On April 8, 2024, the Rochester area will experience a remarkable and incredibly rare event – a total solar eclipse. This happens when the moon passes in front of the sun, perfectly blocking its surface. Although the moon passes between the Earth and sun every day, the three celestial objects will be aligned perfectly for three minutes and 38 seconds of darkness.
While these events are rare, people across the world have experienced them over the years with a variety of reactions. Some people have said a total solar eclipse is a breathtaking, out-of-body experience. Others have expressed that it feels spiritual or religious—or describe it as an emotional moment or a dream-like feeling. Regardless of the exact emotions, the agreement has been that it’s an unforgettable event.
Here are 8 reasons why you should travel to Rochester for the 2024 total solar eclipse.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Do you know how rare it is to see a total solar eclipse? The last one experienced in Rochester occurred in 1925 (that's almost 100 years ago!) and our area won’t see another one until the year 2144, approximately 120 years from now. Catch this opportunity while you can to experience three minutes and 38 seconds of totality!
Attend the ROC the Eclipse Festival. There will be a three day eclipse and moon-themed festival at Rochester Museum and Science Center (RSMC) and its Strasenburgh Planetarium. This event will include food, music, speakers and activities for everyone under the sun. It will conclude on April 8th with the viewing of the total eclipse on the RMSC campus. In addition to solar-filtered telescopes, attendees will receive solar glasses to view the eclipse safely.
- Rochester is known as the “World’s Image Centre.” This stems from the city’s history as the home to incredible companies such as Bausch & Lomb, Eastman Kodak Company, and Xerox Corporation. Additionally, the University of Rochester offered the first optics curriculum in the nation in 1929. The region continues to be a leader in imaging, photonics, and optics. With strong ties to science, technology and history, what better place to experience an event like this?
- Experience Rochester’s vibrant arts and culture scene. Arts, culture, and creativity overflow in Rochester. If you love all things art, check out the Memorial Art Gallery (MAG) for unique exhibits and tours, including their temporary installation INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM – LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER, 2017 by Yayoi Kusama. There’s nothing quite like ARTISANworks, an over 40,000 square foot quirky space overflowing with artwork, themed rooms and unique pieces you won’t find anywhere else. Theater lovers will find no shortage of places to catch a show in Rochester. Geva Theatre Center, West Herr Auditorium Theatre / RBTL, Blackfriars Theatre and OFC Creations Theatre Center are just a few of the places where you can catch a live performance.
- Learn about history while being a part of history. Step into Rochester’s history at our exciting museums. Learn more about why Rochester has been given the title of “World’s Image Centre” at the George Eastman Museum, where you’ll view the history of photography and image creation. Visit Genesee Country Village & Museum, New York’s largest living history museum, and plan to take part in their Three-Day Eclipse Festival. Stop by The National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House to see where the modern women’s rights movement began.
- Rochester is filled with family-fun. You’ll leave with plenty of memories for the whole family! Feel like a kid again and check out the must-see interactive exhibits at The Strong Museum of Play and its recent 90,000 square-foot expansion. Radio Social is another great spot for families with activities like bowling, indoor and outdoor games and activities, lounge areas, and a couple of bars for the parents. Or explore the wild at the Seneca Park Zoo, which is open all year round.
- Grab a bite to eat in one of the best-ranked cities for foodies. That’s right, Rochester has been named the 4th best city for foodies in the U.S. and when you visit, you’ll see why. With restaurant options ranging anywhere from gourmet to the Garbage Plate, there’s something for everyone to indulge in in Rochester. Not to mention, Rochester is proudly home to over 100 incredible breweries, wineries, and distilleries. Those looking for eclipse-themed food and drink will find options galore during their stay. Chocolatiers will want to visit Laughing Gull Chocolates for eclipse chocolates, with Neutral Ground Coffeehouse being a must-visit for coffee lovers (purchase celestial coffee packaged in themed bags!). Head to Rohrbach Brewing Company for eclipse beer, which has two convenient locations for you to choose from. Check out all this area has to offer for some of the best dining – and drinking – experiences you’ve ever had.
- There are places all over the city to experience this remarkable celestial event. The city has a number of eclipse viewing locations for a totality awesome view of this event. Check out High Falls, Parcel 5, and various parks like Cobbs Hill Park, Highland Park, and more. Plus, you don’t want to miss all of the eclipse-related events and activities that are planned! There’s so much going on, you’ll want to #TakeTuesdayToo to experience it all.
There's no doubt Rochester is a fascinating city filled with history, great food, and fun for everyone. And what better time to visit than for a once-in-a-lifetime event? Make your reservations now and experience this astonishing event in the city of Rochester.