Where to see the 2024 great American eclipse – from northern New York to southern Texas

Parts of North America will get to see the solar phenomenon on 8 April 2024

Chris Wilson
Saturday 02 March 2024 09:35 GMT
The eclipse will be visible in various areas of the US
The eclipse will be visible in various areas of the US (Getty Images)

The USA is hardly short on attractions, with the thousands of reasons to visit ranging from beautiful coastlines and incredible national parks to fascinating cities and historic towns.

Whether you prefer theme parks, sports matches, museums or road trips, the USA has you covered. But in 2024, a more unique attraction will briefly come to the US – the great American eclipse.

This natural phenomenon – when the moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, and completely covers the latter – is happening on 8 April, and will not happen again over the USA until 2044, making this a particularly rare event.

It will be visible in several locations across the USA, from some of the country’s largest cities, like Dallas and Cleveland, to beautiful natural parks, tiny northern towns and amazing natural sites like Niagara Falls.

Below, we’ve rounded up a list of the best locations to travel to if you want to see the phenomenon this April.

Dallas, Texas

Dallas is the ninth largest city in the USA
Dallas is the ninth largest city in the USA (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Dallas is one of several larger cities on the list, where eclipse-hunters will have plenty to do either side of the rare event. Those who appreciate art in all its forms will be in luck, with highlights including the Dallas Museum of Art, the attached AT&T Performing Arts Center, and The Crow Collection of Asian Art. History-lovers will appreciate the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza, which chronicles the life and assassination of John F. Kennedy, but for something more light-hearted, the AT&T Discovery District is the place to head for drinking and dining.

A great place to watch the eclipse would be Texas’s Dinosaur Valley State Park, where 20 miles of trails can be explored before or after when the eclipse takes place between 12.23pm and 3.02pm.

Where to stay

The SpringHill Suites by Marriott offers decent last-minute value for staying in downtown Dallas, with a convenient location and spacious modern suites.

Read more on USA travel:

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland has over two million residents
Cleveland has over two million residents (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

As with many US cities, Cleveland has a wealth of things to see and do, from basketball and baseball games to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and an art museum that is renowned for its collections of Asian and Egyptain art.

The eclipse is best experienced at the city’s Edgewater Park, with the city skyline on the horizon. It’ll take place between 1.59pm and 4.29pm.

Where to stay

Availability is limited in Clevand over the eclipse period, but the Hampton Inn Downtown provides comfortable contemporary accommodation that is close to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum and historic Asiatown.

Buffalo, New York

Niagara Falls is just 17 miles from Buffalo
Niagara Falls is just 17 miles from Buffalo (Getty Images)

Buffalo lies on the eastern side of Lake Erie, just 20 minutes from Niagara Falls and the Canadian border. Niagara Falls State Park is one of the most dramatic places to see the eclipse, surrounded by the amazing waterfalls and on the waters of the Niagara River. It’ll take place between 2.04pm and 3.15pm here.

Away from the eclipse, the city has its own science museum, history museum, art museum and botanical gardens, while Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in as president at the Inaugural National Historic Site.

Where to stay

The Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino is one of the few hotels that lies less than a mile from the falls, with the state park reachable within 15 minutes by foot. Rooms are delightfully sleek and modern, with some offering fantastic views over the surrounding area.

Little Rock, Arkansas

Little Rock became an epicentre of the US civil rights movement with the incident involving the ‘Little Rock Nine’
Little Rock became an epicentre of the US civil rights movement with the incident involving the ‘Little Rock Nine’ (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

This town in central Arkansas is best known for the role that its high school – or more specifically, the nine students who became the first African American pupils to enrol there in 1957 – played in the US civil rights movement. As part of the town’s wider ‘Little Rock Civil Rights Tour’, visitors can go to the visitor centre and museum that sit opposite the school. Elsewhere, the Museum of Discovery has exhibitions on natural history, science and technology.

