Calling all astrology lovers and space fanatics! Mark your calendars for April 8, 2024, when a total solar eclipse is slated to travel over North America. The rare celestial phenomenon will be hitting these states in this order: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. (While not listed above, tiny portions of northwest Tennessee and southeast Michigan will also be able to witness the total solar eclipse.)

Before diving in any further, it’s important to dive into the basics of what exactly a solar eclipse is. According to astrologer Ryan Marquardt, this phenomenon “occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun.” It always happens during a new moon, he says. “The moon blocks the sun’s light, which creates a shadow effect that makes the sky look darker as the moon’s shadow is cast onto Earth.”

From a spiritual perspective, solar eclipses also “symbolize powerful twists of fate, often related to new beginnings since they occur during the new moon phase,” explains Marquardt. As such, eclipses “can be a massive catalyst for growth, because we’re often forced to adjust to the changes they bring.”

The upcoming April 8 solar eclipse is especially important since it’s considered a total solar eclipse. This means that the moon will completely cover the sun and the sky will darken for anyone who is in the Path of Totality. (Path of Totality = areas that will see the complete covering of the sun.) Although eclipses in general are pretty common—according to Marquardt, we have a few every year—this one is considered an “exceptionally rare event.” The last total solar eclipse occurred in August 2017, which, while not too long ago, was considered a “major event.”

“The only other total solar eclipse with a Path of Totality moving through mainland U.S. was on February 26, 1979, which only passed through five states: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota,” says Marquardt. It’s also worth noting that after April 8, we will not have a total solar eclipse crossing the country again until August 2044, and it “will only cross three states.”

In other words, April 8th will likely be the best chance for people in the U.S. to see a total solar eclipse for 20 years.

How long will the total solar eclipse last in different regions of the country?

NASA has provided the information below outlining the time(s) that totality begins and ends in 13 U.S. cities. However, Marquardt explains that “these are reliable timeframes to give for each of the states” as well. Also, keep in mind that these areas will also experience a partial eclipse before and after the times listed below.

  1. Dallas, Texas: 1:40-1:44 p.m. CDT
  2. Idabel, Oklahoma: 1:45-1:49 p.m. CDT
  3. Little Rock, Arkansas: 1:51-1:54 p.m. CDT
  4. Poplar Bluff, Missouri: 1:56 -2:00 p.m. CDT
  5. Carbondale, Illinois: 1:59- 2:03 p.m. CDT
  6. Paducah, Kentucky: 2:00-2:02 p.m CDT
  7. Evansville, Indiana: 2:02-2:05 p.m. CDT
  8. Cleveland, Ohio: 3:13-3:17 p.m. EDT
  9. Erie, Pennsylvania: 3:16-3:20 p.m. EDT
  10. Buffalo, New York: 3:18-3:22 p.m. EDT
  11. Burlington, Vermont: 3:26-3:29 p.m. EDT
  12. Lancaster, New Hampshire: 3:27-3:30 p.m. EDT
  13. Caribou, Maine: 3:32-3:34 p.m. EDT

Solar eclipse viewing tips

Viewing a total solar eclipse is nothing short of spectacular. But there is a key safety component to keep in mind. “The only time when it’s safe and appropriate to look at the sun with naked eyes is during totality when the sun is completely eclipsed by the moon,” says Marquardt. “If you are not [within] the Path of Totality, you must use safety equipment.” Typically, that entails special solar eclipse glasses—check the American Astronomical Society for a complete list of reputable manufacturers. “You can use cameras, telescopes, and binoculars to view the eclipse, but they must have solar filters placed in front of their lenses at all times,” adds Marquardt. (You can also go the DIY route and make a viewer out of a cardboard box.)

Marquardt is also quick to note that “even those in the Path of Totality will only have a couple of minutes to safely view the eclipse without special gear.” So the bottom line: Always use eclipse glasses or other safe viewers when looking at a solar eclipse.

Travel tips to see the total eclipse

According to Space.com, around 32 million people live inside the path of vitality for the April 8 solar eclipse, which is almost three times more than in 2017. However, if you don’t live near the Path of Totality—and are willing to travel to see the eclipse—then consider making a trip out of it.

“Hot spots like Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio are all experiencing triple-digit surges in searches for hotels and car rentals, but there is still availability,” explains Christie Hudson, travel expert for Expedia. Those looking for the most affordable lodging options should consider visiting larger cities within the Path of Totality. For example, she says, ”A 3-star hotel in Austin for the week of the eclipse starts at around $200 per night currently on the Expedia app, while [a hotel in] Burlington, Vermont starts around $400.” Additionally, keep in mind that some hotels may require a minimum stay of two or three nights.

