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Top Eclipse Viewing Destinations

Updated: Mar 19

"Every journey is an opportunity for growth and discovery."

The solar eclipse is coming on April 8th of this year passing through the U.S., Mexico and Canada. This post will give you some excellent ideas on where to view the upcoming eclipse. The next solar eclipse will not take place for another 20 years on August 23, 2044, so take advantage and go explore a new town and get a chance to view this spectacular event.

My top 5 picks for top eclipse viewing destinations are:

1)Niagara Falls, Canada

Niagara Falls is one of the most iconic natural wonders in the world. Located on the border between the United States and Canada, it consists of three waterfalls: the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls, and the Bridal Veil Falls. The falls are renowned for their immense beauty and the sheer volume of water that cascades over the edge. Niagara Falls State Park offers numerous viewpoints along its trails and observation areas, providing excellent vantage points for watching the eclipse.

*The total solar eclipse is expected to start at 2:04 p.m. and last for about two and a half hours. The sun will be fully eclipsed at approximately 3:20 to 3:23 p.m. EDT (Eastern Daylight Time). The best viewing point is Terrapin Point, New York.

Where to stay:

Hilton Niagara Falls

4-Star Hotel

This Niagara Falls, Canada hotel is just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto and Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and provides a stylish backdrop to this natural wonder. Classic wooden fittings provide an inviting ambience while double whirlpool tubs in oversized bathrooms are among the special touches. Savor an array of international specialties while overlooking peerless views of Niagara Falls 33 floors up at The Watermark restaurant. Complete the evening with champagne and live music at Myst Lounge for unforgettable Niagara romance. Open-fire grilled cuts are the order of the day at Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse or choose favorite Italian dishes at Romano’s Macaroni Grill.

Niagara Falls Marriott Fallsview Hotel

5-Star Hotel

Situated at the brink of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, the recently renovated Marriott on the Falls Hotel is the closest hotel to Niagara Falls. Considered one of the best hotels in Niagara Falls, the hotel provides breathtaking views, service, and amenities. Fallsview Guest Rooms & Suites offer incomparable views of Niagara Falls and amenities. Experience inspired dining at Milestones on the Falls; the Fallsview restaurant, and the inviting open concept lobby home to Starbucks and Magnificent Tours of Niagara Falls - Niagara's largest tour company. The location puts Fallsview Casino Resort, Niagara Parks and Niagara City Cruises steps away, with wineries and golf being a short drive.

Things to do in Niagara Falls (besides the eclipse):

  • Journey Behind the Falls

  • Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory

  • Hornblower Niagara Cruises

  • Clifton Hill: Known as the "Street of Fun"

  • Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort

  • Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens

  • Whirlpool Aero Car

  • Winery Tours

2) Mazatlan, Mexico

Mazatlán, located on the Pacific coast of Mexico, is a vibrant destination known for its beautiful beaches, rich cultural heritage, and lively atmosphere. It can be a fantastic place to view the upcoming solar eclipse, offering a combination of scenic coastal views and clear skies. Whether you choose the beach or an elevated vista (like the El Faro Lighthouse),

there is ample space and unobstructed views of the sky, making it an ideal eclipse viewing destination.

*The total solar eclipse in Mazatlan slated to commence just prior to 11:07:30am MST. The best view is from the Malecon or The Lighthouse.

Where to stay:

Gama Mazatlan

Gamma Mazatlan The Inn Centro Histórico is warm with local flavor. You will be fascinated by new and authentic experiences in Mexican spaces that highlight the traditional richness. Located near the historic center of the city, beautiful beaches and the boardwalk, this is a wonderful location to get to know the city. With 63 comfortable rooms, a restaurant, room service and business center, it is a terrific place to stay during your visit.

Doubletree by Hilton Mazatlan

4-Star Hotel

Overlooking the Gulf of California, this bright and vibrant hotel has direct beach access and is just a few minutes from the city center. Gran Plaza golf courses and the Mazatlan Aquarium are within six km. The concierge is happy to help you find restaurants experiences and more. Enjoy the outdoor infinity pool, on-site dining options and warm friendly service.

Things to do in Mazatlan (besides view the eclipse):

  • Relax on the Beaches:

  • Water sports such as surfing, snorkeling, and jet skiing

  • Explore the Historic Center (Centro Histórico)

  • Visit landmarks: the Plazuela Machado, Angela Peralta Theater, and Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

  • Walk Along the Malecón

  • Try Local Cuisine

  • Attend a Performance: traditional folkloric dance or music

  • Take a Boat Tour

3) Buffalo, New York

Although I don't normally think of a trip to Buffalo, New York as a tourist destination, my research shows that it is a top eclipse viewing destination known for history, culture, outdoor adventures, and culinary delights. So, let's explore what to do and where to stay in Buffalo for your eclipse viewing excursion.

*The total solar eclipse will pass through Buffalo on April 8 around 3:20 p.m. The best view is from the Buffalo Harbor State Park.

Where to stay:

Embassy Suites Hotel

3-Star Hotel

In the iconic Avant Building, this downtown hotel is a mile and a half from Buffalo's waterfront and just three blocks from the complimentary light rail, offering easy city exploration, and Niagara Falls is a half-hour drive. Enjoy free made-to-order breakfast, and a complimentary evening reception.

