As the world eagerly anticipates the solar eclipse on April 8, Texas emerges as a prime destination for celestial enthusiasts, joining the ranks of global locations such as Sierra Leone, the Yucatán Peninsula, and Pompeii. The Lone Star State, with sections in the path of totality, promises a unique viewing experience, with only Miami, Florida, and the state of New York securing spots alongside Texas on National Geographic’s coveted list.
While Houston may not feature prominently in eclipse-watchers’ recommendations, the focal point of totality is anticipated near Del Rio, tracing a path northeastward across the state. Nevertheless, Houston residents can still witness a near-total eclipse, with 94 percent of the sun veiled during the celestial event.
Beyond Houston, a multitude of locations across the state is poised to offer a twilight-like spectacle as the moon aligns itself between the Earth and the sun. Texas State Parks highlights 31 parks within the path of totality, including iconic sites like McKinney Falls, Enchanted Rock, and Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park.
Adding to the excitement, Burnet, Texas, will host the Texas Eclipse Festival, featuring live music, art exhibitions, and camping activities centered around the eclipse day. Scientists are also gearing up for groundbreaking experiments, with NASA planning to capture images of the moon’s shadow, analyze the chemical composition of the sun’s dust ring (corona), and observe the impact of solar radiation on Earth’s atmosphere.
For those seeking a unique perspective from the skies, Southwest Airlines is offering special flights aligning with the direct or partial path of the eclipse.
Texas’ inclusion in National Geographic’s eclipse-watching destinations coincides with a booming period in the state’s travel and tourism sector. In 2022, visitors to and within Texas contributed a staggering $91.7 billion, making a significant $187.5 billion impact on the state’s economy. As the world turns its eyes to Texas for this celestial phenomenon, the state is set to showcase not only its astronomical wonders but also its diverse range of viewing opportunities for residents and visitors alike.