A Last-Minute Guide to Seeing the Solar Eclipse on April 8

by  Allison Tibaldi | Feb 14, 2024
Courtesy of Cliff Ritchey

A total solar eclipse will be visible from the United States (and Mexico and Canada) on April 8th. This rare natural phenomenon is attracting lots of attention, with good reason. 

If you didn’t get an A in Astronomy 101, you may be asking yourself what exactly a total solar eclipse is. In a nutshell, it’s when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, blocking the sun and causing the sky to go black, a cosmic ballet that magically turns day into night. If the sky is clear, you’ll even get the cherry on top by glimpsing the sun’s corona glowing like a halo. 

Courtesy of Kamron Khan

An eclipse doesn’t last for more than a few minutes, still, you’ll need to wear certified eclipse safety goggles or glasses to avoid damaging your eyes.

If you’re not lucky enough to live in the Path of Totality (locations where the moon's shadow completely covers the sun), consider a road trip to the nearest spot, because the next one won’t be visible from the U.S. until August 2044. Many astrophiles have already made plans to see this celestial celebration, so accommodations are filling up fast. Read our tips and you’ll be in pole position to enjoy this once-(or twice-)in-a-lifetime occurrence.

The Best Places in the U.S. in Which To See the Total Solar Eclipse:


In the U.S., all 48 contiguous states will get at least a partial eclipse view, while 13 states are in the sweet spot, the coveted Path of Totality. A swath of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine will hit the jackpot of total darkness.

Cleveland, Ohio, lies very close to the center of the Path of Totality and is expected to blackout for nearly four minutes, so it’s no wonder that the city will be celebrating in a big way. The Great Lakes Science Center is ground zero, with three days of free events from April 6 to 8, including a concert by the Cleveland Orchestra on April 7 featuring music from “Star Wars” and workshops with NASA scientists. Hopheads take note, two local breweries, Market Garden Brewery and Great Lakes Brewing Co., are creating limited-edition beers.  

In New York State, the Adirondacks’ lack of light pollution and proximity to the center of the Path of Totality is attracting astrophysicists and astronomers. In Tupper Lake, the Adirondack Sky Center and Observatory has events scheduled from April 5 to 9, including the opportunity to work as a citizen scientist assisting with data collection. Food and music add festive flair. 

Courtesy of Darren McGee

Niagara Falls is another New York State destination presenting a perfect vantage point, with the magnificent Falls as a bonus. NASA will be providing free public programming throughout the area.

Arkansas' Hot Springs National Park is on the Path of Totality while the historic resort town of Hot Springs is just shy of the center line. Here, visitors can enjoy Atlas Obscura’s Ecliptic Festival from April 5 to 8, which will feature art installations, DJs, and film screenings. 

Courtesy of Visit Hot Springs

Big Bend National Park in West Texas nips the Path of Totality. It’s protected under the International Dark Sky Association, presenting some of the clearest night skies in the entire world. It’s predicted to be a prime viewing spot, as its April skies are often cloudless. 

Indianapolis, Indiana, is smack on the Path of Totality. At the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the Eclipse Extravaganza on April 8 gives kids the chance to decorate their viewing glasses and enjoy hands-on STEM activities. At White River State Park, dozens of food trucks, free yoga classes, complimentary viewing glasses, and a performance by a brass quintet will be part of Lunacy.

The Best U.S. Hotels At Which To See the Solar Eclipse That Still Have Rooms on April 8:

Courtesy of Lost Pines Resort

The following hotels straddle the Path of Totality, with great eclipse viewing and themed perks. 

Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa — Bastrop, Texas

Lost Pines Resort is located near Austin, adjacent to McKinney Roughs Nature Park, where the night sky is spectacular even without a solar eclipse.  On April 8th, guests may enjoy an eclipse viewing party on the expansive lawn. Play galactic golf, go DIY and build whimsical constellations out of marshmallows, and sip a themed cocktail. Everyone will be given protective glasses for a safe experience.

Hotel ZaZa — Dallas, Texas

Hotel Zaza is a boutique hotel with a Texas twist. The art-laden walls, cattle horn accents, and opulent guest rooms make an excellent Dallas lair. On April 8, guests will enjoy welcome amenities such as solar eclipse glasses and yummy moon pies. The hotel will host an eclipse experience with a DJ as well as a happy hour with astrology readings.

Hôtel Swexan — Dallas, Texas

The swanky Hôtel Swexan will have a telescope positioned on the 20th floor that will provide awesome glimpses of this celestial phenomenon. Special cocktails and a curated collection of planetary films will enhance the cosmic celebration.

Big Bend Station — Terlingua, Texas

Big Bend Station is just minutes from the entrance to Big Bend National Park. These two cozy lodges and campground are perfectly located to view the eclipse and explore the park’s majestic scenery. 

Courtesy of Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism

High Peaks Resort — Lake Placid, New York

High Peaks Resort sits on the shores of Mirror Lake in the Adirondacks. The resort is throwing a lawn party on April 8 complete with food, drink, and entertainment. 

Lookout Point Lakeside Inn — Hot Springs, Arkansas

Get a front-row seat to view the eclipse at Lookout Point Lakeside Inn. This romantic inn’s Solar Eclipse Package includes Wayfarer-style eclipse viewing glasses, fleece jackets to keep you warm, and delicious canapes to nosh on. Call the resort directly to book. 

Woodstock Inn — Woodstock, Vermont 

This classic New England resort is hosting a Total Solar Eclipse Weekend from April 6 to 8, with solar-themed crafts and a Total Eclipse Tea Party on April 8.

Renaissance Indianapolis North Hotel — Carmel, Indiana

Situated just outside of Indianapolis, the hotel’s Love You to the Moon and Back Package includes Blue Moon Beer, moon pies, and protective eyewear.

Hilton Cleveland Downtown — Cleveland, Ohio

There are still rooms at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown on April 7 and 8. It enjoys a central location, making it easy to reach many of Cleveland’s special events. 

Graduate Bloomington — Indiana

Graduate Bloomington is a collegiate-themed hotel with a rooftop patio that should be an eclipse hotspot. This university town is planning multiple events, including the Hoosier Cosmic Celebration at Memorial Stadium with special guest William Shatner.

Additional Astronomical Events in 2024:

Courtesy of The Boulders Resort Spa

Don’t fret if you miss the April 8th spectacle. Astrotourism is trending and there are plenty of additional celestial events to enjoy in 2024. 

This year is predicted to be an excellent one for viewing the Northern Lights (or aurora borealis), thanks to an increase in solar activity that translates into maximum opportunities to witness these brilliant displays. Polar regions such as Iceland, Alaska, and Canada’s Northwest Territories are good bets. Northern Lights can be seen any time of year, though they occur more frequently around the spring and autumn equinoxes. 

Every year, when the Earth passes through debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet, the Perseid meteor shower takes place. This year, enjoy the up to 60 shooting stars per hour around August 12. They can be best seen from the Northern Hemisphere.

A supermoon occurs when the moon is closest to the Earth in its elliptic orbit. It looks bigger, brighter, and bolder than the moon usually does. In 2024, there will be a supermoon on September 18 and October 17. No special equipment is needed to view, but keep your fingers crossed for clear skies. 

The Geminid meteor shower is considered one of the best displays, with a whopping hourly rate of 150 meteors per hour. This year, you can catch it between December 4 and December 20, though it’ll peak around December 14.

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