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McDonald Observatory

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 3640 Dark Sky Drive, Fort Davis, TX 79734-1337
Phone Number:
+1 432-426-3640
Website
Today
10:00 - 17:30
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 - 17:30
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Description:

The McDonald Observatory Visitors Center staff appreciate all of the...

The McDonald Observatory Visitors Center staff appreciate all of the positive reviews (and even some of the negative ones, too!) that well-meaning and well-intentioned visitors have left over the years. However, we feel that TripAdvisor does not provide anywhere close to the level of management tools needed to combat the misinformation that routinely is provided by, again, well-intentioned visitors to others visiting its pages. With no way other than the "management response" feature to cull and corral the sometimes wildly misleading information posted on these pages, we feel that using TripAdvisor for anything beyond getting the general feel of the establishment is pointless.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 890 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 662
    Excellent
  • 157
    Very good
  • 43
    Average
  • 13
    Poor
  • 8
    Terrible
Star Party was fun, but too many people

My husband and I enjoyed the star party, but we felt like there were too many people. We did not get a chance to look at all of the telescopes because the lines were too long. I... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 6 days ago
EmKay823
,
Aubrey, Texas
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890 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 883: English reviews
Aubrey, Texas
Level Contributor
68 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

My husband and I enjoyed the star party, but we felt like there were too many people. We did not get a chance to look at all of the telescopes because the lines were too long. I am sure we could have stayed longer but we felt like it was too packed. The actual star party host guy was really... More 

Helpful?
Thank EmKay823
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
64 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

The trip to get to the Observatory is part of the fun. It's a beautiful drive through the Davis Mountains. We went on a Friday in February, which ensured us of a crowd free day. We booked tickets online for the tour and the sun lecture in the afternoon, the twilight lecture, and the star party. All 3 events were... More 

Helpful?
Thank Mommabearsmith
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Definitely a must see!! Do the tours and star gazing!!! Wow! Plan ahead, especially in warmer months, we were told that thousands visit from schools and groups.

Helpful?
Thank Sheri R
The Woodlands, Texas
Level Contributor
74 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We went to the Star Party and viewed many constellations which were well described by the docent. We saw Orion nebula and full moon through the telescopes. Amazing

Helpful?
Thank Cheesehead_In_Texas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Our star party was rained out, so we chose to stay for the indoor program rather than take a refund. It was an interesting program, and we're glad to stayed. we decided to go to a second one a few days later, with better weather, and that one was spectacular. Volunteers had their rather large telescopes trained on interesting things... More 

Helpful?
Thank Deanna D
Cascade, Idaho
Level Contributor
41 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

As I checked into Indian Lodge at the state park at dusk, staff suggested I hustle up the road to the Star Party. Although late, it was worth every minute I was there. An astronomer gave us a guided tour of the night sky - complete with a bright almost-full moon. And, there were telescopes we could look through. Awesome!!!

Helpful?
Thank jonneh126
Eagle Lake, Texas
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Never knew it was basically a self sufficient community! Tour was lengthy but very informative! I even got to use the controls to rotate the dome! Super cool!

Helpful?
Thank brynna2017
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

A scenic drive and view from the top of this observatory. I've done a day time tour as well as a Star Party event. I highly recommend doing both! Knowledgable and friendly staff too.

Helpful?
Thank Kristina C
Dhahran
Level Contributor
33 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This was on my bucket list. Enjoyed the visit and felt the people working there went out of their way to be friendly and informative.

Helpful?
Thank cindygrosch
Weatherford, Texas
Level Contributor
157 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Vincent would not have been pleased. Our starry, starry nights were clouded over and we missed the opportunity to go star gazing. Since this was the main focus of our trip to Ft. Davis, it was a bit of a bummer. But the drive up and the sunset were just about worth the trip. We will come back and hope... More 

Helpful?
Thank Weatherford_Wanderer

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Questions & Answers

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?