such as teh Empire State Building might also be nice, who knows.
      • by geekotourist ( 80163 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @06:56PM (#6516487) Journal
        I really liked the BMG show, but Burning Man is so much larger. Not as expensive for individual productions, sure, but the creativity at BM is wonderful.

        I'm not kidding about being the BMG: there are camps that'll airbrush you blue, or any other color you want. There are percussive sculpture for you to play. You can animate yourself with el-wire (what they used for that animated desert). You can dance under strobelights.

        But beyond that you can be the "Blue Women with Flamethrowers" group. You can be "the entirely blue Tiki bar towed by a lobster" group. Like another poster said, Burning Man is whatever you want it to be. Sure, you can be boring and do the drugs and drunk thing, but I think this is less common that others have said- you'd miss out on so much.

    • Re:Burning Man (Score:4, Informative)

      by stefanlasiewski ( 63134 ) * <(slashdot) (at) (> on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @05:19PM (#6515471) Homepage Journal
      Burning Man is fucking incredible. Tesla coils, 100-ft high fireballs, light scupture like you wouldn't believe, robots, dancing, fire. Lots of fun.

      It also has it's downside:

      - The desert is as harsh as any Austrailian Outback. Be sure to read the website about survival thoroughly.

      - Many of the events are dangerous. This is part of the excitement, but people get hurt every year. There's usually a stupid/drunk/high person who dies every event. That said, it's a miracle that more people haven't died, or that their hasn't been a catastrophe killing a dozen people. Once again, part of the excitement.

      - Don't go alone, or you're going to be really lonely. Go with a group. Despite the seemingly easy nature of BM, most people are pretentious as hell. They're also stoned off their gourd. Hard to make real friends that way.

      - Bring props, tents, costumes, and stuff to dress up with. If you dress in 'normal' clothes, the pretentious people will pick on you.

      - Be very aware of the sex, drugs and rock & roll nature of the event. 90% of the attendees are drunk or stoned half the time. Sex is rampant. Be VERY careful if you have a partner/spouse. I know more then one couple who got divorced after BM.
      • Re:Burning Man (Score:3, Interesting)

        by taniwha ( 70410 )
        The desert is as harsh as any Austrailian Outback. Be sure to read the website about survival thoroughly.

        I fly rockets at Blackrock [], have been going there 3-4 times a year for longer than BM has been going there (I also burn) - common sense counts for a lot, so does planning ahead - other than what you normally take for camping you need extra sunscreen, water and shade and you have to make sure your tent wont be blown away. (the following don't really apply to BM ...) Don't go in the hot springs - some ar

  • by the_greywolf ( 311406 ) * on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:17PM (#6514425) Homepage
    Twin Falls, Idaho is a technoplogy SINKHOLE! in fact, it might be a good idea to avoid Idaho completely, unless you're interested in Micron [], the company behind Crucial Memory [], which is in Boise, Idaho. but stay AWAY from Twin Falls! there's nothing but HICKS here!
  • by ClippyHater ( 638515 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:17PM (#6514427) Journal
    Of course, there are many, many other places to see, but I'm a space program nut and highly recommend seeing NASA, and do your best to time your arrival during a launch (of course, they launch may not happen, but you can check in "Florida Today" to see when the next launch is due).
    • The Kennedy Space Center offers two bus tours:

      - The "regular" bus tour which rides around some launch pads, gets you within a mile of the Shuttle launch facility. 45-60 minutes long
      - The "space geek" premium bus tour. My wife and I took this April of last year, and I recommend it. Costs an extra $25 each per person, but you get a couple out in the launch area, drive within 1/4 mile of the Shuttle launch pad, and several hundred feet from the giant Shuttle housing building (if you're lucky, you might see part of one of the shuttles itself). Those things are HUGE!

      The people who take the premium tour are very geeky. When we saw the left rocket and the giant fuel canister of one of the shuttles, people were hooting and hollering and clawing all over the bus to get a glance. Like birders who saw the super endangered blue-tufft penguin for the first time. Very funny :)

      The premium tour doesn't happen during times of heightened security, and only runs a few times a day, so plan ahead. It was closed from Sept 11 - Mid April 2002. My wife and I were on one of the first dozen tours of 2002.

      If the tour is running that day, consider yourself lucky, and jump at the opportunity. It's worth it.
      • While I am a space geek, and drove 2 days just to see a shuttle launch a few years ago, Kennedy Space Center is little more than a system for draining your wallet dry. It costs a small fortune to get in, and then what do you get to see? A whole lot of gift shops and resturaunts. I would think that the whole operation was run by Disney if it wasn't for the fact I know it's run by some private company out of New Jersey (I know because I wrote to bitch at them about the terrible experience we had there.)

        As fo
  • Bay Area! (Score:5, Informative)

    by ajiva ( 156759 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:17PM (#6514428)
    You absoloutely have to come to the Bay Area, this is a technology haven, AND its a beautiful place in its own right. One of my most favorite places is the Golden Gate Bridge. Cross the bridge and head to the Sausilto side, then take a uturn right away, and you'll be heading back towards the bridge, but take the first right turn that goes up. And just keep going up, and up, and up and the top has one of the most spectacular views I've seen! Definitly don't miss it...
    • by Sposh ( 196368 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:32PM (#6514770)
      Have you seen the Nuclear Wessels?
    • Re:Bay Area! (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tackhead ( 54550 )
      > One of my most favorite places is the Golden Gate Bridge. Cross the bridge and head to the Sausilto side, then take a uturn right away, and you'll be heading back towards the bridge, but take the first right turn that goes up. And just keep going up, and up, and up and the top has one of the most spectacular views I've seen!

