Travel to outer space is in. A recent poll by TripAdvisor showed, not surprisingly, that nealy half the U.S. population is interested in space themed attractions, if not space travel someday, and try to include space themed attractions in their travel plans.
To that end, 10 space-themed attractions in the U.S. were tabbed as the ones to visit if sky it the limit. A space tourism survey of more than 2,200 U.S. respondents was executed as the 45th anniversary of the July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing approaches, The allure of extraterrestrial travel lives on as 49 percent of respondents said they are interested in space tourism. Seventy percent said that historical events such as the 1969 moon landing spurred their interest in going to space.
Virgin Galactic Appeals to Star-Struck Travelers
Ninety-three percent of those interested in space tourism said they would entertain the idea of flying on Virgin Galactic if the price were right. Of the group, 46 percent would not be willing to pay more than $5,000 for a seat while 28 percent would pay $5,000-$10,000 for a seat on the spaceflight. Less than one percent – that is, those in the “one percent” — would pay the current $250,000 price per seat to fly to space.
Top 10 Space-Themed Attractions in the U.S.:
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, Virginia
Located 25 miles west of Washington, D.C., this museum features two hangars that display thousands of aviation and space artifacts including the retired Discovery space shuttle. Travelers can view a film at the Airbus IMAX Theater, visit the observation tower, or take an educational tour of the facility.
Pima Air & Space Museum, Tucson, Arizona
Known as one of the world’s largest aerospace museums, this desert attraction features more than 300 aircrafts, a space gallery, Aviation Hall of Fame, and hosts “Soarin’ Saturdays” where children can build model airplanes, experiment with rockets, and more.
Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, McMinnville, Oregon
Located 40 miles southwest of Portland, the Space Flight exhibit takes travelers on a journey through the history of extraterrestrial exploration, giving them an up-close look at boosters, space crafts, rockets, and beyond.
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.
Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, California
Perched 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.