Are You Ready? Top 10 US Cities for 2024’s Great American Eclipse, Spanning from Texas to Indiana and Beyond

On April 8, more than two dozen US cities will plunge into darkness when a total solar eclipse completely blots out the sun.

These cities are in what’s called the “path of totality,” which will run from southwest Texas to northern Maine.

Those not in the path of totality won’t experience a total eclipse but can still witness a partial one. However, experts say it’s worth traveling to see the total eclipse if you can make it.

Total Solar Eclipse 2024 US — Great American Eclipse

“In choosing your location, you really are choosing something that’s special,” Kelly Korreck, NASA’s program manager for the 2024 solar eclipse, told Business Insider.

Solar eclipses happen relatively frequently worldwide, but a total eclipse will only pass over the same city every 400 to 1,000 years, Korreck said. “You probably won’t see another one there in your lifetime,” she added.

Here are the 10 largest cities located in the path of totality for the Great American Eclipse of 2024.

Dayton, OH

Population size: 137,571

Total eclipse begins: 3:09 p.m. local time

Duration of totality: ~2 minutes 43 seconds

This will be the first time since 1806 that Ohio has seen a total solar eclipse.

In Dayton, eclipse watchers are invited to gather at the National Museum of the US Air Force for free. The museum will also offer free parking, viewing space, and access to the museum’s collection featuring more than 360 aerospace vehicles.

Waco, TX

Population size: 139,594

Total eclipse begins: 1:38 p.m. local time

Duration of totality: ~4 minutes 12 seconds

Waco, Texas will celebrate the eclipse with a full day of fun activities for the whole family.

You can purchase tickets for $20 to join astronomers from Lowell Observatory and Baylor University at McLane Stadium. The event will include telescopes, educational programming, and food trucks.

Syracuse, NY

Population size: 146,103

Total eclipse begins: 3:23 p.m. local time

Duration of totality: ~1 minute 24 seconds

After this one, Syracuse, NY won’t see another total solar eclipse for a whopping 379 years.

The city’s Museum of Science and Technology will host a free eclipse festival open to the public with food trucks and tabling activities.

But if you plan to be in Syracuse a couple of days before, you’ll be just in time for a lecture about the 1925 solar eclipse that inspired eclipse research at the Colby Radio Research Lab. This event will be hosted on April 6 at the Cayuga Museum of History and Art.

Little Rock, AR

Population size: 201,998

Total eclipse begins: 1:52 p.m. local time

Duration of totality: ~2 minutes 29 seconds

Solar eclipses have been shown to cause some unusual animal behavior.

At the Little Rock Zoo, you might witness this mysterious phenomenon for yourself. The zoo invites eclipse watchers to join them for a Party on the Path Picnic featuring food, games, and included zoo admission. Tickets are $20-$32.

Rochester, NY

Population size: 210,606

Total eclipse begins: 3:20 p.m. local time

Duration of totality: ~3 minutes 38 seconds

Rochester, New York is celebrating the eclipse with a whole week of events.

Among them is a live performance by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra featuring music from “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” and more of your favorite retro space movies on April 7.

On the day of the eclipse, spectators can watch from a variety of different venues, including Rochester Public Market, the Seneca Park Zoo, and Lazy Acre Alpaca Farm.

Buffalo, NY

Population size: 276,807

Total eclipse begins: 3:20 p.m. local time

Duration of totality: ~3 minutes 45 seconds

Buffalo is New York’s third major city in the path of totality.

Eclipse watchers in Buffalo can raise a glass to this unforgettable experience at Hofbräuhaus Buffalo, a German microbrewery and music venue. The brewery is now taking reservations for its eclipse watch party in its Biergarten featuring live music, food, and drink specials.

Cleveland, OH

Population size: 367,991

Total eclipse begins: 3:15 p.m. local time

Duration of totality: ~3 minutes 50 seconds

Watching the total solar eclipse in Cleveland is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This city won’t fall within the path of totality for another 421 years.

Be sure to get there a few days early to enjoy, for free, all three days of Cleveland’s Total Eclipse Fest, hosted by the Great Lakes Science Center. Visiting NASA scientists, engineers, and educators will be offering educational programs and activities for eclipse enthusiasts of all ages.

Indianapolis, IN

Population size: 882,039

Total eclipse begins: 3:07 p.m. local time

Duration of totality: ~3 minutes 47 seconds

If you miss the 2024 total solar eclipse in Indianapolis, you might be able to catch the next one in 2044.

But you won’t want to miss out on the city’s celebratory Eclipse Weekend filled with parties, films, and games. Eclipse watchers are invited to gather for the event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. General admission tickets are $20. NASA experts will be there and ready to answer all your questions about the eclipse.

Austin, TX

Population size: 964,177

Total eclipse begins: 1:36 p.m. local time

Duration of totality: ~1 minute 46 seconds

This is the first total solar eclipse in Austin, Texas in over 600 years.

The Long Center and the Simons Foundation invite Austin eclipse watchers to join them for a free Eclipse Viewing Party on the Long Center Lawn, hosted by Radiolab’s Molly Webster.

At the Moody Amphitheater, the band Vampire Weekend will play a live concert during the eclipse. Ticket prices aren’t cheap, though.

Or, spectators can venture just outside of Austin to watch the eclipse in the picturesque Hill Country of Texas. This region is known for its picturesque rolling hills and valleys and attracts over 5 million visitors each year.

Dallas, TX

Population size: 1,288,000

Total eclipse begins: 1:42 p.m. local time

Duration of totality: ~3 minutes 49 seconds

Dallas is the largest city in the path of totality.

Several of the city’s ticketed viewing events are already sold out, but you can still purchase group tickets to watch from the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden while the gardens are in full bloom. Or, head downtown for a lunchtime watch party featuring live music, food trucks, and family-friendly activities.

Watch responsibly

Wherever you choose to watch the Great American Eclipse, remember that it is never safe to look directly at the sun without protection.

Moreover, sunglasses are not dark enough to protect your eyes during a solar eclipse, NASA eclipse program manager Kelly Korreck told BI. You need ISO-certified eclipse glasses to watch it safely.

Eclipse watchers who plan on traveling for the event should make sure to take general safety precautions, Korreck said.

“Make sure you know where you’re going, you have enough gas, you have enough food, you have water, especially because there might be traffic when you’re leaving the event,” she said.

Korreck encourages anyone who can watch this event from the path of totality to take advantage of the opportunity.

“It really is a full-body experience,” she said.


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