Nerdiest Cities in America - and Where to Geek out When You're There

Posted Mar 4th 2011 03:00 PM

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nerdiest cities

Sarah Sitkin, Flickr

Match.com has released their Top 10 Nerdiest Cities list, profiling which American cities allow a geeky lifestyle to flourish. By compiling information from their database (as the world's largest dating service) Match.com was able to pinpoint which cities had "the largest clustering of members that listed having a specialized Master degree or Ph.D. and/or worked in scientific, math, computer programming fields."

Then Match.com "noted that the cities with the largest gathering of these types of members were in cities with a prominent and exclusive university or the home of a largely technological and science based workforce."

The results are in, and they definitely reflect a surplus of nerds looking' for love in Ivy League and tech-industry hubs – like Silicon Valley, Cambridge, Mass., and the D.C. suburbs of Maryland. Sunnyvale, Calif. takes the cake in the countdown as the number one nerdiest city in the U.S.

Of course, poindexters come in all shapes and sizes, and can study or work anywhere. But if you're a natural-born dork, or hoping to snag a brainiac date, it might make sense to make a trip to one of these locations soon. And just to make things even easier, we've lined up our favorite geektastic activity (whether it be a bar, museum or other point of interest) to help keep you busy during your visit.

Check out some recommendations for the geek in all of us, in each of Match.com's Top 10 Nerdiest Cities:

1. Sunnyvale, Calif.
Sunnyvale is located centrally in Silicon Valley, close to several aerospace and defense companies, and of course, some of the most famous tech and Web companies in the world, including Yahoo! and Palm.
Geek out: at the Intel Museum, a 10,000 square foot museum dedicated to the Intel brand and its impact on global technology. Or go shopping at the WeirdStuff warehouse in Sunnyvale, where you can dig through thousands of vintage electronics, hardware, software, books and other "doohickeys."

2. Cambridge, Mass.
Harvard University and MIT are both in Cambridge, making it a bastion of high-IQs and geekery.
nerd crossing

seangraham, Flickr

Geek out: at the local nerd bar, Miracle of Science, which was named Top Nerd Bar by Popular Science. The chalkboard wall menu mimics the periodic table (Qc is the chicken quesadilla), the condiments are kept in test tubes, and the tables are slate chemistry lab counters.

3. Somerville, Mass.
A close neighbor to Cambridge, Somerville is the home of Tufts University and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. It's also the birth place of science fiction and popular science authors Issac Asimov and Hal Clement.
Geek out: at Gargoyle's, where you can satisfy your inner-foodie (and goth) geek, with a meal and elaborate cocktails.

4. Berkeley, Calif.
Berkeley is a haven for West Coast brainiacs. The University of California, Berkley is the city's top employer, followed by The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where scientists conduct research for the US Department of Energy.
Geek out: at the Takara Sake Museum. It's the first of its kind in the U.S., and details of the sake-making process through a short video presentation, various exhibits of antique tools and artifacts, as well as tastings.

5. Santa Clara, Calif.
Right next door to Geektown Number One (Sunnyvale), Santa Clara is located in the center of Silicon Valley, and is home to the headquarters of Intel, Sun Microsystems, NVIDIA and many other high-tech companies.
Geek out: at the Tech Museum of Innovation or the Computer History Museum. Both are located in the area, and are sure to occupy a die-hard techie or nerd for hours.

6. Ann Arbor, Mich.
Ann Arbor has its geek goin' on too. It's home to the University of Michigan and Google AdWords HQ.
Geek out: by hanging out with the dinosaurs or watching a planetarium show at the Exhibit Museum of Natural History, at the University of Michigan.

7. Boulder, Colo.
Beyond the University of Colorado, Boulder's nerds work at companies including IBM, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
Geek out: at Time Warp Comics. It's a locally owned store that's been open since 1984, has been nominated for the Eisner Spirit of Comics Award and named Best Place To Buy Comics in Colorado by the Denver Post. Comic addicts will definitely drop some money in this shop.

8. Columbia, Md.
The Offices of the National Security Agency and the Applied Physics Laboratory can be found in this D.C. suburb, which was founded in the late 1960s as a planned community intended to embrace diversity and eliminate segregation.
Geek out: at Shadow Land Laser Adventures, where you can take laser tag to a whole new level with their "interactive adventure system," which allows your laser tag game to incorporate spells, special powers, and other geeky elements.

9. Fairfax, Va.
George Mason University is known for its accelerated economics and computer science programs, and it's located right in Fairfax. Other nerdy highlights of this town include the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society.
Geek out: at The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the companion branch to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Gun-toting geeks can visit the National Firearms Museum, if they're into that sort of thing. The Fairfax area also hosts plenty of historical reenactments of the Civil War, for history dorks.

10. Rockville, Md.
Rockville is positioned along Maryland's "I-270 Technology Corridor," where plenty of well-known pharmaceutical, government, biotechnology and software companies are based. Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland also operate campuses in Rockville.
Geek out: at the X3O Gaming Center, a state-of-the art gaming lounge. With high-end PCs and 50" HDTVs with linked game consoles, X3O currently services over 15,000 gamers and internet users in-store monthly, and over 45,000 online.
Filed Under: Weird, Best Of

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