Trip Planner:   USA  /  Texas  /  Fort Davis  /  McDonald Observatory

McDonald Observatory, Fort Davis

4.7
#1 of 9 in Things to do in Fort Davis
One of the country's major astronomical research institutions, McDonald Observatory has four impressive telescopes. The largest--the 9.2 m (30 ft) Hobby-Eberly telescope--ranks amongst the largest in the world. Stop by the observatory visitor center to see the staff in action and learn more about their projects and programs, as well as the science of space. Join a guided tour for inside access, or even watch live telescopic images of the sun during a solar viewing session. Be sure to book ahead online, however, as tickets can sell out very quickly. Set at an elevation of 2,070 m (6,790 ft) in the mountains of West Texas, the observatory is part of the University of Texas at Austin, and works closely with its science departments. Plan my trip to Fort Davis with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.
Create an itinerary including McDonald Observatory
map
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
McDonald Observatory Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
1,211 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Went on a Friday night for the stargazing program. You should pretty buy your tickets online. Check in at the front desk tour the little Museum tour the gift shop. I suggest arriving at least half an ...  more »
  • We traveled to Big Bend area specifically for the Observatory. We were NOT disappointed. Outstanding facility. We took part in all the special sessions they offered. Solar viewing in the early afterno...  more »
Google
  • Amazing star gazing experience. The scientists explained things so everyone could understand.My only objection was the announcements for the closing of the gift shop! It seemed way to commercial for such a peaceful and awe inspiring place.It can be cold,so dress accordingly! Well worth it,get to know outer space!
  • This is one of the most amazing thing someone like me can do in a lifetime. Being able to see in detail what is out there in space is truly an exilarhiting experience. When you finally reach the destination if it is at night and clear you can see stars unlike any other place. It's clear and vivid. When you are able to look through a telephone WOW. That's all I can say. Words will never describe this it's just something a person has to physically experience. I recommend going to everyone who will read this. Must do!!!

Plan your trip to Fort Davis

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Popular things to do in Fort Davis

4.7
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.7
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.5
Duration: 2​h 30​min

Side trips from Fort Davis

3.8
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.8
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.3
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.0
Duration: 1​h 30​min

Hidden gems in Fort Davis

5.0
Duration: 30​min
4.4
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.1
Duration: 30​min
1.9
Duration: 2​h