Want to get out of New York? Here are my favorite spots to nerd out in the tri-state area.

The Edison Museum

What can I add when TMBG has it covered? Although you’ll be lucky if it’s as quiet as they lead you to believe. You can even walk there from NJ Transit, if you’re not afraid of getting run over by a car.

Cradle of Aviation Museum & American Airpower Museum

Long Island has dueling aviation museums. The Cradle of Aviation Museum is bigger and lets you climb into cockpits and go wild, but I’ve always had a soft-spot for small museums. It’s worth making a weekend of it and checking out all the planes.

City Island Nautical Museum

Okay, City Island is technically in the Bronx, but let’s be honest about how it’s really not part of New York City. There’s a slightly hodge-podge collection, lots of ship models, and staff that will happily chat you up. The fact that it’s housed in an old school adds to the charm.

The Long Island Maritime Museum

More boats! Blind sailor tour guides named Mr. T! What else could you possibly want? Way more fun than a day in Montauk.

Old Barracks Museum

Perhaps I am partial to a museum that explains how my family ended up in the US, but I’m not the only one who found it unexpectedly interesting. Tour some really old buildings that have been a museum since 1914 and enjoy having people from Trenton explain why their little city is kind of a big deal.

Sterling Hill Mining Museum

New Jersey is, I kid you not, famous for its rocks. Sterling Hill gives you tours of the oldest mine in the US. They even get all 90s with a florescent rock room. Make sure to find out when the tours are running before you trek out there.

InfoAge Science/History Center

I would be disowned if I didn’t include InfoAge on this list. They have a radio museum, a shipwreck museum, military vehicles from WWII, and vintage video games. They also have a really big satellite dish that bounces signals off the moon. The biggest thing they’re known for is their over-the-top haunted house, so don’t be alarmed if you veer off the tour and find a bloody clown mannequin. Not that that’s ever happened to me. Okay, it’s totally happened to me.

nerdy new york city day trips

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