Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Arizona, seems like something from an old sci-fi movie on a ridge at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains. As the outside architecture suggests, the walls contain the Phoenix Mars Lander that was on Mars in 2008. Que corny, high pitched sci-fi noises.
Weeki Wachee is home to the City of Live Mermaids in Florida. It’s sorta like a movie theater where they replaced the screen with a huge aquarium full of half fish, half human beauties. It’s not a high-tech experience, the “mermaids” swim-dance around with O2 tubes, seemingly taking the spectator back to the past. It’s not quite Disney, but at least you can take a kayak around some groves or see a few snakes and gators during a little nature walk tour (much cheaper than Orlanda, too).