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McDonald Observatory

Address: 3640 Dark Sky Drive, Fort Davis, TX 79734-1337
Phone Number: +1 432-426-3640
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92%
Ranked #1 of 6 Attractions in Fort Davis
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Observatories/ Planetariums, Museums
Activities: Dining, Shopping
Owner description: University of Texas' observatory on Mount Locke.
Attraction details
Type: Observatories/ Planetariums, Museums
Activities: Dining, Shopping
Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 5:30 pm
Owner description: University of Texas' observatory on Mount Locke.
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456 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
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English first
Evanston
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
42 attraction reviews
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2015

We went to the early evening lecture and stayed for the Star Party where we were able to view stars through a variety of telescopes. Suitable for familes and dress warmly if you are going at night.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
New York City, New York
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2015

very informative tour, right inside telescope tower, great views of the surrounding countryside and live-views of the sun through the telescope - they beam images into the auditorium

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austin, tx
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2015

We lucked out and got a veteran McD researcher for our tour guide. Very interesting to see/experience the telescopes; great views.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Rockport, Texas
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2015

If you love astronomy you will love the observatory and trek up the mountain is beautiful! The show is worth the money and tour is very interesting, you will learn more than you ever knew about the stars...try and do the night show on a CLEAR night and you will see forever into space.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Houston, Texas
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2015

Good price, knowledgeable tour guides and friendly staff, adorable but not too obnoxious gift shop. A good visit for all ages.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2014

I can't say for certain if I had more fun getting there (watch out for the "loose cattle") or being there. I was really excited to visit this place. We underestimated the drive time and the time zone changes we passed through on our drive...something to remember for sure. Everyone was extremely informative...naturally. I thought that it was worth the... More 

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Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
36 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2014 via mobile

We visited the Observatory for a Star Party in December. It was a really cold night. We arrived about 5:40 and had some food at the small cafe there just before it got really busy. It is a good but basic menu and we had a mixture of chilli bowls and sandwiches with some cookies. They also do hot and... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Austin, Texas
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2014

My family visited the McDonald Observatory during the 2014 Thanksgiving weekend. We opted for their Friday night "Star Party" event. Here is my feedback: Pro: 1. The drive was really nice to the top of the hill/mountain. The place is really clean albeit small inside. 2. The narration and the kids theater event was nice. Cons: 1. They booked a... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
McDonald_Obs, Manager at McDonald Observatory, responded to this review

Thanks for your feedback .. we take all legitimate reviews seriously and do what we can to address the reasonable concerns expressed. It's not clear to me what you mean by "the kids theater event." We don't have a program specifically tailored to kids. We do try to include material in all of our programs that all ages should find... More 

Buda, Texas
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2014

Star gazing party was a blast! Just bring plenty of warm clothes & blankets to sit on as the beginning takes place in the outdoor amphitheater with stone benches...a bit chilly on the bum! Very informative & fun! Great opportunity to look through wonderful telescopes that most of us would never have!! Kudos to the Observatory for sharing!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Austin, Texas
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2014

We went for the special viewing night at the observatory, it was a fun night, unfortunately the humidity that night was too high and they had to shut down all telescopes on the mountain for the night. They did refund about half the amount, wouldn't have mind even if they didn't, they explained the physics and were very nice throughout.... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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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?