By: Tara Massouleh McCay | From: Southern Living

On Monday, April 8, a historic solar eclipse is set to pass through the United States, Mexico, and Canada—making it the only eclipse in the 21st century to pass through all three countries. In the U.S., 13 states are partially in the path of totality, and five of those states are in the South. Parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kentucky will all experience a total solar eclipse (the first since 2017), and everyone’s gearing up for the big show. From town festivals to hosted watch parties to hotel packages to food and drink specials, no one intends to let this momentous occasion pass without a bit of fanfare. Here are the best Southern places where you can see the solar eclipse in 2024. Just don’t forget your special solar eclipse-watching glasses or you could seriously harm your eyesight!

What Is A Solar Eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, casting a shadow on the Earth that blocks out some or all of the Sun’s rays. This rare phenomenon causes the sky to darken during the middle of the day as if it were dusk or dawn. Places that are in the eclipse’s path of totality (meaning the Moon is perfectly positioned to fully block the Sun), will see the most dramatic darkening.

When Is the 2024 Solar Eclipse?

The 2024 solar eclipse will take place on Monday, April 8, but when you see the eclipse depends on where you lie on its path. The eclipse will start in the U.S. at 1:27 p.m. CST in Texas and then travel in a northeast path until it appears in Maine beginning at 3:29 p.m. EST and concluding at 3:33 p.m. EST.

Where To See The Eclipse In Texas

Texas is one of the best places to see the eclipse because the eclipse will take a wide route through the state, meaning dozens of towns will experience totality. Forecasts also show clear skies for much of the state, providing optimal viewing conditions.

San Antonio, Texas

Firmly in the path of totality, the Alamo City is ready to do the solar eclipse right. There will be viewing parties big and small popping up all over the city on April 8, but one of the best spots to see the show is from the rooftop of the Thompson San Antonio Riverwalk hotel. Sitting high at 20 stories above the famous Riverwalk, the hotel’s signature indoor-outdoor rooftop restaurant The Moon’s Daughters is an ideal spot to take it all in. Join for a special Solar Brunch from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (just before totality begins) complete with themed cocktails, entertainment, and complimentary viewing glasses.