When it comes to viewing the eclipse, the Pinnacle Mountain State Park should have great views of the skies just 20 minutes outside town, while a Pink Floyd tribute band will play Dark Side of The Moon at a free gig at the First Security Amphitheater as the event takes place, between 12.33pm and 3.11pm.

Where to stay

The Four Points by Sheraton in Midtown Little Rock is around three miles from the centre of town, but provides an affordable alternative to city centre options. Interiors are suitably modern and comfortable, with a large outdoor swimming pool acting as the hotel’s focal point.

Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Much of the 2014 film Gone Girl was filmed in Cape Girardeau
Much of the 2014 film Gone Girl was filmed in Cape Girardeau (Getty Images)

Cape Girardeau sits alongside the Mississippi River, just 90 minutes from aforementioned Paducah. Another smaller city, it is home to the Trail of Tears State Park, a 3,415-acre site with an observation deck that offers great views of the river. The visitor centre teaches about the history of the Cherokee people, and the forced relocation in 1838 that gives the park its name.

The park is also the best place in town to see the eclipse, which will take place around 12.39pm to 3.15pm.

Where to stay

Cape Girardeau is short of affordable accommodation options, but we recommend the Pear Tree Inn Cape Girardeau West. Rooms are pared-back and functional, with a great location for exploring the town and surrounding area.

Baxter State Park, Maine

Baxter State Park is almost 210,000 acres in size
Baxter State Park is almost 210,000 acres in size (Getty Images)

Maine’s Baxter State Park showcases some of the state’s most mesmerising natural beauty, from Mount Katahdin – the tallest in Maine – to placid lakes and dense pine forest. There are beautiful hiking routes, like the Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail, as well as canoeing, kayaking and fly fishing. The eclipse will take place between 2.22pm and 4.40pm here, with totality at around 3.32pm.

Where to stay

The best place to stay in this part of the world is in the wildnerness, but as campgrounds and lodges mostly open for the season in mid-May, your best bet during the eclipse is one of the cheap and cheerful places in Millinocket, on the southern edge of the park.

The Baxter Park Inn has an indoor swimming pool and sauna, and a good range of choices for breakfast.

Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis is colloquially known as ‘Indy’
Indianapolis is colloquially known as ‘Indy’ (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Indianapolis has one of the more unusual eclipse viewing points, with the option to experience it at the city’s Motor Speedway. Billed as the ‘Racing Capital of the World’, Indianapolis is home to the famous Indy 500 race. The eclipse will happen between 1.45pm and 4.20pm in the Indiana capital.

Visitors to the city have plenty to do when their eyes are away from the sun (or moon), with museums including that of the Motor Speedway, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, the Indiana State Museum and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Alternatively, catch some sport at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse, home of the Indiana Pacers NBA team, or visit the oldest bar in the state, the Slippery Noodle Inn, for some blues music.

Where to stay

The Holiday Inn Indianapolis Downtown provides reliable accommodation at affordable rates in the city’s downtown area. Rooms are comfortable, if a little old fashioned, and it’s close to several of the city’s museums and sports venues.

Poteau, Oklahoma

Poteau was founded in 1885 and named after the nearby river, which has been named by French explorers a century earlier
Poteau was founded in 1885 and named after the nearby river, which has been named by French explorers a century earlier (Getty Images)

Poteau lies around three hours from the state capital, Oklahoma City, and two hours from Tulsa. A town of less than 10,000 people, it has less to do than other places on the list, but its pleasant riverside setting and nearby landscapes make it a great place to travel to for the eclipse.

Visitors can hike up Cavanal Hill, self-described as ‘The World’s Tallest Hill’ at 727m, for the best view of the event (and the surrounding Poteau River Valley) between 12.28pm and 3.06pm. To see more surrounding nature, visit Lake Wister State Park – the gateway to the Ouachita National Forest – where you’ll find 115 miles of shoreline and plenty of outdoor pursuits and water sports.

Where to stay

The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Poteau is right in the centre of town and features an indoor pool and fitness centre, as well as laundry facilities, useful for cleaning up after all the fun outdoor actitivies you’ll be getting up to before and after the eclipse.

