Ben-Gurion envisioned a place of learning in the desert. Sde Boker College, which specializes in environmental studies, became part of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, whose main campus is in Beersheva. For the traveler, the college, just 2 miles south of Sde Boker proper, is primarily a place to eat and possibly spend the night. The commercial center in the middle of the campus has several restaurants including a new cheese-and-sandwich shop, a supermarket open until
8 pm, a post office, an outdoor-adventure company, and the field school (among the largest in Israel) of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel. The new neighborhoods cropping up just outside the commercial center, Neve Boker and Neve Ziv, are worth a drive-by; modern desert architecture embellished with multihued paint jobs and smart landscaping add up to some spiffy residences.
National Solar Energy Center. Although there isn't a great deal to see, the National Education Facility, where a research program investigates new ideas for harnessing solar energy and alternative energy technologies, offers one-hour guided tours. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sde Boker Campus, 84990. 08/659–6934. cmsprod.bgu.ac.il/Eng/Units/bidr/Departments/EnvironmentalResearch/solarcenter.
Sde Boker College, Sde Boker, 84993, Israel