Betting you've heard or read all the chatter: 2024's Total Solar Eclipse is making its celestial debut on Monday, April 8. And it's passing right through the middle of Texas.

The eclipse in Abilene will be only a partial eclipse, magnitude 96.7. Magnitude is the percentage of the sun's diameter that will be covered by the moon. A partial eclipse is itself a sight to see (with eclipse glasses or an easily-made viewing box), but a total eclipse is something else. And the Big Country is so close to the path of totality.

A friend and I were considering the possibility of taking our families to the closest point of totality from Abilene. Maybe you are too? So I did a little researching.

Abilene's closest "totality towns" are Fort Worth, Granbury, Stephenville, Comanche, and Brady. Don't count out Brownwood either, though it will be only a partial eclipse at magnitude 99.67. All cities are approximately a two-hour (or less) drive from Abilene.

Google Maps
Google Maps

That is, barring total eclipse traffic. Any of these towns could be an easy day trip on any other day of the year. But with thousands (millions?) of visitors predicted to be driving to the same swath of Texas on the very same weekend, what typically makes for an easy day trip could end up being...not so easy.

Ultimately my friend and I decided we probably won't venture into the central plains of Texas for this event. Though many schools and companies along the total eclipse path have plans to be closed on April 8, Abilene is slated to be business as usual. And the possibility of being stuck on the road for hours on end with thousands of other exhausted drivers never sounds appealing.

However if you've got some PTO and you're looking for adventure on April 8, one of the Texas towns listed above will be the closest options for those in the Abilene area. Be sure and gas up the car, pack plenty of water and snacks, and order your eclipse glasses now.

103.1 KKCN logo
Get our free mobile app

BE ALERT:10 Things Texans NEED To Do Before Visitors Invade The State For Eclipse

There are 10 things Texans need to be aware of as they prepare for thousands to come to the state to view the eclipse.

Gallery Credit: Piggie , Canva