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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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396 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Austin, Texas
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2014 NEW

The observatory and the star party was the highlight of our trip. Cold at night at that altitude and in the dry air but absolutely worth the drive, the blanket and the time. Mesmerizing. Saw a comet through binoculars and so much more though the telescopes. What a marvelous community of folks who support the star parties with their own... More

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austin
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
8 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014

One of the highest spots with little light pollution you can find. Various programs to appeal to all ages. Great gift shop for when you need to bring souvenirs back for friends. Learned a lot about the sun.

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Kerrville, Texas
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
9 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014

The tour started with a show of the viewing of the sun. We then had a young tour guide take the group to see one of the inside telescopes & how it worked. It was quite interesting, then we went to another telescope that was presently shut down for repairs & updating, but got a good presentation. We were going... More

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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

The Davis Mountains area is one of the darkest spots in the US. So the star gazing is amazing! Plan your visit during the new moon if possible. The viewing is best when the moon is darkest. We signed up for the 36" telescope viewing and were not disappointed. Luckily the clouds disappeared just as the sun went down. Rachael... More

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Dallas, Texas
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
7 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

The day we visited, it rained off and on all afternoon! And this in an area that sees only rare summer rains. However, our guide, a UT Austin college intern, was well-informed, personable, entertaining, and instructive. We had a blast! Even in rain, there was plenty to see and learn! Because Marfa and her lights was our intended destination, we... More

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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2014

It never occurred to me how much of the night sky we are unable to see... that is, until we visited the McDonald Observatory one moonless, cloudless night. WOW! To say we saw stars everywhere is an understatement. Never have I been so smitten with mother nature and her divine display of celestial bodies. We recommend you take an evening... More

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Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
16 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2014

Great that the weather cleared enough to view; mars, saturn, the moon as well as galaxy clusters. Coming back in the future for a third time!

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Fort Davis, Texas
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

Absolutely magnificent- great place to take the family to learn about & view all the stars and constellation's in the sky. The sky is so dark, the stars are so bright and beautiful you feel like you are viewing into the windows of Heaven!

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
San Antonio, Texas
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

The people that work there are awesome and friendly.... very knowledgeable in the stars..... the restaurant has awesome food and despite being only game there is reasonable. Word to wise take a nap it's a long night and dress warm.... it's cold in the mountain air

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Houston, Texas
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

are big and bright! The McDonald observatory is a world class destination for star gazers. We were lucky to be able to visit on a Tuesday night for the star party. After a fabulous constellation lecture, we wer eable to view stars through the many telescope that were available. Saturn was definately the star!!

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