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Silhouettes of people watching an eclipse through a telescope
Framestock | Adobe Stock

Where to Watch the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will completely block out the Sun. The eclipse will start over the South Pacific Ocean and then pass over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Although a partial solar eclipse will be visible from almost everywhere in North America, you’ll only be able to see totality in certain areas.

When Is the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse?

Total solar eclipse rising above a mountain range
IgorZh | Adobe Stock

The first location in continental North America to see the total solar eclipse will be Mexico’s Pacific coast at around 11:07 a.m. PDT. The Atlantic coast of Newfoundland, Canada will be the last place in continental North America to see the eclipse, where it will exit at 5:16 p.m. NDT.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has provided a helpful chart that shows the time totality will begin in cities throughout the US.

How Long Will the Total Solar Eclipse Last?

Depending on where you are viewing the eclipse from, totality will last up to 4 minutes and 28 seconds.

Can You Look Directly at a Total Solar Eclipse?

During totality, it is safe to look directly at the Sun, even through magnifying devices like binoculars or a telescope. However, do not look directly at the Sun if it is not in totality. The American Astronomical Society (AAS) warns, “Whenever any part of the photosphere is uncovered, it is essential to view the Sun through a safe solar filter, that is, one that meets the transmission requirements of the ISO 12312-2 international standard.” The AAS maintains a list of places to buy safe solar filters (you can even get them for free from some public libraries.) These are not something you’d want to buy from an unknown party on Amazon, in case they are counterfeit. 

Sunglasses are not enough protection for looking directly at the sun. The AAS cautions, “Looking at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun through dark sunglasses or any other unapproved filter is a recipe for serious and potentially permanent eye injury.”

2024 Total Solar Eclipse Travel Tips

North America won’t see another total solar eclipse until March, 30, 2033—and even then, only Alaska will witness totality. A total solar eclipse won’t return to the lower 48 until August 23, 2044—which makes the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse special and worth traveling for. Book travel early as hotels, flights, and rental cars will sell out in prime viewing destinations well before 2024. Rates are also likely to increase the closer you book to the eclipse. 

The Best Places to See the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse in the US

For the best vantage points of the 2024 total solar eclipse, plan a trip to these destinations: 

Erie, Pennsylvania

Boat-filled marina in Erie, Pennsylvania USA at sunset
SeanPavonePhoto | Adobe Stock

Since the centerline of the eclipse centerline skirts Lake Erie on the U.S. side, bypassing dry land in Pennsylvania, Erie emerges as the closest city to its trajectory without venturing into the water. Situated approximately 20 miles offshore, Erie enjoys extensive periods of totality during the event.

In downtown Erie, spectators will be treated to 3 minutes and 40 seconds of totality—but you can gain a few extra seconds of darkness (and have more open space to watch from) by driving out onto picturesque Presque Isle State Park.

The best places in Erie to watch the solar eclipse are:

  • Tom Ridge Environmental Center
  • Presque Isle Lighthouse
  • Presque Isle State Park
  • Erie Maritime Museum
  • Erie Land Lighthouse
  • North Pier Light

Where to Stay: Ask for a bay view room at the Courtyard By Marriott Erie Bayfront.

Niagara Falls, New York 

Niagara Falls from the New York, USA side, looking out into Ontario, Canada
allard1 | Adobe Stock

For one of the most stunning views of the total solar eclipse, head to Niagara Falls. Arrive early to stake out a spot at Terrapin Point, where you’ll be able to witness the eclipse with the sun positioned directly over the Falls. 

In downtown Niagara Falls, New York, totality will endure approximately 3 minutes and 31 seconds. The area is embracing this once-in-a-lifetime event, putting on a series of free events to celebrate the solar eclipse. Beginning on April 4, 2024, there will be a series of astronomical talks, exhibitions, and other experiences for the public to enjoy.

The best places in Niagra Falls to watch the solar eclipse are:

  • Niagara Aerospace Museum
  • Hyde Park
  • Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino
  • Niagara Falls State Park
  • Niagara Falls Observation Tower

Where to Stay: Book early to reserve a prime Falls view room at the Hilton Niagara Falls/Fallsview Hotel & Suites

Burlington, Vermont

Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, Vermont, USA at dusk
SeanPavonePhoto | Adobe Stock

Burlington’s Lake Champlain is beautiful on an ordinary day, so watching the total solar eclipse there will be even more special. The eastern shores of the lake will get about 3 minutes and 15 seconds of totality. The city of Burlington, Vermont, is putting on a series of events to commemorate the momentous occasion. Stop by Palmers Sugar House for a solar eclipse party, and then celebrate witnessing the eclipse at the Total Eclipse of the Heart afterparty at the Hilton Burlington Lake Champlain.

The solar eclipse will begin at exactly 2:14 pm in Burlington,  and totality will last between 3:26 through 3:29 pm. If Burlington is too crowded for you, head out into the countryside, as all of Northern Vermont will experience a total eclipse of the sun.

The best places in Burlington to watch the solar eclipse:

  • Centennial Field
  • Waterfront Park
  • Battery Park
  • Leddy Park

Where to Stay: The Courtyard by Marriott Burlington Harbor is a great budget-friendly choice in the heart of downtown Burlington.

Cleveland, Ohio

Skyline of Cleveland, Ohio at dusk
SeanPavonePhoto | Adobe Stock

Plan a trip to Cleveland, which will be directly in the path of totality for nearly four minutes, for a day of fun and learning. The city will host an eclipse-themed celebration and offer plenty of public viewing spaces near Lake Erie. Cleveland lies almost directly on the centerline, so anyone in the downtown area will get to enjoy the eclipse for an extended period.


The Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the University Circle community will host a fun weekend of events leading up to the solar eclipse, culminating in a community watch party on the Wade Oval on April 8.

The best places in Cleveland to watch the solar eclipse are:

  • The Cleveland Museum of Natural History
  • The Ritz-Carlton
  • Lake Erie
  • Crushers Stadium

Where to Stay: The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland will host its own solar eclipse viewing party.

Dallas, Texas

Skyline of Dallas, Texas, USA at dusk
SeanPavonePhoto | Adobe Stock

If you want to watch the total solar eclipse without freezing, Dallas is a great viewing spot that will have warm weather in April. The city’s downtown area will witness around 3 minutes and 51 seconds of totality starting at 1:40 p.m. CDT. If you’re hoping to avoid the Dallas crowds, several other Texas cities will be in the path of totality, including most of Fort Worth, Waco, Temple, most of Austin and parts of San Antonio.

The eclipse will pass over Dallas from 12:23 to 3:02pm, with totality occuring from 1:40 to 1:44pm. Although you’ll be able to see the eclipse in most spots in the city by simply going outside and looking up (just try to get away from tall buildings), there will be many viewing events around the city. The Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the Dallas Arboretum are both hosting watch parties, but be sure to buy your tickets early as they are likely to sell out.

The best places in Dallas to watch the solar eclipse:

  • Perot Museum of Nature and Science
  • Dallas Arboretum
  • Downtown Dallas
  • Samuell Farm

Where to Stay: Avoid the traffic and stay right in downtown Dallas at the luxurious Joule hotel.

The Best Places to Watch the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse in Canada & Mexico

If you want to plan a trip abroad to watch the solar eclipse, here’s where you should go. 

Prince Edward Island

Skyline of Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island at sunset
dbvirago | Adobe Stock

Location is key if you want to witness totality, so if you’re in Prince Edward Island, head to the wesetern region, which will experience around three minutes of totality. Skinner’s Pond, Ignish, and North Cape will all be good choices for a viewing spot.   

The upcoming eclipse trajectory will travel in from a southerly to northerly direction. Canadians will catch the initial glimpse in the southern regions of Ontario, with Toronto situated on the periphery of the viewing zone. Subsequently, it will traverse through southern Quebec and New Brunswick before reaching P.E.I.

Totality is expected to envelop the Island starting from Summerside and extending westward, with the central path crossing over North Cape.

The best places in Prince Edward Island to see the solar eclipse are:

  • Summerside
  • Bedeque
  • North Rustic

Where to Stay: The charming Briarwood Coastal Cottages feature fully-equipped kitchens so you can avoid the crowds and dine in if needed.

New Brunswick

Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
alpegor | Adobe Stock

Where better to watch an eclipse than an observatory? The William Brydone Jack Observatory was built in 1851 and is the oldest existing astronomical observatory in Canada. The surrounding University of New Brunswick campus has plenty of open green space for crowds. 

The city of Fredericton in New Brunswick is getting ready to welcome thousands of visitors for the solar eclipse, and will be hosting EclipseFest, a multi-day party leading up to the event. On the day of the solar eclipse, there will be free solar-eclipse glasses available at a watch party on Carleton Street.

The best places in New Brunswick to watch the solar eclipse are:

  • Fredericton
  • Woodstock
  • Florenceville-Bristol
  • Miramichi

Where to Stay: The Carriage House Inn is conveniently located near the William Brydone Jack Observatory and offers beautiful views of the St. John River.

Mazatlán 

Mazatlán, coastal beach town in Mexico
Dimitri | Adobe Stock

Combine a beautiful beach vacation in the charming town of Mazatlán along with a total solar eclipse viewing. The 13-mile boardwalk that lines the beach will be a perfect spot from which to watch. Mazatlan lies near the centerline of the eclipse, making it one of the best places in the world to watch the 2024 solar eclipse. Viewers in the town center will get to witness 4 minutes and 15 seconds of totality.

However, being situated in the southeastern part of town offers a slight advantage. Quintas del Mar resort experiences 4 minutes and 7 seconds of totality, whereas Playas del Sur provides 4 minutes and 18 seconds. The additional eleven seconds of totality will undoubtedly justify the journey once the eclipse is witnessed.

The best places in Mazatlan to watch the solar eclipse:

  • Quintas del Mar resort
  • Playas del Sur
  • Mazatlan Malecon

Where to Stay: Treat yourself to a room at the five-star, all-inclusive Pueblo Bonito Beach Resort.

Torreon

Mar del Plata in Torreon, Mexico at sunset
sebastian | Adobe Stock

Surrounded by majestic mountains, Torreon will provide a beautiful backdrop to the eclipse. Torreon is another spot in Mexico that’s close to the centerline, making it one of the best places for a trip to watch the 2024 solar eclipse.

For the best views of the solar eclipse in Torreon, climb to the top of the Cerro de Las Noas hill. Or, head up route 49 toward Bermejillo in order to gain an extra 14 seconds of totality.

The best places in Torreon to watch the solar eclipse:

  • Cerro de las Noas
  • Fundadores Park
  • The Regional University Unit for Arid Zones of the Chapingo Autonomous University

Where to Stay: The centrally located, affordable Ibis Torreon is a great choice for travelers on a budget.

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