until the total solar eclipse.

Find Your Travel Destination with this Total Solar Eclipse 2024 Interactive Map

Browse an interactive map to find the best places to see the eclipse, airports, and Amtrak stations.

By Jason Barnette | Travel writer and photographer with 15+ years of road tripping experience

Located on these road trip routes:

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When the total solar eclipse begins on April 8, 2024, it will cut a swath across North America 120 miles wide from Mexico to Maine. Hundreds of small towns, big cities, state parks, and national park sites will experience totality. Being in the Path of Totality is essential to experience this eerie wonderment.

But where is the Path of Totality?

Fortunately for you, I love creating maps. From a childhood fondness for paper maps grew a cartographer’s sense as a travel writer. I learned how to create beautiful custom Google Maps – I include them in most of the destination articles I write on this site.

But unlike other Total Solar Eclipse 2024 interactive maps, mine is focused solely on travel destinations in the Path of Totality. These places have tourism officials planning viewing parties, hosting festivals, and coordinating travel for the influx of travelers.

Avid eclipse chasers will stress the need to choose a viewing location based on historical cloudiness, duration of totality, and travel logistics. And for these diehard eclipse chasers, photographers, and scientists, that’s what they need.

But everyone can’t go to Texas for the eclipse. Southwest Texas is the best place to see the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse. But it would be utter chaos if millions of people tried cramming into the handful of towns.

I suggest a fourth factor to consider when choosing a viewing location: is it a great tourist destination? Seeing the total solar eclipse depends entirely on the weather that day. You won’t see anything if clouds blanket the sky that day. So, might as well choose someplace that’s also fun to visit.

And you should travel on the Saturday before the eclipse to spend the weekend in early spring exploring the destination.

Find your travel destination with this Total Solar Eclipse 2024 Interactive Map. Click on a point of interest to learn more, like duration of totality and travel information.

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How to use this map | Click the icon in the top-left corner to open the Map Legend, then click on any of the legend items to display more information. If you have a Google account, click the (very faint) star at the end of the map’s name to save this map to your account, then access the map from your smartphone during your trip.

Making the Total Solar Eclipse 2024 Interactive Map

I’ve had a fondness for maps ever since I was a child. During family vacations, I sat in the backseat of the family car with a collection of road maps and pens for plotting our driving route. I insisted on having a map for every state we traveled through so I could have the best details to follow.

When I began a career as a travel writer and blogger, I created this niche website based on my two favorite things while traveling: road trips and coffee. I’ve always thought the most integral part of a good road trip article is a great road map.

Creating one of these digital maps is easy – I even wrote a full tutorial on creating custom Google Maps for planning road trips.


But instead of a road trip route, I was working with a celestial event this time. So, I started at NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio where I found a KML file for the path of the 2024 total solar eclipse. Keyhole Markup Language is a file format for storing GPS data. These files are the basis for every custom Google Map I create.

However, finding a KML file for the eclipse’s path was the easiest part.

Next, I needed to plot every city, town, state park, and national park within the path of totality. There was no easy way to find this information in a handy KML file. So, I created it from scratch.

I found lists of cities in every state and added them to an Excel spreadsheet. Then, I created a formula that generated a link that took me to a Google search for visitor centers in those places. If I found one, I added it to the map. Finally, I added state parks and national park sites.

It took weeks to finish this task, working about an hour a day in between other writing deadlines.

The final data I needed to complete the Total Solar Eclipse 2024 Interactive Map was the start of totality, totality duration, and partial eclipse times for all the places I plotted on the map. I gathered most of the data from National Eclipse, which credits Fred Espenak at the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. I also gathered details about other places from Xavier Jubier’s popular interactive map.

After about three months and maybe 100 hours of work, I finally had a gargantuan Excel spreadsheet. I exported it as a CSV file – Comma Separated Values – and imported the file into a custom Google Map. I applied custom icons I created in Canva and published the abovementioned map.

I love maps because it puts the world into perspective. Sometimes, places are closer than you think. They are much farther apart than you could have imagined at other times. But either way, with a good map, it’s easy to see where everything fits in the world.

I’ve always wanted a tee shirt with a generic drop pin and text that reads, “I am here.”

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Additional Total Solar Eclipse 2024 Interactive Maps

The most challenging part of creating a travel map for an article is the base map – the one map to rule them all. It’s the master map that contains every point of interest, route, shape, and piece of information that might be helpful. Then, I create copies of the base map and whittle it down to just what I need for that map.

After creating the base map, I made these sub-maps showing the same information for each individual state:

Then, I created a map dedicated to showing state parks and national park sites:

Finally, I created a few maps that showed travel options. Dr. Gordon Telepun, the creator of the fantastic Solar Eclipse Timer, told me that travel logistics is one of the factors in choosing a viewing location for an eclipse. But domestically, he felt that travel was easier.

That might have been true until millions of people hit the road on the same day.

So, I created maps showing the travel destinations near airports and along Amtrak routes:

I’ve lost track of how much time I’ve spent working on all these maps. At least 200 hours. It was usually the first hour of each workday as my brain slowly engaged and the final two hours as I wound down with a cocktail.

But I love maps, so does this even count as work?

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Do you have a question about travel or road trips? Are you a CVB or DMO interested in working with me? I typically respond to emails within 24 hours. Quicker if you include a good riddle.
Do you have a question about travel or road trips? Are you a CVB or DMO interested in working with me? I typically respond to emails within 24 hours. Quicker if you include a good riddle.

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