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McDonald Observatory

3640 Dark Sky Drive, Fort Davis, TX 79734-1337
+1 432-426-3640
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Took the Tour!

This was so interesting. We took the 11:00 tour and our instructor was excellent. So informative... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Likeness
,
Dallas, Texas
Constellations

We booked the Solar two hour class for the 10 am. They have a 2 pm class also. We learned much... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Bobbie P
via mobile
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The McDonald Observatory Visitors Center staff appreciate all of the positive reviews (and even some of the negative ones, too!) that well-meaning and well-intentioned visitors have left over the years. However, we feel that TripAdvisor does not provide anywhere close to the level of management tools needed to combat the misinformation that routinely is provided by, again, well-intentioned visitors to others visiting its pages. With no way other than the "management response" feature to cull and corral the sometimes wildly misleading information posted on these pages, we feel that using TripAdvisor for anything beyond getting the general feel of the establishment is pointless.
  • Excellent77%
  • Very good17%
  • Average4%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“night sky” (109 reviews)
“solar viewing” (73 reviews)
“star parties” (82 reviews)
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 10:00 - 17:30
Suggested Duration: 2-3 hours
LOCATION
3640 Dark Sky Drive, Fort Davis, TX 79734-1337
CONTACT
Website
+1 432-426-3640

Similar Things to Do in Fort Davis

Write a ReviewReviews (1,027)
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1 - 10 of 1,017 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

This was so interesting. We took the 11:00 tour and our instructor was excellent. So informative. We actually got to move the giant telescope. Would love to come back and do a star party.More

Thank Likeness
McDonald_Obs, Public Affairs at McDonald Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded yesterday

Moving the 107" Harlan J Smith telescope is always a thrill, 160 tons of steel, electronics, and optics all gliding through space with the slightest nudge of a joystick! Certainly do come back for a Star Party and you'll get a spectacle of an entirely...More

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We booked the Solar two hour class for the 10 am. They have a 2 pm class also. We learned much about our Sun. A lot we did not know. Then we booked the 5:30 pm Twilight class and learned what Constellations we were to...More

Thank Bobbie P
McDonald_Obs, Public Affairs at McDonald Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thanks for visiting, it sounds like you had a great time and learned a lot too! Just to clear up a few things, the daytime Solar Viewing and Guided Tour run twice daily, at 11am and 2pm, the whole thing lasts about 2 and a...More

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We went to see the Marfa lights and went to the observatory because it was not too far away and we had time to kill. A beautiful place with many hills and mountains. We enjoyed the visitors center but was kind of hoping to use...More

Thank marklongrigg
McDonald_Obs, Public Affairs at McDonald Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Thanks for visiting! Indeed we're not too far from the Marfa lights viewing area, only about 45 miles. If you're interested in looking through telescopes to see celestial targets, that's definitely something we do at the Observatory. Research scientists are utilizing the big 'scopes up...More

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We made reservations and showed up at 645 pm the place was packed like sardines in a can, my calculations on fire code is 1 person per 60 sq. ft. indeed this is a retail space, would we be breaking the safety & fire code...More

Thank Marc D
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

It was sleeting heavily when we arrived and showed no signs of clearing or even slowing. As we checked in, we were afraid the Star Party we’d bought tickets for would be cancelled, and this was the only night we had available to be at...More

Thank Dmarkwind
McDonald_Obs, Public Affairs at McDonald Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

The weather doesn't always cooperate for us and the conditions up here in the mountains can be pretty extreme, but we'll always try to proceed with the scheduled events as long as the power stays on and the roads are open. Thanks for sticking it...More

Reviewed 4 weeks ago

An incredible outdoor evening in the Mountains of Southwest Texas...Guided tour of the constellations by laser, viewings thru numerous telescopes, good kitchen, plenty of parking... Incredible scope of God's handiwork on full display Best advice : book ahead and bring blankets in the winter and...More

Thank BentonHall
McDonald_Obs, Public Affairs at McDonald Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

We appreciate the positive feedback, and thanks for visiting again!

Reviewed 4 November 2017

Fascinating, great afternoon lecture with images of the sun and tour of telescopes. Well worth doing. Tour guide was great with young kids as well as adults.

Thank Slendertraveler
McDonald_Obs, Public Affairs at McDonald Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded 7 November 2017

Thanks for taking the time to review your experience at the McDonald Observatory. Take care!

Reviewed 2 November 2017

If you haven’t visited make your reservations NOW. Be sure to sign up for all of the events the day you’re there. Every time we go the program is a little different. The Daytime, Twilight, and Star Parties are all well worth attending. They also...More

Thank Daniel H
McDonald_Obs, Public Affairs at McDonald Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded 7 November 2017

Just as you suggest, I can't stress enough how important it is to make reservations in advance. Many of the programs, especially the Twilight Program and Star Parties, sell out weeks or even months in advance. Thank you for visiting and leaving such a great...More

Reviewed 28 October 2017

We did the Solar Viewing, Twilight, and Star Party tours. All were excellent and greatly added to the McDonald Experience. If you can get Kelly as your guide, you have won the tour guide lottery.

1  Thank Altamira01
McDonald_Obs, Public Affairs at McDonald Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded 31 October 2017

Thanks for enjoying all of the public programs, and Kelly certainly appreciates your kindness! Come back and see us sometime, perhaps for a Special Viewing Night on one of the research telescopes to complete the full-spectrum McDonald Experience!

Reviewed 26 October 2017

We went to the Green Bank Telescope last year and had so much fun we decided we wanted to visit as many more as we could. We are avid listeners to StarDate and recently heard on a podcast about the concern of decline of dark...More

Thank Simone T
McDonald_Obs, Public Affairs at McDonald Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded 31 October 2017

Sounds like ya'll had a great time! Planning your visit around a new moon is a smart move, that way you get the full benefit of some of the darkest skies in North America and see the most stars and deep space targets for the...More

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Questions & Answers
hellogoodbye_7
18 July 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Philip P | Reviewed this property |
Generally attending the Star Party the weather is in the 50's due to altitude. Should wear a jacket and long pants.
2
Votes
hellogoodbye_7
18 July 2017|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from McDonald_Obs | Property representative |
Summer nights at the Observatory can be mild-to-cool, so be prepared for anything! A typical evening will start in the 70's and drop down to the low 60's, but we certainly get colder temps too. I'd recommend the 'layered... More
1
Vote
cdunlap2017
18 May 2017|
AnswerShow all 10 answers
Response from TexasPuma | Reviewed this property |
If the weather forecast is clear I recommend the star party. I was last there in December and the star party was cancelled outside, but they offered different programs inside. I have been there in the summer and the star... More
1
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