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“Very poor experience” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Lowell Observatory

Lowell Observatory
1400 Mars Hill Road, Cortland Blvd, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
928-233-3211
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Ranked #9 of 44 attractions in Flagstaff
Type: Observatories/ Planetariums
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Lowell Observatory, founded in 1894, is a non profit astronomical research and educational outreach institution located on Mars Hill one mile west of Flagstaff, Arizona. For visitors, the Observatory offers telescope viewing, exhibits and science center, daytime guided tours, safe viewing of the Sun, multimedia programs, shows in the McAllister Space Theatre, special events throughout the year, and an astronomy gift shop.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Very poor experience”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

Arrived at 16.30, and nothing happening, and little enthusiasm from staff for visitors being there. We kept being told to come back to various parts that would open 'in 20 minutes'. Nowhere to get a hot drink, and very cold. When one telescope eventually set up, we queued to see the moon, but actually viewed it better with our binoculars. The next observatory also supposed to open imminently, but staff seemed more interested in talking and joking with each other, and visitors milled around doing very little. We left, feeling it a wasted hour. Perhaps they have to open to the public to secure funding, but they showed no interest in any visitor.

Visited November 2012
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English first
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Go at night!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

We went in late afternoon and took a couple of the tours led by docents. Interesting, but lots of screaming kids on the tours...Did the 3D Mars exhibit which was pretty cool and watched the Mars Lecture/slide show. Then when it got dark we were able to look through the monster telescopes and view the moon and Jupiter. That was worth the trip by itself. My only complaint is that the Rotunda Museum is not open to just go in a browse. There has to be a tour going on or staff inside. We had time to kill waiting for sunset and wanted to go in and look around, but could not. The volunteers and staff were so good. It was very obvious that they enjoy what they do.

Visited November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, AZ
Top Contributor
130 reviews 130 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
169 helpful votes 169 helpful votes
“Really interesting”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

We spent an afternoon going through the Mars exhibit (amazing 3D images, wear the glasses furnished) and taking the Mars tour with a wonderful docent. There's another tour that immediately follows about Pluto. The observatory is open many evenings for viewing, though hours are reduced starting November, and we picked an off day. The exhibits and historic buildings are fascinating, especially the building housing the Clark telescope, which features amazing wood construction and an old, Jules Verne-like telescope. Best idea is to come for the tours in the afternoon on a day they have evening hours, then return for the evening viewing.

Visited November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Myrtle Beach, SC
Top Contributor
265 reviews 265 reviews
113 attraction reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
“Interesting”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

Staff and volunteers were lovely. Film was good, and we got to see the nights sky thru mega telescopes used by the pro's.
Need to have more info about the constellations in their exhibit area.

Visited November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arizona, USA
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
38 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Great observatory!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

Our friends told us to just go at night, but we are glad we called before we went. They told us that our admission would cover anytime during one day, so we went for the tours in the afternoon and came back for star viewing at night. The movie & the tours were were a bit long and boring for our kids (ages 5, 7, 10), but the adults thought they were very interesting and informative. Be sure you go on a clear night or they won't have nighttime viewing. And go early to avoid waiting in a long line for telescope viewing.

Visited October 2012
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