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5 Great Geek Vacation Getaways

Visit Hobbiton, learn physics while cruising, or dine with a spy. There are plenty of places to relax and get your geek on.

Bon Voyage!

One of the more important aspects of working hard in the information technology or computer science field is actually stopping to take a vacation. Way too many of my friends and colleagues get burned out and eventually leave their tech fields to work in bakeries and greenhouses. Stop the madness and take a break. But is the beach not your thing? No problem. There are plenty of places to relax and get your geek on.

Being stuck on a cruise ship for an extended period of time with a bunch of yahoos can cause more stress and frustration than the job you're away from. However, Scientific American has put together some of the absolute coolest and, without question, the nerdiest voyages this side of "Gilligan's Island" fan clubs.

Called, "Geek Cruises", these vacations to Bermuda (as in Triangle) or Europe not only provide scenic destinations but also tremendous lectures and seminars by the world's foremost intellectuals. You can learn about the latest in particle physics, cognitive sciences and archeology. And, of course, tan your translucent skin.

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Spy vs. Spy

At the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., you can rock your James Bond/Jason Bourne fantasies. In addition to hundreds of spy gadgets and tools of the trade, you can learn about the "Secret History of History" and hear lectures about the Cold War and have Dinner With a (retired) Spy.

The History of Computers

The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA, is like Xanadu for computer geeks. See computers from bygone eras, like the DEC PDP-1, with a building full of computer enthusiasts.

There and Back Again

What better way to enjoy your vacation than to go back to where it all began with Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. Yes, you could read about Middle Earth. But since you have months of vacation time saved up, why not visit New Zealand and see where the movie was filmed. Besides the breaktaking beauty that is the countryside, you can actually visit Hobbiton. Located in Matamata, this will bring tears to even the bravest LOTR geek.

The Planet Houston

Not quite a planet as General Zod surmised, but the Space Center in Houston is defintely a must-visit place for any sci-fi fan. They are currently running a Star Wars: The Clone Wars exhibit, which is neat. But the real attractions are the actual spacecraft used by American Astronauts who don't give a crap about Midichlorians.

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