Tour group watches the fog rolling in below Lick Observatory. Photo by Xavier Prochaska.

Book a Private Tour of the Observatory

At Lick Observatory, we offer private daytime and evening tours from April through October.

Here is a brief outline of each of our private tour packages:

Daytime tours

A daytime tour starts at our Visitor’s Center and is a walking tour of the Observatory, including behind the scenes access to the 3-m Shane Reflecting Telescope (the main research instrument used by the astronomers at Lick) and the 36″ Great Refractor. History and current science conducted at the observatory are highlighted on the tour. Typically 2 hours long.

(c) UC Regents / Lick Observatory
(c) UC Regents / Lick Observatory

Evening tours

An evening tour starts at our Visitor’s Center and guests can look forward to behind the scenes access at the 3-m Shane Reflecting Telescope (the main research instrument used by the astronomers at Lick) and learning about the ongoing research in astronomy and astrophysics, history lecture, and, weather permitting, viewing astronomical objects through the historic 36″ Lick Refractor. Typically 4.5-5.5 hours long. Each tour can accommodate groups of up to 40 participants.

Main Building after sunset. (c) UC Regents / Lick Observatory
Tour group watching sunset. (c) UC Regents / Lick Observatory

During each of these tours, participants may purchase photographs, posters, booklets, T-shirts, etc. at the Gift Shop.

Tours can be scheduled anytime between the months of April and October, as long as the facilities and staff are available.

For more information, pricing, and availability, please register at the UCSC IRIS site: https://ucsc.irisregistration.com/Form/licktours.

Private Events

Custom events and parties can be arranged, as well as private viewing sessions through the historic 36-inch Lick Refractor or the Nickel 1-m Reflector telescopes.  Astrophotography aficionados can inquire for more information about using their camera on the Lick Refractor or using the CCD camera on the Nickel Reflector telescope.

Want to learn more? Please complete the Lick Observatory Facilities Use Request Form to get more information about pricing and availability.

Weddings

Lick Observatory offers spectacular views above the city of San Jose, with a romantic venue that can accommodate up to 150 guests for a wedding that is truly out-of-this-world.

Wedding at Lick Observatory. Photo courtesy of (c) Ian Martin Wedding Photojournalism.

Our packages include indoor or outdoor ceremony location, use of the 36″ Refractor dome for photoshoots, use of the outside areas around the main-building for stunning views above the city, and/or private telescope viewings after dark.

Weddings are available year-round from Monday – Wednesday, noon to midnight, and Thursday through Sunday from 5:00 p.m. to midnight. Dates may be limited from June through August due to our public events: Music of the Spheres, Evening with the Stars, Public Evening Tours, and Photography Nights.

Want to learn more? Please complete the Lick Observatory Facilities Use Request Form to get more information about pricing and availability.

Elopement at Lick Observatory. Photo by (c) Candice Benjamin.