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Yerkes Observatory

Closed today: Closed
Open today: Closed
Review Highlights
A jewel both architecturally and scirntificslly

We love going any time we are in the area Special place, maybe outdated but cool to see, experience... read more

Reviewed October 22, 2018
Steven A
Hinsdale, Illinois
via mobile
Yerkes Observatory

Wow, just Wow! Weaseled my way into a dream tour of the Yerkes Observatory including the 40 inch... read more

Reviewed September 25, 2018
Scott B
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  • Excellent81%
  • Very good16%
  • Average1%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“tour guide”(30 reviews)
“solar eclipse”(9 reviews)
“lake geneva”(38 reviews)
Yerkes Observatory will be open for public tours until September 29, 2018 after which it will be closed at least temporarily until further notice. Consult the website for tour dates and times . The Observatory is the home of the world's largest...more
Closed today
Hours Today: Closed
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Suggested duration: 1-2 hours
373 W Geneva St, Williams Bay, WI 53191-9603
+1 262-245-5555
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Reviews (321)
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All reviews tour guide solar eclipse lake geneva saturday tour architectural details entire floor gift shop great tour wealth of knowledge once in a lifetime beautiful architecture explained everything an amazing experience learn something amazing building interesting history small museum
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1 - 10 of 320 reviews
Reviewed October 22, 2018 via mobile

We love going any time we are in the area Special place, maybe outdated but cool to see, experience and explore

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank Steven A
Reviewed September 25, 2018

Wow, just Wow! Weaseled my way into a dream tour of the Yerkes Observatory including the 40 inch refractor, the 40-inch reflector, and the 24-inch reflector. I was able to talk my guide into a behind the scene tour of the observatory backrooms, instrumentation and...More

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank Scott B
Reviewed September 24, 2018

We recently did the Saturday historical tour which was excellent-loads of information about the what went into building the observatory, the connection to Chicago and the advances in science. The outreach and education programs for the local community and Chicago in partnership with the Adler...More

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank Maureen M
Reviewed September 22, 2018 via mobile

Such a cool place to see. Lots of interesting archecture and seeing the huge telescope was very cool

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank Kristin K
Reviewed September 18, 2018

When I heard that the Yerkes Observatory was about to close we decided to make the trip to Williams bay to see it. What an amazing and historic place! The tour guide covered many of the quirky aspects of the decoration used by the architect....More

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank dlak143
Reviewed September 16, 2018

We loved grounds, which are beautiful as well as this magnificent building. We took the tour yesterday and Richard our guide was fantastic.. The employees are very passionate about Yerkes, and their enthusiasm shows. We were excited to see the largest refracting telescope.. The tour...More

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank Sue B
Reviewed September 15, 2018 via mobile

It’s sad that the University of Chicago is shutting down this magnificent historic site. We went there today for the tour and had a wonderful astronomical, architectural, and historical experience. Thanks to the dedicated employees and guides, they did a great job and it was...More

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank William R
Reviewed September 13, 2018

The lady in the visitor centre at Lake Geneva advised to go and see this beautiful place before it closes to the public. We are not stargazers but we were more interested in the building. This building is easy to find and when you turn...More

Date of experience: September 2018
1  Thank lesley g
Reviewed September 10, 2018

If you have any interest in astronomy, history or architecture, you need to carve out a day now to see this place. It is truly an undiscovered gem of a destination and one which may be lost forever at the end of this month. For...More

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank KenofKen
Reviewed September 10, 2018

This is a wonderful place to visit. To see something with this much history that is still working in a true joy.

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank Chuck C
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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
August 22, 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from SteveT6029677454 | Reviewed this property |
Thanks for your comment Mary. Important for other folks to know.
Bridget G
June 27, 2016|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Dan K | Property representative |
Bridget, our tours are most appropriate for ages 6 and up. Weekday tours are structured and visitors must stay with the tour guide at all times. Yerkes is a working facility and our offices are open on the main floor and... More
August 26, 2015|
Response from Dan K | Property representative | Reviewed this property |
Hi, and thanks for asking about Yerkes. I am one of the tour guides and am happy to give you directions. The Observatory is located at 373 W Geneva St (Hwy 67), Williams Bay, WI 53191. Travel west from the central area of... More
Travel Forum Posts
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Public transport to Lake Geneva/Williams Bay WI (2 Replies)
We will be in Chicago next June for 10 day trip. Both my grandfather and great grandfather worked at Yerkes Observatory and I would like to go visit that area for a day. IS there a way to get there via public transportation, or will we have to rent a car? Tours of the observatory are on Saturdays. Thanks in advance.
September 03, 2011|
Response fromnancy c|
There used to be a train up to Lake Geneva but no more. It's a nice ride in a car so you should rent one.
Wabash, Indiana
Activities/Restaurants for 2 couples in November (6 Replies)
Hello! My husband and I are traveling with another couple to stay in a cabin in Elkhorn this coming November. We will be there over a weekend (12th-15th). We all love to eat, enjoy wineries/breweries as long as they aren't too fancy, and like to explore new places. None of us has been to this area before. We are looking for good restaurants for dinner or lunch (no more than $30/person) and things to do. So far I have looked in Yerkes Observatory, a couple of the local wineries (Studio...More
September 11, 2015|
Response fromtoelle|
Elkhorn, Lake Geneva and the surrounding areas will have quieted down from tourists by November. There will still be people, but not the crowds you see during summer and early Fall. Elkhorn is a relatively small town, but the surrounding areas offer lots to explore. Lake Geneva has the most to offer with regard to dining and shopping. Here are some comments/suggestions for your interests. - Yerkes Observatory is great, however it is usually only open on Saturday mornings to the public....More