- City Guides
The Steampunk Explorer is an online magazine and resource directory for steampunk enthusiasts and creators. You'll find stories about people, places and events in the steampunk world, as well as guides to retail outlets, museums, galleries, eateries, and other attractions in 37 North American regions, with more to come. We also have several pages of resources for artists, writers, and people with an interest in 19th century history. The site launched in March 2018 and is currently in public beta (meaning "please excuse our dust").
If you're not familiar with steampunk, this Wikipedia article provides some basic information with links to additional resources.
You can find additional information about the site in this introductory article.
The City Guides currently include more than 5000 listings in 12 categories. Few are actually steampunk-themed locations. Instead, these are places likely to be of interest to steampunks, or places where steampunk creators can draw inspiration.
The Arts & Crafts sections include local art museums and galleries, along with places that offer 3D printing and other fabrication services.
In Books & Comics, you'll find information about retailers of books, comics, games, and related items.
In the Emporia sections, you'll find listings of antique malls, flea markets, thrift stores, costume shops, and purveyors of architectural salvage.
Events includes steampunk conventions, science-fiction/fantasy conventions, comic cons, Renaissance Faires, literary festivals, art festivals, antique shows and other happenings. You can browse events by region or metro area.
Food & Drink includes information about tea houses and steampunk-themed restaurants.
Ghosts & Mysteries includes local ghost tours and places that are alleged to be haunted.
Higher Education has information about colleges and universities. The listings include information about academic libraries, which often provide extensive resources for historical research.
The History sections include museums, historic houses and other sites that focus on life in the 19th century and other past eras.
Local Guides are listings of regional entertainment, travel and paranormal guides.
The Science & Technology sections include railroad, aviation, medical and science museums. You'll also find zoos and aquariums as well as history museums with significant exhibits on industry and technology.
In Societies, you'll find information about local organizations, including steampunk, science-fiction and Burning Man groups.
Finally, Steamiest Places is a "best of" section highlighting places likely to be of greatest interest to steampunks. In the other sections, the "steamiest" places are identified by a gear icon (). The Steamiest Places section compiles all of those attractions in a single location.
Although this site is aimed primarily at steampunks, anyone with an interest in science-fiction, fantasy, alternate history or maker culture is likely to find useful information here. At least that's our hope.
Tips for Using this Site
We've made every effort to ensure the accuracy of information here, but before traveling to any attraction, it's always a good idea to check the website to ensure that the place is open and that the address is correct.
Keep in mind that many locations are open seasonally or only on certain days of the week.
Many of these listings include links to Yelp and/or TripAdvisor reviews, and we advise that you read the reviews before visiting an attraction, especially if an admission fee is charged.
Inclusion of a listing (especially the for-profit establishments) does not constitute an endorsement. We've personally visited only a small percentage of these places. Due diligence is always warranted.
About the Creator
This site is produced by Stephen Beale, a writer and editor who resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. I've been a science-fiction fan since adolescence, and a steampunk fan (without knowing it) since "The Wild Wild West" began airing in the 1960s. In my long professional life as a journalist, I've helped to launch several publications for my employers, and this is my opportunity to launch one of my own. Learn more from my personal website and my LinkedIn profile.