We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Improve this listing
Sponsored by:
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: 373 W. Geneva St, Williams Bay, WI 53191
Phone Number: 262-245-5555
Website
Description: This 100-year-old observatory, which is owned by the University of...
This 100-year-old observatory, which is owned by the University of Chicago, five research telescopes, one of which is the largest refractor in the world. Free tours for the public are held on Saturdays throughout the year at 10:15 a.m.,11:15 a.m. and noon.
read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 53 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 37
    Excellent
  • 13
    Very good
  • 3
    Average
  • 0
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
A Fun and Educational Tour!

We took one of their tours and were very pleased with it. We got to see the telescope, learn some of the history of the place, and observe the architecture of the building. The... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed April 24, 2015
Kaitlyn Marie S
,
Friendship, Wisconsin
Add Photo Write a Review

53 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Friendship, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
14 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2015 NEW

We took one of their tours and were very pleased with it. We got to see the telescope, learn some of the history of the place, and observe the architecture of the building. The tour guides were VERY knowledgeable about all of those aspects that I listed, and we really liked our tour!

Was this review helpful? Yes
chicago, illinois
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2015

We took the Saturday morning tour of Yerkes Observatory and thoroughly enjoyed it. The tour is quite comprehensive and touches on all the right things - the history, the personalities involved in the conception and construction of the Observatory, the architecture and of course the workings of the telescopes themselves. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgable and informative and his... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Fontana, Wisconsin
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2015

This is a must for history buffs and anybody who appreciates great architecture. The tour guide was very knowledgable and interesting.

Was this review helpful? Yes
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2015

Take the free tour on Saturday morning and enjoy! We learned about the history behind the intriguing financing and building of the observatory and the evolution of the telescope lens. This one held the world record! The architecture is fascinating as well.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Williams Bay, Wisconsin
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2015

Very cool and interesting part of star observing history . FREE! Great for families ,couples, everyone. The grounds are a pleasant walking area and the exterior building is a fascinating game of I Spy

Was this review helpful? Yes
Williams Bay, Wisconsin
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2015

Visit the place that even Albert Einstein visited which features the largest refracting telescope and where Hollywood movies were once made, this local historic landmark offers tours and a chance to see what our universe is all about, this is an absolute famous tourist attraction and place to visit when in Williams Bay, its famous rotunda is featured in our... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Elkhorn, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
256 reviews 256 reviews
72 attraction reviews
106 helpful votes 106 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2015

If you have the opportunity to visit Yerkes, do it! The history alone is worth a visit. To be in the same areas that Einstein studied is amazing. The grounds are beautiful too!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
19 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2014

The staff at the observatory did an outstanding job with the history of the building and Yerkes himself. The architecture is beautifully done and while they did have some construction going on it did not subtract from the experience. Getting to go into the dome was beyond any expectation I may have had - its a shame the telescope is... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2014

Beautiful building with what i thought was a huge telescope, but with the tour guides help learned it is small compared to what is out there now. Very interesting tour, only 45 minutes about a subject i Know nothing about. worth seeing if you are in the Lake Geneva/Williams Bay area. Boy scout troop on our tour and it kept... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Nicollet, Minnesota, USA
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
17 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2014

We stumbled across the observatory on a frigid day, read the sign that they give tours, $25 a group whether your group is 1 or 5. Since we were cold, curious and standing at the door we said we wanted a tour. What a great place to explore. The guide knew his stuff. He was a bit technical but then... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes

Travelers who viewed Yerkes Observatory also viewed

 

Been to Yerkes Observatory? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Yerkes Observatory and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question
Shannon, Illinois
3 months ago

See all questions (1)

Questions? Get answers from Yerkes Observatory staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?