Nuclear explosion sites
- The Trinity site in New Mexico is open two days a year
- Nevada Test Site
Aircraft and missiles on display
- The B-29 Enola Gay is on display at the Smithsonian's National Air & Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center at Washington-Dulles Airport*
- The B-29 Bockscar is on display at The National Museum of the US Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio*
- The Kansas Cosmosphere, Hutchinson, Kansas, has an outstanding collection of Cold War and Space Race artifacts from both the US and Soviet programs; they also have both a V-1 and a V-2 on display.*
- Strategic Air & Space Museum, Omaha, Nebraska
ICBM Silos and Nike Batteries
- Minuteman Missile NHS, outside Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota
- Titan Missile Museum, Tucson, Arizona
- Nike missile site SF-88, Golden Gate NRA, Marin County, California (update: I was there in August 2007 - see my post "If it flies, it dies.")*
- Chanute Air Museum, Rantoul, Illinois, has a nice collection of aircraft as well as a genuine USAF missile silo maintenance trainer.*
Other atomic tourist sites:
- Atomic Tourist
- This dude from Milwaukee has been to several of the above sites and has kindly posted his pictures and narrative: Trinity, Minuteman Missile NHS, and the Titan Missile Museum.
* denotes that I've been there and it's totally sweet.
Closing thought, from the journal of one of The Mighty Rando's lab-mates:
The U.S. government has a huge stockpile of nukes. Somewhere between 10,000 and 30,000, although no one--not even the government--knows for sure. Those beautiful engines of destruction were lovingly crafted out of pure taxpayer greenbacks, and by golly, they owe us. I say the government ought to be forced (either by popular vote, or because I damn well told 'em to) to set off one nuke every year at the Nevada test range, on the ground or in the air, just so dads all over the country can pile the family into the pickup or camper and drive out to the desert to see a little fireworks display, USA style. It would be good for all of us. To remind us that nukes exist, that they exist for a reason, and that we Americans are going to be their most important stewards forever. Because we built 'em first, we built the most, and they are not going to go away, no matter how much we might wish that they would. Hell, we ought to invite foreign dignitaries, too. I think that certain terrorist-coddling Middle Eastern heads of state could learn a lot from seeing a few square miles of desert instantly turned into glass.
Ask Doctor Vector: The Star-Spangled Incredible Hulk