4.5
229 votes

The Very Large Array

Old Highway 60 Socorro, Socorro, New Mexico 87825 USA

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$$$$
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Closed Now
Opens Fri 8:30a
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards
    Accepted
  • Public
    Restrooms
  • Outdoor
    Seating
  • No Wifi
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“One of the world's premier observatories for radio astronomy”

One of the world's premier observatories for radio astronomy, consists of 27, 25-meter, radio antennas in a Y-shaped configuration on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, New Mexico. The data from the antennas is combined electronically to give the resolution of an antenna 36km across. The VLA is open every day from 8:30 AM to sunset. The VLA Gift Shop is open daily 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The Gift Shop is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day. The VLA offers two types of tours, both of which cost $6 ($5 for AAA and veterans). Self-guided, walking tours are available every day during normal operating hours. Guests can walk around the grounds to kiosks with information about the Observatory. Leashed pets are welcome on walking tours. The VLA also hosts guided tours on the first and third Saturday of each month at 11:00a.m., 1:00p.m., and 3:00p.m. No reservations required, simply show up at the VLA Visitor Center 15 or so minutes before the desired tour time. These tours last 50 minutes, and take the Visitor to areas behind the scenes. In addition, family friendly, hands-on activities are offered from 11:00a.m. thru 3:00p.m. VLA Staff and Volunteers lead these activities and are on hand to answer questions. As seen in many movies (most noticeably Contact & Transformers).

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Reviewed by
James Fisher

  • Road Warrior
  • 534 Reviews
  • 471 Helpful
June 22, 2014
Rated 5.0

We came across this by accident while heading from Texas to Phoenix. We saw the sign on the Highway and were very excited about it. The place was AMAZING. you can walk right up to one, and they moved while we were there! The gift shop is cool too, we got several fun items, and the people were very friendly to us!

14 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
amy.r.park

  • 4 Reviews
  • 5 Helpful
June 02, 2014

well worth it! and it's free! great information in the self playing movie. they offer guided tour on sat. but we went on a self guided walk and it was fine.

5 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Joel Schat

  • Photographer
  • 237 Reviews
  • 524 Helpful
April 10, 2014

This place is INSANE! The array is absolutely massive and you can see it from so far away! Once you get up close to one of the antenna as well you can see just how large they are!

3 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
etapia23

  • 1 Review
  • 2 Helpful
May 14, 2021

Was closed today 5/14/21. Tried to get close to get a picture but I didn't make it past the entrance because a Security said it was closed and couldn't go in. So I took a picture from far away which I wasn't able to a close up as I originally planned.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
roadtripper4680651

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
December 21, 2021

Still closed due to COVID. From their website "To reduce the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus by both our staff and our visitors, the Very Large Array is CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC until further notice. NO SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE."

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
AthenaDog

  • 31 Reviews
  • 3 Helpful
March 29, 2021
Rated 5.0

This place was so cool to see! It was closed for tours due to Covid while we were nearby so we opted to go in the evening for sunset. WOW. B/c these satellites are in the middle of the field I got the most beautiful photos. While we were parked we so so much wildlife, too: Field Mice, Deer, Hawks. Amazing.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Tatiana Danger

  • Road Warrior
  • 1,169 Reviews
  • 878 Helpful
July 12, 2014
Rated 4.0

You may remember the radio astronomy observatory from like every movie where we make contact with aliens. It’s a totally rad road trip stop right in the desert.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
McFamilyRoadtrip

  • Road Warrior
  • 17 Reviews
  • 21 Helpful
July 02, 2014

We didn't stop as we were in a hurry, but these could be seen from the highway because they are huge and plentiful. Wow!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
matthewwolfe1

  • 3 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
July 30, 2022

Still closed due to Covid. Bummer.

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Reviewed by
roadhoe

  • 13 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
July 15, 2021
Rated 3.0

If you’re driving through NM to AZ you’ll probably see this weird... thing. The museum was closed so I still don’t know what the Very Large Array is. Kinda cool. Mostly meh, keep driving.

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The Very Large Array

Old Highway 60 Socorro
Socorro, New Mexico
87825 USA

Hours

Closed Now
  • Sun - Sat: 8:30 am - 7:00 pm

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Good for Adventurers and Cultural travelers.

  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Outdoor Seating
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