The Westin Buffalo

4-Star Hotel

Invoke rest and beauty at The Westin Buffalo, perfect for escaping the ordinary. Whether you're building business ties or simply exploring Western New York, take advantage of our downtown location, just moments from concerts and events at KeyBank Center and Shea's Buffalo Theatre. Attend one of the festivals on Lake Erie at Canalside and tailgate a lively football game at New Era Field. Afterwards, lounge in luxury in artful rooms. Make the most of your urban retreat with our complimentary Wi-Fi, LCD TVs, ergonomic workstations and signature beds for a revitalizing slumber. When hunger strikes, delight in the convenience of room service, and savor tempting American cuisine with the hotel restaurants. During downtime, stay active in the Fitness Studio, fully equipped with cardio equipment and free weights.

Things to do in Buffalo (besides viewing the eclipse):

  • Explore the Buffalo Waterfront

  • Take a cruise on the Buffalo River or Lake Erie

  • Tour the Darwin D. Martin House Complex

  • Explore the Richardson Olmsted Campus

  • Visit museums and galleries

  • See Niagara Falls

  • Enjoy its famous Buffalo wings.

  • Visit Delaware Park

  • Explore trails at Tifft Nature Preserve or bike ride along the Buffalo Niagara Water Trail

  • Shopping and Entertainment

4) Burlington, Vermont

Burlington, Vermont, nestled on the shores of Lake Champlain and surrounded by the scenic beauty of the Green Mountains, offers visitors a charming blend of outdoor recreation, cultural attractions, and local charm.

*The total solar eclipse is anticipated to start in Burlington at 3:26 pm. The best view will be from Burlington Waterfront State Park.

Where to stay:

Courtyard Burlington Harbor

3-Star Hotel

The pet friendly Courtyard Burlington Harbor Hotel nestled on the shores of Lake Champlain, in Downtown Burlington, is just steps away from the Church St. Marketplace and all the allure of the vibrant Queen City. Come explore the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding Champlain Valley. From hiking and biking, to eating your way through some of the best dining the Green Mountain State has to offer, let our accommodations sweep you off your feet & the stunning views of Lake Champlain blow you away.

The Pearle Hotel & Spa

4-Star Hotel

The Pearle Hotel & Spa, whose name pays homage to the familys matriarch, Grandmother Pearle, is a luxury hotel located in historic downtown Burlington in Ontario, Canada. The exquisite 151-room hotel is reminiscent of the lake houses of the past where Pearle spent most of her summers. Elegant and free from formality, the hotel embodies the spirit of hospitality. Situated on the Burlington waterfront with Lake Ontario as its backdrop, The Pearle Hotel & Spa features thoughtfully appointed guestrooms & suites - some of which include terraces or balconies – expansive meeting & event space, two locally-infused dining facilities and a luxurious spa. The hotels interior is inspired by the seasons in Ontario, designed to be lavish and modern, but made from natural products and raw materials, including white oak paneling throughout. The magnificent spiral staircase is one of many signature design elements and takes center stage in the hotel's lobby. Discover genuine and thoughtful hospitality at The Pearle.

Things to do in Burlington (besides viewing the eclipse)

  • Church Street Marketplace Stroll or bike ride along Lake Champlain

  • Kayaking, paddleboarding, or sailing on the lake.

  • Visit the Science Center - ECHO Leahy Center

  • Explore hiking trails, go rock climbing, or enjoy scenic drives

  • Tour the Local Breweries and Food Scene

  • Visit art galleries, museums, and performing arts venues

5) Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis, the vibrant capital of Indiana, offers a blend of rich history, cultural diversity, and modern attractions that make it an enticing destination for travelers. Known as the "Crossroads of America," Indianapolis boasts a central location that makes it easily accessible from various parts of the country.

*The total solar eclipse will last for 3 minutes and 46 seconds and will happen at 3:06pm. The best place to view the eclipse will be at the Holcomb Observatory & Planetarium.

Where to stay:

Omni Severin Hotel

4-Star Hotel

Built in 1913, beautifully restored and elegant, the Indianapolis Omni Severin Hotel offers the most contemporary amenities while maintaining its historic charm. Ideal location, exceptional service, and wonderful grandeur make this Four Diamond hotel the place to experience a distinctive and luxurious stay in the heart of downtown Indianapolis.

The Conrad Indianapolis

5-Star Hotel

Conrad Indianapolis features an inspired wine bar, fine dining, a wellness center and abundant event space. Located at the most prominent intersection in Indianapolis, this luxury hotel is only 20 minutes from Indianapolis International Airport. Select from 247 guest rooms and suites within its 23 stories. A skywalk conveniently connects the hotel to Circle Centre Mall, the Indiana Convention Center and hundreds of downtown restaurants and attractions. Enjoy one or more of the 100 wines offered by the taste, glass or bottle at Tastings or savor a classic dry-aged steak at The Capital Grille. Be productive in the quiet business center. Relax at Evan Todd Spa and Salon, an AVEDA concept spa and salon or get active at Conrad Fitness. Admire world-renowned artwork in the first floor Long-Sharp Gallery.

Things to do in Indianapolis (besides viewing the eclipse):

  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway

  • Indiana State Museum

  • Soldiers and Sailors Monument at Monument Circle

  • Explore neighborhoods like Broad Ripple and Fountain Square

  • White River State Park

  • Indianapolis Zoo

  • Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

Total Eclipse Travel Tips

Regardless of where you choose to watch the eclipse, arrive early to secure your spot (it's best to view from higher ground) and ensure you have ample time to set up your equipment and prepare for the event. Remember to bring appropriate eye protection, such as solar viewing glasses or solar filters for telescopes or cameras, to safely observe the eclipse. Additionally, check the weather forecast beforehand to ensure clear skies for optimal viewing conditions. You can also check for events/festivals related to the eclipse in each city. And book your hotels now, because they will most likely be sold out.

What's next on your bucket list?


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