A crowd reacts to the view of a partial solar...

A crowd reacts to the view of a partial solar eclipse as it peaks at over 70% percent coverage in August 2017 in New York City.  Credit: AP/Michael Noble Jr.

April 8 will offer many New Yorkers their one-and-only chance to experience a total solar eclipse in person, a celestial rarity worth traveling to see.

The phenomenon is when the moon passes between the sun and earth, either fully or partially blocking the sun's light. While it's true that 88% of the sun will be in shadow on Long Island (89% in New York City), if it’s complete darkness in the daytime that you seek, you’ll have to make your way to Western New York. Towns big and small, along with parks, campgrounds, wineries, restaurants — you name it — are hoping to entice visitors for the day or perhaps even an eclipse weekend.

The I LOVE NY Path of Totality Poster for the total solar eclipse that will take place on April 8 and will be visible across a swath of New York State. Credit: I LOVE NY

“This one will be a little more special,” said Victoria Burch, marketing coordinator for the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau, speaking of her previous partial eclipse experience a few years back when she lived in Virginia. This time, not only will New York’s westernmost county be plunged into total darkness for more than three minutes, they will also be among the first in the state to witness the spectacle, something they can do in many ways. “There are tons of events going on all weekend,” Burch said.

The moon transits the sun during the 2017 total solar...

The moon transits the sun during the 2017 total solar eclipse as seen from Weiser, Idaho; Using a welder's mask as protection, a man views a total eclipse in Piedra del Aguila, Argentina, in December 2020; Members of the British Astronomers Association prepare their telescopes at their campsite near Truro, England, in August 1999, preparing for a total solar eclipse the next day. Credit: Kyle Green; Natacha Pisarenko; AP/Dave Caulkin


Distance from Long Island: About 6 hours

Walk scenic trails by river in Ausable Chasm in the...

Walk scenic trails by river in Ausable Chasm in the Adirondack Mountains. Credit: Universal Images Group via Getty Images/MyLoupe

Many wishing to experience the total eclipse in a gorgeous natural setting will no doubt be drawn to the Adirondack Mountains, which will present challenges during early spring, a time when changing weather conditions can make things dangerous for inexperienced hikers. The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) and other organizations suggest visitors avoid the backcountry and instead patronize the area’s many other events.

The Olympic Center (3:21 p.m.): The Glow for the Gold event gives eclipse attendees the chance to see the spectacle for free from the speed skating oval at the Olympic Center (glasses provided, subject to capacity; 2634 Main St., Lake Placid, 518-523-1655, lakeplacidolympiccenter.com)

Whiteface Club and Resort (3:25 p.m.): The resort is holding a watch party that includes a buffet, drink specials, live music and complimentary glasses in a spectacular setting ($100, reservations required).

Ausable Chasm (3:27 p.m.): The scenic canyon offers a package that includes parking, glasses and access to five miles of hiking trails and a “solar flats” viewing area ($19.95; 2144 US-9, Ausable Chasm, 518- 834-7454, ausablechasm.com)

Wilmington’s Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort (3:26 p.m.): The resort will offer $40 lift tickets that day (skiing pre- and post-eclipse only), a price that includes a program including live music, complimentary safety glasses and spectacular eclipse viewing from the mountain top’s Cloudspin Bar & Grill. Visitors can ride the Cloudsplitter Gondola and watch the eclipse from Little Whiteface Deck ($50, tickets on sale March 20; 125-person limit; 373 Whiteface Inn Lane, Lake Placid, 518-523-2551, whitefaceclubresort.com).

Adirondack Sky Center and Observatory (3:33 p.m.): The area’s only public astronomy organization will host free weekend-long events including family activities, music, food, art projects and more (178 Big Wolf Rd., Tupper Lake, (518) 359-3538, adirondackskycenter.org).

More info: visitadirondacks.com


The expected path of the total solar eclipse, April 8. Credit: AP

Distance from Long Island: About 7 hours

Visitors to areas northeast of Chautauqua will see some of the longest periods of total darkness in the state.

Kelkenberg Farm in Clarence Center (3:44 p.m.): A family-friendly option is watching the eclipse with fellow mammals. The center is planning hay rides, barnyard activities and more ($15 per person; 9270 Wolcott Rd., Clarence Center, 716-741-4862, kelkenbergfarm.com).

Hofbräuhaus Buffalo: The Buffalo Philharmonic starts the weekend off April 5-6 with a program featuring selections from Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” ($12-$108). There will also be a silent disco pre-eclipse party ($10-$20) at the German microbrewery April 5 (190 Scott St., 716-939-2337, hofbrauhausbuffalo.com).

