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McDonald Observatory

Address: 3640 Dark Sky Drive, Fort Davis, TX 79734-1337
Phone Number: +1 432-426-3640
Website
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92%
Ranked #1 of 6 Attractions in Fort Davis
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Observatories/ Planetariums, Landmarks
Activities: Dining, Shopping
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: University of Texas' observatory on Mount Locke.
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429 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Georgetown, Texas
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2014 NEW

Even our children enjoyed it. They have different telescopes, and things to see even if not clear weather. Can be cold outside in winter. But people really do come from around the world to see this.

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San Antonio, Texas
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2014 NEW

The McDonald observatory is in the middle of the Davis Mountains in West Texas. The observatory boasts that it is located in the "darkest" place in the United States. The nearest large town to provide "light pollution" is the El Paso/Ciudad Juarez area, 180 miles away. Subsequently their "Star Parties" are AWSOME! I have often been out to the country... More

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Opelika AL
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
24 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2014 NEW

You will NEVER have as educational and thrilling experience as the observatory. Frank did the best job of describing the stars and the the treat of 6 telescopes of various sizes. Oh my....so perfect. I learned SO much and my husband and I were completely satisfied with this great experience. Wear WARM clothes. Make sure and go to the gift... More

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Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2014

McDonald Observatory offers great tours at 11 am and 2 pm daily. Our leader was expert in all matters astronomical. Tour lasted 2 hours plus and was very inexpensive. Got to operate one of the huge telescopes, viewed live images of the sun and got a thorough and fascinating freshman orientation in the stars and the planets. Visitor Center was... More

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Pearland, Texas, United States
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2014

Great night! We're not avid astronomers, but we loved the star party. A big thank you to all the volunteers who manned the 12 telescopes and helped novices like ourselves navigate the night sky.

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San Antonio, Texas
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
25 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2014

The nighttime star party is great. On the night of our visit it was clear and dark so the stars were bright and easy to see. The guide did a great job of narrating our tour. He answered all questions that were asked and after the main show we all were allowed to view some of the stars through about... More

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Edmond, Oklahoma
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2014

The observatory has a day tour and an evening star party. During the day you get a tour of the observatory by one of the staff and if lucky get to move the 8 ton telescope. Very knowledgeable and interesting. The star party has 7 telescopes et up allowing you to look at star clusters and Nebulae. Bring a pillow... More

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Granbury, Texas
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2014

Great tour of the Observatory. Guide was very knowledgeable. We will take the tour on our next visit. We will also do the nighttime tour next time.

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Fort Davis, Texas
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2014

Over the years I've visited the McDonald Observatory, no matter what time of year you visit...Bring a jacket if your going to be there after dark... This place is neat to visit, Great gift shop with a star, space, galaxy theme. Reasonably priced for a family visit. I recommend the guided tour of the 3 telescopes. This is something not... More

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McDonald_Obs, Manager at McDonald Observatory, responded to this review

While I would like to thank you for your positive review, if you've visited the Observatory many times over the years and have never paid for a Star Party, you sort of owe us quite a bit. Star Parties are most DEFINITELY NOT .. I repeat, NOT free! Current online reservation prices are $12 for adults, $10 for Military/Senior/UT, and... More

Austin, Texas
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2014

Great time at the star party. Went to the twilight program as well but if I went again I would just attend the star party. I would also recommend taking many layers, jacket hat gloves etc no matter what the weather forecast says. Also if attend the twilight party take all of your layers in at that time because it... More

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