      The top also has some hidden views that are quite spectacular in their own right.

      If the geek in question is at all interested in military history, the Marin headlands were use

      • Re:Bay Area! (Score:3, Informative)

        by SamHill ( 9044 )

        My partner and I lucked into the Nike missile base being manned. It's really cool. We even got to go up on the missile lift. :)

        There are also a variety of gun emplacements and bunkers that you can wander around on. You can also get inside them, but they're mostly barricaded and I have no idea how safe or unsafe they are.

        Over in the East Bay, there's the Lawrence Hall of Science [], which is an okay hands-on science museum, but is immediately recognizable as the home of Colossus from Colossus: The Forbi []

    • by Karpe ( 1147 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:38PM (#6514874) Homepage
      Last month I've been to the Bay Area for 10 days, and wondered where I could find "Geek Tour" recommendations. I even asked slashdot, but it haven't been posted. Anyway, I found the two following links, which have some good recomendations: Geek Tour [] and The Geek Guide to Sillicon Valley []. Enjoy.
    • Re:Bay Area! (Score:3, Informative)

      by -tji ( 139690 )
      The Bay Area is good. Just don't expect anything spectacular from "Silicon Valley". All of those wonderful companies, with exciting web presence, are in boring office parks in the real world. There are a few less-boring high tech buildings, like the Yahoo!/Lockheed Martin area south of Moffet field. You could also visit a couple of the old Fry's Electronics stores.. Definitely geek heaven. Just don't talk to the sales-droids, they're morons. And take a walk around the Stanford campus in Palo
    • by egg troll ( 515396 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:51PM (#6515080) Homepage Journal
      Come visit my lovely flat, in glorious Oakland. While staying in my cramped studio, you can experience:
      • The thrill of my cats, Manny and Linus wrestling over you in the middle of the night. Perhaps you'll even get to hear the Siamese serenade you at 3am with his beautiful and magistic song, entitled "Yowling at the Leaves Just Outside the Window".
      • The sound of random gunfire as MC Hammer narrowly escapes another crack deal gone bad.
      • My glorious kitchen, where you'll have your choice of over a dozen different varieties of Top Ramen!
      • A post-op transsexual neighbor guarenteed to give ya "da willys".
      • A cable TV where, during the daytime, you too can watch over a half-dozen judge shows! Accompany Egg Troll as we watch Judge Judy straighten out someone who claims that he had a right to wreck his girlfriend's Camero after he suspected her of cheating on him.
      • A huge collection of obscure, pretentious music that Egg Troll uses to convince himself he's really a hipster...a hipster who spends six hours a day on Slashdot.
      • And much, much more.

      Book your reservation now [mailto], before its too late!!
    • Be sure to check out the north side of Baker Beach while you're there. Make sure it's a sunny day though. ;-)
    • The Muir Woods (Score:3, Interesting)

      by smartin ( 942 )
      A beautiful redwood forest 30 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Easily one of the most beautiful spots on earth.
  • by IWantMoreSpamPlease ( 571972 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:17PM (#6514434) Homepage Journal
    At Washington DC, it's the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. See them now before they go away completely.
  • Washington D.C. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chambers81 ( 613839 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:18PM (#6514442)
    Be prepared to spend LOTS of time in this city. The museums alone can take weeks to really get through well. I'm kinda partial to Cleveland as well, but that's because i'm from there. The Rock Hall is quite interesting to go through, and the Great Lakes science center is next door.
  • by sk1tch ( 152715 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:19PM (#6514452) Homepage
    What you want to see if Fry's Electronics. They have them in Texas and California and a few states in between. Imagine something the size of that big desert you guys call Australia, and imagine it full of electronics at a decent price. It's not quite so big as the great aussie desert, I guess, but Fry's is huge. I'm not ashamed to admit I shed tears of joy on my first visit to this mecca of geekdom.
  • by tybalt44 ( 176219 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:19PM (#6514454) Journal
    You could spend a whole year just in Washington alone. But if you only have a short time there, go to the Air & Space Museum first. I've been there three times now (I'm from Canada, don't get to DC much) and every time it just blows my mind.

    My law firm had a dinner there one evening last year in the great foyer hall, under all the oribters and rockets and planes, and we got hours of uninterrupted time in the museum. I've never been happier with my job, not ever.
    • by CoasterFamily ( 678592 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:25PM (#6514593)
      The Smithsonian A&S Museum is great. But, even better (but much less refined) is the United States Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. It's kind of like your crazy aunt's attic. It's full of old planes, spacecraft, and other historical oddities.

      Check it out:

      Dayton is a nice city too. I should know, I live there. Besides, all of the world's greatest inventions come from here: powered flight, electric starter, Teflon, those insulated heat bags that Domino's pizza uses, home of LexisNexis (the world's best search engine. Hey, it's got twice the docs as the internet, or so I'm told by those higher up in the company), even the pop-top can.
  • Steve Irwin (Score:3, Funny)

    by jwbrown77 ( 526512 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:19PM (#6514457)
    Why is it that Australians seem touchy about Steve Irwin?

    Many Americans like his show (myself included), but that doesn't mean that we think of Steve Irwin as the prototypical Australian, no more than Paul Hogan, or Russel Crowe, etc.

    I would hate for other to judge all Americans by, say, George W. Bush.
    • by swb ( 14022 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:30PM (#6514717)
      I don't know, but between Steve Irwin, Olivia Newton John, "Maybe the Dingo Ate Your Baby", Men At Work, AC/DC and penal colony jokes, there's a lot of good material to dig at the Aussies about.