USS Little Rock in Buffalo Naval Park: Children 6-18 (with a parent) can spend the night before the eclipse onboard the cruiser sleeping in restored berths, eating in the mess hall and the like ($175 a person, 1 Naval Park Cove, 716-847-1773, buffalonavalpark.org)

More info: visitbuffaloniagara.com


Aerial view of Horseshoe Fall of the Niagara Falls is...

Aerial view of Horseshoe Fall of the Niagara Falls is seen on a hot and sunny day. Credit: LightRocket via Getty Images/SOPA Images

Distance from Long Island: About 7 hours

Niagara Falls State Park (3:32 p.m.): The park will be a prime viewing spot for the eclipse, the town itself is hosting a post-eclipse fireworks show downtown the same night. (332 Prospect St.,716-278-1794, niagarafallsstatepark.com)

More info: visitbuffaloniagara.com


Distance from Long Island: About 6 hours

Rochester’s Roc the Eclipse 2024: The weekend-long event grants access to Rochester’s Museum and Science Center, planetarium, special guest speakers, lectures, exhibitions and a post-eclipse concert ($50; 657 East Ave., 585-271-4320, ​​​​​​rmsc.org).

Genesee Country Village & Museum (3:35 p.m.): The museum invites families to imagine what the eclipse experience might have been like in a 19th-century town. Tickets — starting at $55 a person or $225 for a carload, with premium packages available — grant access to the 600-acre grounds as well as open-air viewing on South Field (1410 Flint Hill Rd., Mumford, 585-538-6822, gcv.org)

More info: visitrochester.com


Take a trip to the State University of New York...

Take a trip to the State University of New York at Oswego for free lectures and planetarium shows. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/pumppump

Distance from Long Island: About 6 hours

Full eclipse viewing time: 3:26 p.m.

Calling itself an “Eclipse Getaway,” the town has a list of hotels and campgrounds still available and info on the best places for eclipse-watching (oswegony.org).

SUNY Oswego: The school will feature free lectures and planetarium shows (7060 State Route 104, 315-312-2500, oswego.edu).

Best Western Oswego Plus: Oswego Eclipse Extravaganza packages starting at $539 a night includes overnight accommodations and viewing glasses, as well as admission to a block party and post-eclipse concert (26 East 1st St., 315-342-4040, bestwestern.com).

More info: visitoswegocounty.com


The entrance to the Long Point State Park on Lake...

The entrance to the Long Point State Park on Lake Chautauqua. Credit: Getty Images/Althom

Distance from Long Island: About 7 hours

Long Point State Park (3:14 p.m.): Head to the 360-acre park, which is on a peninsula on the east side of Lake Chautauqua for a free and quiet viewing experience (4459, Route 430, Bemus Point, 716-386-2722, parks.ny.gov).

Midway State Park (3:22 p.m.): A somewhat livelier time might be had at one of the country’s oldest amusement parks, which is normally closed in May but is opening for the occasion. Rides and attractions will not be available but admission is free and the first 500 visitors will receive a pair of eclipse viewing glasses (4859 Rte. 430, Bemus Point, 716-386-3165, parks.ny.gov).

Lake Erie Wine Country: The Lights Out! grants weekend-long access to up to 21 local wineries all over the area — many of them offering music, merch and food — along with a pair of NASA-approved eclipse viewing glasses ($50 at a participating winery; lakeeriewinecountry.org).

More info: tourchautauqua.com


Distance from Long Island: About 5 hours 

While the city will experience one of the shortest periods of totality, it also requires the shortest amount of travel time for Long Islanders.

NBT Bank Stadium: Home of the Syracuse Mets, the stadium will host Total Eclipse of the Park, offering free eclipse glasses to the first 10,000 fans who can also watch a post-eclipse ballgame against the Worcester Red Sox (tickets $21-$45). (One Tex Simone Dr., 315-474-7833, onondagacountyparks.com)

More infovisitsyracuse.com


Traffic on interstates and other major highways is expected to be heavy, so plan accordingly. Or take Amtrak’s Adirondack train from New York’s Penn Station to a town in the path of totality. Tickets for a seven-plus-hour train to Plattsburgh that leaves April 7 and returns April 9 are currently going for $181 round-trip. Nonstop flights for the same dates from area airports to Buffalo and Rochester are available but pricey ($700-plus) range, or about $263 to Syracuse.

Visitors view an eclipse of the sun from the top...

Visitors view an eclipse of the sun from the top deck of New York's Empire State Building on Aug. 31, 1932; A crowd watches a partial solar eclipse in August 2017 in New York City; A young shepherd carries a goat as he watches a partial solar eclipse in the village of Bqosta in Lebanon in March 2006. Credit: AP; AP/Michael Noble Jr.; AP/Mohammed Zaatari