8 Best Destinations for the Next (and Rare) Total Solar Eclipse
Hotels are already booking up fast in the lead up to the highly anticipated event next year.
The chance to witness a total solar eclipse is rare enough that it remains a bucket list item for many people. After all, these events require a combination of being in the right place at the right time and having the correct conditions to actually see them. Since the next eclipse will be the last visible from North America until 2044, many are making plans well ahead of the event on Apr. 8, 2024, to secure front-row seats.
The hype has created a mad dash for accommodations in locations along the path of totality, which will start in Texas and run across 13 states through Maine, according to NASA. In some places, basic hotel rooms are going for five to seven times their typical rates—including some listed well above $1,000 for a night, The New York Times reports.
The pinch is even being felt in the short-term home rental market, with some avid eclipse chasers saying supply has been dwindling even months in advance. Others reported finding decent rates, only to have hosts cancel their reservations and demand a higher price point for the occasion, The Times reports.
Some experts have recommended finding lodging within an hour's drive of the path of totality to avoid a price crunch. But others still warn that the expected crowds will likely bring traffic jams along with them on the big day.
"It's a little bit like going to a big sporting event where people take their time getting in but everybody wants to leave at the same time," Scott Katsinas, a travel adviser at Katsinas Travel Consultants in Arizona, told The Times.
But even as accommodations run thin in some places, there's still hope for those who want to experience the event for themselves. Local tourism boards have collected resources for eclipse chasers with options along the path of totality for the big day. Read on for the best destinations for watching the next total solar eclipse in 2024.
If you're looking to get a head start on eclipse viewing, Dallas is likely your best bet. The Texas metropolis is not only the largest city in the path of totality but also the first major U.S. destination to experience the event as partial coverage begins at 12:23 p.m. CDT, according to the Perot Museum.
Besides the city's ample hotel rooms, there are other perks to picking the Lone Star State for catching the eclipse: Experts point out that it's the place that's statistically most likely to have clear weather in April when the event occurs, according to travel news outlet The Points Guy.
If you want to get the most out of your eclipse experience, Indianapolis may be one of your better options. The Indiana capital is near the center of the path of totality, creating a full coverage time of three minutes and 46 seconds, according to the local tourism board. The city will also host NASA at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway, providing experts to answer questions and host a live broadcast of the event.
Lake Placid, New York
Lake Placid may have the rare distinction of having hosted the Winter Olympics twice, but 2024 will mark the first time in recorded history the Adirondack locale will experience a total eclipse. The town is planning to welcome visitors with activities and events throughout the Olympic Legacy Sites, providing the opportunity to take in the rare event while surrounded by the region's famous natural beauty.
Those still searching for a spot to catch the eclipse might want to consider Cleveland. The Ohio city is near the center of the path of totality and will experience full coverage for nearly four minutes on Apr. 8, according to the city's tourism board. Visitors can also look forward to locally hosted events and festivities marking the occasion.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Arkansas provides another chance to combine natural beauty with the total solar eclipse. Little Rock is just one of the cities in the state with hotel rooms and accommodations to handle the crowds, with the partial eclipse beginning on the earlier side for the U.S. at 12:33 p.m. CDT and finishing at 3:11 p.m., according to NASA.
The U.S. isn't the only country that will be able to glimpse the eclipse next April: Mexico and Canada will also be on the path of totality. Montreal stands out among these international options for its easy access by flights, ample number of hotel rooms and lodging options, and plenty to see and experience outside of the eclipse itself.
According to the Canadian Space Agency, visitors in the Quebec locale can expect to see full coverage for one minute and 28 seconds, which marks the last time the province will see one until 2106.
The Green Mountain state provides plenty of reasons to visit year-round, but the 2024 eclipse is a compelling addition to the list. The event marks the first time Vermont has experienced totality since 1932, according to the state's tourism board. Those staying in Burlington can expect full sun coverage for about three minutes and will have access to hotels and other lodging in the area.
If you're looking to be among the last in the U.S. to catch sight of the last eclipse until 2044, picking Maine as your viewing locale is the only option. The path of totality crosses the northern half of the state, with full coverage beginning in the small town of Caribou at 3:32 p.m. EDT, according to NASA. After that, the eclipse will pass through the Canadian maritime provinces before ending its traverse of North America and finishing over the Atlantic Ocean.