3 Bucket List Trips for Space and Astronomy Nerds

Bucket List Trips for Space and Astronomy Nerds
We admit to geeking out over anything outer space-related. Black holes, solar eclipses, touring the International Space Station with Google Street View. If you too are an unabashed astronomy nerd, here are three once-in-a-lifetime trips to add to your bucket list.

Witness a Rocket Launch (Russia)

MIR Corporation has been facilitating bespoke tours of some of the world’s most incredible destinations for more than 30 years. Their Inside the Russian Space Program Tour is as close as most mortal men can get to an actual, working space program. The small-group (just 16 passengers) tour starts in Baikonur, at the program’s launch facility near the Kazakh steppe. Visitors will witness first-hand the rollout of a Soyuz rocket and the entire pre-launch ceremony. Top officials from the Russian program, astronomy veterans, and family members of cosmonauts will be on-hand for interviews and pre-launch chats. The tour concludes with a full launch of the Soyuz as it heads to the International Space Station. Prices start at $14,295 USD.


Graduate Space Camp (Alabama)

If you never fully shed your childhood dreams of becoming an astronaut, there’s still time to train like one. Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama isn’t just for kids (although there’s plenty of them there too). The adult version of the one-of-a-kind camp, known as Adult Space Academy, allows attendees to launch test rockets and be a part of an extended-duration space mission simulation. Adults, in particular, can also try out the Multi-Axis Trainer (a purpose-built device that simulates some of the craziest maneuvers of space travel), a chair that simulates the moon’s gravity, and the Underwater Astronaut Trainer (a massive pool designed to simulate living and working in a weightless environment). Prices start at $549 USD per person (for a three-day course).

Visit a Dark Sky Preserve (Worldwide)

If you love stars, stargazing, and planet-watching, there’s no better place to visit than a dark sky preserve. Most urban areas — including large swaths of the eastern and western coasts of the United States — are so densely populated that those who live in these regions have never truly seen the night sky. Designated dark sky preserves were designed to provide the best, most unobstructed viewing opportunities for stargazing, to see the sky as our ancestors did. Cherry Springs State Park (Pennsylvania), Death Valley (California), and Goldendale Observatory Park (Washington state) — all of which we’ve covered before — are among the best dark sky preserves in the country. To find the one nearest you, check out the International Dark-Sky Association. Many parks offer dedicated astronomy talks from local experts, as well as guided “tours” of the night sky. Visits are free in many cases, not including the cost of travel.


A Simple Swedish Cabin Gets a New Addition and a Japanese Twist

The two styles have more in common than you think and Archipelago Sommarhus is proof.

21 Best Travel Books to Inspire Your Next Adventure

Get out of town ... or just go to the library. Travel books simulate the sensations of sailing, sightseeing, and setting out to explore.

The Best Cooking Gear for Car Camping and Backpacking

We’ve rounded up the best camping utensils and appliances to help you make the perfect meal right beside the truck or 20 miles from it.
Food & Drink

White Russian Wheat Ale Is the First of a New Line of Crafted Malt Beverages

This malted beverage from Saint Louis Craft Cocktails has flavors of sweet toffee and coffee. You can abide by that, can’t you?
Food & Drink

Heading to Hawaii? Make Your Reservations at Manta Restaurant to Eat Big Island Beef

How can cattle raised in Hawaii stand-up to beef carefully coddled for years in Japan, Australia, and the mainland U.S.? Pretty damn easily, that's how.

Detroit’s Shinola Hotel Has Us Feeling Right At Home

With stylish guest suites and a social “living room,” the Shinola Hotel honors the Motor City’s past while looking to a bright future.

‘App in the Air’ Could Help Travelers Survive the Next Government Shutdown

It's like an airport survival kit in your pocket. It will be handy long after the government shutdown ends (again).

The Best Travel and Adventure Documentaries on Netflix Right Now

If you're reading this, you're staring at a screen. Wouldn't you rather be exploring a different part of the world than the Internet?

4 of the Most Dangerous Hikes in the World

You'll need a healthy dose of fear and a desire to push your self to the edge — just not over it.

The Palms Casino’s Newest High-Roller Suites Have a Bowling Alley and Whiskey Room

The Hardwood Suite is a basketball-centric masterpiece, while the Kingpin suite is a bowling bro's paradise.

Celebrate Your Single-ness This Valentine’s Day with a Cheap Vacation

Contiki is looking to make solo celebrations even better with deeply discounted travel packages for Singles Awareness Day.

Win a Private Island Getaway for You and 7 of Your Closest Friends

Bring the entire squad on an ultra-luxe Belizean getaway worthy of a one-percenter.

10 Reasons to Visit Norway in 2019

The picturesque ruggedness of Norway is just part of the appeal of what may arguably be one of the most beautiful countries on the planet.

The Jamaican Villa Where Ian Fleming Created James Bond is for Rent and It Is Amazing

You can vacation at the birthplace of secret agent 007, complete with butlers to make your martinis.