      A guy I know was standing in line at immigration control in Sydney after a delayed flight from Hong Kong. The guy in front of him was British business man and handed the customs person his passport. The Brit was giving terse, unfriendly answers to the questions he was being asked. When asked if he had ever been convicted of a crime, the British businessman was pushed over his limit of bureaucratic annoyance and replied "I didn't think it was a requirement anymore." He was refused entry!

      Anyway, if you had to live with Irwin, Newton-John, et al, you'd be pissy, too!
  • In rural Ohio (Score:5, Informative)

    by forged ( 206127 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:19PM (#6514462) Homepage Journal
    Come visit Cedra Point [] ! The mecca of roller-coasters with many of the biggest ones in the world ! Very nerdy stuff.
    • Re:In rural Ohio (Score:5, Informative)

      by jchawk ( 127686 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:26PM (#6514631) Homepage Journal
      I would have to agree with the poster. Cedar Point is an amazing place if you dig roller coasters. They have the biggest and the best in the world.

      If you go near the end of the season, which if you are going in September it gets affordable because the weather is cold in that area around that time of the year.

      Usually they are only open on the weekends in September so plan accordingly. Hotels get cheaper the further you stay away from cedar point, and September gets into the off months so rates are affordable. I know there are some camp grouds around too if you are into that.

      Also if you are in neighboring cities before going to Cedar Point, keep your eyes peeled for coupons, you can usually save a couple of bucks by buying a can of Pepsi with a coupon printed on it...

      No I don't work for Cedar point, i'm just a huge fan of Roller Coasters!
    • Re:In rural Ohio (Score:3, Informative)

      by Mt._Honkey ( 514673 )
      Another great place in Ohio, which is a little more nerdy, is the United States Air Force Museum [] at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. When I was there a few years ago, they had some of the most advanced aircraft ever made, including the XB-70 [], SR-71 [], YF-22 [], X-29 [], F-117 [], Tacit Blue [], as well as some old favorites like an X-15 [], B-52 [], F-15A [], A-10 [], B-1A [], and F-16A []. And MANY MANY more.

      I don't know if I would clasify it as a "once in a lifetime" experience, but if you are at all interested
  • by Dorothy 86 ( 677356 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:19PM (#6514464) Homepage
    Whatever you do, do NOT, I repeat, do NOT forget to bring along the most important piece of equipment.
    a towel!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:19PM (#6514468)
    Standing on the edge of the ocean, by the slowly decaying towers he used, and looking across out over the ocean he sent the messages across was, for me, an EE, a moving experience.

    Plus nice beaches on the Cape, although it is kind of crowded sometimes. Whale watching is fun too.

    -- ac at work

  • Powells (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ann Elk ( 668880 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:19PM (#6514471)
    Powells Books [] in Portland, OR. Allegedly the second largest bookstore in the world.
  • That is always a favorite of mine. But if you just look for what you are talking about, you will be missing most of America's real treasures. The Grand Canyon, Yosemite park (however you spell it). Niagra Falls, Blue Ridge mountains etc. So many places and so little time!

    Oh and on the techie side, don't forget NASA in Houston.
  • Portland OR (Score:5, Interesting)

    by notcreative ( 623238 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:20PM (#6514485) Journal
    In Portland, you need to visit Powell's Bookstore. It is huge (a couple of city blocks in downtown) and has all kinds of cheap used books to read on your travels. Portland is also generally a cool place to visit, and if you're in the Northwest anyway it would be a good time.
  • I've never been there, but there you go.

    There's also a dinosaur museum there.

    Also, Drummheller, Alberta has a big dinosaur museum, which I have been to and enjoyed. They find a lot of dinosaurs out there.

  • Heck, the whole city of Boston, if you have any interest in American history at all. Plus MIT and Hahvahd.

    But the Computer Museum is pretty high-quality. And Boston's an easy city to get around by mass transit, as opposed to much of the rest of this country. Resign yourself to the fact that you may have to rent a car a few times.
    • by jht ( 5006 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:31PM (#6514747) Homepage Journal
      There's not much left of the Computer Museum anymore - some of it moved over to the Museum of Science [], but most of the good stuff was packed up and sent out to a new Computing History museum out in California. What's left of the Computer Museum at this point is pretty sad, as of the last time I was there a couple of years ago.

      The facility itself closed in 1999, and the adjacent Children's Museum expanded into at least some of the space. It's pretty cool, too, however. And the Museum of Science is terrific.

      Up here on the North Shore where I live, there's a pretty neat exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum [] up in Salem. A Chinese house from the provinces was dismantled and re-assembled inside the museum as an tourable exhibit. There's all kinds of stuff about construction techniques used, the design and the simple utility of the building that's documented as part of the whole exhibit. Not technology-related (except vaguely by 16th century standards), but tremendously geeky.
  • The thing which gave me the greatest thrill was to watch the launch of Columbia on STS-55 (a few years back now).

    I don't think there's anything more amazing than seeing a space craft take off.

    I'm planning to go back and take my wife and son to florida just to see another launch - it's an experience of a life time, and well worth it, whatever the cost in time an money.

  • by MickLinux ( 579158 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:21PM (#6514502) Journal
    the All-American Geek tour begins and ends at a single, broadband-connected computer.

    His own.

    Oh, with a year's supply of microwave meals.

    • (1) Like nature? Big sky? Try Dolly Sods in West Virginia.

