What’s the best place to see the April 2024 solar eclipse? One state is the easy answer.

An April 2024 solar eclipse will bring a fantastic sky spectacle over the homes of tens of millions of Americans — but time is running out to make plans to join them.

Travelers will want to find an area with clear weather within the 115-mile-wide path of totality, “Standing anywhere else is useless, you have to be in that zone,” said eclipse chaser David Makepeace, also known as the Eclipse Guy. “That’s what makes it special.”

The eclipse’s path will cross 13 states from Texas to Maine, and experts say the southern end of the path has the best chances for good viewing. Texas’ typically sunny weather, major cities ready for tourists and location under the path all combine to make it an easy recommendation for people willing to travel.

But not everyone will want to travel to Texas. And there’s other factors to consider when picking a viewing spot, including traffic, which some experts warn could rival or surpass that of the 2017 solar eclipse.

“It will likely be the most-viewed astronomical event in American history,” eclipse chaser Michael Zeiler, who runs the Great American Eclipse website, said. While 31 million people live in the path of totality, millions more are expected to flock to the narrow band of land that will be temporarily be plunged into darkness on the afternoon of April 8.


Travel agencies across the country continue to be busy booking weddings, honeymoons, “buddymoons,” and other eclipse-focused events as the big day approaches. Accommodations were still available at several major cities in the eclipse path as of Friday, including in Dallas, Indianapolis and Cleveland. A sampling of small towns in the path also had space available.

But don’t worry, there’s still time to decide where to go to get the best view, and USA TODAY has some ideas for you.

April 2024 solar eclipse:Why is this eclipse so noteworthy?

Total solar eclipses are very rare events to begin with, as they only occur every 18 months around the world, Dave Clark, operator of National, said. Many of them occur over the ocean or very remote parts of the world.

And the one in April will come right through three countries in North America: Mexico, the U.S., and Canada. “This is a very rare, tremendous opportunity … a once-in-a-lifetime event for most people,” Makepeace said.

In the U.S. alone, hundreds of cities and smaller towns in 13 states lie along the path.

And compared to the total eclipse in 2017, this one is longer in duration, has a wider path of totality, and occurs over or close to many major cities, according to

Among solar eclipses, experts say a total solar eclipse stands out, and is far more impressive than the annular “ring of fire” eclipse the U.S. witnessed in October.

This will also be our last chance to see one for a while: In North America, the next total solar eclipse won’t be until 2044, according to NASA.

The best eclipse viewing is expected to be in Texas

Weather remains the biggest wildcard when it comes to seeing eclipses. With this eclipse, the general thinking is that the farther south you are the better, due to decreased cloud chances. That means Texas is a natural destination for many eclipse chasers.

Specifically, Zeiler says the Hill Country of Texas – which includes San Antonio – “has the best weather prospects in the U.S.” for eclipse viewing. Also, the eclipse will last longer in Texas than in any other state in the U.S., according to the National Eclipse website.

But anything is possible weatherwise on eclipse day itself: It could be cloudy in Texas and clear in Maine, Clark said.

And if you are socked in with clouds, prepare to be disappointed. The skies will darken quite a bit, but that’s about all you will see. “For those few moments, it will feel dark and stormy,” Makepeace said.

April’s eclipse can be viewed from cities, towns or rural areas

Eclipse experts emphasize that where you go is really a personal preference, if you want to experience it in a city, small town or a rural area.


One upside to seeing it in a rural area is that there won’t be tall buildings around to obstruct the view, Makepeace said.

A downside to small towns and rural areas is the onslaught of traffic that could overwhelm their road infrastructure. Lorain County, in Northeast Ohio west of Cleveland, for example, is telling its residents to have three days worth of food, fuel and water on hand, due to the traffic that’s expected.

Astrophysicist Antonella Fruscione, who lives in the Boston area, will be traveling all the way to San Antonio with 18 family and friends – some from as far away as Europe – to see the total eclipse. “It’s very close to the center of totality and the high probability of no clouds in April,” Fruscione said.

What’s important besides weather?

Zeiler, a veteran of 11 total solar eclipses on six continents around the world, says to look at two factors in addition to weather: mobility and accessibility.

“There’s no single ‘best’ place, it depends on a couple of factors,” Zeiler told USA TODAY.

By mobility, he means ease of travel both before and especially after the eclipse. Before the eclipse, if you’re in a car, “have a road network available where you can evade clouds,” he said. And after the eclipse, traffic jams will be a real problem, so having multiple routes away from the eclipse will be crucial.

By accessibility, he’s referring to available accommodations. He said cities like Dallas would be a good choice due to the plentiful places for tourists to stay.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: What’s the best place to see April 2024 solar eclipse? Why Texas wins.

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