The Path of Totality is Coming Through Rochester, NY. What You Need To Know, Tips and The Best Events


Here’s a close-up. That baby is comin’ right through Rochester, NY on April 8, 2024.

map of path of totality 2024 rochester and western NY

This is the path across North America

What to Expect

A total eclipse is one of the rarest and most spectacular events in nature. During the partial phases just before and after totality, the landscape around you is transformed by eerie dim light and strangely sharp shadows. During totality, the sky becomes as dark as deep twilight, bright stars and planets appear, and the Sun’s outer atmosphere, called the corona, shines around the black disk of the Moon’s silhouette. Changes in temperature, winds, and animal behavior occur during the time around totality. The experience is emotionally powerful and unforgettable.

What is the Path of Totality?

The total solar eclipse path crosses from Mexico, through the United States from Texas to Maine, and up through Canada. Rochester, NY is on the route in 2024. There are two to five solar eclipses each year, with a total eclipse taking place every 18 months or so. Whether you can view that eclipse depends on where you are in the world. 2024 is the first time it will pass through Rochester, NY.

Here is the time it will be rolling through town along with thousands of travelers…

POT 2024 Time in Rochester, NY

Another super cool image of what it will look like

Tips for Viewing

From scouting locations to staying safe, here’s how to prepare for your total solar eclipse experience.

1 Don’t obsess about the center line.

You only need to be within the path to experience totality, but how long you experience it for depends on how close you are to the center line. The centerline of the path is where the moon’s round shadow is widest and takes longer to move over you, so totality lasts longest. Your general geography also matters. Stand on the centerline in Texas and it’s possible to experience a totality lasting 4 minutes 27 seconds while as the path leaves Canada it’s just 2 minutes 52 seconds. Here in Rochester we’re expecting totality to be over 3 minutes. It’s useful to know all this, but this is the longest total solar eclipse inland for over a decade. So anywhere within the path of totality with three-or-so minutes duration is a massive achievement. 

2 Find a special viewing spot.

Think beyond honeypot destinations, where crowds and traffic are bound to be bad. The changing light (mid day the temperature will drop 10 degrees and it will go from light to dark in the middle of the day), the sounds and reactions of animals and the look of astonishment and delight on the faces of loved ones are all highlights of experiencing totality. If you live in Rochester, consider staying home if you want a “me” eclipse. It’s a once in 375 year opportunity. Or, if you’d rather have a “we” eclipse then find a festival, observing event and make a reservation as soon as you can. 

3 Forget cameras, embrace binoculars.

You may be temped to try to photograph the eclipse but it may be like trying to photograph your own wedding. Settings, and fiddling with exposure settings during during a once in a lifetime experience that lasts just a few minutes is something you may not want to mess with. Smartphones are way easier — you just use your wide-angle lens, focus on something in the middle distance just before it starts to get really dark, lock that focus (using a long press) and snap a photo when it gets dark. Now — during totality — put your phone away and reach for any pair of binoculars for the *sight of your life*! You won’t regret it. 

4. Remember to NEVER look at the sun without appropriate safety equipment, only during “totality” when the sun is completely eclipsed by the sun can you look at the sun with the naked eye. At all other times observers will need to wear solar eclipse glasses, and cameras, telescopes and binoculars must have solar filters placed in front of their lenses at all times.  Get a free pair of eclipse glasses while they last from the local library. Or look here for a list of places carrying them

5. Stay after totality.

Stay after totality to watch the partial eclipse close out the event. Photo credit: Philip Hart via Getty Images

The traffic was awful after the “Great American Eclipse” on August 21, 2017 along the path of totality. Vehicles sat for hours to get home. That is likely to happen again and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it although Rochester has been preparing in as many ways as they can. We’re no stranger to big events (hello PGA) here in Rochester. Plan to stay in your location for a while. After all, how often do you get to see a huge partial solar eclipse, which is what unfolds after totality just as it did beforehand?

POT Events

Where will you be watching?

Rochester A-List has partnered with Rising Storm at the Mill, Rochester NY’s brewery in a park to host an exclusive curated eclipse experience. View event details for Dark in the Park (sold out).

Birdhouse Brewing is hosting a viewing experience. They have a trail that leads to Honeoye Lake you can walk on then enjoy time at the brewery with live music. They have a beautiful outdoor space as well with tables, and fire pits. Two commemorative beers- blonde stout and moon pie stout. Guest chef from Old Pueblo Grill cooking noon-6pm. The event is free.

Rising Storm at the Mill is hosting a viewing experience. They have Ellison Park to explore for viewing as well as a great outdoor space, and commemorative beers- Blackout (black lager), Infinity (double IPA) , Nocturnal Rainbows (Black IPA), and Nocturnal Storm (vanilla porter). The band River Lynch is playing. The event is free.

RMSC Eclipse Festival April 6-8. Food trucks, music, learning. Some events are free, some are ticketed.

More Eclipse info. including events, merchandise, and tips from Rochester Museum and Science Center here

Read more about the total solar eclipse in America at


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