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McDonald Observatory

3640 Dark Sky Drive, Fort Davis, TX 79734-1337
+1 432-426-3640
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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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404 reviews from our community

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English first
Austin, Texas
Top Contributor
126 reviews 126 reviews
19 attraction reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2014

UT observatory is superb installment. Three major telescopes . High up for view of sky. Quite a drive from town but worth it. Parking lot is dark.

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Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2014

Book both the Twilight Tour and the Star Party for the best star gazing experience you might ever enjoy. We saw the Moon (two telescopes, Saturn, M15, M51, and much more. We learned everything you ever wanted to know about the Sun, the Moon and many constellations. If there more than one day, book the Observatory Tour, 2.5 hours and... More

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Bay City, Texas
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
4 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2014

We attended both the Twilight & the Star parties. $20/pp for the both....approximately 7-1PM. BOTH events were GREAT! Initially, the skies were pretty cloudy...but by the time we were ready to look through the AMAZING TELESCOPES, the clouds had cleared and the views were OUTSTANDING! The folks who do the presentations are not only very knowledgeable, but made their presentations... More

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San Antonio, Texas
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2014

Great time, expansive view at Mcdonald Observatory, incredible sight of the Milky Way in all its glory as well as the occasional shooting star. Well worth the trip, plan to stay the night, till 12 am at least,(when the facility closes). If you have a telescope, bring it! You will not be disappointed and make good use of it to... More

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Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
13 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014 via mobile

Go! Go during the day, go during the night, Do not visit this part of Texas and not see this place. We went for a star party and it was great even though the sky did not cooperate. The staff are all enthusiastic and knowledgable. They take the time to make what they do here understandable. The facility is well... More

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longview, tx
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
13 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

We visited during the day for the solar viewing. We actually watched a series of pictures about the sun and listened to a 45 Minute talk about features, age, and location of the sun. We did get to see the huge telescopes. Our guide explained how the scopes work, their size, and what they are used for. The day tour... More

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Ingram, Texas
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

We attended all three programs available at the observatory. The daytime Solar program tour was possible for us because a shuttle is available to go to the different telescopes. Viewing the working telescopes was impressive. The Twilight program was an educational presentation about the solar system. The Star party was a fantastic outdoor viewing of stars with our eyes and... More

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San Antonio, Texas
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

I wasnt completely happy with our visit, due to large crowds and clouds covering majority of the stars. Nice facility and location though, would love to try again, perhaps during non peak season and with a little cloud research to make sure we get the most for what we pay.

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Austin, Texas
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2014

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
22 helpful votes 22 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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