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“Unique experience”

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. Admission to the Exhibit Hall, Cafe and Gift Shop is FREE. The telescope tour is $6/adults, $5/seniors, Free/Kids 10&under, and Free/Veterans, Active Service Members.
Useful Information: Lockers / storage, Activities for young children, Baby buggy parking, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access
Worthington, Ohio
Level 4 Contributor
48 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Unique experience”
Reviewed 28 August 2013

We really, really liked this stop on our travels. You get a great video (and live science demonstration) and bus tour for the astonishingly reasonable price of $6.00. Also, the exhibit hall is well worth your time. If possible, visit the exhibit hall before your tour. It's good preparation. Has lots of hands-on learning opportunities. Went in the hall not knowing the difference between a radio wave and an ocean wave, and came away with a pretty good understanding of what the giant telescopes are all about. Speaking of the telescopes, they are amazing to see. Even the gift shop is top notch. Can't go wrong with a visit here!

Visited August 2013
1 Thank CynthiaK840
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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193 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Belleair Bluffs, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Well worth the time and the drive”
Reviewed 27 August 2013

If you get within 100 miles of Greenbank WV be sure to add the National Radio Astronomy Observatory to your itinerary. The drive thru the VA and WV highlands and mountains is a wonderful experience, but the Tour and exhibits at the NRAO are first rate.

Very inexpensive (less than $10 per person, with discounts for Sr., Students, etc.) the tour takes you up close to the largest moveable object in the world. The explanations of what go on here will be enlightening to most all visitors, since not too many folks have been exposed to Radio Telescopes.

Other things to do in the region make this a weekend or weeklong vacation stop. Do not pass it up!

Visited August 2013
1 Thank AFloridaRoadTripper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arlington, Virginia
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Unexpected interesting find”
Reviewed 24 August 2013

Drove past this radio telescope on the way to somewhere else and decided to take the $6 tour. Had no interest in radio telescopes as far as I knew, but this wound up being quite educational and interesting. There's a free museum and then a presentation and driving tour of seven radio telescopes on the property.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank virginiawriter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boones Mill, Virginia
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Radio Observatory”
Reviewed 18 August 2013

This place is amazing. Wish we had had our grandkids along. There is an informative presentation before the bus tour. Our guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. There is food available, along with picnic tables on the front lawn. We didn't have time to go into the discovery center,-which gives us reason to go back.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Shirley J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, PA
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Great science stop for older children and adults”
Reviewed 14 August 2013

This is a fascinating place, out in the middle of "nowhere" intentionally, since they need to be in a region where there is as little radio frequency interference as possible (the instruments in the radio telescopes that are detecting signals from deep space are so sensitive even the battery in your cell phone or car door electronic key fob will mess up the tracking.) The visitor's center is quite nice with a little cafe for lunch or snacks (nothing fancy) and a dining area from which you can see the huge radio telescopes spread out among the trees and meadows of the park-like installation. You can sign up for a tour and they give you a brief lecture and slide show in their presentation hall and then take you on a bus tour of the site. We did that and then chose to hike on our own around the entire site since it was a nice day. It really is huge -- it is about a 3 mile round trip walk to see all the installations up close. Little kids might be kind of bored but older kids (8 and up) with an interest in science should find it fun. The biggest telescope at the far end of the park is HUGE! We were thrilled when they did a scheduled rotation of it just as we got there on our hike -- a really impressive piece of technology. Price for the tour was modest -- I think it wasonly $6 for an adult.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank brickpilot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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