      (2) Like caves? Not really into spelunking? Find out some local walk-in natural caves in your area. I know in Virginia, there are lots. You need to get permission from whatever farmer owns the land, and you need a Nat. Geological Survey map [try the nearest university library], and you need a friend.
      That's it.

      (3) Here's something really cool, one-in-a-world. If you like it, fine. If you don't, then skip it. But it's Tide Spring. There's a
  • Silicon Valley... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MsGeek ( 162936 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:21PM (#6514506) Homepage Journal
    A must-go. Even though now it is a shadow of its former self and a lot of abandoned buildings mark its high-water mark during the dot-com boom.

    Intel has a museum in Santa Clara, The Tech museum in San Jose is a must-visit, and the Apple Store in Cupertino is a place people who aren't Apple staff can visit to pay respects to the first true success story of the area.

    Mod this post -1 Obvious. ^_~
  • The Big Tire (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mgkimsal2 ( 200677 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:21PM (#6514514) Homepage
    on I-94 in Detroit. 'nuff said.
  • Alamo Drafthouse (Score:4, Informative)

    by ilsie ( 227381 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:22PM (#6514527)
    Alamo Drafthouse [] In Austin, Texas. It's been mentioned a couple times on /., but it's an awesome movie theater where you can sit & watch your movie while enjoying a cool one and a tasty alfredo chicken pizza. They are quite geek friendly there, what with the 802.11b access, and the frequent live performances from the Mr. Sinus [] crew. They are like Mystery Science Theater 3000, but with movies like Top Gun & the Terminator.
  • The Secret Stash (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sys$manager ( 25156 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:23PM (#6514541)
    Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash

    35 Broad St
    Red Bank, NJ
  • by Leme ( 303299 ) <(jboyce) (at) (> on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:23PM (#6514543)
    May I suggest the many fine establishments [] located in Nevada.

    Very geek friendly.

  • by Biff Stu ( 654099 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:24PM (#6514573)
    It's one of the coolest hands-on science museums out there. The fact that it's in San Francisco is an added bonus. The US also has some cool nature--the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Yellostone should be on everyone's must see list.
    • Amen! I attended the 1st ApacheCon and they had an party in the Exploratorium. What a place to turn loose several hundred geeks that you've loaded down with food and beer. Almost made you forget that there were so few chicks!
  • Two in New Mexico (Score:5, Interesting)

    by swngnmonk ( 210826 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:24PM (#6514580) Homepage
    Two definitely geeky things to check out in New Mexico.

    The Very Large Array [] - Gigantic Radio Astronomy installation

    The Trinity Test Site []. Only open a few times a year, your chance to see where the first atomic bomb was tested.
  • Well (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jandrese ( 485 ) * <> on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:24PM (#6514586) Homepage Journal
    Although you don't have to visit there, make sure you give the people at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump [] a call while you're going through Alberta. The area is neat in a National Park kinda way, but it's great to have someone answer the phone with "Head smashed in, how may I help you?".

    Plus you might learn something new about Native Americans.
  • Walt Disney World (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Night Goat ( 18437 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:25PM (#6514605) Homepage Journal
    It's one of the most technologically packed areas in the USA. The whole park's monitored and run very efficiently. It's also a whole lot of fun. But last time I went, I was more interested in how much effort goes into making sure that paying customers are set up for the best time that is possible in a family-friendly environment. (Bring your own drugs, sadly they don't supply EVERYTHING!) The Disney Corporation owns such a vast amount of land that you're on their property before you even realize that you've entered Disney World.
    Also, check out Downtown Disney, they have an excellent arcade there, where you pay ~$15 and you can play until it closes. Plus you can design and ride this cool virtual rollercoaster that rivals the real coasters there, if you make a point of making a very extreme virtual coaster. The guys manning the area can give you some pointers. Make sure you hit Epcot and MGM, you can speed through the Magic Kingdom (too much little kid stuff).
  • by Rorschach1 ( 174480 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:25PM (#6514610) Homepage
    Take a few hours to look around the National Cryptologic Museum []. Lots of good geeky stuff there, plus NSA shirts and stuff. =] It's actually a lot more informative than I expected. I was imagining lots of poorly lit exhibits with every third word blanked out on the placard, but it's not quite so bad. Though the memorial to lost agents has a whole lot of missing names. You even get to play with a genuine Enigma machine...

  • Our National Parks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kwerle ( 39371 ) <> on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:26PM (#6514625) Homepage Journal
    Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite are some of the real highlights. They're not geek spots, but DAMN, they're gorgeous.

    See also Looks like they have a good interactive map at fm so you can hit the ones you'll be near.
  • The coasts (Score:5, Funny)

    by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:26PM (#6514629) Homepage
    Whatever you do, absolutely do not venture outside of America's two coasts. Visit Los Angeles and New York City, make a stop in San Francisco, and that's it, really. You can't find good coffee or free WiFi access anywhere outside these places, not to mention quality people. All Americans who could have moved to one of these three cities, as they have the reputation of being the only places in America where the people don't drool while watching "Survivor". You might want to visit Las Vegas, but rest assured there's nothing there but corporations. The people who produce American culture call the wasteland between New York and Los Angeles "flyover territory" for good reason. There's nothing there except armed rednecks.

    At least, this is what my friends in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco tell me. It must be true, because they're the elite of America.

  • DC Area suggestions (Score:4, Informative)

    by Merlin42 ( 148225 ) * on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:32PM (#6514777)
    I am a geek who grew up in the DC area.

