In the mood for something a little unusual? Check out these locales. 

These nerdy places are perfect for a quick local day trip or to add to planned comic-con in the neighborhood. Some are science nerdy, some are nostalgic (The Batcave), some are fandom (Wizarding World of Harry Potter), and some are just great places to hang with like minded nerdy folks (Meltdown Comics and Collectibles). As with everything on waywardnerd.com, we have personally visited these places. We are always on the hunt for more nerdy places. 

CALIFORNIA

Bronson Canyon (Griffith Park)

Attraction/Film Location

3200 Canyon Drive

Los Angeles, CA 90068

323-913-4688

www.laparks.org/griffithpark

The location of the batcave from the classic 1960s “Batman” TV series. Open to the public. The cave is a short walk from the parking area.

There are actual bats in the batcave!

For related information see To the Batcave!

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Earth-2 Comics

Comic Shop

8967 Reseda Boulevard

Northridge, CA 91324

818-993-7804

www.earth-2comics.com

A small comic shop packed full of new and back issues, as well as collectibles and toys.

Co-owned by Geoff Johns, DC Entertainment, Chief Creative Officer

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Good Times At Davey Waynes

Restaurant/Bar

1611 N. El Centro Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90028

323-962-3804

www.goodtimesatdaveywaynes.com

A 1970s themed lounge in Hollywood. The large “Good Times” neon sign directs you to the location but to get inside you must walk thru a refrigerator door. Once inside the first room is a living room ala Brady Brunch with large sofas, the bar is in the back room and the food out on the patio served from a tear drop RV. 

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Universal Studios Hollywood

Attraction

100 Universal City Plaza

Universal City, CA 91608

1-800-864-8377

www.universalstudioshollywood.com

The newest attraction to this theme park is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter including Hogwarts and Hogsmeade. Don’t miss dining in the Three Broomsticks Tavern and have a Butterbeer in Hog’s Head Pub while in Hogsmeade.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride incorporates 3D glasses. It is still worth walking through Hogwarts Castle even if you are not planning to ride the ride. Ask for a Castle Walk Pass.

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Ye Olde King’s Head Pub Restaurant & Gift Shoppe

Restaurant/Bar/Shopping

116 Santa Monica Boulevard

Santa Monica, CA 90401

310-451-1402

www.yeoldekingshead.com

This English pub will satisfy all your Doctor Who and Sherlock cravings. In addition to the standard pub fare, they also serve afternoon tea. The shop stocks British favorites including the eleventh Doctor’s obsession: Jammie Dodgers.

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California Science Center/Samuel Oschin Pavilion Space Shuttle Endeavour

Museum/Space

700 Exposition Park Drive

Los Angeles, CA 90037

323-724-3623

californiasciencecenter.org

The center includes interactive science galleries, IMAX theater, and air and space exhibits, most notably the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Part of historic Exposition Park which also includes the Natural History Museum, California African American Museum, and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. There is a large gift shop and dining facilities with picnic tables outside facing the Rose Garden.

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The Exploratorium

Museum

Pier 15 (Embarcadero @ Green St.)

San Francisco, CA 94111

415-528-4444

exploratorium.edu

An interactive museum exploring the world around us in all aspects of science, even art. Along with galleries and exhibits there’s a cinema screen and tactile dome. Built on a pier, the museum also interacts with the world around them with outdoor exhibits, observatory terrace and the restaurant with views of the bay.

Pi Day was founded by the museum in 1988, and has been an annual event ever since.

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Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

Space

California Institute of Technology

4800 Oak Grove Drive

Pasadena, CA 91109

818-354-4321

jpl.nasa.gov

A national research facility funded by NASA, most famous for building and operating the Mars Rovers. While it’s an operating facility with secure grounds, they do offer public tours. The guided tours include visitor center, museum, Space Flight Operations, and spacecraft assembly facility. Reservations are required and booked 6 months in advance.

During the tour, you’ll be able to view data transmitted by Voyageur I in real time.

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Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park

Film Location/Natural Wonder

10700 West Escondido Canyon Road

Aqua Dulce, CA 91350

661-268-0840

www.Parks.lacounty.gov

Awe-inspiring natural rock formations featured as a filming location for several TV shows and movies. Most iconic is the classic Star Trek episode “Arena” where Captain Kirk fought the Gorn.

Excellent photo op re-creation potential.

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Death Valley National Park

Film Location/Natural Wonders

328 Greenland Boulevard

Death Valley, CA 92328

760-786-3200

www.nps.gov/deva

A national park of immense quiet beauty. It is also the filming location for some of the Tatooine scenes in Star Wars. Most notable the Mos Eisley Valley (Dantes View) overlook scene with Obi-Wan warning Luke about the “hive of scum and villainy.”

