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National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 50 Miles West of Socorro, NM, Off U.S. Hwy. 60, Socorro, NM 87801
Phone Number:
+1 575-835-7243
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours

This site is home to the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array astronomical radio...

This site is home to the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array astronomical radio telescope, one of four major telescopes operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). The VLA is the most scientifically productive ground-based telescope in the world. Our visitor center and interpretive film will get you oriented to the purpose and function of the telescope, and a self-guided tour path will take you up close to one of the VLA's 27 230-ton dish antennas.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Visitor rating
  • 138
  • 46
    Very good
  • 8
  • 0
  • 1
If you're into science at all, this is a most worthy destination.

No cell phone service for 50 miles. The Visitor's Center was easy to find, and this is certainly worth a stop if one is into science and space. Upon my visit, all the antenna were... read more

Reviewed 6 days ago
Kingman, Arizona
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201 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 193: English reviews
Kingman, Arizona
Level Contributor
114 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

No cell phone service for 50 miles. The Visitor's Center was easy to find, and this is certainly worth a stop if one is into science and space. Upon my visit, all the antenna were in close for the D configuration. The walking tour is self-paced and allows for a sense of how big the dish really is. Guided tours... More 

Thank CEPPaulT
Level Contributor
50 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

We thoroughly enjoyed the visit. Just being in physical proximity is impressive. I recommend that you call ahead and see what the configuration is while you will be on site and if possible go when they are being moved...if we ever get back there again we will schedule the visit to coincide with them move the dishes.

Thank C L
Level Contributor
246 reviews
96 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I had no idea what my husband was taking us to and after going through the self lead tour I can say that I had no idea something like this was in operation. It is very fascinating to learn about and dream about what is out there in space.

Thank Wyocowgirl94
Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Level Contributor
198 reviews
100 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

This place is great for those with scientific interest astronomy interest and imagination for what is out there.

Thank mountains74
Santa Fe, NM
Level Contributor
166 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2017

The VLA is magnificent/majestic. The sheer size is overwhelming ... not even to mention the science research that is undertaken there. The visitor center has a self-guided walking tour with information about the site. In the visitor center is a very small gift shop with souvenirs. They actually charge an admission fee (~$6) for the small walk ... most of... More 

Thank Schofield1956
New orleans
Level Contributor
216 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2017

The Very Large Array (VLA) is truly an educational experience with the huge radio-telescopes spread out in a "Y" configuration on tracks across the desert landscape. The "barn" is also interesting as it is the repair facility for the large white dishes that break a flat landscape. The visitor center has intriguing exhibitions, films, and information. There are tours (led... More 

Thank Gouvernail
Level Contributor
68 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2017

The Very Large Array (gotta love that name) is very, very interesting for the entire family. This is the observatory collecting and dealing with the radio waves from "Outer Space". There is a small gift shop, a short video and displays in the visitor center. You can take the short trail complete with story boards around the complex. You can... More 

Thank mosaiclover
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
78 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2017

I was quite disappointed. I had come because of my love of science and astronomy. Yes... it is a Very Large array. Although it is only 50 miles from Albuquerque, you should allocate at least 3-4 h to do this. It is in the middle of nowhere. You need to dress warmly. There is nothing except the tiny museum and... More 

Thank deboraflowers
Smithfield, Virginia
Level Contributor
576 reviews
139 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 242 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2017

While traveling in the Southwest we made a list of must see and this was one of our selections. It is 55 miles west of Socorro and is a nice drive past areas where you can see pronghorn antelope. It is in an open area with a track in a diamond shape that goes out abut 20 miles with 27... More 

Thank JLDC
Greenwood Village, Colorado
Level Contributor
291 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2017 via mobile

This is the bomb if science and engineering are your things. If not, meh. We loved very bit of it, from concept to execution.

Thank Albert A

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