Who wouldn’t want to step onboard a spaceship, touch a moon rock, or perform a rocket test flight? July 20 marks the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and, to commemorate the occasion, TripAdvisor released their top 10 space-themed destinations in the US. From shuttles to star maps, here are ten places where you can channel your inner astronaut.
The following text by TripAdvisor.
10. Sedona Star Gazing, Sedona, Arizona
Using some of the largest custom built telescopes, travelers visiting Sedona can marvel at the starry night sky. Tours are restricted to a maximum of 12 guests to ensure a personal experience that allows star gazers to ask questions and learn about the heavenly bodies above.
9. U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville, Alabama
Since 1970, this facility has showcased the past, present and future of human spaceflight. On display, travelers can view America’s first satellite, Explorer I, the Apollo 12 moon rock, and the Apollo 16 command module.
8. McDonald Observatory, Fort Davis, Texas
Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2014, the McDonald Observatory is one of the world’s leading centers for astronomical research. Guests are invited to attend the Twilight Program and Star Party where they will enjoy sky constellation tours and view celestial objects via telescope
7. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, New York City, New York
Seated on Pier 86 along the Hudson River, this museum allows travelers to immerse themselves in history by exploring 17 awe-inspiring exhibits that feature original artifacts, photographs, and films. Astronomy aficionados can also marvel at the Enterprise space shuttle, built for NASA to perform test flights.
6. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Cape Canaveral, Florida
Travelers visiting this Cape Canaveral complex can experience the excitement of the moon landing at the Apollo/Saturn V Center where they can touch a real moon rock and stand under the largest rocket ever made.
5. Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, California
Situated 1,134 feet above sea level on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood, this iconic observatory strives to inspire guests to ponder and understand the sky. Travelers can observe the cosmos through the Zeiss telescope and attend a star party where they’ll have the chance to mix and mingle with amateur astronomers
4. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C.
Featuring 21 exhibits, this attraction has nearly 60,000 objects ranging from Saturn V rockets and jetliners, to gliders, space helmets and microchips. Also on display is an extensive collection of aviation and space images – boasting more than 1.7 million photographs and 14,000 film and video titles.
3. Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, McMinnville, Oregon
With displays ranging from the Wright brothers to an actual Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird that can fly at speeds of over 2,000 miles per hour, this museum has something for everyone. While their centerpiece is the original Spruce Goose—a massive, wooden World War II airplane—they have a variety of exhibits and attractions.
2. Pima Air & Space Museum, Tucson, Arizona
Be amazed at one of the world’s largest aircraft collections, including 2+ hangars of World War II planes, supersonic spyplanes, the world’s smallest bi-plane, plus many other unique private, military and commercial air & spacecraft documenting the evolution of flight. The museum offer a variety of tours, an opportunity to examine a moon rock, and much more.
1. Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, Virginia
The companion facility to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center displays thousands of aviation and space artifacts. Guests can observe a variety of shuttles, including Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, a Concorde, and the space shuttle Discovery. There is also an IMAX theater and an observation tower. The museum offers daily tours as well as scheduled lectures and events.