Traveling to See the Solar Eclipse? Here Are the Best Places To Stay

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A total solar eclipse is coming to the U.S, the first time since 2017 and the last time until 2044. The celestial phenomenon will see the sun completely cover the moon on Monday, April 8th, shrouding some parts of the country in complete darkness for up to four minutes.

While there are ways to stream the event online (the solar eclipse will broadcast live on Fox in real time), it’s the type of once-in-a-lifetime event that you’ll want to see in person. But the eclipse will only be visible in some parts of the country, and reach totality in even less places. The eclipse will enter the U.S in Texas and travel through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. For the most part, the south will enjoy the best views of the eclipse, with the exception of Ontario, Canada which has already declared a state of emergency due to the influx of tourism expected for the cosmic event.

If you don’t reside in any of the prime viewing spots for the eclipse, it poses the perfect opportunity to travel to a new place or plan a road trip with friends. Cities in all the aforementioned states also have dozens of viewing parties planned for the 8th, most of which feature live performances, food and free solar eclipse glasses (but you can also buy your own online).

Below, check out of the best places to travel to see the eclipse next week — whether it’s overlooking Lake Erie in Cleveland or drifting atop a bustling Sixth Avenue in Austin, Texas:

AUSTIN, TEXAS

The McConaughey

1 BR/1 BA

Austin is one of the biggest southern cities that can expect a total blackout on April 8th. The eclipse will be partly visible starting at 12:17 p.m., and will be pitch black from around 1:35 p.m. to 1:38 p.m. There are several viewing parties scheduled across the city for the rare celestial event, including a free eclipse party at the Hartman Concert Lawn. Hosted by Radiolab’s Molly Webster, doors open at 11 a.m and will feature music by composer and Austin legend Graham Reynolds and a visual storytelling experience hosted by writers Roxane Gay and Debbie Millman. Custom eclipse-themed beer from local Austin breweries, as well as food and other refreshments, will be available during the event and the first 1,000 guests to arrive will receive eclipse tote bags. All guests will receive complimentary viewing glasses.

Located at the Austin Convention Center in Downtown Austin, The McConaughey is a short drive from the Hartman Concert Lawn, and a skip away from the city’s buzzy Sixth Street.

10 Places to Stay For Solar Eclipse 2024: Hotels Along Eclipse Path

WACO, TEXAS

Silo Boho Bungalow

1 BR / 1 BA

Waco will have one of the best views of the Solar Eclipse, which will shroud the Texan city in darkness at around 12:20 p.m. for more than four minutes — one of the longest periods of totality in the country. It doesn’t hurt that Waco is one of the best, and oft-overlooked, places in Texas, and they’re going all out of for this once-in-a-lifetime event. The city is putting on a full day of activities on the grounds of McLane Stadium which in addition to featuring views of the eclipse, will feature family-friendly concerts, a STEAM expo, a drone show, lantern parade and a 5k fun run.

This adorable bungalow in downtown Waco is the perfect set-up for up to four people and is walking distance from all the day’s festivities.

10 Places to Stay For Solar Eclipse 2024: Hotels Along Eclipse Path

ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA

TownPlace Suites Erie

Erie is the only major city in Pennsylvania in the path of totality. The moon is expected to pass over the sun around from 3:16 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. for nearly four minutes of darkness. Dozens of bars and breweries throughout downtown have eclipse viewing parties planned for the 8th, including Erie Brewing Company, which will have a collaborative eclipse-themed beer on tap named “Sunglasses Required.” The first 100 guests at both locations will receive a free pair of eclipse glasses.

At the center of town, TownPlace is one of the best hotels in the area with rooms still available. Plus, the deluxe and affordable hotel has an indoor pool and is only a 10 minute walk from the town’s main strip of restaurants and the central train station.

10 Places to Stay For Solar Eclipse 2024: Hotels Along Eclipse Path

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MISSOURI

Fairfield Inn & Suites Marriot

The solar eclipse will hit Cape Girardeau, Missouri at 1:58 p.m. on April 8th. Home to the Southeast Missouri State University and where David Fincher lensed Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike’s “Gone Girl,” Cape is about a two-hour drive South of St. Louis. However, the town has its own (albeit small) airport that takes flights in from Nashville, so if you can make the layover work, it’s an easy flight.

Your best bet for lodging is the Fairfield by Marriot. Rooms are already starting to book for around $450, and it’s a short drive to the riverwalk downtown, where several events are planned (including a few block party) and lots of great restaurants and bars are located.

10 Places to Stay For Solar Eclipse 2024: Hotels Along Eclipse Path

BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA

Cascades Inn

Bloomington has events scheduled throughout the entire weekend leading up to the Eclipse, which will cause the city to go completely dark around 3:04 p.m. Bloomington is hosting a Celestial Spectacle Solar Eclipse Viewing Event on Monday April 8th starting at 12 p.m., and will feature food trucks, a beer garden and live music by Moon Buggy and Comfortably Phree.

Cascades Inn offers affordable lodging at the center of town, only a three minute drive from the best bars, restaurants and shops.

10 Places to Stay For Solar Eclipse 2024: Hotels Along Eclipse Path

BURLINGTON, VERMONT

Shelburne Home

3 BR/4 BA

Solar Eclipse in style with this gorgeous getaway in Shelburne. The newly built home has three bedrooms, including two King beds and one Queen, and four bathrooms, making it the perfect spot for a large group. With a large cellar with comfortable sitting and a ping pong table, and a back porch outfitted with a grill, you’ll feel right at home within minutes. Plus, it’s a 10 minute walk from Downtown Burlington and five minutes to Shelburne Farms and Museum.

10 Places to Stay For Solar Eclipse 2024: Hotels Along Eclipse Path

CARIBOU, MAINE

Cabin in Northern Maine

1 BR / 1 BA

This adorable and idyllic cabin in Northern Maine is only a 19 minute drive from Houlton, considered the best eclipse viewing spot in all of Maine and designated as one of the five “Star Parks” in the state’s Arostook County. Houlton will experience totality at around 3:32 p.m. for a little more than three minutes.

The cabin fits up to four people, featuring a fireplace, outdoor grill and gorgeous mountain views. In addition to being in relatively close proximity to eclipse viewings (lodgings in the center of Houlton are basically all sold out at this point), it’s also a 19 minute drive to the Caribou Country Club, 29 minutes to Madawaska Lake and 49 minutes to the Arastook National Wildlife Refuge.

10 Places to Stay For Solar Eclipse 2024: Hotels Along Eclipse Path

CLEVELAND, OHIO

Homewood Suites

Cleveland will be in the path of totality at around 3:13 p.m. There are more than 20 events taking place across the city, each boasting unobstructed views of the eclipse over Lake Erie. Highlights include the Euclid Eclipse Festival at the Euclid Community Center, the SolarFest at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and and an Eclipse Party at the Cleveland Natural History Museum.

At the center of town and boasting amenities such as a pool and free parking, Homewood Suites is one of the best places in the area with rooms still available — for a competitive $300/night rate.

10 Places to Stay For Solar Eclipse 2024: Hotels Along Eclipse Path

CARBONDALE, ILLINOIS

Eclipse Campsites

Southern Illinois is expected to be one of the best places to view this year’s eclipse, and the town of Carbondale has dozens of camping and lodging sites for those planning a road trip down south. This primitive campsite is the perfect option for those looking for a quieter way to observe the celestial event, nestled amidst towering trees with waterfront views.

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