On Monday, April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will pass across the United States, and fortunately, the northwestern corner of Pennsylvania is within the path of totality.
If you’re trying to figure out where to see the 2024 solar eclipse in Pennsylvania, I’ve got you covered with some great options, including places to stay the night, and some great things to do before and after the mid-day eclipse.
Here’s everything you need to know and my top places to see the solar eclipse in PA!
Seeing the Total Solar Eclipse in PA
The total solar eclipse will cross the very northwestern corner of the state starting at around 3:15 pm on Monday, April 8, 2024, and will be over by 3:20 pm (though a partial eclipse will be visible for several hours on either end of that).
Thanks to Lake Erie, this part of the state does typically have a 60% chance of cloudy skies on April 8th, but to get significantly better odds of cloudless skies, you’ll need to head to Texas or Mexico, which isn’t a good option for most. So, we’ll just have to pray for sun on eclipse day!
While seeing a total solar eclipse is definitely worth a trip to northwestern PA, the good news is that all of Pennsylvania will be able to see the sun largely covered by the moon.
In fact, nearly all of PA will see at least 90% coverage, with those in Philly and the southeastern corner seeing in the upper 80%. Definitely something still worth heading outside to see.
Of course, whether you are in the path of totality on April 8 or not, you’ll want to wear eclipse glasses when looking at the sun as it’s only safe to do so without protection during the time the sun is totally covered.
I highly recommend buying these early as it’s likely that they will be more expensive and possibly even harder to come by the closer we get to the event. There are a lot of great options available on Amazon. Just make sure you get ones that are labeled that they meet the ISO 12312-2 requirements, which should mean you can safely use them to look directly at the sun.
Where to see the April 2024 Solar Eclipse in Pennsylvania
The center of the path of totality passes over Lake Erie just north of the city of Erie, making this the best place to visit to see the total solar eclipse in Pennsylvania.
All told, Erie will have a total solar eclipse for 3 minutes and 40 seconds, which is longer than the maximum total eclipse time for the last major total solar eclipse in August 2017. This is also within 3-5 seconds of the maximum totality duration seen anywhere in PA.
What makes Erie such a great place to view the eclipse is that it is a major city with the corresponding infrastructure.
While traffic might be heavy, the roads here are built to handle a lot of cars, and there are great viewing areas along the Lake Erie shoreline, especially from Presque Isle State Park. Really, anywhere with a clear view of the southwestern sky will provide a great view of the eclipse.
There are also a ton of hotels and other accommodation options in the city if you are planning to stay the night. There are also a lot of things to do either before or after the eclipse including many great craft breweries, the Erie Zoo, the Hagen History Center, and more.
And, if you are looking for eclipse-related events, there are some great ones happening throughout the city and the surrounding area.
All of these reasons are why I’ve personally decided to visit Erie for the eclipse.
Meadville is located about 40 miles south of Erie, and while the duration of totality won’t be as long here (only 2:35), if you are driving north from Pittsburgh or other locations, it might be worth stopping here instead of heading all the way to Erie to avoid some of the congestion that is sure to be around the city.
Located right off I-79, this city of 13,000 people is easily accessible and features all the amenities you might need while eclipse watching including hotels, breweries, and some neat attractions to help pass the time.
Anywhere in town would be great for viewing the eclipse as long as you can see to the southwest, but nature lovers might want to think about visiting spots like Maurice K. Goddard State Park and Conneaut Lake for a little more tranquility during the event.
Pymatuning State Park
Other than Presque Isle State Park, there’s probably no better state park in PA to visit to see the eclipse than Pymatuning State Park.
Located in Crawford County right on the PA/Ohio border, this is one of the largest state parks in Pennsylvania and features a nearly 17,000-acre lake. The shoreline provides ample viewing opportunities along the park’s beaches and even from the popular attraction “Where the Ducks Walk on the Fish”.
Visiting the park means that you’ll have plenty to occupy your time before and after the total solar eclipse visits PA. There is even a large campground for those looking for a less expensive option for an overnight stay.
Depending on exactly where you are in the park, you’ll have roughly three minutes of time in totality.
Titusville is another great spot to see the total solar eclipse in Pennsylvania because it’s likely to be off-the-beaten-path and provides a ton of great things to do nearby.
The city will see about 50 seconds of totality during the event, and also makes a great base to use for food and lodging as you chase the eclipse through PA.
Before and after the event, you can check out fabulous sites like the Drake Well Museum or the incredible Oil Creek State Park. Just note that most of the state park is outside of the total eclipse area.
Warren, PA sits on the edge of the total solar eclipse line, so you’ll need to make sure that you stay in the downtown area or, even better, to the north and west of town, but its location should also mean that it’s not nearly as busy as other cities in the zone of totality.
Downtown Warren, which is the easternmost populated area in PA to see a full solar eclipse, will have approximately 50 seconds of totality. However, even heading a few minutes north of town will quickly increase the amount of time that you have.
That makes Warren a good base of operations if you need a place to stay or somewhere to eat during your chase.
If you’re looking for things to do before or after the eclipse, Warren is very close to the Allegheny Reservoir and the many great attractions in the Allegheny National Forest, but it’s worth noting that most of these are outside the area of totality, so you’ll need to save time to get back to Warren before the event starts.
Route 6 runs across the northern tier of PA serving as the major east-west route through this part of the state, and anywhere along it from Warren to the PA/Ohio border will provide great viewing of the total solar eclipse in PA.
Along the route, you’ll find charming places to explore and great small towns like Corry, Union City, Edinboro, Cambridge Springs, and Linesville that will be perfect vantage points for the eclipse.
Just make sure you are off the road so you don’t miss it!
Other Places to See the Total Solar Eclipse
If you’re looking for other nearby places to see the eclipse that aren’t in Pennsylvania, the path of totality covers a large swath of northern New York including Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and the Adirondacks. You can also head west to places like Cleveland.
And, as a reminder, if you can’t make to any of these spots, most of PA will see over 90% of the sun covered during the afternoon of April 8, 2024. So, if you’re elsewhere in PA, make sure to look up at the sky (while wearing eclipse glasses, of course).
If you’re planning on traveling to see the solar eclipse in PA, extend your trip with some of the many great spots on my PA Travel Map or check out some of the best things to do in Pennsylvania in April and my PA Bucket List.