Visiting an eclipse city? Here’s what to do after the sun reemerges.

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Locals share their favorite places to eat and explore in these cities of totality

A brief blanket of darkness will cover the skies and street lamps will burn midday, as a total solar eclipse stretches across North America on April 8. The phenomenon occurs when the moon moves between the sun and the Earth, causing, for a matter of minutes, a full block of the sun.

Since the next full solar eclipse isn’t predicted to be visible from the contiguous United States again for 20 years, this year’s experience tops many travelers’ list. In fact, up to 3.7 million people are predicted to travel from outside to inside the path of totality come April. Some were booking more than a year in advance.

NASA has outlined 13 cities that fall within the path of totality and make for some of the event’s best vantage points, including Dallas, Little Rock, Buffalo, and Burlington, Vt. We tapped locals in some of these cities for some of their best recommendations on what to eat, see and do in their hometowns once the sun reemerges.

Dallas

Totality: 1:40 to 1:44 p.m. Central time

With one of the longest durations along the path of totality in the United States, Dallas will be packed with visitors. Organizations throughout the city will host viewing parties and events, including the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, which has invited over 20 astronomers for an event full of science activities, food and music, plus chances to explore the museum’s interactive stargazing experiences.

The Dallas Arboretum has partnered with retired NASA astronaut Alvin Drew for its party, and the Frontiers of Flight Museum, with an unobstructed location near Love Field, is hosting a family-friendly viewing event. Totality Dallas is a three-day festival hosted at Samuell Farm in Mesquite, Tex., just east of Dallas.

Tanner Agar, owner of Rye and Apothecary restaurants, moved to Dallas in 2011 to attend Texas Christian University and after spending time abroad, he returned to the city to get into the restaurant business. “I thought it was a great place to make a name for myself as a chef and restaurateur,” he said in an email. Just before the eclipse, Agar plans to launch an Alice in Wonderland menu at Apothecary, a cocktail bar known for its creative concoctions. “If you’ve traveled to see the eclipse, you’re clearly looking to be surprised and delighted,” he said.

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Visiting an eclipse city? Here’s what to do after the sun reemerges.

Visiting an eclipse city? Here’s what to do after the sun reemerges.

Visiting an eclipse city? Here’s what to do after the sun reemerges.

A total solar eclipse will pass the United States on April 8. We have answers to all your eclipse questions, including information about where it will be visible and what you’ll need to view it.Here’s our outlook for expected cloud cover during the eclipse.End of carousel

Agar recommends visiting the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, which is marking 60 years since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. For a taste of classic Texas, he recommends swinging by The Stockyards in Fort Worth, a historic area that has shopping, dining and still hosts cattle drives. “You can get custom-made boots and go two-stepping at the largest honkey tonk in the world,” he said, “after you attend the rodeo, of course.”

Little Rock

Totality: 1:51 to 1:54 p.m. Central time

With its dark skies and top-notch state parks, Arkansas is a major draw for the eclipse crowd. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will host a special event with food trucks, access to telescopes and activities for kids, like creating pinhole viewing boxes. Snap a photo of the eclipse with a free phone adapter. For hiking trails and high-altitude vantage points, Pinnacle Mountain State Park, just outside of the city limits, will be a popular draw.

While in Little Rock, visit the trendy South on Main (SoMa) District and stop by the Esse Purse Museum, a special collection that examines the role of a woman’s purse as more than an accessory. Grab a cone of “Arkansas Mud” at Loblolly Creamery, and sample baleadas and other Honduran and Latin American street food at El Sur. SoMa in the Dark is a multiday eclipse event featuring pop-ups, markets, a nighttime parade and an evening glow run.

Evansville, Ind.

Totality: 2:02 to 2:05 p.m. Central time

Evansville, Ind., is positioned on a bend of the Ohio River, just north of the Kentucky line. Given its riverfront location and full-dome planetarium show, the Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science will be a popular eclipse-viewing vantage point. Learn about the sun, moon and stars at the immersive eclipse 2024 show.

Continue your connection with nature at Wesselman Woods, the largest tract of urban old-growth forest in the country. Wesselman will host a free multicultural festival on April 8, with food trucks and live music. Wesselman Woods Marketing Director Kristina Arwood is a native Evansvillian and recommends stopping for a slice of coconut cream pie at Pie Pan, an all-day breakfast diner and bakery.

For a slice of history, head north of town to The Log Inn, a historic stagecoach stop built in 1825, and the oldest restaurant in Indiana. It’s said that Abraham Lincoln stopped here in 1844 while campaigning for Henry Clay. Order family style and get a sampling of ham, fried chicken or roast beef. Sides, such as German potato salad and fried potatoes, point to the region’s rich German heritage. For another dose of history, visit Angel Mounds, a state historic site honoring the Mississippians who inhabited the area hundreds of years ago.

Cleveland

Totality: 3:13 to 3:17 p.m. Eastern time

Destiny Thomas is a Cleveland native and astronomer at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, where they recently premiered a planetarium show, Meeting Totality. The museum will also host a watch party on April 8. For another prime viewing spot, Thomas recommends Observatory Park, just under an hour’s drive east of the city. “The area is free of light pollution, providing incredible and breathtaking views of the cosmos, and it’s within the path of totality,” she said in an email.

