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McDonald Observatory

Fort Davis, TX 79734-1337
432-426-3640
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Ranked #1 of 6 attractions in Fort Davis
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Observatories/ Planetariums
Activities: Dining, Shopping
Traveler Description: This is a must-see if you are in the area!  Spectacular views from all levels.  The Star Party is both informative and awesome - checking out the... more »
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383 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Southlake, Texas
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
18 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014 NEW

Read the reviews and you won't be surprised. Great experience for the kids. A bit crowded, but we expected that. They kept the lines mostly going. I'd recommend doing the short lines first -- the crowd thinned out at about 11:30. First line to see Saturn took 20 min, second time around (later on) about 3 mins. Plenty of shorter... More

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014 NEW

Young and old alike were in awe! Everyone was blown away by the view. The laser tour is something you have to see

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Fort Worth, Texas
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014 NEW

The Star Party is a must do! Really enjoyed the telescopes and views! Took along a bit of cheese, crackers and some salami and made a real evening under the stars! The ride up was also very scenic!

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addison, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

This is a fabulous place because you can see so many stars! Plus, you get to see the huge telescope. It's massive.

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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

My first trip to the McDonald observatory was supposed to be a short time killer as I had very little interest in astronomy as an adult. However I spent the entire day and late into the night there. Somewhere along way attending lectures, tours, and the Star Party I found the joy I experienced as kid in the backyard with... More

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Tulsa, Oklahoma
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
13 attraction reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

We spent a day here with our son & two grandkids - one 9 and one 12-year-old. It was a GREAT experience - yes, very educational and fun!!! The kids were interested and my wife & I LOVED it!! You can do the three tours in one day, which we did, but next time we want to spend more time... More

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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
30 attraction reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2014

This observatory operated by the University of Texas is well worth a trip. They have a number of large telescopes, as well as several smaller ones. There are star parties and educational lectures for visitors. Also tours of some of the telescopes. For anyone interested in astronomy this is a great attraction. Nearby Fort Davis is also worth a trip.... More

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Alpine, Texas
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
6 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

We took our 10 year old granddaughter to the Observatory for both a Twilight and a Star Party. The Twilight Party was indoors and was very educational. The Star Party was a big hit. They pointed out the visible planets and stars, then showed us how to find many of the constellations. The night sky is amazing...everything is seen so... More

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Ladson
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2014

But - the day tour was interesting. Be prepared to do a good bit of standing. The staff is knowledgeable, professional, friendly ... a very informative tour. The movie was well done, and the facility on the whole was well presented. You will learn a lot!

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San Antonio
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

We did a Star Party, a solar viewing with tour and a Special Viewing Night program. The Star Party was a solid 4 stars. It started with a very basic astronomy and constellation lesson. then we moved to the viewing area. Numerous telescopes were staged, with each pointing at a different celestial object. An astronomer was posted at the stations... More

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