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McDonald Observatory

3640 Dark Sky Drive, Fort Davis, TX 79734-1337
+1 432-426-3640
Review Highlights
Billions and Billions of Stars

We've been coming here every few years since around 2000, in fall, spring, and now summer, so we've... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
DeSoto, Texas
via mobile
The Night The Stars Fell To Earth

Our family loves the McDonald Observatory Star Parties. We arrive in time to tour the museum and... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Austin, Texas
Read all 991 reviews
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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.
  • Excellent77%
  • Very good17%
  • Average4%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“star party” (557 reviews)
“night sky” (104 reviews)
“solar viewing” (70 reviews)
Open Now
All hours
Hours Today: 10:00 - 17:30
Suggested Duration: 2-3 hours
3640 Dark Sky Drive, Fort Davis, TX 79734-1337
+1 432-426-3640

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Reviews (991)
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11 - 20 of 983 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We've been coming here every few years since around 2000, in fall, spring, and now summer, so we've done day tours, twilight tours, and star parties. There are so many options, so here are some things we've learned along the way. First, there is no...More

Thank AugustBDayTripster
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Our family loves the McDonald Observatory Star Parties. We arrive in time to tour the museum and buy refreshments at the snack shop before following the tour guide to the outdoor amphitheater. Chilly mountain air sets in as soon as the sun sets, even in...More

Thank sueclevelandartist
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I am beyond thrilled we took an evening in our road trip to head to the observatory. We bought our tickets to the Star Party a few weeks in advance and I suggest folks do the same. The Star Parties sell out as I am...More

Thank wendywaterman
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This is a must see attraction in west Texas. The Star Parties are held at night, after sunset, and are phenomenal!

Thank Suzanne Z
Reviewed 5 weeks ago

We drove a long way to come to a star party and were unlucky enough to have a cloudy night. They offered us refunds or passes but we chose to stay and look at what we could. That turned out to be Jupiter and it's...More

Thank chevybb
Reviewed 5 weeks ago

Great place to visit and enjoy while learning about the solar system and stars. Great tours that you can do on your own or with groups.

Thank kimberlym695
Reviewed 22 June 2017 via mobile

Stopped here on our way to Alpine and were impressed by the operation. We only had time to participate in the presentation about our Sun, with live viewing (with 8 minute delay) of our life sustaining star. Martinique did a wonderful presentation of about an...More

Thank pfefmeister
Reviewed 22 June 2017

Amazing experience suited for all astronomy levels... can't believe I waited so long to see this place! Attended the 8:15 Twilight program which gave Dad & I a good overview of the solar system in prep for the Star Party at 9:45... so worth staying...More

Thank Rocko713
Reviewed 13 June 2017 via mobile

Went to a Saturday night star party with my wife, daughter-in-law, and 3 kids and there was plenty to do. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed looking through the telescopes at Jupiter Saturn and the globular cluster M13. The gentleman making the presentation on the constellations also pointed...More

Thank Lonnie J
Reviewed 12 June 2017

Got the tickets to the Star Party. One of the coolest things I've done. Everything about the evening was perfect. We were fortunate with a cool, crisp, clear night and the lecture was one of the best. To say informative is an understatement. Then to...More

Thank Rick K
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Questions & Answers
18 July 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Philip P | Reviewed this property |
Generally attending the Star Party the weather is in the 50's due to altitude. Should wear a jacket and long pants.
18 July 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from McDonald_Obs | Property representative |
Summer nights at the Observatory can be mild-to-cool, so be prepared for anything! A typical evening will start in the 70's and drop down to the low 60's, but we certainly get colder temps too. I'd recommend the 'layered... More
19 May 2017|
AnswerShow all 10 answers
Response from TexasPuma | Reviewed this property |
If the weather forecast is clear I recommend the star party. I was last there in December and the star party was cancelled outside, but they offered different programs inside. I have been there in the summer and the star... More