    I would highly recomend taking a day (or even a week) to work your way through all the smithsonian museums you are interested in. My favorite is the air and space museum which has such things as the Spirit of St. Louis and one of the planes that dropped an A-Bomb on Japan ... it has all sorts of signs around it reasuring visitors that it is not "radioactive." The natural history museum is pretty cool too ... just don't take a serious girlfriend there ... they have some MASSIVE diamonds for her to droool over, it makes anything you have/will give her seem kind of paltry. Check out: for more info, and remember all the museums are free! Also, while in DC you could visit all the usual spots: the White House, the Washington penis^h^h^h^h^h monument, and several sundry memorials. Personally I have never tried going to the Library of Congress so I cannot recomend either way for or against it.

    Also, while in the dc area you could drive ~ 10 miles out to college park and see if you could sneak in to see (I think it is either in the Computer and Space Sciences building or the A. V. Williams Building) I went there for 4 years and never could get a straight answer as to where it is.

    hmmm, maybe visiting all the DNS root servers would provide for an interesting place to start planning your trip ;).
  • by FunWithHeadlines ( 644929 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:33PM (#6514783) Homepage
    While on the west coast, you could certainly check out Silicon Valley. That is where it was happening back in the rocking 90s, and still has many tech firms. Have a coffee in Palo Alto and soak up the atmosphere of the area and Stanford University. Check out the very famous Fry's Electronics [] shop and realize you are in the same place that all the original geeks shopped at.

    Then hop across the country to New York and check out the best of the Barne's and Nobles [], the one in downtown Manhattan. Not what you are thinking. This isn't just some big bookstore like every other big bookstore. This is the one that caters to the university students, and they have every textbook imaginable through the annexes. A very geeky way to spend your afternoon.

    Then wander down to 13th and Broadway to see Forbidden Planet comics shop, or really any of these comic shops in New York [] to get your comic jones. While in New York, you might as well check out all the tourist things anyway, cuz you know you will. And when you do, being Aussie and all, you'll want to hit the bar scene at night. Lots of good bar-hopping in Manhattan in the East 70s on 2nd and 1st Avenues.

    Computers, books, comics, beer -- what more could a geek ask for. Have fun, mate!

  • LA Geek Spots! (Score:5, Informative)

    by TedTschopp ( 244839 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:34PM (#6514811) Homepage
    Well, If you want Geeksih how about this:

    Palamar [] Telescope.

    Then again there is Cal Tech [] in Pasadena.

    Next you can stop at JPL [].

    There is also Mt. Wilson above Los Angeles. []

    Of course you could also goto Griffith Observatory [] but it's closed for a renovation.

    All these are in the San Diego/Los Angeles area.

    Heck, if you are into art/old books/old stuff there is the Getty [].

    And of course the Huntington [] with their copy of the Guttenburg bible.

    We also have Edwards Airforce Base [] which is where the shuttle use to land, but they put on a heck of an air show.

    And when traveling to the LA area you need to fly into the Burbank airport []. They built the SR-71, the F117 and several other toys right there...

    When you are done with Los Angeles area head on up to the San Fransisco area and check out the Valley. I'm sure a couple more people here can fill you in on those spots.

    MAn I think I'm going to love looking at this thread!
  • by Yort ( 555166 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:34PM (#6514812)
    Ok, so technically it's the Chippewa Falls Museum of Industry & Technology [], but the coolest part I remember about it was the original Cray Supercomputers (and even some Control Data systems) like the Cray 1 or the X-MP.

    I haven't been there in a while, but if you find yourself in the Midwest (which has some beautiful places, so long as you avoid winter!), the $3 admission is definitely worth the stop. It's located in Chippewa Falls, WI. []

  • New York City. (Score:3, Informative)

    by crazyphilman ( 609923 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:35PM (#6514824) Journal
    There are so many cool things to look at in NYC, I don't even know where to start, but here are a few I kinda like:

    Canal Street: the closest thing New York has to a technological flea market. All sorts of weird tech stores there -- but they're heavily industrial, not consumer-oriented. Motors, rotors, 4'x8' sheets of lexan, ancient keyboards for obsolete mainframe terminals, you name it. And, the Trader! Possibly one of the coolest army/navy stores ever. I once saw the heads up display and targeting system from a Huey Cobra on sale there for 1500.00. Foot-and-a-half wide IR spotlight and all, ready to mount to your VW!

    Any of a number of museums around NYC, but some really good ones are:
    * The metropolitan museum of art
    * the museum of natural history and Hayden planetarium
    * the museum of modern art
    * (way, way uptown -- get a cab) The cloisters, which are an absolute MUST SEE. The man who built this museum actually acquired a number of real monasteries from Europe and flew them to New York stone by stone, rebuilding them into a huge complex which houses a collection of medaeval art that just has to be seen to be believed. During the summer, the cloisters for which this museum is named are in bloom, and you can hang out in them (cloisters are small meditation gardens that were maintained by monks, usually with an arrangement of pillars around a central clearing).

    Check out the subways, but stick to the downtown and midtown areas. If you get off at West 4th station, you can hang out in the village! Lotsa fun. Great bars on Bleecker street. I mean GREAT.

    I don't remember the exact location, but I think Sony maintains a technology visitor's center with all sorts of interesting displays. It should be in the phone book, I think it's in midtown.

    Definitely check out a few cybercafes, and you'll want to see the huge recreation center they built on the West side, on 12th Avenue.

    You should check out the statue of liberty if you can, and Ellis Island as well; the ferry rides are wonderful.