Make your own video of Mos Eisley overlook reciting the Obi-Wan quote “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious. ”

For related information see Wayward Adventure page

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Griffith Observatory/Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon

Space/Museum

2800 East Observatory Road

Los Angeles, CA 90027

213-473-0890

www.GriffithObservatory.org

An observatory with the purpose of astronomy being accessible to the public. Numerous opportunities with telescopes (both solar and optical), exhibits, and a planetarium are offered. In the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater plays a documentary on the observatory narrated by Leonard Nimoy.

Check the website for dates/times when the International Space Station crossing overhead is visible in the evening sky.

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The Last Bookstore

Bookstore

453 S Spring St

Los Angeles, CA 90013

(enter on 5th Street)

www.lastbookstorela.com

​An independent bookstore currently in 22,000 sq ft of space. As much of a sight-seeing adventure as a shopping experience. Carrying used and new books, comics and vinyl. 

For related information see Books, Books, Everywhere Books

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Warner Bros VIP Studio Tour

Attraction

3400 W. Riverside Drive

Burbank, CA 91505

877-492-8687

http://vipstudiotour.warnerbros.com

Guided tour of filming lots from past and current projects including Central Perk from the TV show “Friends.” Live tapings of current shows also occur here, ticketed separately.

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FLORIDA

Disney Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World

Attraction

351 S. Studio Drive

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

407-939-5277

www.disneyworld.disney.go.com/destinations/hollywood-studios

The home of Star Wars’ Star Tours – The Adventures Continue 3D motion ride and Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular show among others. There is a Jedi Training Academy for younglings, and build your own lightsaber and droids for fans of all ages.

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater restaurant is a great choice for lunch. Tables are shaped as convertible cars from the 50s and the movie screen shows clips from the black and white era of sci-fi creature features.

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John F Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Space/Attraction

State Road 405

Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899

866-737-5235

www.kennedyspacecenter.com

At the Visitor Complex you can see the space shuttle Atlantis, have lunch with an astronaut, view launches, embark on facility bus tours, and more.

Plan your trip ahead, some of the tours and events overlap.

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Universal Orlando Resort

Attraction

6000 Universal Boulevard

Orlando, FL 32819

407-363-8000

www.universalorlando.com

Two theme parks and CityWalk dining/nightlife area (no admission required for CityWalk). Main attraction is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter with Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, King's Cross Station, and Diagon Alley connected by the Hogwarts Express train. To experience the whole Wizarding World you need to purchase the park-to-park pass.

Plan for two days. There is an enormous amount to do even if you do not plan to ride the rides. Don’t miss dining in the Three Broomsticks Tavern and have a Butterbeer in the Hog’s Head Pub while in Hogsmeade and the Leaky Cauldron while in Diagon Alley.

For related information see Wizarding World of Harry Potter Gallery.

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GREAT BRITAIN

King’s Cross Station - Platform 9 3/4

Harry Potter/ Filming Location

At King’s Cross Station, Harry Potter ran through the brick wall between platforms 9 and 10 to catch the Hogwarts Express. On the station’s concourse is a photo op for Platform 9¾, located just outside the Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4.

Make time for the shop; it’s full of exclusive, unique Harry Potter items.

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Glencoe Scotland

Harry Potter/ Filming Location/ Natural Wonder

Glencoe
Argyll, Scotland PH49 4HX

https://www.glencoescotland.com

A scenic and historic Highland glen that served as a filming location and backdrop for several scenes in the Harry Potter movie series. Many other films, including The Highlander and Monty Python – The Holy Grail, used the glen’s sheer scale and grandeur for filming locations.

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The Real Mary King’s Close

Harry Potter

High Street, 2 Warriston’s Close

Edinburgh EH1 1PG

https://www.realmarykingsclose.com/

Beneath Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile is a section of the old medieval city covered over centuries ago. It’s now open to the public for tours as the Real Mary King’s Close with costumed guides adding a dramatic flair. The labyrinthian close has been featured in a number of television shows associated with hauntings and ghosts.

Though not officially confirmed, Harry Potter fans will notice a similarity between the close and the sinister Knockturn Alley.

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Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Harry Potter/ Filming Location

Studio Tour Drive

Leavesden WD25 7LR

https://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk

The Leavesden soundstages were home to all eight Harry Potter films. The studio tours feature soundstages and backlots filled with original, film-used sets, props, costumes and exhibits from the special effects and art departments. Included in the tour is the exquisite filming model of Hogwarts Castle.