Lancaster, New Hampshire

Lancaster is named after the northern UK city
Lancaster is named after the northern UK city (Getty Images)

Lancaster is another of the smaller towns in this list, and is located close to the Canadian border, around two hours from Montreal. Things to see include the Conway Scenic Railroad and the retro Rialto Theatre, while the state parks of Milan Hill and Weeks are good places to explore valleys and mountains before watching the eclipse between 2.16pm and 4.37pm.

Where to stay

Coos Motor Inn is well located for downtown Lancaster, just 10 minutes from Weeks State Park, and has cheerful rooms.

Paducah, Kentucky

Paducah is also known as ‘Quilt City’
Paducah is also known as ‘Quilt City’ (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Paducah is a Unesco Creative City, largely due to its long history of quilt-making, which is showcased at the National Quilt Museum. Learn about more of the city’s past via the painted panels of the Wall to Wall Floodwall Murals, or head to Schultz Park for a picturesque spot overlooking the Ohio River.

The eclipse will begin at 12.42pm in Kentucky, and should end around 3.18pm. Several spots along the five-mile Greenway Trail – which connects five of the city parks – make good viewpoints, with plenty of open green space.

Where to stay

Accommodation in Paducah itself is now very expensive (for what it offers) over the eclipse but in nearby Murray you’ll find the Murray Inn and Art Gallery, a bright clean two-star hotel set in pretty gardens.

Southern Illinois

The eclipse should take place between around 12.42pm and 3.18pm in southern Illinois
The eclipse should take place between around 12.42pm and 3.18pm in southern Illinois (Getty Images)

Though Illinois is undoubtedly most known for its main city, Chicago, the best place to see the eclipse is around five hours south, in the Shawnee National Forest. The mix of rugged landscapes and dense forest in areas like the Garden of the Gods makes for a dramatic background to the event, with the Shawnee Cave Amphitheater putting on live music too.

When not watching the event, explore more of the Illinois wilderness with the Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour, or get in the car and head to nearby cities like St Louis or Springfield.

Where to stay

There’s not much available over the period of the eclipse in the immediate area, but a little way down I-24 you’ll find Hotel 7 Inn Vienna, which has an indoor swimming pool and free wifi.

Burlington, Vermont

Burlington is the largest city in Vermont
Burlington is the largest city in Vermont (Getty Images)

Burlington’s best things to see are mainly based in nature, with Lake Champlain, the Adirondack Mountains and Oakledge Park among the natural highlights. Battery Park is another one, where the eclipse will take place between 2.14pm and 4.37pm overlooking the lake and the mountains.

Those wanting to get a bit more hustle and bustle should head to Church Street Marketplace, a pedestrianised outdoor shopping centre that spans four blocks of shops and restaurants, some of which are in original 1820s buildings.

Where to stay

There’s low availability in Burlington itself, unless you want to spend a lot of cash on a large vacation rental, but 90 minutes south, in Killington, you’ll find the Summit Lodge. This cosy four-season resort in the Green Mountains is set over 10 acres, has two heated outdoor saltwater pools and an Irish pub.

Erie, Pennsylvania

Erie was once known as the ‘Gem of the Great Lakes’
Erie was once known as the ‘Gem of the Great Lakes’ (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Erie is a city surrounded by rugged cliffs and sandy beaches, with those around Lake Erie in the Presque Isle State Park some of the best (and a good place to catch a sunset, especially at the aptly named Sunset Point).

However, for the eclipse, perhaps the best spot in town is the Erie Bluffs State Park, where the 90ft cliffs provide sweeping views over the lake. The event will happen between 2.02pm and 4.30pm, with totality at 3.16pm.

Where to stay

Erie is, unsurprisingly, very booked up ahead of the eclipse, but try the Knights Inn, 70 minutes south and well situated for the Allegheny National Forest. It’s a classic American motel within walking distance of the Allegheny River.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in