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“A rare glimpse into space & an up close look at one of the largest moving structure on earth!”

Green Bank Observatory
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Tour the fascinating world of radio astronomy and see the pioneering instruments of the 1950's to the world's premier single-dish telescope, the GBT! Entrance to the science center is FREE, includes admission to the exhibit hall. We also feature the Starlight Cafe-nominated as WV's 101 Unique Places to Dine and the Galaxy Gift Shop with out of this world souvenirs and educational items. Our most popular option is the telescope tour. Featuring science demonstrations and even a bus excursion through our gates into the RFI-restricted Zone I, the hour-long telescope tour takes you up-close to the world's biggest telescopes. The telescope tour is $6/adults, $5/seniors, Free/Kids 10&under, and Free/Veterans, Active Service Members.
Useful Information: Lockers / storage, Bathroom facilities, Stroller parking, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Food available for purchase
Charleston, West Virginia
Level Contributor
105 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“A rare glimpse into space & an up close look at one of the largest moving structure on earth!”
Reviewed November 12, 2012 via mobile

Just before Hurricane Sandy dumped several feet of snow on Pocahontas County, West Virginia, we took friends to visit the NRAO. One of our guests was only 8 years old & was extremely excited at the sight of a small telescope right at the entrance.
We went into the Science Center to sign up for the tour & were treated with gorgeous views of the mountains. It was $18 for 2 adults, 1senior, & 1 child. For that you get the introductory show & tour on a nice bus. The scientist/ tour guide gave an informative & very interesting presentation in the theater- there was a 4 year old present whose attention was maintained the whole time.
Then we got on the bus & rode through gorgeous fields & woods looking at the amazing telescopes that look like huge satellite dishes.
The guide gave an entertaining & informative talk & answered all questions. We were able to get out & get up close to the Robert C Byrd telescope. The size is amazing.
After the tour we visited the science galleries- a big hit with our 8 year old.
We then had ice cream at the cafe! It was delicious & the portions were huge. We wished that we would have eaten lunch there, the food looked delicious! This is such a hidden gem, tucked away in the mountains. Yet it is only minutes away from Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort! It is worth the drive!

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3 Thank labsadore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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184 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
United States
Level Contributor
133 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Extraordinary Attraction”
Reviewed October 18, 2012

This observatory is well worth the visit. A short film and personal guided bus tour of the property is provided. Cost is six dollars per person. The mere size of the satellite dish is impressive. The Federal Govt uses these dishes to beam into space to pick up any radio signals or signs of life. Scientists from all over the world come here to engage in study. The average person may feel intimidated but you will leave with a big "wow," and say what the heck was that about?

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank L B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh
Level Contributor
21 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Closed on Tues and Wed”
Reviewed September 29, 2012

Very interesting place. We did not drive out of our way to see it but it was well worth spending some time there. Such an eerie feeling to be around all those radio telescopes in the middle of no where. if you are close, it is definitely worth the time.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank mommafittz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glen Allen, Virginia
Level Contributor
207 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
“Out of our depth”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

We had long wanted to visit and planned this trip to allow time. But not being scientists it was way over our heads. The tour guide was good, but she assumed that everyone in the audience knew what it was all about. We were ready to be educated, but could not ask intelligent questions when we did not even understand what radio astronomy is. Standing by the fence looking up at the GBT was awesome in its size. The food in the cafe is reasonable and good value, the exhibits are interesting, but several of the interactive ones did not work. We left saying "Been there, done that" with no desire to return.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank Yogaphile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great view into space”
Reviewed September 14, 2012

Beautiful area, and tour was very informative. Beautifully done museum. parking was easy. We highly recommend this site

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank Quilthorse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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