Advanced tickets are required.

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Greyfriars Kirkyard

Harry Potter

26A Candlemaker Row

Edinburgh EH1 2QE

https://greyfriarskirk.com/

The Greyfriars storied kirkyard may have provided character-name inspiration for JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books. Studious Potter fans can find grave markers for a “Thomas Riddell Esq.” and the poet William McGonagall (a map of the kirkyard is available in the gift shop). Steeped in history , the kirkyard is on the grounds of the seventeenth-century Greyfriars Kirk.

Visitors are welcome; however, Greyfriars Kirk is a working church with regular services. Please be respectful while visiting.

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Spoon Restaurant/Bistro

Harry Potter/Food/Drinks

6A Nicolson St

Edinburgh EH8 9DH

https://spoonedinburgh.co.uk/

Spoon, a quietly fashionable bistro, occupies the location of the former Nicolson’s, the café where JK Rowling wrote the bulk of what would become Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. A black plaque affixed to the building’s exterior is the only reference to the café’s Potterworld fame.

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The Elephant House

Harry Potter/ Filming Location

21 George IV Bridge

Edinburgh EH1 1EN

https://elephanthouse.biz/

This tea and coffee house is one of the most popular locations in Edinburgh for Harry Potter devotees to visit, as it was one of the writing places for author JK Rowling. Potter-related memorabilia and photographs adorn the walls, and the view from the backroom is of Edinburgh Castle, the inspiration for Hogwarts.

A relatively small establishment, so it’s best to come early in the day.

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The Jacobite Train Trip

Harry Potter/ Filming Location

Tom-na-Faire, Station Square

Fort William, Highland, PH33 6EN

https://westcoastrailways.co.uk

The Jacobite, a 1930s era steam engine, journeys through the Highlands of Scotland and across the Glenfinnan Viaduct — known as the “Harry Potter Bridge” due to the iconic footage from the films. While the viaduct is the actual filming location, the Jacobite is not the actual train used in the filming, though it does resemble the beloved Hogwarts Express.

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Victoria Street

Harry Potter/Postcard Worthy

Victoria Street, connecting the Grassmarket to George IV Bridge, is a narrow, shop-lined thoroughfare that has come to represent for many Harry Potter fans the inspiration for Diagon Alley, though Rowling’s herself has never made the connection explicitly. The tall stone buildings with the gentle slope and dramatic curve lends the area an otherworldly aura.

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HAWAI’I

Byodo-In Temple

Film Location

47-200 Kahekili Highway

Kaneohe, HI 96744

(808) 239-8811

http://www.byodo-in.com

The Byodo-In Temple, a non-practicing Buddhist temple, is a smaller-scale replica of the over 950-year-old Byodo-In Temple World Heritage Site in Uji, Japan. The lush grounds include koi ponds, meditation areas and waterfalls. A filming location for several TV shows including LOST.

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Police Beach

Film Location

Kamehameha Highway

Haleiwa, Hawaii 96712

Accessible from Haleiwa Beach Park or Papa’iloa Beach. Iconic filming location of the survivors’ beach camp and Sawyer’s tree from the TV show LOST.

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Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Natural Wonder

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI 96718

(808) 985-6000

https://www.nps.gov/havo/index.htm

**Check online for updates on which sections of the park are closed. Stunning views of the scenery, lava tubes, past lava flows, and Kilauea. There are observation areas for great photo ops. Nerds – welcome to Vulcan or Mustafar, while not a filming location for either, this National Park will evoke the feel of either of these fictional planets.

Please respect the Hawaiian culture and federal laws. From NPS.gov: “It is a federal offense to remove, destroy, alter, deface, dig or disturb anything from its natural state.” Let’s all keep Pele happy.

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Kualoa Ranch

Film Location

49-560 Kamehameha Highway

Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744

(808) 237-7321

www.kualoa.com

A private nature reserve and working farm, as well as an active TV and movie filming location. Several guided tours are available. The Hollywood Movie Sites Tour includes areas with props still in place from movies like Jurassic Park.

Ask your tour guide to show you the area for Hurley’s joyride in the DHARMA van from the TV show LOST.

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YMCA Camp Erdman

Film Location

69-385 Farrington Highway

Waialua, Hawaii

(808) 637-4615

https://www.ymcahonolulu.org/camp-erdman/

This operating camp, was the filming location of Dharmaville – the Others Camp from the TV show LOST. As of this writing, some of the Dharma Initiative signage remains. Check-in at the office first before proceeding to the village.

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