Trip Planner:   USA  /  Wisconsin  /  Madison  /  Washburn Observatory

Washburn Observatory, Madison

4.5
#8 of 8 in Museums in Madison
Observatory · Hidden Gem · Museum
The Washburn Observatory (obs. code: 753) is an astronomical observatory located at 1401 Observatory Drive on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. Completed in 1881, it was a major research facility for about 50 years. Today, it is home to the UW-Madison College of Letters and Science Honors Program, while the telescope remains in use by students in introductory astronomy courses and the general public during open houses and viewings.

Arrange your visit to Washburn Observatory and discover more family-friendly attractions in Madison using our Madison vacation maker app.
Source
Create an itinerary including Washburn Observatory
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Washburn Observatory reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
9 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • A beautiful view of the lake in one direction and a view of the historic observatory in the other. Plus, Celestial Bucky (on parade). Excellent visit all around!  more »
  • This is one of the largest telescopes in the world over a hundred years old, and vital in astronomical research before the digital age. Manually operated one can still view the vast outer space and...  more »
Google
  • Washburn Observatory is the original research observatory for the University of Wisconsin (Madison) astronomy department. Completed in 1881, it is of significant historical value though its active research days are far behind it. From the historic Clark refracted located inside to the picturesque dome-on-the-hill, Washburn is a great place for a visit when you're in Madison.
  • Loved it.. Sign up for tweets to know if its open. We saw Jupiter the night we went. Its can be a long walk depending where you are starting from...

Plan your trip to Madison

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.