Naval Observatory

Naval Observatory, Washington DC: Hours, Address, Naval Observatory Reviews: 4/5

Naval Observatory
4
Observatories & Planetariums
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9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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Top ways to experience Naval Observatory and nearby attractions

The area
Address
Neighborhood: Upper Northwest
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.0
8 reviews
Excellent
3
Very good
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Average
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Terrible
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etweeden
London, UK757 contributions
Family
The Vice President’s house is on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory at One, Observatory Circle. While no tours are available, you can get your photo taken ‘in front of’ this house. Here’s how. Take a trip up Massachusetts Avenue, enjoying the various Embassies along Embassy Road. When you get to the British Embassy, you can turn in at the northern edge of their property if it’s on a weekend and park for free. If it’s not on a weekend, then continue on north along Massachusetts Avenue past the main gate of the Naval Observatory and turn left into Observatory Circle NW (or Edmunds Street, just a bit further north) and park free along the side of either road. The next step involves a little walking. If you’re coming from the British Embassy (don’t forget to get a photo of yourself in front of the massive Winston Churchill statue – Winston is the only ‘honorary U.S. citizen’) walk north up Massachusetts Avenue to the Observatory gate just across the street from the Vatican and Norwegian Embassies. If walking south, stop at the same gate. This gate has a screen broadcasting the ‘official U.S. time’ based on the atomic clock at the Observatory (another photo op). If you look through the fence (a discrete distance – say 20-30 feet) around the corner to the north of this gate, you will see a distinctive 'victorian looking' rooftop and part of a second story (first if you’re European) of a large house. THAT, my friends is the Vice-Presidential mansion, and that position (I’m afraid) is the best photo op you will get for the Vice President’s house unless you're personally invited. If you return to your car and continue north on Massachusetts Avenue, turning right onto Wisconsin Avenue NW, you will find yourself almost immediately at the National Cathedral.
Written March 19, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mel L
Orlando, FL40 contributions
Couples
We had to sign up in advance to get a tour. The whole purpose of this scientific site is to provide exact positioning, navigation and timing for the US Navy.

The Vice President's house is also located on the property and the place is heavily secured.

Our tour was on a cloudy, rainy night so they wouldn't open the roof on the big, vintage telescope. The building that houses it is pretty cool though. The tour guide showed us how scientists move the building's floor to closer to the telescope.

There is also a guided tour which included Naval history.

The property also boasts one of the most important math and science libraries in the world. There are also a few cases of very old books including one from 1482 featuring early renderings of constellations.
Written April 11, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

McWett
Las Vegas, NV1,491 contributions
Couples
We were walking back from the National Cathedral when we heard a cacophony of sirens coming up Massachusetts Avenue. SUVs with sirens and lights, two limousines followed by more SUVs, one with its back window open and an armed secret service man pointing an automatic weapon to the rear. It was Vice President Biden coming home to the Naval Observatory.

As my wife said, it was just like the shows on TV.
Written June 2, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

KAREN T
Nolensville, TN105 contributions
Family
We were not sure what to expect, but it was a little disappointing. The tour started with information about Time-which was interesting at first. If the tour started closer to dark and the group was smaller there would not be the need to spend so much time talking about time. Once we got to the Observatory we got the chance to see Saturn and a Wonderful view of DC. Just a little disappointing for as long as we were there.
Written June 29, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

jcsdmeyr
27 contributions
We toured the naval observatory and were not disappointed. Loved seeing the telescope and being on the floor when it went up. The library might have been my favorite, seeing the book that got Gallileo killed was a rush!
Written June 26, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

russiaplus
Laytonsville, MD65 contributions
Friends
The tour is for sure geared towards adults and older kids. I would not recommend for younger kids. Very cool old library. We were able to see the moon and Jupiter on the old telescope. The night was very clear and cold.
Overall enjoyed the experience but had to sign up well in advance (in February to be exact).
Written May 9, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bridgette M
6 contributions
Family
We went there and they were not doing tours anymore. We were all very disappointed that we went all the way there and had to turn around. Waste most of the day on this.
Written July 25, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

donparrett
Columbia City, Oregon14 contributions
Couples
I found out that the Vice President's home is located here with in the gates. It looked very pretty driving by in our taxi.
Written November 6, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Naval Observatory

Naval Observatory is open:
  • Mon - Fri 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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