Total Eclipse: 7 Optimal U.S. destinations to view April’s Total Solar Eclipse


By Elise Armitage

Wealth of Geeks

NASA expects a total solar eclipse to pass over Mexico, the United States, and Canada on April 8, 2024. While total solar eclipses typically occur two to five times annually, April’s is unique for several reasons.

Many eclipses are only visible from inaccessible areas like the middle of the ocean. The 2024 eclipse’s path over many densely populated areas is cause for celebration, according to Scientific American. The total solar eclipse on April 8 is part of a repeating pattern of eclipses that last visited North America in 1970.

NASA predicts the next time a total solar eclipse will be visible from the contiguous United States won’t be until 2044.

The April eclipse will also happen near the sun’s peak activity cycle, increasing sunspots and solar energy flows. Scientific American expects the 2024 total solar eclipse to vary significantly from the last event of this kind of America, which took place in 2017. Scientific American explains that the 2017 solar eclipse occurred with minimal sun activity.

Those in the path of totality, where the moon’s shadow completely blocks the sun, will see the sky darken like dawn or dusk. NASA says the sun’s outer atmosphere will also be visible, weather permitting.

Some U.S. cities will experience totality for up to four minutes, offering exceptional viewing opportunities.

As North America prepares for April’s total solar eclipse, many domestic and international tourists plan to visit the United States’ top destinations for optimal viewing opportunities.

But before hitting the road for an eclipse getaway, tourists should ensure they have a safe way to observe the solar event. NASA advises using solar-specific glasses that adhere to the ISO 12312-2 international standard for safe sun viewing.

Traditional sunglasses, camera lenses, and binoculars do not adequately shield solar rays. Looking directly at the solar eclipse without sun protection can cause permanent eye damage. However, indirect viewing methods, like pinhole projectors, can be made with household materials.

7 U.S. Destinations for April’s Eclipse

Pack your weekender bag: viewing the total solar eclipse at one of these destinations is April’s hottest getaway.

Dallas, Texas

At 1:40 p.m. CDT on April 8, Dallas will enter the total solar eclipse’s path of totality for almost four minutes, one of the longest in North America. Many viewing events are planned throughout the city, hosted by local landmarks like the Dallas Botanical Garden and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Downtown Dallas is the perfect place for families to watch the eclipse, as the city will offer live music, food trucks, and a limited number of complimentary eclipse glasses.

Texas might be the best state to view the total solar eclipse solely because of its warm weather. Take full advantage by slipping into a swimsuit to play in one of the state’s watering holes before or after viewing. Dallas’s many lodging, activity, and dining options make it a top choice for an eclipse trip.

Little Rock, AR

The city of Little Rock will experience complete totality for approximately two minutes and twenty seconds, beginning at 1:52 p.m. CDT. Little Rock has many eclipse viewing events and festivities, from outdoor concerts to parades. Consider watching the April eclipse from the city’s Riverfront Park, Little Rock Zoo, or South Main neighborhood. These areas offer a quieter environment than Downtown Little Rock, where large crowds will gather.

Due to its family-friendly atmosphere, Little Rock is ideal for viewing April’s solar eclipse. Jazz and country bands will perform at First Security Amphitheater, while attractions like the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Discovery host eclipse-focused events. Regardless of where tourists spend their eclipse getaway in Little Rock, the city guarantees a fun, relaxed experience.

Indianapolis, IN

With almost four minutes of eclipse totality, Indianapolis will be a popular city to view the solar event. Totality will begin at 3:06 p.m. EST on April 8 in Indianapolis, one of the best U.S. areas to experience the eclipse. Event highlights include a large gathering of food trucks and vendors at White River State Park and a NASA event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“Indianapolis is a great place to visit for anyone looking for a quick getaway. Whether you’re an art lover or not, Newfields Art Museum is a must for first-time visitors,” Iryna Bychkiv of Lavender & Macarons recommends. “When the hunger strikes, numerous food joints on Massachusetts Avenue offer everything from American fusion to Tex-Mex and burgers.”

Families traveling with young children may enjoy viewing the eclipse at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. This renowned children’s museum has planned a weekend of fun and educational kid-friendly programs. The eclipse can be seen at many convenient locations throughout Indianapolis, making it an optimal getaway destination.

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland is an excellent place to watch April’s solar eclipse, as it lies in the path of totality, beginning at 3:13 p.m. EST. This Ohio city offers various activities celebrating the eclipse for tourists of all ages. Some of these events will also be dog-friendly so the entire family can join the fun. Several local clubs, bars, and breweries will host adult-only eclipse parties, ideal for travelers without children.

“If you’re visiting during the eclipse, make sure you head to University Circle to check out museum exhibits, including a planetarium show at Cleveland History Museum,” says travel journalist Karyn Locke of Sand and Snow and Wealth of Geeks. “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a must. It’s located right on Lake Erie, providing an interrupted view of the sky.”

One of Cleveland’s unique eclipse initiatives is its interactive game, Roadtrip to CLE. The game leads players through Cleveland to reach downtown in time to view the total solar eclipse. Roadtrip to CLE is an entertaining and engaging way for tourists to learn about beloved local museums, neighborhoods, and landmarks before experiencing the eclipse in Cleveland.

Erie, PA

“Erie is uniquely positioned for the eclipse, being the only major city in Pennsylvania in the path of totality,” explains Ritesh Raj, COO of CuddlyNest, an online platform for booking accommodations.

In Erie, complete totality will begin at 3:16 p.m. EST on April 8. The city expects roughly 200,000 visitors for the eclipse, with areas like Presque Isle State Park and the Bayfront District seeing large crowds. To avoid excessive traffic, consider viewing the total solar eclipse from other public places throughout town.

“The Waterfront Park and Batter Park are two locations that offer a clear view of the sky,” Raj says. “These parks, with their open spaces and proximity to the water, provide a tranquil setting to witness the eclipse.”

Buffalo, NY

Buffalo is easily accessible thanks to its convenient location in eastern New York, making it an ideal place to view April’s solar eclipse. With over three minutes and 30 seconds of totality beginning at 3:18 p.m. EST, the area will experience a surge of tourists coming to observe the phenomenon. Buffalo is hosting various free and paid events for the eclipse, from musical performances to scientific presentations.

Buffalo is one of the best U.S. destinations to view the total solar eclipse, regardless of your travel preferences. The eclipse will be visible at many locations, including the Buffalo Zoo and Niagara Falls State Park. Whether traveling alone or with a group, Buffalo has much to discover, ensuring an experience everyone will love.

Burlington, VT

Another optimal U.S. location to celebrate the April eclipse is Burlington, which Alicia Richards of Travels With the Crew describes as, “a beautiful city on the shores of Lake Champlain.” This picturesque spot is a unique backdrop for watching the moon pass over the sun.

“Burlington offers distant views of the Adirondacks, making it a beautiful vantage point to experience the eclipse. The Waterfront Park and Oakledge Park are two spots offering expansive sky views,” Raj recommends. “The eclipse’s reflection on the lake will be a sight that’s hard to forget.”

Tourists can try unique year-round activities in Burlington, making it a fun two-night getaway for outdoor lovers. “The best things to do are all outside, including biking trails, enjoying the beach, and window shopping on Church Street,” Richards explains.

This article was produced by Media Decision and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

No posts to display