Here’s a taste of the state’s finest geek-chic destinations that are
sure to increase your nerd cred.
FLOATING WORLD COMICS
Not all comic stores are created equal. Portland’s Floating World
stands out for their innovative and art-conscious approach. The store
is meticulously curated and carries rare indie graphic novels, art
books, magazines, movie memorabilia and vinyl.
POWELL’S CITY OF BOOKS
If you can spend hours nerding out over books, you’re in luck.
With nearly 70,000 square feet of retail space, Powell’s is the
country’s largest independent bookstore. The store is organized
into colored rooms representing each genre, making the massive
book selection easy to explore and enjoy. Many people claim to
visit Portland just to see Powell’s, and if you’re a true book lover,
you should, too.
REED COLLEGE RESEARCH REACTOR
What geek wouldn’t want to see how a nuclear reactor works?
Exactly. Luckily, the Reed College Research Reactor in Portland
EVERGREEN AVIATION MUSEUM
offers tours and labs covering topics like reactor physics, the
operator training program and the science projects the university
is working on. Reed College is the only college in the world with
a nuclear reactor, which attracts over 1000 visitors each year. Next
time you’re in town, go check it out. Don’t worry, a nuclear melt-
down isn’t physically possible at a research reactor like this one.
The Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon (
forty-five minutes from Portland) is home to the Spruce Goose, Howard
Hughes’ “flying lumberyard.” Although it only took flight once, the
H- 4 Hercules has quite the cult following. The plane was set to be
disassembled after Hughes’ death in 1976, but was saved at the last
minute. The Evergreen Aviation museum also houses many vintage
World War II aircraft and showcases exhibits about space flight.
OREGON MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & INDUSTRY (OMSI)
One of the nation’s leading science museums, OMSI is 219,000 square
feet of brain-powered fun. Five enormous halls bring science to life
with hundreds of interactive exhibits and displays. You can experience
an earthquake, take part in live lab demonstrations, see a movie in The
Empirical, our 4 story giant screen theater, explore the universe in a
world-class planetarium and even tour a real submarine.
Originally published in Techlandia, A Guide to Oregon & SW Washington’s Tech Industry, published by Technology Industry of Oregon.
In case you didn’t know already, Portland has a thriving geek community.
There’s no shortage of barcades, gaming cafes, comic book stores and fun cultural events
throughout the region. And that’s not even counting the convention circuit.