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Before or after the big event, Thomas says not to miss the city’s most famous attraction, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Lisa Vinciquerra, director of production and live events at the hall, has lived in Cleveland for 30 years and recommends the Cleveland Museum of Art. For great cocktails and healthy Latin fare, she likes downtown’s LULO Kitchen.

Thomas also recommends the Cleveland Botanical Garden. “I find it incredibly relaxing and serene,” she said. The Madagascar Glasshouse, home to the largest collection of baobab trees in the United States, is there.

Douglas Katz, chef at Amba in Ohio City and Zhug in Cleveland Heights, recommends the city’s many parks, which will host an eclipse-related speaker series, workshops and viewing parties. His favorite is Edgewater on the lakefront.

He also recommends stopping by the University Circle area: “It is filled with cultural institutions, plus world-class art, architecture and food, and it’s home to Severance Music Center, home of the renowned Cleveland Orchestra,” he said in an email. The orchestra will partner with the Great Lakes Science Center and NASA’s Glenn Research Center for Total Eclipse Fest, with a free concert on April 7.

If time allows, Katz also suggests stopping by the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, tucked inside the 254-acre Rockefeller Park. “They represent many of the immigrants and settlers throughout Cleveland’s history,” he said. Of interest to eclipse-seekers, the Polish Garden features astronomer Nicholaus Copernicus.

Buffalo

Totality: 3:18 to 3:22 p.m. Eastern time

Buffalo is toward the end of the eclipse arc in the United States. Marc Moscato, owner of Buffalo Bike Tours, offers a chicken wing tour, where you can meet John Young’s daughter — Lina Brown Young — and purchase specialty “mumbo sauce.” If weather permits, head over to Tifft Nature Preserve, a 264-acre park with five miles of trails and boardwalks, just five minutes from downtown.

Buffalo native Michelle Kearns, a former reporter who now works for the visitor’s bureau, recommends a visit to the emerging museum district, which includes the Buffalo AKG Art Museum, one of the oldest museums in the country. Its art collection ranges from works by Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Jackson Pollack and Andy Warhol.

Grab a quick bite at Cornelia inside the museum (Kearns recommends a breakfast sandwich), or sit at the Sculpture Bar and sip a glass of wine or cocktail while viewing the sculpture garden. The Burchfield Penney Art Center is another draw with immersive art installations and glass.

And since “Where can I find the wings?” is a question almost every local gets, Kearns recommends Gabriel’s Gate, “a beloved stop” in the center of the city’s Allentown District. She also recommends Cole’s restaurant, within walking distance of the art museums. Stop by for a burger or signature wings. During brunch, order a Buffalo Bloody, made with Frank’s RedHot sauce and blue cheese.

Burlington, Vt.

Totality timeline: 3:26 to 3:29 p.m. Eastern time

Burlington will play host to dozens of eclipse events. Longtime Vermont resident Sas Stewart is the founder of Adventure Dinner, a company that curates and hosts unique food and drink experiences across the state. “I like to call them secret dinners in unexpected places,” she said. For the eclipse, she plans to host pop-up experiences after hours at one of Burlington’s most popular restaurants, The Grey Jay, run by chef Cara Chigazola Tobin. “It will be four courses inspired by our neighbors to the north, on the heels of the sugaring season in Vermont and Quebec,” Stewart said.

While in town, Stewart recommends Tobin’s Honey Road, which features eastern Mediterranean cuisine. “They have sticky wings that are stupid good,” Stewart said. “And the kale salad is amazing.” For a quick and cozy stop, she recommends Manhattan Pizza & Pub. She also describes having recently had a “perfect Sunday afternoon” at Onion City Chicken and Oyster, where she enjoyed oysters, hot crab dip and a martini.

For an artistic experience, Stewart suggests visiting AO Glass to take a glass-blowing class or watch the intricate process during open studio hours. She also recommends the Burlington waterfront. “Part of what makes it really cool is that it’s contiguous,” she said. “Nothing can be built there, so the best views are at public parks.”

Luis Calderin, 49, is originally from Miami, but now calls Burlington home. With chef Oscar Arencibia, he opened Santiago’s Cuban Cuisine, inspired by South Beach and 1950s Havana. “I’d say we have one of the best Cuban sandwiches, Cubanos, north of Miami,” he said. “It’s one of our signature offerings, and our mojito menu is a pillar of the business.”

Calderin describes it as a “tropical-chic atmosphere.” “It sits on the lake, overlooking the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York, so it’s super picturesque,” he said.

Calderin is also a DJ and recommends Pure Pop Records for music lovers. “It’s the hub of the music scene here, just a classic record store,” he said. “It’s laid back, and the people who work there are super knowledgeable on all types of music, from international to our local bands.” Phish was founded in Burlington.

He also recommends a factory tour of Burton Snowboards, which was founded in Vermont in 1977. For a quality cup of joe, Calderin heads to Muddy Waters Cafe. “I get a double espresso with any of their blends, and they have my favorite coconut macaroons,” he said.

For a lunch place that’s “quintessentially Burlington,” he wouldn’t miss Zabby & Elf’s Stone Soup. “Burlington is a mix of college students, young families, professionals, but it’s also a bit of hippie, progressive politics, and it’s becoming more global, so it’s changing quite a bit” he said. “Burlington is a small, progressive little city.”

Virginia Brown is a freelance writer based in Little Rock. You can follow her on Instagram at vb.writes.

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