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Palomar Observatory

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Address: 35899 Canfield Road, Palomar Mountain, CA 92060-0200
Phone Number: 760-742-2119
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Today
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Description: The observatory's telescope is capable of viewing up to 10 billion...
The observatory's telescope is capable of viewing up to 10 billion light-years away.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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  • 31
    Excellent
  • 22
    Very good
  • 6
    Average
  • 3
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
Great drive

We went to the Palomar observatory during the week and surprisingly there were quite a few visitors there. I would suggest visiting on the weekend when there are docents... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed August 3, 2015
Robert A
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62 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
27 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2015

We went to the Palomar observatory during the week and surprisingly there were quite a few visitors there. I would suggest visiting on the weekend when there are docents available. You do get to go in the observatory and see the inner workings, behind glass of course, but was really neat to be able to see. Great little exhibit by... More 

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Elkins, Arkansas
Level Contributor
21 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2015

I don't mean to minimize anyone's faith or belief system, but as someone who has been smitten with the astronomy bug since childhood, "spiritual" is the only way I can describe a visit to Palomar. If your heart doesn't skip a beat when you first see the giant Hale dome as your car makes a turn on the beautiful drive... More 

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San Diego, California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2015

This observatory is the first in the US built. A 200 inch telescope named in honor of it's builder, George Ellery Hale. A MUST SEE observatory rich in the history of space exploration. Its enormous size cannot be easily described. Very educational for both adults and children. There is a paved pathway for both walking and electric assist chairs. Special... More 

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New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Level Contributor
29 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2015

We had a wonderful guided tour - the docents were knowledgeable, good speakers, and witty. The Observatory is a beautiful piece of architecture all by itself, and the science aspects are wonderful as well.

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Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2015

We visited Palomar Observatory while on our way from Banning to San Diego. If you like twisty roads take the 243 out of Banning to Mountain Centre then get onto the 74 to Paradise valley then the 371 to Aquanga and finally onto the 79 south where you will pick up the signs for Palomar. We took the quick route... More 

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San Diego, California
Level Contributor
31 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2015

Beautiful old observatory with great history. A must stop for adults and kids to explore our earth and learn a lot!

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Auburn WA
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2015

Go on a weekend, get there early (10 am) and get tickets for the guided tour. The telescope is awe-inspiring. Kids really shouldn't miss it.

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Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2015

We started our drive from San Diego with Cloudy skies. As we started climbing the mountain, the roads got more winding and the mist was so dense that we were contemplating turning back. But as soon as we reached between 4500 to 5000 ft, the mist cleared and the clouds were below us. We were greeted with bright sunshine as... More 

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Carriere, Mississippi
Level Contributor
120 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2015

The Observatory is atop Palomar Mountain a winding drive . I believe a guided tour might be in order as it might be alittle hard to comprehend the work and scope of what is being studied here without a docent, The visitors center and gift shop are open year round the location and grounds were attractive but far from most... More 

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Ghent, Belgium
Level Contributor
506 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 329 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2015

Many of our younger fiends do not know mount Palomar nor its observatory. When we were in primary school, we learned that the Palomar telescope was the largest in the world. It still is impressive. Beautiful location.

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?