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The Best U.S. Cities to Experience 2024’s Total Solar Eclipse

With only 200 days until the highly anticipated 2024 eclipse, it’s time to plan your trip to experience it.

The eclipse will pass over Mexico, the United States, and Canada on April 8, 2024. Here in the States, the eclipse will begin in Texas, traveling through cities within Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

There are smaller cities in the path of totality, which might interest those who don’t want to be in big city crowds. We picked three of our favorite sites for the 2024 historical occasion with eclipse-watching events, other local attractions, and some eateries you can’t miss.

INSIDER TIPYou can visit for in-depth maps of the viewing areas within each state.

Ken Blaze

Cleveland, Ohio

Don’t sleep on “The Land.” Cleveland is an ideal choice for an adult getaway for the celestial event, and the city will experience totality for 3 minutes and 49 seconds. The eclipse is a magnificent occurrence for Ohioans statewide. There isn’t a city within the state that has been in the path of totality since 1806. After 2024, the next time any part of the state will see the phenomenon is 2099. Here’s some of what they have planned:

The Great Lakes Science Center and NASA Glenn Research are joining forces to host the Total Eclipse Festival 2024 at North Coast Harbor, April 6-8, 2024. For three days, spectators can enjoy a concert from the Cleveland Orchestra, local food vendors, live science demonstrations, and more. One of the festival highlights will be on-site NASA experts! In addition to live broadcasting, experts will share NASA’s methods for studying the sun and its impact on Earth and the solar system.

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Continue your quest for all things outer space at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History with an immersive planetarium journey that takes you through space and time or a virtual reality flight simulator experience. There is a full weekend line-up! On April 4th, there is a 21+ Think & Drink: Lights Out after-hours event. Join fellow spectators on Eclipse Day for a community watch party with special events and activities.

There are other places to view the eclipse, such as the Garden of Eden Sky Lounge or Bar 32, an all-windows bar on the 32nd floor of the Hilton Cleveland Downtown, offering breathtaking views of Lake Erie and Downtown. Stay tuned to their website or social media for any Eclipse-related events. For an elevated and upscale viewing experience, visit the city’s newest rooftop bar and restaurant, Fahrenheit.

Other Things to Do in Cleveland

During your stint in The Land, spend an afternoon on the 9,000-foot shoreline of Lake Erie at Edgewater Beach for Instagram-worthy views of the downtown area. For relaxation, visit Soul Yoga for a yoga session or sound bath. If you stop by, try to get in at the Soul Groove class. It’s perfect for all yogi levels, using a mix of slow movements and Yin-style extended floor poses ending in a relaxing sound bath. Another notable stop is The Cleveland Botanical Garden. There are seasonal exhibits boasting exotic birds, flowers, and art throughout the gardens. The greenhouses are a treat to explore with animals, plants, and endangered species. Year-round, visitors can step into the rain forests of Costa Rica or the tropical wonders of Madagascar. Music fanatics should not leave Cleveland without a visit to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.

Where to Eat in Cleveland

The food scene in Cleveland is a unique blend of cultures, cuisines, and lifestyles, starting with The Roaming Biscuit, nestled in the center of Hingetown. The pop-up shop brings a southern flair to the city with breakfast sandwiches made of flaky biscuits filled with fresh ingredients, jams, and spices sourced from local vendors. Although the menu changes weekly, there are reappearing crowd favorites. You’ll also find the gem Wolf Pack Chorus in the bustling Little Italy neighborhood. The menu draws inspiration from the chef’s global travels and culinary education.

Courtesy of RMSC

Rochester, New York

This charming city in upstate New York is family-friendly and the perfect destination to gather all your loved ones for some eclipse-watching fun, observing 3 minutes and 38 seconds of totality. Rochesterians are ready to welcome visitors and residents alike to the historical event. And for good reason! The last time they were in the line of the eclipse was nearly 100 years ago, in 1925. At current projections, the next time will be in the year 2144. Here’s some of what they have planned.

The Rochester Museum & Science Center is hosting ROC the Eclipse, a 3-day festival for science-loving fans of all ages. Skywatchers from near and far will find thrilling entertainment. The line-up promises concerts, demonstrations, learning activities, guest speakers, and plenty of good food. Per the event website, more things will be added to the festival itinerary as planning is ongoing.

Join the historic Genesee County Village & Museum for the Solar Spectacle! You and your family can view the eclipse in a 19th-century landmark village. The property has everything you need for a weekend of fun. Walk down to the farm to see the farm animals or hitch a ride on a wagon pulled by a tractor. Meet folks of yesteryear, like the local blacksmith, farm hands, or print shop. For the eclipse, pull into the south field to watch the spectacle from the comfort of your vehicle. Genesee also has some of the best hiking trails in the city.

