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McDonald Observatory

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Address: 3640 Dark Sky Drive, Fort Davis, TX 79734-1337
Phone Number: +1 432-426-3640
Website
Today
10:00 am - 5:30 pm
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 5:30 pm
Activities: Dining, Shopping
Description: University of Texas' observatory on Mount Locke.

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 478 reviews
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  • 358
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    Very good
  • 20
    Average
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  • 7
    Terrible
Good

Unfortunately we went to the observatory on one of the worst nights, weatherwise. Fortunately, the observatory had a backup program for us and it was very interesting and... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed March 29, 2015
Rick F
,
Friendswood, Texas
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478 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Friendswood, Texas
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
36 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2015 NEW

Unfortunately we went to the observatory on one of the worst nights, weatherwise. Fortunately, the observatory had a backup program for us and it was very interesting and informative. If anything, it made us want to come back on a clear night.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Abilene, Texas
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2015 NEW

If you want to revisit what you learned about the stars from sixth grade general science...this is the place. The Observatory is located high in the Davis Mountains away from all sources of ambient light. We attending the Star Party which starts at 8:30 PM. We had time to look at the exhibits that provides a good start for the... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
San Antonio, Tx
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
14 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2015

I had been wanting to visit here for a long time. Due to the high volume of people and the cold weather, we were just ready to go home by the time the star party started. There's no point in paying for and seeing the twilight show. The important points are explained all over again at the star party. It... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
310 reviews 310 reviews
90 attraction reviews
232 helpful votes 232 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2015

It doesn't matter if you're into astronomy or not. If you take this tour (very reasonably priced at $6 per adult) you'll be hooked by the time you get back down to the visitors center. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable (she is an astronomer, in fact), but she did not smother us with information, letting the huge telescope speak for... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2015

My dad is an amateur astronomer and astro photographer. We have been coming here for years but it's still fun and informative each time. I recommend paying the $5 for the bus tour. There is a small museum inside the main building and it is also very informative and kid friendly. I highly recommend the observatory if you find learning... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2015

We went on the recommendation of an employee at Big Bend Adventures & Resorts... so glad we did not miss the chance to use the different telescopes and get assistance in identifying. Hot cocoa, clear skies, and staff who clearly love their work.

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Fort Worth, Texas
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
21 attraction reviews
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2015

I bought the Launch Team Family membership, which got all 5 of us (3 adults and 2 kids) into any of the activities we wanted to do at the observatory. It turned out that if we paid for the guided tour, the solar viewing, the twilight party, and the star party separately, we would have spent about the same amount... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Port Colborne, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

The McDonald observatory offers star parties, tours, observing, visitor centre, etc. We participated in a tour of the entire observatory. The highlight was "steering" the 107 inch telescope in one of the domes.

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Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
47 attraction reviews
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

Be prepared for everything. The unpredictable weather, the coldness, the crowd. We went for the star party. It started out ok, but the clouds start getting in the way and it was a windy freezing cold night. The constellation overview need to be shortened & replaced with an interesting talk. The telescope viewing is good, giving you the opportunity to... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Cedar Hill, Texas
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2015

Who knew there where so many stars. Very educational and wonderful to see. Small café to eat at. Take a light weight jacket as it gets cool at night

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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Questions & Answers

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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?