Affordable Astro-Tourism: Best Spots for the 2024 Eclipse on a Budget
3 min

Embark on an astronomical adventure that won't break the bank. Our guide leads you to the best budget-friendly locales across North America to witness the awe-inspiring 2024 total solar eclipse. From urban spectacles to natural wonders, get ready to gaze at the sky in some of the most enchanting and affordable destinations.

San Antonio, Texas – Average savings: 22%

San Antonio offers a unique blend of history and modernity, making it an exciting place to witness the 2024 solar eclipse. A top viewing spot is the open expanse of Brackenridge Park, where you can set up a picnic and enjoy the eclipse amidst green surroundings. Another fantastic location is the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, where the historic backdrop adds a touch of wonder. For those seeking an urban vibe, the Tower of the Americas provides a panoramic view of the city’s skyline during the eclipse. Remember to bring sunglasses and a blanket for a comfortable experience. Before or after the eclipse, take a budget-friendly stroll along the famous River Walk, lined with vibrant shops and cafes.

Little Rock, Arkansas – Average savings: 24%

In Little Rock, the eclipse creates a spectacular scene against the city’s charming landscape. The Big Dam Bridge offers a vast, open space for viewers, ideal for laying out a blanket and enjoying a serene eclipse moment. Another great spot is the Pinnacle Mountain State Park, perfect for those who enjoy a hike before settling down to watch the celestial event. Knoop Park, known for its scenic overlook, is a quieter option for families. A pair of sturdy shoes is recommended for those choosing the park trails. After the eclipse, indulge in Little Rock’s historical sites, like the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, without straining your wallet.

Indianapolis, Indiana – Average savings: 20%

Indianapolis combines urban energy with natural beauty, making it an excellent spot for eclipse enthusiasts. The Indianapolis Artsgarden provides a unique, glass-enclosed space for watching, blending art with astronomy. For a touch of greenery, head to Eagle Creek Park, where you can lay a blanket by the reservoir. Garfield Park is another excellent choice, offering spacious areas for a comfortable viewing experience with a picnic. Post-eclipse, explore the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, a free and engaging way to see the city’s artistic side.

Cleveland is a great last minute affordable destination to view the eclipse

Cleveland is a great last minute affordable destination to view the eclipse

Cleveland, Ohio – Average savings: 25%

Cleveland’s lakeside location offers a stunning backdrop for the 2024 eclipse. Edgewater Park, with its beachside views, is perfect for a sandy eclipse picnic. Another prime location is the Cleveland Metroparks, offering wide, open spaces ideal for setting up folding chairs and telescopes. Wade Oval in University Circle provides a more urban atmosphere, surrounded by museums. A warm jacket is advisable for eclipse viewers due to the lakeside breeze. Once you’re done viewing, make a visit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame offers a musical journey at a modest price.

Buffalo, New York – Average savings: 20%

Buffalo’s eclipse viewing is enhanced by its vibrant city life and natural landscapes. Delaware Park, with its expansive meadows, is ideal for a laid-back eclipse experience with a blanket and picnic basket. Canalside offers a waterfront view, perfect for those who enjoy a lively atmosphere. Another splendid viewing area is the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, where nature meets celestial wonder. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended for city explorers before or after the eclipse, especially when visiting the historic Buffalo Naval Park, an affordable and enlightening experience.

Burlington, Vermont – Average savings: 20%

Burlington’s quaint charm is the perfect setting for the eclipse, which will be best viewed in the early afternoon. Waterfront Park provides a panoramic view of Lake Champlain, making it an ideal spot for a tranquil viewing experience. Bring a blanket or a folding chair to relax by the water. Mount Philo State Park offers an elevated viewing experience for those willing to hike up. For a more urban setting, Church Street Marketplace offers a lively atmosphere with the eclipse overhead. After, enjoy a leisurely stroll and budget-friendly shopping at the local boutiques.

In Mazatlán, the eclipse pairs beautifully with the city's coastal beauty.

Mazatlán is a picturesque and budget-friendly place for eclipse viewing

Mazatlán, Mexico – Average savings: 22%

In Mazatlán, the eclipse pairs beautifully with the city’s coastal beauty. The Malecón, Mazatlán’s famous beachfront boardwalk, offers an unobstructed view of the sky and sea. Bring a beach towel and sunglasses for a comfortable viewing on the sand. Another excellent spot is Cerro del Crestón, where a hike up to the lighthouse rewards you with a breathtaking vista. For a relaxed, park setting, Bosque de la Ciudad is a great choice. Then, explore the city’s historic center, offering budget-friendly cultural experiences and street food.

Montreal, Canada – Average savings: 20%

Montreal’s blend of urban sophistication and cultural heritage makes it a unique location for the eclipse. Mount Royal Park provides an elevated view over the city, ideal for a scenic picnic. For those preferring a waterside experience, the Old Port of Montreal offers a historic setting with a view of the St. Lawrence River, perfect for a leisurely eclipse experience. Don’t forget to bring a cozy blanket for the cooler Canadian climate. Another great viewing spot is the Parc Jean-Drapeau, known for its wide-open spaces and iconic Montreal skyline backdrop. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended for exploring the park’s pathways. After the eclipse, immerse yourself in the city’s rich history with a visit to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, an affordable and culturally enriching experience.

Eclipse Tips:

Each location not only provides a unique backdrop for the 2024 eclipse but also offers an opportunity to engage in local culture and natural beauty without breaking the bank. It’s interesting to note that the 2024 eclipse will have a longer duration of totality compared to the 2017 eclipse, giving viewers more time to enjoy this rare celestial event. For the best experience, it’s advisable to arrive at your chosen spot early, as these locations are expected to attract many eclipse enthusiasts. Also, regardless of your viewing spot, make sure to use proper eclipse glasses to protect your eyes. This event is a perfect opportunity for budget-conscious travelers to combine their love for astronomy with the exploration of new destinations.

The 2024 eclipse presents a unique opportunity for affordable astro-tourism. From the historical landscapes of San Antonio to the urban charm of Montreal, each city offers a distinct and budget-friendly eclipse experience. Whether you’re lying on a beach in Mazatlán, hiking up Mount Philo in Burlington, or exploring the cultural streets of Indianapolis, these cities promise an unforgettable celestial event. So, pack your eclipse glasses, a sense of adventure, and get ready to experience the wonder of the 2024 eclipse in some of the best spots across North America.

Embark on an astronomical adventure that won't break the bank.

Embark on an astronomical adventure that won’t break the bank.

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