For basic information about how, when and where to experience North America’s total solar eclipse and why you must try to get yourself to the path of totality on April 8, check my main feed.
Where the best place to see the 2024 total solar eclipse in Texas has long been on the minds of eclipse chasers. A total solar eclipse may be visible from parts of 15 U.S. states on Monday, April 8, but it’s to Texas that a large number of eclipse-chasers will head. With the chances of clear skies the highest in the U.S, many travelers are targeting the Lone Star State to experience a rare totality.
In fact, according to GreatAmericanEclipse.com, between 270,000 and over a million visitors are expected to travel to Texas to witness totality. That’s on top of the almost 13 million people that live in the path of totality in Texas. Its first total solar eclipse since 1900 and the last until 2045, what’s assured is that more people will experience totality in Texas than in any other U.S. state.
Here’s exactly what you need to know to be one of them, from eclipse maps of the path of totality and eclipse times to climate predictions, traffic advice, how and where to find accommodation, and all about festivals, events, and the best places to view.
Texas: Path of Totality And Time Of The Eclipse
A total solar eclipse results when the new moon completely blocks the sun for a few minutes, casting a narrow dark shadow across Earth’s surface. This is the path of totality, and on April 8, it will be between 121 and 118 miles wide as it surges across Texas, going southwest to northeast, entering the state at the U.S.-Mexico border at 13:27 CDT and exiting at the border with both Oklahoma and Arkansas at 13:49 CDT. That’s just 22 minutes.
Where you need to be to see the total solar eclipse is paramount. You must be within the path of totality, which cannot be stressed enough. There is no level of totality, as some of the maps suggest. Within the path, you’ll see a total eclipse of the sun, but outside of it—even a mile on the wrong side of the border—you’ll merely see a partial solar eclipse, with no darkness nor views of the sun’s corona.
Top tip: On the centerline of that path, totality will last for between 4 minutes 26 seconds and 4 minutes 19 seconds, depending on your exact location (punch in any location here for a full schedule), but there’s no need to be on the centerline. It’s more important to be where the skies are clear—though you should try to stay away from the edge of the path of totality. That’s going to be challenging for millions of Texans.
Texas: Austin And San Antonio
Be very careful if you plan to be in Austin or San Antonio for the eclipse because both are intersected by the edge of the path. Many will stay overnight in one of these cities and plan to drive west to enjoy a long totality in Texas Hill Country. It may be tempting to avoid traffic and remain in Austin of San Antonio, but if you do, be very careful. Austin’s CBD will get a short totality, but its south and southeastern regions will not. Only San Antonio’s northwest suburbs will enjoy totality.
Top Tip: if you’re staying overnight in Austin or San Antonio, get up really early and spend the entire day in your chosen location in the Hill Country—but don’t necessarily choose somewhere on the centerline (such as Kerrville, which could see 500,00 visitors).
Texas: Destinations Within The Path of Totality
The path sweeps across southwestern Texas at the Mexican border, at Eagle Pass and Del Rio, then runs through Texas Hill Country and central Texas on its way to Dallas Fort Worth and North Central Texas, before exiting into Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Here are some key locations either on or near the centerline (click the link to reach the community site, which list event and festivals):
Tip tip: it may be wise to stay in West Texas and drive into the path on eclipse day. The western half of the path will be much quieter than the eastern half, thanks to the position of Austin and San Antonio.
Texas: Eclipse Accommodation, Events, Camping And Festivals
With a huge influx of visitors expected, as well as the large resident population, there’s an ever-changing roster of eclipse events in Texas. For the latest, scour the interactive eclipse map from The Eclipse Company and National Eclipse’s Eclipse Events page. You’ll find a mix of camping and RV events, music festivals, science-themed festivals, observing-only day events, and star parties (solar eclipses also occur around the new moon, which is the best time of the month for stargazing).
The Eclipse Company’s map also gives you a direct link to Booking.com for each location, which saves time. Don’t despair if there’s nothing left—eclipse chasers tend to book lots of rooms to cancel later, so there’s a good chance of rooms becoming available in the few days before the eclipse. For campers, Hipcamp’s Solar Eclipse Camping Guide 2024 and Campspot’s Where to Camp for the 2024 Solar Eclipse Path are helpful.
Top tip: For day-trippers after somewhere to park up, check this list of Texas State Parks in the path of totality and book a day pass (up to a month ahead of time) for April 8.
Texas: Climate And Weather
Where is the best chance of clear weather during the eclipse in Texas? According to eclipse meteorologist Jay Anderson on his website Eclipsophile, climate statistics suggest that Junction and Brady in the Hill Country have the highest chance of clear skies, but it’s roughly a 50% chance anywhere in the state—and that’s as good as it gets in the U.S. There’s a reasonable chance that Eagle Pass on the Mexico border, and perhaps Uvalde, will be the choice places to head to. As a bonus, they shouldn’t be anywhere near as busy as the zone between San Antonio and the Hill Country—but any region could fill up fast come eclipse day, if it’s where the clear weather is.
Tip tip: watch the weather forecasts and make a final decision on where to go 24 hours before the eclipse.
I’m an expert on eclipses—the editor of WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com and author of The Complete Guide To The Great North American Eclipse of April 8, 2024. For the very latest on the total solar eclipse—including travel and lodging options—check my main feed for new articles each day.
Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.