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  • Writer's pictureJuliet Weller

Let's Go To...View the Eclipse

A leafless tree silhouetted against a solar eclipse

If you remember last week's newsletter (if not, it's here) I suggested locations for viewing the total solar eclipse that will occur April 8, 2024. In case you missed the following factoid: it will be the time that North America will be in the path of totality until 2044.

Enough bad news.

I promised you a sample itinerary for viewing totality, one to stimulate the eclipse-chaser in you, so "Let's Go To..." the city of Houston, Texas. Truth be told, my family lives in Houston; because of that, or despite it I have never considered it a vacation destination. I realize I might be in the minority. I am sure their Chamber of Commerce would love to change my mind. They won't have to; I myself am inspired by this itinerary. If you have a young, budding astronomer in your family, if you grew up wanting to be an astronaut exploring the universe, or if you simply have never been Space City, this is your trip.

DAY 1: Arrive Houston on April 5, 2024

On arrival in Houston, transfer privately to Four Seasons Houston in the heart of downtown. This evening, visit Turrell Twilight Skyspace at Rice University, that just celebrated its tenth anniversary, before a welcome dinner at one of Houston’s dining hot spots.

DAY 2: Houston on April 6, 2024

After breakfast, travel to NASA’s Houston Space Center for a privately-guided introduction to the center that showcases hundreds of exhibits and space artifacts related to America’s amazing history and bright future in human space flight. Next, an exclusive tour provides private access to three areas – historic Apollo mission control where former presidents watched the Apollo Team send the first and last man to the moon, the International Space Station astronaut training facility, and the Saturn 5 rocket that is one of only three fully assembled Saturn 5 rockets left in the world. Lunch is enjoyed at the Space Center.

Tonight, after dinner, venture outside the city to the George Observatory where you will delve into the galaxy. Experience a constellation laser tour and view planets in our solar system or deep sky objects out in space using deck and dome telescopes.

DAY 3: Houston to Austin on April 7, 2024

After breakfast, travel by luxury coach to Austin for the next phase of the Texan journey. Explore Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on a docent-led tour before checking in to the historic Commodore Perry Estate, a modern interpretation of a residential estate with 10 acres of picturesque grounds in the heart of the city.

This evening, enjoy a special tequila tasting before dinner at this lovely Auberge property.

DAY 4: The big day - Eclipse Viewing in Austin on April 8, 2024

After breakfast, depart for a location outside the city in the hill country to maximize total solar eclipse viewing, the final opportunity in the United States until 2044. It will be a special day of food, wine, and viewing of the solar eclipse with totality extending for over four minutes. Meet the owners of a winery, tour the winemaking facilities, and sip Texas wines before and after viewing the total eclipse. Return to the Commodore Perry Estate Hotel for a relaxing evening.

Day 5: Depart Austin on April 9, 2024

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer privately to Austin Bergstrom Airport for departures home.

You now have bragging rights when it comes to eclipse viewing escapades. And oh, the memories you made. Take lots of photos with the people you meet and the exhibits you saw at the Space Center, add them to your social media accounts or print them if that's your thing. Most of your friends and family did not make this special trip, and they will wish they had.

If Texas is not where you want to be for this momentous event, we should talk about where that special venue is for you.

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'til next week


Did you miss any of my articles? They are all here.

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