As the celestial clock counts down to the 2024 solar eclipse, the skies above the United States prepare to show a dance of cosmic beauty. On the fateful day – April 8th, 2024 – an awe-inspiring “diamond ring” will emerge as the moon passes before the sun, casting an otherworldly glow across the nation and leaving onlookers breathless in its wake.
This extraordinary event presents a unique opportunity for residents and visitors of some of America’s most vibrant cities to bear witness to the splendor of the cosmos, as they gather together under the same sky, united in their fascination and reverence for the wonders of the universe.
Being in the path of totality is key for viewing the eclipse; anywhere else, you’ll only see a partial solar eclipse. (While still impressive, it has nothing on annularity!) If you’re uncertain about the differences in eclipses, be sure to learn about the types of solar (and lunar) eclipses first so you have a sense of what you’re seeing.
Note: Solar eclipse viewing glasses are required to view the partial phases of the 2024 total solar eclipse, even if you’ll be in the path of totality. If you plan to view this eclipse, be sure to get yours now.
In this post, I promote traveling to destinations that are the traditional lands of many different groups of Indigenous peoples. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present people of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.
2024 Total Solar Eclipse Details
While I have an entire guide to the 2024 solar eclipse forthcoming, I thought it would be helpful to cover the basics here:
- Within the U.S., totality will begin in Texas at 1:27pm CDT and will end in Maine at 3:35pm EDT on April 8, 2024.
- The path will go from southwest to northeast across 13 U.S. states, starting in Texas and ending in Maine.
- While it is a total solar eclipse, and view the eclipse directly without proper eye protection, it never hurts to be careful. You’ll need to wear protective eclipse glasses to view this eclipse as you can only go without them when the Moon completely obscures the Sun’s face.
Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
The Lone Star State is one of the lucky ones for the 2024 eclipse, and the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex area gets a juicy 3 minutes and 52 seconds of totality. Fort Worth has a dedicated resource page for visitors coming for the eclipse.
If you have a few days here, you can also enjoy other space-related activities. You can visit the Perot Museum and attend its Expanding Universe Hall, an interactive stargazing adventure through our solar system. In Fort Worth, the Noble Planetarium at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is a great alternative for exploring the cosmos. The planetarium hosts two shows: Texas Night Sky and Our Solar System.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Nestled along the Arkansas River, Little Rock is also located within that narrow swath of totality.
Besides the celestial spectacle, what I appreciate the most about Little Rock is that you can get a taste of true Southern hospitality. The capital city of Arkansas has tons of things to do. You can visit the River Market District, enjoy a sunset from the Big Dam Bridge, or learn all about President Bill Clinton’s legacy at the Clinton Presidential Center.
For the eclipse, Little Rock has organized tons of events, but you should check The SoMa in the Dark: Path of Totality Eclipse Watch Party. This event provides a viewing space for residents and visitors on historic South Main Street.
The “Crossroads of America” is set to become a crossroad of cosmic wonder during the 2024 eclipse. Indianapolis, known for its sports culture and rich history, offers a perfect blend of urban exploration and natural beauty. But let’s stick to what matters. Hamilton County, just north of Indianapolis, is filled with prime eclipse-watching locations, such as Conner Prairie, Ruoff Music Center, and Grand Park; there’s also a weekend of fun eclipse events planned.
Indianapolis isn’t short of space-related activities either. The Schaefer Planetarium & Space Object Theater at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the Indiana Astronaut Wall of Fame at The Children’s Museum, and the Holcomb Planetarium at Butler University are all fantastic options for a long astronomy binge.
Cleveland, sitting on the shores of Lake Erie, won’t be in the path of totality again until the year 2444. Hence why the city has planned big things to celebrate the eclipse.
Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the University Circle community are planning a weekend of fun. For the adults out there, you can join Think & Drink with the Extinct: Lights Out – what a way to kick off the weekend, huh? SolarFest: Eclipse Family Fun Days is more family-friendly if you’re coming with kids. And, the cream of the crop, the Total on the Oval Watch Party is a community watch party for the total solar eclipse, with live music, hands-on activities, and more.
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo, often overshadowed by the natural wonders of nearby Niagara Falls, steps into the limelight as a great place to enjoy the 2024 eclipse. Nestled along the Great Lakes, Buffalo is known for its cultural renaissance, architectural gems, and culinary delights. Needless to say, it is pretty easy to plan a weekend getaway in the city. There’s a whole site dedicated to the eclipse, too, to help you plan your visit specifically for April 8th.
Of course, Niagara Falls is a must (though you may want to check when’s the best time to visit). The Martin House by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Buffalo AKG Art Museum, and Allentown neighborhood are other great options to fill your itinerary.
As the shadow races towards the northeastern United States, it will touch down in Burlington, Vermont. Known for its vibrant arts scene, outdoor recreational opportunities, and farm-to-table dining, Burlington promises eclipse enthusiasts an experience as diverse as its landscape. There will be many events and other fun things to do in the Burlington area during the weekend leading up to the Total Solar Eclipse.
If you need more activities to enjoy your weekend, you can see an astounding collection of Americana at the nearby Shelburne Museum, tour the former home of Ethan Allen, one of Vermont’s most iconic residents, or go bar hopping.
There are, of course, many smaller communities and towns along the path of the eclipse throughout the Mexico, the U.S., and Canada, too. If you want to go off the beaten path, there are options; I used timeanddate.com to look at the whole path and all the options along it.
Have any questions about which big U.S. cities in the path of the 2024 solar eclipse you should visit? Let me know in the comments below!