Since travel is booking up fast, Hudson recommends “locking in a hotel room and booking your rental car as soon as possible.” On a similar note, if you plan on taking a plane to view the total solar eclipse, Hudson advises locking in your flights by early March since you’ll have the best chance of getting a good rate about a month out.

You can—and should—also consider destinations right outside the Path of Totality. For example, Memphis, TN and Kennebunkport, ME will both experience at least 95 percent of the sun being covered by the moon. (Which is nothing to sneeze at!)

“My biggest piece of advice for those traveling for the eclipse [is to] pack your patience,” adds Hudson. “The week of the eclipse also happens to coincide with what has historically been spring’s busiest travel week, April 1 to 8. Both airports and roads are expected to be congested, so make sure to plan accordingly.”

The best hotels to see the 2024 total solar eclipse

Keep scrolling for a list of available hotels in or right near the Path of Totality with at least 87 percent covered sun during the April 8 solar eclipse. At the time of publication, all of these hotels still had rooms available for the date of the eclipse. However, you’ll need to act fast—things are selling out quickly!

voco the cadence hotel
Photo: Courtesy of Expedia

1. Voco The Cadence (Niagara Falls, NY) — $1,289.00

Head up north to Niagara Falls, New York to view the solar eclipse, which will last for around four minutes. Stay in the heart of downtown at Voco The Cadence and book the aptly named Eclipse Package. Guests will enjoy breakfast for two, a bottle of bubbly, special viewing glasses—make your way to Niagara Falls State Park for the best view—and a custom 2024 eclipse blanket. Note that a two-night minimum stay is required from April 7 through April 9.

big cypress lodge in the pyramid in memphis tennessee
Photo: Courtesy of Expedia

2. Big Cypress Lodge (Memphis, TN) — $359.00

Memphis isn’t officially in the Path of Totality; however, the city is slated to experience an approx. 97 percent covered sun on April 8. Stay in the beating heart of downtown in the iconic Pyramid at Big Cypress Lodge. The nature-centric resort features rustic-chic rooms and suites. The outdoor lounge, which overlooks the Mississippi River, is the perfect spot to watch the eclipse. Just be sure to BYOVG (bring your own viewing glasses, of course).

kimpton schofield cleveland ohion lobby
Photo: Courtesy of Expedia

4. Kimpton Schofield (Cleveland, OH) — $458.00

In Cleveland, the maximum view of the eclipse can be seen at 3:15 p.m. on April 8, and the boutique Kimpton Schofield still has availability. Housed in a historic building, this stylish hotel offers sleek rooms and suites plus unique amenities like free guitar rentals, in-room yoga mats, and a complimentary wine and cheese hour each evening.

hyatt regency lost pines resort
Photo: Courtesy of Expedia

5. Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa (Bastrop, TX) — $952.00

The Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa is nestled in the serene Texas Hill Country, making it a great place to catch the solar eclipse sans any distractions. From noon to 3:00 p.m. on April 8, the property will host a special eclipse viewing party on the lawn, complete with family fun (marshmallow constellations, anyone?) and themed bites and beverages. Protective glasses will also be provided to ensure a safe and fun viewing experience. Two-night stays are still available from April 7 to April 9.

AC hotel marriott little rock arkansas
Photo: Courtesy of Expedia

6. AC Hotel by Marriott Little Rock Downtown (Little Rock, AK) — $580.00

The eclipse will begin in Arkansas’ capital city, Little Rock, at 12:33 p.m., with maximum totality at 1:52 p.m. Stay near the center of the city at the contemporary AC Hotel by Marriott Little Rock Downtown. While you may be tempted to admire the eclipse from your window, consider heading to the nearby Little Rock Zoo instead, where you’ll be surrounded by majestic wildlife.

courtyard marriott paducah outdoor view
Photo: Courtesy of Expedia

7. Courtyard by Marriott Paducah (Paducah, KY) — $569.00

The riverfront city of Paducah in western Kentucky will mark the total solar eclipse with watch parties, the most notable one taking place on the lawn of the National Quilt Museum. Here, totality is set to begin at 2:00 p.m., lasting for a total of 90 seconds. There’s still availability at the Courtyard by Marriott Paducah, which offers modern rooms with plush bedding and colorful artwork of local landmarks.

hotel swexan dallas texas
Photo: Courtesy of Expedia

8. Hotel Swexan (Dallas, TX) — $995.00

Downtown Dallas will experience nearly four minutes of totality on April 8. Travelers can make their base at Hotel Swexan, which will offer fun and festive programming like guided meditations and sound baths, along with specially crafted cocktails and mocktails. Complimentary viewing glasses will also be provided so guests can safely watch the eclipse from a telescope on the 20th-floor rooftop.

