If you live near a major city, chances are high you can plan a day completely around nerd-inspired activities. Very high. Filming locations, unique museums, themed shops and bars–metropolitan areas have some or all of these and more. With a little digging, you can make a list tailored to your interests in cities you’re visiting or in your own backyard.
We’re here to help you find some to-dos, starting with five geeky, easy to get into places (so no Magic Castle) to visit in Los Angeles, California.
1. Go for a Hike
Head north of the city to visit the recognizable alien-looking landscape of Vasquez Rocks. Most notably, this park was home to the hilariously slow and epic battle between Captain Kirk and the Gorn in Star Trek: The Original Series. It’s also been used as a filming location for titles such as Planet of the Apes, the 2009 Star Trek, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, and more.
2. Become a Witch or Wizard
Live your magical dreams and immerse yourself in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood. You can visit Hogsmeade, go on a doozy of a ride inside Hogwarts, hear a frog choir, and drink butterbeer at various temperatures and consistencies. Oh, and you can buy school robes and wands. Accio fun!
3. Embrace the Weird
If seeing a gallery of portraits featuring the dogs of the Soviet space program sounds like something you’d enjoy, go to Culver City and enter The Museum of Jurassic Technology. Permanent exhibits highlighting the cosmonaut canines, stereographic radiographs of flowers, microminiatures, and pre-scientific cures and remedies fill its winding halls. The museum is a blend of fascinating, informative, and what the heck did I just see.
4. Go on a Comic Book Shop Crawl
Los Angeles is a sprawling city, and it’s dotted with a number of terrific comic book shops. Each place has its own vibe and flavor. Set aside a chunk of a day to stop into places like Meltdown Comics, House of Secrets, Blastoff Comics, The Comic Bug, and many more. If you’re a new resident to the area, this is a great way to try on different shops and see where you’d like to start a pull list.
5. Visit a Themed Bar
Hello. Are you tired of using pencil and paper to route your next flight plan? Do you find that you leave valuable coordinate information laying around on napkins at your local coffee shop? Introducing the Cantina Command Center! Please see your local Cantina's website for operating hours.* . *purchase of blue milk required. . Check these out these STELLAR (see what we did there!?) screens for yourself! #scumandvillainycantina #scifisafehouse
Want to enjoy a cocktail while viewing magic? Or in a Tim Burton inspired setting? Or in a science fiction bar? You can find all those places in Hollywood: Black Rabbit Rose, Beetle House, and Scum and Villainy Cantina, respectively. Kick back, soak in the atmospheres, and hang with fellow members of fandom.
What geektastic activities do you recommend around Los Angeles? What other cities would you like to see us cover? Share your notes in the comments.
Images: Kyle Anderson, Vincent Diamante
Travel to more nerdy locales with these stories!
- Take a photo tour of Hobbiton.
- Go full Harry Potter in the United Kingdom.
- Spend a day on Disney Cruise’s Star Wars Day at Sea.
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