Get Wild for the 2024 Solar Eclipse


On April 8, the “Great American Solar Eclipse” will sweep across the continental United States. During this event, the moon will pass between the sun and earth, obscuring the sun either completely or partially, depending on your location.

What better place to watch this wild event than in the beauty of wild Florida? Here are our tips for checking out the Great American Solar Eclipse in the Sunshine State.

Florida Solar Eclipse 101

While Florida is not in the path of totality – meaning that the sun will not be completely covered by the moon – this celestial event is still a wild spectacle, one that you won’t want to miss.

The further north you are in Florida, the more coverage you will see. Pensacola will see about 80% coverage of the sun, while down in the Keys, it’ll be 55%. Central Florida will have about 65% coverage. Across the state, the eclipse will start around 1:30 PM and the height of coverage will be at about 3:00 PM, with a few minutes difference depending on where you are. For exact timing, you can enter your zip code into this database.

Choose a Wild Spot

For the best chance of seeing the eclipse, pick a spot with an expansive view of the sky so that you won’t have to fight tree cover or other obstacles to observe the sun. Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, and Canaveral National Seashore are excellent options. Arrive early to secure parking and a space to set up your chair and snacks to watch the eclipse unfold.

Protect Your Eyes

Never look directly at the sun without proper eye protection, as it can cause permanent damage. Protect your eyes by grabbing a pair of certified solar viewing glasses. If you plan to look through a telescope or binoculars or to shoot the eclipse with a camera, be sure to use solar filters.

A partial eclipse also creates cool shadows and reflections that can be as fun as checking out what’s happening in the sky. Some neat things to try are casting shadows with a colander, hanging a disco ball, and making a pinhole camera.

Bring a Friend

Organize a viewing party to share the excitement with friends or family. Cool happenings are more fun with a group of fellow wildlings! Bring along eclipse-themed snacks and perhaps even a telescope (with a solar filter!) for a closer look at the phenomenon.

If you want to join in on a bigger event, check out these planned viewing parties across Florida.

Embrace the Wild Moment

Take a moment to pause and appreciate the wonder of the universe unfolding before your eyes. Whether you’re surrounded by the tranquility of a state park or gazing out across the vastness of the coastline, let yourself be captivated by the beauty and grandeur of the solar eclipse.

Are you ready? Gather your gear, round up your friends, and enjoy an unforgettable time in the Sunshine State. Happy eclipse viewing!

Photo by Jongsun Lee