under canvas pigeon forge great smoky mountains
Photo: Courtesy of Expedia

9. Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains (Pigeon Forge, TN) — $199.00

Situated in the Great Smoky Mountains, this glamping retreat is located within 87 percent totality for the solar eclipse (meaning 87 percent of the sun will be covered by the moon). After watching the eclipse (with your own glasses), retreat to your spacious safari-style tent and bask in the postcard-worthy mountain surroundings. Or partake in evening s’mores around the fire with your fellow campers, enjoy live music, or other fun camp activities during your stay.

the conrad indianapolis hotel
Photo: Courtesy of Expedia

10. Conrad Indianapolis (Indianapolis, IN) — $376.00

On April 8, Indianapolis residents and visitors will see the total solar eclipse for three minutes and 46 seconds starting at 3:06 p.m. To mark the momentous occasion, Indiana’s capital city is offering a slew of festive programming, which can be found here. Before or after catching the eclipse, head to your room or suite at the Conrad Indianapolis, which offers luxe rooms and suites, an impressive collection of art featuring works from Warhol, Dali, and Picasso, and a tranquil spa where you can disconnect and unwind following this significant astronomical event.

renaissance toledo ohio hotel
Photo: Courtesy of Expedia

11. Renaissance Toledo (Toledo, OH) — $167.00

Catch the total solar eclipse in the small Ohio city of Toledo. Reserve a room at the Renaissance Toledo, which will offer special solar eclipse-themed programming, including a welcome party at the on-site rooftop restaurant on April 7, along with solar eclipse viewing glasses. Right next to the property at Festival Park by Imagination Station (Toledo’s Science Center), there will be a solar eclipse viewing party complete with food, games, and hands-on science activities.

woodstock inn and resort vermont hotel
Photo: Courtesy of Expedia

12. Woodstock Inn & Resort (Woodstock, VT) — $619.00

Two-night stays from April 7 through April 9 are still available at the ultra-charming Woodstock Inn & Resort, where the postcard-worthy mountain scenery only adds to the quaint ambiance. In celebration of the total solar eclipse, the property is hosting a weekend full of events complete with eclipse-themed crafts, celestial-inspired cocktails, and more. The main event, the Total Eclipse Tea Party, will take place from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and guests will receive viewing glasses for the festivities.

the graduate hotel bloomington indiana
Photo: Courtesy of Expedia

13. Graduate Bloomington (Bloomington, IN) — $709.00

About an hour south of Indianapolis lies the vibrant college town of Bloomington, which offers a slew of eclipse-themed events leading up to the total solar eclipse. In terms of accommodations, we recommend checking into the hip Graduate Bloomington hotel next door to Indiana University, which features fun collegiate-themed rooms and suites and an always-buzzing, all-day restaurant. One caveat: Only two-night stays from April 7 to April 9 are available.

bottleworks hotel indianapolis
Photo: Courtesy of Expedia

14. Bottleworks Hotel (Indianapolis, IN) — $509.00

A historic Coca-Cola bottling site turned boutique hotel, the Bottleworks Hotel is among the most unique places to stay in Indianapolis. The industrial-chic rooms and suites are sure to delight design enthusiasts, while the ample amenities—from the on-site cocktail bar and coffee shop to the nail salon, to the billiards in the lobby—are just the icing on the cake.

mill falls at the lake new hampshire hotel
Photo: Courtesy of Expedia

15. Mill Falls at the Lake (Meredith, NH) — $159.00

Mill Falls at the Lake offers an on-site spa, private lakeside cottages, and ample outdoor activities, from biking and hiking to yoga and meditation. From April 6 to April 8, the property is offering a special solar eclipse package complete with two pairs of viewing glasses, an eclipse guidebook, and an eclipse-inspired snack basket. Alternatively, those who are tight on time can simply book a one-night stay from April 8 to April 9.


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Harmony Evans is an award-winning author of Harlequin Kimani Romance, African-American romance, and so on. Harmony Evans is an award-winning author for Harlequin Kimani Romance, the leading publisher of African-American romance. Her 2nd novel, STEALING KISSES, will be released in November 2013. Harmony is a single mom to a beautiful, too-smart-for-her-own-good daughter, who makes her grateful for life daily. Her hobbies include cooking, baking, knitting, reading, and of course, napping and also review some of the best-selling and popular brands and services in the market and also write comprehensive blogs.

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