There are plenty of spots throughout the city perfect for viewing the eclipse. At Cobbs Hill Park, you will have picturesque views of the Rochester skyline. The High Falls overlooks a 96-foot waterfall. Or, join fellow viewers along the shorelines of Lake Ontario at Durand Eastman Park.

Other Things Do in Rochester

All roads lead to the iconic Neighborhood of Play. In the center of it sits the newly re-opened Strong National Museum of Play. Kids and kids at heart can immerse themselves into video game history, visit the beloved Sesame Street, complete an obstacle course that ends with a zipline, or have a friendly challenge amongst each other on the life-size board games. For the history buffs in the group, tour the George Eastman Museum to learn about the history of the Kodak camera and its evolution from the beginning of its time. You can also visit Seneca Park Zoo for wildlife adventures from global habitats. Thrill seekers might have a grand time on the rollercoasters or surf simulator experience at Seabreeze Amusement Park. Before you leave Rochester, cruise the waters of Lake Erie on the Sam Patch Boat Tour of Erie Canal. The Boat is named after the famed Sam Patch, the 19th-century mill worker credited as the first famous American daredevil to jump off waterfalls, including Rochester’s High Falls!

Where to Eat in Rochester

There is no shortage of family-friendly places to get a tasty bite. Rochester is home to the world’s first Wegman’s. Those local and fresh ingredients in their grocery stores can be found at The Burger Bar by Wegman’s. The diner-like establishment has something for every palette. For beer lovers, the Genesee Brew House (at 9,200 square feet) is one the largest and oldest continually operating breweries in America. The pub-like eatery sits adjacent to High Falls and has unique eats like “The Garbage Plate,” a Rochester staple.

Courtesy of Children’s Museum, Indianapolis

Indianapolis, Indiana

Indy has dubbed itself as “The Eclipse Capital of the Midwest.” According to the route map for the eclipse, the Circle City is in the center of the Path of Totality, something that will not happen again until 2153.  It will be unlike any other celebration, with over 100 eclipse-themed events for a weekend-long party. Indy promises to “celebrate space, astronomy, astrology, and anything related to the eclipse.” It will be 3 minutes and 46 seconds of solar delight. Here is some of what they have planned:

Indy is one of three broadcast locations for NASA during the Eclipse! Join NASA experts at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a 1:1 chat about this epic historic event and all things space! Of course, plenty of food options and celebratory festivities are happening, too.

Eclipse Extravaganza held at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the largest children’s museum in the world! Kids of all ages can partake in the live shows, indoor and outdoor exhibits, and thrilling adventures looming on every floor. The celebration includes celestial-themed activities, giveaways, and festivals throughout the weekend leading up to Eclipse Day.

Newfields is a magnificent dedication of exhibits and arts across several cultures, including themed programming for seasonal events. Total Eclipse of The Art at Newfields will have a day of films, good eats, and other epic festivities. For guests 21+, say cheers with a champagne toast.

For the more laid-back crowd, stop by the Indiana State Museum and immerse yourself in outer space. There will be around-the-clock showings of space-themed movies and documentaries in their IMAX Theater.

Other Things to Do in Indianapolis

The Bottleworks District is a one-stop shop for all things Indy, serving as a melting pot of cultures and entertainment for varying interests. The Living Room Theater showcases current movies plus indie and international films. At any bar, you’re likely to stumble across live music from local artists and cover bands. Or, pop into Pins Mechanical. Let them serve you classic and elevated cocktails while you play a round of pinball or duckpin bowling. The Indianapolis Zoo will be a delight for animal lovers. The zoo offers meet-and-greet experiences with sloths, dolphins, cockatoos, and other friendly creatures.

Where to Eat in Indianapolis

Garage Food Hall brings the best of the best in the city under one roof that will take your tastebuds on a culinary journey. With over 60 vendors, you can choose from international cuisine, American staples, and savory seafood. For a unique and modern twist to classic Latin American dishes, visit Livery.  Indy is also home to Root and Bone, a farm-to-table southern-style restaurant opened by two former Top Chef contestants, Janine Booth and Jeff McInnis, offering an elevated dining experience.

This event could be the most mesmerizing or the spookiest few minutes you may ever experience. However you choose to view it, you don’t want to miss this catastrophic historical moment.  For most of the country, next year’s eclipse will be the last chance to experience the phenomenon until 2045 (or later for some).