    And, just to see what it's like, take the Staten Island Ferry. It's huge, weirdly colored, and a nice ride. Don't wander around Staten Island, though. It's, ah, what's the word I'm looking for? SEEDY. And, there's a chance you'll get mugged, especially later on in the day. Hang out on the dock until the Ferry goes back to Manhattan.

  • by elmegil ( 12001 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:35PM (#6514832) Homepage Journal
    The MIT museum in Boston. I forget the exact location, I just know I was walking around MIT campus and stumbled across it. I'm sure any information source about MIT can point you at it. They have it set up in an old academic building. There was a section devoted to MIT "hacks" (things like the "breast of knowledge" made from the great dome, and other odd things like a cow and a cop car put up on top of the dome, as well as other stuff. But more impressively, there was a section devoted to the kinetic sculpture done by "this one guy" (sorry, I'm not doing him justice) that was all exceedingly cool. Basically they were all little mechanisms run either from small motors or hand cranks that did amusing, puzzling, and eventually basically useless stuff, but still looked interesting and were cool to play with and/or look at. I would highly recommend it.
    • The MIT museum in Boston. I forget the exact location,

      I don't - it's right outside my window :-)

      265 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA

      And while you're at it, come walk around the MIT [] campus. I hear tell there's also some kind of finishing school [] farther up Massachusetts Ave, but it's not really worth visiting.

  • Boston (Score:4, Interesting)

    by prwood ( 7060 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:42PM (#6514940) Homepage
    Boston, Massachusetts and its environs are filled with incredibly geeky things. Boston is the home of the Free Software Foundation [], Ximian [], and OSDN []. Just across the river, Cambridge is the home of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [], undeniably a geek Mecca. Next door to MIT is Harvard University [] (as the MIT t-shirts say, "Harvard: Because not everybody can get in to MIT"). Plus we've got the Big Dig [], which despite its infamy for budget overruns, corruption, and defacement of the city landscape, is also home to some incredibly geeky marvels of engineering! And of course, many other geeks of note live and work in and around Boston.
    • Re:Boston (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jdreed1024 ( 443938 )
      Plus we've got the Big Dig, which despite its infamy for budget overruns, corruption, and defacement of the city landscape, is also home to some incredibly geeky marvels of engineering!

      And, if you do manage to get here by September, you might be able to get on a Big Dig Tour [], and see the tunnel and bridge close up before they let the cars on the southbound portion. It's a lot of fun - I just did one. Bring a camera and some high-speed film.

      And, while you're in Boston, you can see America's First Subwa

  • Montreal (Score:3, Funny)

    by luugi ( 150586 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:45PM (#6514988)
    We have a lot of strip clubs. I suggest you "Chez Pare". There's some fine honeys up in that place.

  • by peculiarmethod ( 301094 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:46PM (#6515002) Journal
    okay here's the skinny on a few southern towns from an American who travels city to city a few years at a time:

    Oklahoma - Route 66 (old dusty cross country road that holds mystique for car buffs who love gas gussling classics) runs through Oklahoma City, home of the Shopping Cart, and the Parking Meter. Also, AWACS, Seagate (CHEAP HUGE HARDDRIVES!!!), fossils GALORE in the eastern mountain ranges, and more astronauts come from Oklahoma, so I suppose you could go see their graves or something..

    Texas - If you can just transport yourself to Austin Texas, somehow, it is well worth it. There you will find plenty of cyber cafes, vineyards, water sports (either variety), climbing, great food, wi-fi hot spots galore, a surviving tech industry, independent arts, the first known photograph and a gutenburg bible (univ. texas), live music, a large hacker community, and 6th street. I don't think there's much else in the rest of Texas. ;)

    Louisiana - Skip the rest of it and go straight to New Orleans. There you find beer. I can't remember much else of wh.. oh yes, history, jazz, culture, archaic rules and venues, colorful plants, smelly smells and.. wow.. just about a bit of everything. One can truly escape in New Orleans. Beware, as equipment tends to get wet and pots tend to get dirty in NO. Also, check out Grand Isle State Park.. it looks and smells like the garden of eden. its just an hour or so south of new orleans. The beach is beautful, you can camp there, and there's even lots of porpoise swimming about.

    California - Skip everything and go straight to San Diego. Hit the 5 north or south to the 8.. head west to the beaches.. follow it into Ocean Beach via the Sunset cliffs blvd exit. Ocean Beach is the only place in san diego that time forgot. There is a mixed demographic makeup, rich in home owning ex and current hippies, along with every other facet of live available, including street life. There's even a wi-fi star bucks a block from the beach. just beware, ob'ceans HATE starbucks. You might get dirty looks on your way to the surf. Try the Hoodads for burger and a beer, and then head downtown to the San Diego Computer History museum. After that get some cheap wine (it's california) and settle into a fireworks show from Sea World.

  • by drayzel ( 626716 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:50PM (#6515043)
    "gadgets, bookstores, software, comics,"

    Chuck that stuff and cut loose. TAKE A VACATION FROM BEING A GEEK!

    Sure the Smithsonian etc. wouuld be great, but I would suggest a non geek vacation... who knows, maybe you'll find something more enjoyable than a 20 hour codeing marathon or a weekend of watching SciFi network.

    Go to Yellowstone National Park in September when all the school kids and boy scout troops are gone.

    Spend some time biking in Moab (Southern Utah). While you're their check out Zion, Bryce and Arches National Park then jaunt over to Colorado and check out Mesa Verde NP.

