Sky darkness (Bortle class 1 is best): 2
The McDonald Observatory of the University of Texas is one of North America's premier research observatories. McDonald's nighttime observing program is excellent. Be sure to book the Star Party and/or 36" telescope special viewing on Tues or Fri night if they are available. It is located just west of Ft. Davis, Texas. The visitor center offers and outstanding education program and star parties. Check with McDonald Observatory for schedules and tickets.
Nearby Davis Mountains State Park provides access to the same dark skies with camping facilities and rooms at the Indian Lodge
In Fort Davis the Davis Mountain Inn on the road to Marfa is very nice and has space for some observing out back. The Hotel Limpia is fun and near good restaurants downtown. The Ft. Davis drugstore is a Texas Star Party tradition, great for breakfast and lunch. Blue Mountain Bistro across the street by the Hotel Limpia is excellent for dinner, but be sure to have reservations.
Further south is historic artists retreat of Marfa and the Marfa Lights Viewing Station on US 90 between Marfa and Alpine. You may not spot the mysterious lights but the skies will be spectacularly dark. North just off I10 is Balmorhea State Park a desert oasis with dark skies .
Content created: 2017-01-27 and last modified: 2018-07-01
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