Where and When to See the 2024 Total Eclipse

A total eclipse is a rare natural event many people never experience. However, much of the United States will have the opportunity during the 2024 total eclipse.

If you’ve dreamed of witnessing this phenomenon, you won’t want to miss it. If you do, you might not be around for the next one.

Today, we’re sharing when and where you can see the 2024 total eclipse. We’ll even share some tips on safely enjoying the event.

Let’s get started!

What Is a Total Eclipse?

While there are many different types of total eclipses, the most famous occurs when the Moon moves between the Earth and the Sun. This is a total solar eclipse, which temporarily casts a shadow on a portion of the Earth’s surface. For a very brief period, day turns into night. 

Additionally, we can also experience a total lunar eclipse. This occurs when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon. When this happens, the Earth’s shadow lands on the Moon, which creates a reddish hue.

These celestial events can be an unforgettable experience. If you’ve never experienced one, we highly recommend it. It can be a priceless memory you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.

How Common Is a Total Eclipse?

Typically, a total eclipse occurs somewhere on Earth approximately every 18 months. These relatively rare events require the perfect alignment of the Sun, Moon, and Earth. As a result, the frequency of eclipses tends to vary. 

When a total eclipse does occur, it often captures the attention of the area. Scientists, astronomers, and the general public turn their attention to the skies to take in the moment. Many enthusiasts will even travel a considerable distance so they’re in the “path of totality” for the best possible view. 

The beginning of an eclipse with the moon covering about 75% of the sun.

When Is the 2024 Total Eclipse?

The 2024 total eclipse will occur on April 8, 2024. It will be visible throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada. The path of totality for this total eclipse is massive. 

It passes through Texas, Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, New York, Vermont, and Maine. If you’re anywhere near it, you won’t want to miss it!

Where Are the Best Spots to View the 2024 Total Eclipse?

For the best viewing, you’ll want to get as close to the path of totality as possible. Luckily, the 2024 total eclipse makes it easy for those who want to see it. Its path passes through some larger locations, many of which have special events planned for the day.

Family laying on the grass looking at Solar Eclipse using solar glasses.

Niagara Falls, New York

This popular tourist destination in New York is in the heart of the path of totality. The iconic falls are an experience no matter when you visit.

However, they’ll be the perfect natural backdrop during this event. If you’ve never experienced either, you can hit two birds with one stone by visiting Niagara Falls on this day.

However, don’t expect to be the only one with this idea. The falls can be a popular destination on a typical day, but they’ll likely experience increased traffic during the total eclipse. You’ll want to do some planning ahead of time to ensure that you can have a smooth experience.

Carbondale, Illinois

Another prime location to view the 2024 total eclipse is Carbondale, Illinois. This is a unique location as it was also in the path of totality during the 2017 solar eclipse. Like the previous event, the city and local university are planning events and activities corresponding to the occurrence.

Southern Illinois University is offering an eclipse festival residence hall room reservation. This makes it easy to enjoy the phenomenon and the activities leading up to it. You won’t have to worry about fighting traffic and others to get the best view possible.

A campus directory for Southern Illinois University, which is hosting events for the 2024 total eclipse.

Little Rock, Arkansas

The city of Little Rock, Arkansas, is counting down the days until they experience the path of totality from the 2024 total eclipse. Additionally, the neighboring towns of Hot Springs and Jonesboro are getting excited, too.

If you plan to be in Little Rock, the Riverfront Park is a fantastic viewing location. It sits along the Arkansas River and provides plenty of space.

Little Rock isn’t a massive city, so you won’t have to worry about throngs of people crowding you or fighting long traffic lines.

Dallas, Texas

Totality for Dallas, Texas, will begin at 1:40 PM CDT and end at 1:44 PM CDT. Because this is a major city, there will be events and activities all over the area.

Locations like the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the Dallas Arboretum are fantastic viewing locations. These viewing events will offer activities and other educational experiences.

The skyline of Dallas, Texas.

Indianapolis, Indiana

Another great city to view the 2024 total eclipse is Indianapolis, Indiana. In the center of the Hoosier State, Indianapolis will experience totality from 3:06 PM EST to 3:09 PM EST. It’s situated directly in the center of the path of totality and will be an incredible view.

Again, the city and other organizations will offer many events. However, the best viewing locations are Eagle Creek Park, Crown Hill Cemetery, and the many open farmlands surrounding the city.

Check for any special events where you plan to enjoy the view. You want to avoid arriving and discovering a massive crowd beat you to it.

Tips for Viewing a Total Eclipse

You want to do it right since viewing a total eclipse is rare. Here are a few tips to help ensure you have the best experience possible.

Plan Ahead

As mentioned, a total eclipse often captures the attention of everyone in the surrounding area. Some will travel a considerable distance to simply be in the path of totality. This can result in increased traffic and congestion in regions that don’t typically experience it. As a result, you must plan as much as possible.

Not only will you want to research viewing locations and events to attend, but you’ll want to arrive early. Some will stake out their spots for several hours ahead of the event. However, depending on the location, this isn’t always necessary. As long as you have a clear view of the sky, you’ll have an incredible view.

As a part of your planning for the 2024 total eclipse, you’ll want to ensure you have the proper supplies.

If you’ll be waiting for a considerable amount of time, you’ll want chairs, something to entertain you, and some snacks and beverages. These help ensure you are as comfortable as possible while you wait.

Haven’t decided how you’re going to see the solar ecplise yet? Read Is it Cheaper to Rent an RV or Stay in Hotels When Traveling.

Use Proper Eye Protection

When viewing a total eclipse, you must protect your eyes. You should never stare directly at the Sun, even during a total eclipse. This can cause severe eye damage and even lead to permanent blindness.

Wearing special solar viewing glasses is the best way to protect your eyes during a total eclipse. These lenses have special filters to filter out the dangerous ultraviolet rays that can cause injuries. You’ll likely find them at stores near the path of totality. Before purchasing, ensure they have the international safety standards (ISO 12312-2) marking on them.

Eclipse glasses held up to the sky blocking out the sun. You'll need a pair if you want to see the 2024 total eclipse.

Be Weather-Aware

Unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate during a total eclipse. Because it is a natural phenomenon, the show will go on whether it’s cloudy, rainy, or any other weather conditions. Not only will this ruin the experience, but you may not even be able to see the sun. Sure, it’ll get dark for a few minutes, but that’s about it.

In the days and weeks leading up to the event, staying weather-aware is a good idea. Depending on the situation, you may need to change your plans or find a better viewing location. You don’t want to waste your time or money if it won’t be worth it.

Don’t Miss the 2024 Total Eclipse

We don’t know about you, but we’re excited about the 2024 total eclipse. Because these events are infrequent, anyone who can should experience them.

If you don’t, you’ll have to wait until 2044 for your best chance. Take advantage of this one since a lot can happen in 20 years. Where will you view the 2024 total eclipse? 

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