Where To See Next April's Total Solar Eclipse
Updated: 6 days ago
Nature’s most spectacular celestial event is coming to North America on April 8, 2024. Eclipsophiles will crisscross the globe to bask in the ethereal phenomenon of a total solar eclipse. Miss this event and you’ll have a long wait: There won’t be another total solar eclipse in the U.S. until 2044.
During a total solar eclipse, the sun, moon, and Earth align so the moon completely covers the sun, darkening the sky and revealing a captivating display of the sun’s outer gasses, or corona. During totality, the corona looks like a wispy sunflower expanding outward from the black disk of the moon into the deep-blue sky. The only way to see it is to be within the moon’s narrow shadow, which is known as the path of totality. You can’t get close to a total solar eclipse – you’re either in the path of totality (which for the April 8 event is 120 miles wide) or you’re not.
April’s eclipse will cross the Sea of Cortés off Mexico, then pass over parts of Texas and across the Midwest before reaching portions of New England and Québec and exiting North America in Newfoundland and Labrador. Hotels and cruises – including the options below – are ready to provide a front-row seats to the spectacle.
Here are four hotels and a cruise that will be in the path of totality on April 8, 2024.
La Cantera Resort & Spa – San Antonio, Texas Overlooking Texas Hill Country, the 496-room La Cantera Resort & Spa offers guests a three-night experience that includes a welcome reception and an eclipse-viewing party. The hilltop resort is working with The University of Texas at San Antonio to create fun, educational experiences, including a program for children. While the ranch-themed resort’s many lounge chairs and rockers are excellent for sky watching, on Monday afternoon (eclipse day), its viewing party will take place on the terrace of Grille 254. The partial eclipse begins at about 12:15 p.m. local time. Totality hits around 1:33 p.m. and lasts about two and a half minutes. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 resort credit.
Lake Austin Spa Resort – Austin, Texas Turn the solar eclipse party into a full-fledged feel-good getaway at Lake Austin Spa Resort, a 40-room, adults-only wellness retreat in Texas Hill Country. After tai chi and yoga classes at the 25,000-square-foot LakeHouse Spa, guests can head to a picnic lunch and garden party before totality, which happens at 1:36 p.m. Or they can choose to view the one and a half minutes of totality, which some have called a spiritual experience, from a boat on the lake. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 resort credit.
W Austin – Austin, Texas For less Pilates and more party, look to the 251-room W Austin, where planned poolside festivities include celestial-themed fare and cocktails, a DJ, and celebrate-into-the-evening revelry. Guests can spend the rest of their stay in the Texas capital city sampling spirits at the hotel’s Tequila Bar, biking around Lady Bird Lake, or catching a show at the Austin City Limits venue next door. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 dining credit.
Québec’s 39-room Manoir Hovey sits in the eclipse’s path of totality, only five miles away from its centerline, which translates to more than three minutes of total-eclipse time. Guests checking into the cozy country estate for an early-spring getaway can watch the eclipse from the resort’s lakefront English gardens or head out onto Lake Massawippi on the resort’s complimentary paddleboats and kayaks. Totality begins at 3:27 p.m. Afterward, relax in the new lakefront Le Spa Manoir Hovey, which opened this summer. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 dining credit.
A Princess Cruise Line cruise on the Sea of Cortés. The advantage of catching a total solar eclipse from a cruise is that, if the weather is cloudy, the ship can try to sail to sunshine. On Princess Cruises’ 15-night Los Angeles-to-Fort Lauderdale voyage through the Panama Canal, the 3,080-passenger Emerald Princess heads to the Sea of Cortés on April 8 to float within the path of totality. Cruisers will gather on the top decks for eclipse-themed libations and one of the most memorable at-sea days ever. Totality hits around noon local time and lasts about four minutes. Departure: April 5, 2024.
An Important Tip for Viewing the Total Solar Eclipse: when witnessing a total solar eclipse, it’s important to protect your eyes. During the eclipse’s early phases, when the moon only partly covers the sun, regular sunglasses won’t do. Viewers should wear approved eclipse glasses that are as dark as #14 welder’s glass – the resorts and cruise lines above plan to provide complimentary pairs. The only time it’s OK to take off those glasses is during totality, when the moon fully covers the sun and just the nebulous solar corona – and not the sun’s disk – is visible.
In my next newsletter, I'll have a specific itinerary suggestions for you and your travel companions to enjoy the April 2024 eclipse. However, you don't have to wait a whole week; let's talk about it now:
'til next week.
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