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Palomar Observatory

35899 Canfield Road, Palomar Mountain, CA 92060-0200
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Observatories/ Planetariums
Description: The observatory's telescope is capable of viewing up to 10 billion light-years away.
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43 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Dallas, Texas
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
62 attraction reviews
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

We were staying in nearby Julian and decided to drive to Palomar. There is a gift shop and museum there as well as several telescopes. The view is nice. Unless you are a telescope enthusiast, don't expect too much inside the observatory itself; in and out in less than ten minutes. Some of the videos in the museum are interesting.... More

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Baguio, Philippines
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2014

The closest i got to heaven! That giant tree was superbly wonderful! Bring jacket though cause it gets pretty chilly in the afternoon.

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Issaquah, Washington
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2014

As an accomplished armchair astronomer, seeing the 200" reflector has long been on my bucket list. I was not disappointed! A reasonable drive (less than 90 minutes) from San Diego brought us to the beautiful site. The volunteers who led the tours were exceptional - knowledgeable, friendly and amusing. I would encourage anyone with any interest at all in astronomy... More

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Huntingdon, United Kingdom
20 reviews 20 reviews
13 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2014

We drove from Oceanside, and even before we got to Mount Palomar Observatory, the visit proved worthwhile, given the stunning scenery on the way. The observatory itself is very interesting, given the story behind its construction. It's quite a long drive, but well it. I would recommend it to anyone.

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St. George, Utah
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
39 attraction reviews
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2014

We were traveling from San Diego to Palm Springs and wanted to visit this along the way. We had checked the website so we were aware that there were no tours mid-week during the winter. Weather was great and there had been no snow so it was a beautiful winding drive up the mountain. Worth the trip itself. The observatory,... More

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Oceanside, California
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2014

Drove from Oceanside to Mount Palomar Observatory east on I-76. Excellent country drive and weather in January 2014. Amazing to read about the 3 Dimensional designs using paper and pencil and the exacting engineering, building, construction techniques, maintenance, and operations required prior to existence of computers. Funded by the Rockefeller Foundation to advance science and the cost to build the... More

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Roseville, California
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
21 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2014

On our first pass, driving from Borrego Springs over the mountains to Escondido, we arrived at the gate too late to enter. I'd forgotten to account for the variable closing time (Standard Time vs. Daylight Savings Time). Be sure you have that factored in. So I drove back up from La Jolla a couple of days later, and saw the... More

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Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
42 attraction reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2014

The drive to the observatory was windy and adventurous, as we were coming from LA. This has been one destination I have always wanted to visit - back in grade 5 or 6 I wrote a letter to this place, asking some questions about space, and an astronomer answered, explaining all my questions about stars and planets. Ever since that... More

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Alexandria, Virginia
4 reviews 4 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2014

We went on a Tuesday in January knowing no guided tour was available and arrived with only a couple cars in the parking lot. After spending a good amount of time in the visitor center we headed to the 200 inch Hale telescope. Shortly after walking the 70 steps to the telescope, a large group of firefighter 'hotshots' arrived and... More

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Tucson, Arizona
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
19 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2014

I have visited several other professional observatories (Kitt Peak, Large Binocular Telescope and Fort Davis) and this was the least impressive. Of course Mt. Palomar is the most dated, having opened in about 1949. Note that tours are only on weekends and only from mid-April until the last weekend in October. One can visit the visitor gallery on your own... More

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