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National Center for Atmospheric Research

1850 Table Mesa Dr, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80305
+1 303-497-1000
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Ranked #13 of 61 Attractions in Boulder
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Science Museums
Owner description: Free exhibits: new Weather Gallery conveys the power of blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning, wind and more. Explore the beauty of rainbows,... more » Owner description: Free exhibits: new Weather Gallery conveys the power of blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning, wind and more. Explore the beauty of rainbows, the power and complexity of the Sun, and the history of Earth's climate. Famous I.M. Pei-designed building. Wheelchair-accessible outdoor weather trail. Guided noon-time tours on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, except holidays. Guide-By-Cell tours any time, so bring your mobile phone. Open 363 days a year. Hours: M-F 8am to 5pm; Weekends & holidays 9am to 4pm See our website for organized group tours and NCAR's 2 annual closure dates. « less
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99 reviews from our community

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English first
Boulder, CO
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
10 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2014

Visiting NCAR is an easy, fun, (and free) way to spend an hour (or less if you're in a hurry). Hopefully you can spend some time hiking the many trails around the facility also. We visited the exhibits several times when our kids were from ~7-12 years old.

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Princeton, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2014

Strongly recommended (but I am biased.) Fascinating exhibits and explanations of the weather, the atmosphere and the influence of the sun on our planet. Some explanations are so new that they are still being developed. Multi-colored computer simulations (using high powered computers in the basement) give instructive realizations. Among the many new things I learned was the existence of "sprites"... More

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Laguna Niguel, California
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
33 attraction reviews
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2014

If you’ve arrived in Boulder via Highway 36 and seen the sand colored stone towers midway up the Flatirons, you’ve seen the National Center for Atmospheric Research, NCAR. When the CU Parent Weekend bus to visit was full, we learned that you can drive up and visit on your own—it’s only a few minutes away. The website provides driving directions,... More

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Horsham, PA
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2014

Our visit to NCAR was one of the highlights of Family Weekend at CU. The tour guide was knowledgeable about the architecture of the building, as well as the science carried out there. He presented the information in an engaging and lively manner. I can't wait to go hiking in the surrounding mesa.

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Liege
Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
20 attraction reviews
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2014

Very good exhibits about climate change. Interesting architecture. Beautifully located at the foot of the iron flats.

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Orlando, Florida
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
24 attraction reviews
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2014

The center is up on a very high elevation and the view is outstanding, The building has a most interesting architecture design and is very impressive. Try to see this during the week and make the free 12 noon 1 hour guided tour with one of the scientists- most educational! After the guided tour you are free to go back... More

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Boulder, Colorado
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
9 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2014

Great combination. A little science at NCAR and a choice of different levels and distances hikes. The view is a big plus.

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Austin, TX
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
11 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

We did a guided tour, but not sure that's really necessary. The exhibits are quite self-explanatory. The architecture of the building (looked futuristic enough in the 1970s that Woody Allen used it as a location in the movie "Sleeper") is one of the chief attractions. The accessible trail behind the building has a nice view of the Flatirons and overlooks... More

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Pensacola
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

First of all, I have to say that my kids were none too excited about our plans to visit NCAR. Their opinions quickly changed though after the picturesque ride to the facility and walking in the front door seeing the myriad of awesome interactive stations about various weather aspects. We went early--no crowds. Did the self-guided tour with the brochure... More

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Centennial, Colorado
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
11 attraction reviews
137 helpful votes 137 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2014

Visited last summer with my husband, college aged daughter and our 18 year old developmentally disabled son who was in a wheelchair. Handicap access is VERY confusing (it was a weekend, not great weather, and it was practically deserted). The extremely rude, bitter security type woman working the desk made incredibly nasty comments to us when we were fumbling our... More

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