    Check out local festivals in the midwest. I know in my state ever other town seems to have a "Strawberry/Corn/Dairy/Watermellon days" frestival.

    Find out if you like fly fishing, hikeing, rowing, swimming, running, boating, water skiing, or basket weaving. GO CLIMB A TREE!

    Read some Thoreau at Walden Pond.

    Go to Canada and visit their national parks (Banff is an INTERNATIONAL treasure). Go to some the the AWESOME festivals in Edmonton.

    But please... turn off you cell phone. If I hear it ring while I'm watching a wolf pack in near Yellowstone this fall I'll be very upset.

  • Geocaching (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CleverNickName ( 129189 ) * <wil AT wilwheaton DOT net> on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:50PM (#6515052) Homepage Journal
    The greatest thing a geek who likes the outdoors can do is go Geocaching []!

    You go to the website, enter a ZIP code, or city, or similar, and you'll get a list of hidden "geocaches." You put some coordinates into your GPSr, print out a map (and sometimes some hints) from the website, and see if you can find one. From experience, I can tell you that it's pretty easy to get within 10 feet of the cache . . . it's those last 10 feet that are tough. :-)

    It's incredibly fun, and here in my hometown of Los Angeles there is a geocache at Cal Tech, so you can take out two geeky birds with one stone. (It's easy to spot the geeky birds -- they have tape on their beaks.)
  • by Galen Wolffit ( 188146 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:50PM (#6515055)
    Nearly all the monuments and museums in Washington DC are free to the public. Some require waiting in line for tickets, but again those tickets are generally free, they're just used to limit the number of visitors per day. Plan to spend at least a few full days in the DC area, to see everything. Natural and American History museums, various Art museums, war memorials, the Air and Space museum, Air and Space II out in Dulles, VA (a 30-45 minute drive from downtown DC), and much, much more. Northern VA also has the Spy Museum, which might be fun if you're into cryptography and the like. I think they even have a hands-on exhibit of the Enigma machine.
  • by rtphokie ( 518490 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @04:56PM (#6515135)
    While in DC.... Visit the Smithsoneons of course. But dont miss:
    • National Museum of American History: Everything from a Morse's original telegraphs, Bell's original telephones, an Enigma, an ENIAC, a Hollorith Tabulating Machine, to a Trash-80 in the Information Age Exhibit [] located in the lower level
    • Air and Space []: The Wright Brother's Flyer, the Spirit of St Louis, the X-1, and if you visit after Decemeber of 2003, head out to Dulles Airport to see Udvar Hazy Center [] which will have even more aircraft including a SR-71, the Enola Gay, and the original space shuttle Enterprise.

    In Boston, check out the Computer History Museum []

    In Chicago

    In the Bay Area there is

    • the The Tech Museum [] in San Jose which is okay but if you plan far enough in advance (reservations are required)
    • the Computer Museum History Center [] in Mountain View is probably the best collection of computers since the 50's.
    • Intel has a museum [] at it's San Jose campus.
    • Also dont miss a visit to Weird Stuff [] in Sunnyvale.
  • by StandardCell ( 589682 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @05:02PM (#6515246)
    The Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology [] in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada is one of the most exceptional museums I have ever been to. It truly feels like you are stepping back millions of years, and is a world-class facility.

    While you're out there, check out the Banff-Jasper corridor of the Rocky Mountains [], particularly the Columbia Icefields and Johnston Canyon. Spectacular geographic features of North America can be found there, and the glaciers date back to the last ice age!

  • Schenectady, NY (Score:3, Informative)

    by kfg ( 145172 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @05:05PM (#6515284)
    Ok, like, don't go really far out of your way to do this. There's nothing really to see or do, other than walk the same streets that were walked by Thomas Edison, Nicola Tesla, Charles Stienmetz and Hans Bethe.

    The same streets were also walked by Geo. Washington and LaFeyette. Stories such as The Last of the Mohicans and Drums Along the Mohawk took place here. It's smack dab in the middle of old colonial America.

    And I guess thats part of the point too. Don't forget to see America while you're here. NY State isn't NY City. Get out into the millions of acres that are still forest inhabited by lions, bobcats and bears. Places where the American equivilent of Steve Irwin ( and Red Green) actually exist "in the wild."

    See the country, not just the cities and bars.

  • by emmetropia ( 527623 ) <krewenki&gmail,com> on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @05:09PM (#6515339)
    My suggestion would be Cape Breton, which is on the east coast of Canada. You wouldn't want to come here unless it were the summer, because the museums aren't open until the summer. But you could visit the Alexander Grahm Bell museum (you know, they guy with the phone) and the Marconi Museum. In Glace Bay (small small harbour town, nicest people on the face of the earth) you can visit the site of the first wireless broadcasts across the atlantic, and you can also see where the first broadcast of live music ever took place from. And there's all kinds of fishing and mining museums, and the fishing culture and all. There's also the Cabbot trail, which is possibly the most scenic route around the island that you could imagine. That's just my $2.00 x 10^-2
  • by nadador ( 3747 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @05:09PM (#6515351)
    So, let me see if I've got this right. You have an indeterminant amount of time to spend in the US. You can go anywhere you want to go and do anything you want to do. And you want to spend it in computer museums, big bookstores, and the Smithsonian? Granted, these are all neat places to visit, but why do you want to geek up a perfectly good vacation?

    My advice? Ditch the nerd stuff and do something outside.

