Think it’s too early to start looking for the best location for the next solar eclipse? Think again! The 2017 total eclipse was the first total solar eclipse viewable in the United States in the age of Instagram. Because of this, the coverage of the event was elevated to an absolute frenzy. Eager eclipse viewers were willing to travel great distances to view the occurrence in the path of totality. So, no, it’s definitely not too early to begin thinking about the best places to see the 2024 solar eclipse.
Thankfully, for avid eclipse watchers, there are some major American cities directly in the April 8, 2024 path of totality. So, while it may be too early to make hotel reservations for the upcoming eclipse, doing some basic planning will put you ahead of the pack. Consider checking out some of these all-American cities when planning your best location for the next solar eclipse.
1. Dallas, Texas
Although the state capital of Austin is also in the path of totality, the Dallas metroplex may very well be the best location for the next solar eclipse in the “Lone Star State.” The old saying “everything’s bigger in Texas” usually holds true, especially when it comes to big events. Dallas, Fort Worth, and its many suburbs are bustling with places to go and things to do before and after the eclipse.
To get into the Dallas-Fort Worth area, fly into either one of Dallas’ major airports: Dallas-Fort Worth Airport (DFW) or Love Field. Finding accommodations in the metroplex should be easier than many other areas due to the large number of hotels in the area.
2. Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis knows how to handle big events. The Indianapolis 500, the crown jewel of American auto racing, is held at the mammoth Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Speedway is the largest sports venue in the world, with a total capacity around 400,000. You can be sure that Indianapolis can handle an influx of eclipse visitors, and it will rank highly on a list of best places to see a solar eclipse.
Heading to Indy? One of the best locations for the next solar eclipse is the extremely walkable and entertaining downtown district. If you’re looking for a more quiet, meditative eclipse experience, heading several miles out into the expansive Indiana farm country will still keep you directly in the path of totality.
3. Little Rock, Arkansas
Although Little Rock may not be high on your list as the best location for the next solar eclipse, it should be. Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas, has gone through a renaissance of sorts over the past several years. There’s an abundance of parks and greenspace in the city, and the downtown core is easy to traverse with their historic Metro Streetcar trolley system.
After your eclipse viewing experience is over, take in some of the Southern charm that Little Rock has to offer. The city’s most well-known tourist destination is the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, but there are plenty of other exciting places to visit as well, like the Arkansas Arts Center.
4. Buffalo, New York
If you want to see the solar eclipse, one of the best places to see it will be Buffalo, New York. If you head to Buffalo, make sure you bring your jacket Although spring will already have sprung in Buffalo, it’s still cold in the area. In fact, the average low temperature on April 8th in Buffalo is an extremely brisk 34 degrees Fahrenheit, with the actual lows often getting below freezing. However, if you’re willing to withstand the elements, you’ll be treating yourself to possibly the best location for the next solar eclipse.
If you want the real Buffalo experience, make sure you get a plate (or more!) of Buffalo wings, which were first served at the Anchor Bar right in Buffalo. Although Anchor Bar is still serving up plates of their famous wings, locals will often tell you the best wings in town are actually at Duff’s Famous Wings. Try them both for a post-eclipse meal that’s uniquely Buffalo in style.
5. Cleveland, Ohio
The on-again, off-again basketball home of superstar LeBron James also ranks highly as the best location for the next solar eclipse. Cleveland has gone through a much-publicized revival over the past several years, and this city on the shores of Lake Erie has much to offer eclipse watchers.
Looking for things to do in Cuyahoga County before or after eclipse watching? How about a stop at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Early April will also mark the beginning of the Major League Baseball season, meaning catching a Cleveland Indians home game is a possibility as well. Is Cleveland too busy a city for your eclipse-watching purposes? Consider the nearby cities of Akron and Toledo, which are also in the path of totality.
6. Carbondale, Illinois
Although Carbondale will likely not be on many people’s lists for the best location for the next solar eclipse, it has a unique claim to fame that should get your attention. The city of 25,000, which is about a two-hour drive from St. Louis, was also in the path of totality for the 2017 solar eclipse. Carbondale is one of the few cities in America that will experience both eclipses. How rare is this? On average, a solar eclipse is seen from the same location once every 375 years. Talk about star-crossed!
7. Burlington, Vermont
Burlington is the largest city in Vermont, and has a unique mixture of urban and small-town vibes. Although Burlington is in one of the most remote areas of the country, eclipse watchers will fall in love with the “Queen City” located on beautiful Lake Champlain.
If you’re wanting to watch the 2024 eclipse from Burlington, consider staying in one of the many historic inns located in the area. Also, for a unique side trip, bring your passport and visit the beautiful city of Montreal, Quebec (which itself also happens to be in the path of totality!).
Prepare Now for This Amazing Event!
Whatever you think the best place to see the solar eclipse may be, start getting your plans in order now. Hotels, flights, and rental cars will book quickly once reservations open, so having a game plan ready now will ensure you won’t miss out on one of nature’s most spectacular shows.
Also, don’t forget that you can’t view the eclipse with the naked eye. At Rainbow Symphony, we carry all the tools you need to make sure you can watch the eclipse safely, like eclipse glasses and solar filters for your camera or binoculars. Don’t wait until the last minute––stock up while you can!