If you’re interested in traveling to experience the solar eclipse of 2024 from what’s known as the path of totality, where the moon totally blocks the sun and the earthly world briefly darkens, it’s not too early to pick your spot, especially if you want to spend a night or two.
Erie has been publicizing the fact that it’s the only big city in the state on that path during the April 8, 2024, eclipse.
The visiterie.com tourism site already is counting down the minutes until its downtown experiences 3 minutes and 41 seconds of totality that afternoon, from 3:16:23 p.m. to 3:20:05 p.m.
The site has a being-updated map of viewing locations that notes, “High traffic is expected in popular tourist locations along the water, including on Presque Isle State Park and in Erie’s Bayfront District.” Already VisitErie has been hosting eclipse happy hours at local watering holes, and more events will be planned and posted.
The site’s “Frequently Asked Questions” section includes where out-of-town visitors can stay, and the advice already is book as soon as possible, because “many Erie hotels, bed and breakfasts, and campgrounds have sold out.”
The site also tells you where locally you’ll be able to buy the eyeglasses you’ll need to safely view the moon passing between you and the sun.
There are more planning tips on the site’s blog: https://www.visiterie.com/blog/the-total-solar-eclipse-in-erie-pa-trip-planning-tips.
The path of the eclipse will move diagonally across North America from Mexico through Texas across the U.S. to Maine and Canada; other nearby cities along it include Cleveland and Buffalo, both of which also are planning for visitors.
In places not on the path of totality such as Pittsburgh, there will only be a little sky darkening — nothing dramatic. Cloudy weather could also dampen things along the path, but Erie’s tourism agency says that “the temperature drops, nighttime wildlife may become active, birds may stop singing, and other unique phenomena may occur that people can experience even if the sun is not visible. Regardless, it will still be a memorable experience.”
Learn more about Erie’s plans-in-progress at https://www.visiterie.com/things-to-do/eclipseerie-2024.
RELATED STORY: Read about the University of Pittsburgh’s eclipse chasers, the Shadow Bandits.
Bob, a feature writer and editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, is currently on strike and serving as interim editor of the Pittsburgh Union Progress. Contact him at email@example.com.