    Learn to kayak in Colorado. []
    Hike in one of the last beautiful places on Earth. []
    Play in the water at a beautiful beach in Florida. []
    Or go to one of the best beaches in Mexico. []
    Slide around on snow on purpose. []
    Go to one of the last truly wild places. []

    There is so much to see in North America. Please don't spend your whole trip at Frys.
  • by hswerdfe ( 569925 ) <[] [ ...]> on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @05:15PM (#6515420) Homepage Journal
    Vulcan Alberta

    The Worlds First UFO landing pad tm

    Particle Accelerator in Vancouver B.C.

    the CN Tower

    thats all for now
  • by eclectric ( 528520 ) <> on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @05:23PM (#6515528)
    You can't get to any of the good stuff, like the actual collections.
  • by Yaztromo ( 655250 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @05:47PM (#6515864) Homepage Journal

    Let me be the first to welcome you to Canada (considering you're not here yet, I _assume_ I'm the first at least :) ).

    First things first. Canada is a REALLY BIG PLACE. You do not backpack across Canada. I know that Australia is a big place (a whole continent in fact...), and the US has a decent size, but Canada is in a whole different ballpark. Think of Australia. Now think of another 1/5 of Australia. Stick them together, and you get a bit closer to Canada's size. Canada is nearly 10 /million/ square kilometres of land, sprawling across 7 seperate time zones. It's a big place to walk across :).

    As such, a good geek travel system to your trip would probably to take the train from coast to coast, getting off in major cities of interest.

    Once you've figured out how to get around, where to go? Some good suggestions include (in no particular order, and probably leaving out all sorts of funky places in between...):

    • The CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario. Take the trip up to Sky Pod, which is the highest public observation deck in the world, at 447m (1465'). Or head down to the first observation deck and stand on the glass floor hanging over, well, nothing but air at 342m (1122') up.
    • The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Ontario. The ROM is undergoing some renovations at the moment, but it still has some extremely impressive collections.
    • Canadian Aviation Museum in Ottawa, Ontario. Go see the parts of the Avro Arrow that they've been able to recover, and shed a tear for the greatest interceptor ever built, that never even got to fly a single mission (the Canadian government decided to scrap it after 5 test models were built to instead invest in BOMARC missles. The museum also has one of these. The BOMARCs were bought from the US, and 95% of them were useless. Not a single one was ever used. The engineering team that designed the Arrow mostly made their way to NASA in the US, and were instrumental in the first manned space missions).
    • Ontario Science Centre, Toronto, Ontario. The Science Centre has an Omnimax theatre which, if you've never seen one, is something you have to experience. Imagine a bowl 6 storys tall sitting in front of you, on a 30deg angle, with a high-definition 70mm film being projected onto it via a fish eye lens. Now imagine that the screen is filled with millions of tiny holes, and the speakers are mounted directly behind it. There are always good geek films playing -- I particularily recently enjoyed the one about the International Space Station. While you're at the OSC, they have a rather large (and free) Internet Cafe-type area setup, so you can get online and check out Slashdot :).
    • Maritime Museum in Halifax, Nova Scotia. If you're a sea geek, be sure to stop here. In the harbour just outside you can tour a pair of decomissioned Canadian warships.
    • Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull (Quebec). Not only a fantastic museum of human civilization in Canada, but if you missed seeing the Omnimax theatre in Toronto, they have a combination Imax/Omnimax screen (although the OSC Omnimax system in Toronto is much better IMO).
    • Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta. I've always wanted to visit this place, but haven't made it yet. New species of dinosaurs are discovered here every year. It's so chock-full of dinosaur remains that it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some of the most impressive T-Rex skeletons ever found were found here.
    • Lake Superiour Provincial Park, Ontario. A bit of a trek to make it up here, but if you do, not only can you sit on the shores of the world's largest freshwater lake, but you can check out Agawa Rock, where hundreds of years ago the native Ojibwa painted pictographs on the cliffs at the waters edge. If this is up your alley, see them now -- they're already quite faded, and are expected to disappear due to weathering within the next 50 years.

    Well, that's what I can think of off

  • by vorwerk ( 543034 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @05:47PM (#6515870)

    Sorry. Not too many geek-related suggestions here. But, here are a few suggestions of nice things to see in Canada while you're there (off the top of my head):

    - Vancouver, Victoria ==> many touristy things to see/do (nothing that specifically stands out as "geeky", but they're two cities well worth investigating)

    - Banff and Jasper, British Columbia ==> very beautiful, be sure to ride up Sulphur Mountain in Banff, and between Banff & Jasper, visit the Columbia Ice Fields

    - Niagara Falls, Ontario ==> A little touristy, but nice if it's your first time

    - Drumheller, Alberta ==> Royal Tyrell museum, if you're into dinosaurs/paleontology

    - Toronto, Ontario ==> CN Tower, Royal Ontario Museum, science centre (though the latter is geared more to younger audiences)

    - Ottawa, Ontario ==> Parliament buildings, National Art Gallery

    - Quebec city and Montreal ==> lots of interesting old architecture (especially Notre Dame Basilica, etc)

    - a number of East-coast Canadian sites (la Roche Percee, for example, in Percee, Quebec), or Peggy's Cove, Newfoundland

    There are many other places across Canada, without a doubt. These are just a few that came to me briefly.
  • by r_j_prahad ( 309298 ) <r_j_prahad@hot[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @06:35PM (#6516320)
    A geek's tour just would not be complete without a visit to this place.

    United States Courthouse
    Room 3035
    280 South First Street
    San Jose, CA 95113-3099

    This is the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California, formerly known as Silicon Valley. Spend a day here and learn all about the new economy the hard way.

Happiness is twin floppies.