Smithsonian Institution's Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory
520-670-5707. $7/adults, $2.50/children 6–12, no children under 6. Visitor Center Mon.–Fri. 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Allow all day. Tours begin at 9 a.m. and last until 3 p.m., Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays from mid-March through November. Board tour bus at visitor center. Personal vehicles are not allowed past the center. Reservations required and can be made up to 4 weeks in advance. Pack a lunch and water.A joint venture of the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Arizona, this is real science. Named for the space science pioneer who founded it, Fred Whipple Observatory is generally known by its location, Mt. Hopkins. The 6-hour tour gives a narrated shuttle ride up a 10-mile road to the working research center and observatory at the mountain top—spectacular views at 8,550 feet elevation.