Witness a rare total solar eclipse right here in the United States! Join us in the outskirts of Austin, Texas on April 8, 2024 where the path of totality will run through Texas Hill Country. Spend time exploring Austin, and discover the vast landscapes and idyllic wineries of the Hill Country.

Starting at: $4,995 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Solar eclipse
 Solar Eclipse
 Observatory at the University of Texas Physics Math and Astronomy Building
 Observatory at the University of Texas Physics Math and Astronomy Building
 Bats over Congress Avenue Bridge at sunset
 Hill Country landscape of Texas bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, and yucca
 Texas longhorn amid the bluebonnets
 The golden-cheeked warbler of Texas
 Texas Hill Country flora
 Austin skyline in the evening
 Austin skyline
 Pedernales Falls State Park. Credit: Stephen Garmon, Pedernales Falls State Park
 Fossils found at Pedernales Falls State Park. Credit: Stephen Garmon, Pedernales Falls State Park
 Grotto at Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center
 Grotto and flora at Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center

Solar Eclipse 2024: A Journey from Austin to the Texas Hill Country

5 days from $4,995

Witness a rare total solar eclipse right here in the United States! Join us in the outskirts of Austin, Texas on April 8, 2024 where the path of totality will run through Texas Hill Country. Spend time exploring Austin, and discover the vast landscapes and idyllic wineries of the Hill Country.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

brochure

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Overview

Head for the wildflower-filled meadows of Texas Hill Country in spring to experience wonders both celestial and earth-bound on a journey that features the total solar eclipse in April 2024. From your base in energetic Austin, set out to discover the hidden waterfalls, endangered birds, and serene native grasslands of the Hill Country. Then turn your eyes to the sky to interpret the constellations on a night visit to a state park, go stargazing with astronomers, and toast the eclipse at an idyllic vineyard that lies in the path of totality.

Please note: Guests will be divided into groups of no more than 40 travelers.

Highlights Include:

  • Total Solar Eclipse: Witness the eclipse from the comfort of a renowned Hill Country winery located in the path of totality. Take an exclusive tasting tour, enjoy panoramic views of Texas Hill Country, then enjoy a private watch party and lunch as the total eclipse darkens the sky. Your Smithsonian Journeys Experts will be with you throughout the day to discuss the eclipse and answer questions. 
  • Austin: Set out on a sunset cruise, listening to live music as you sail past Austin’s skyline and beneath the iconic “bat bridge”—one of the world’s largest colonies of urban bats. Surround yourself with bluebonnets and other flora on a guided tour of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and learn about efforts to conserve native species.
  • Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center: During an exclusive visit to this fascinating nature preserve, go on a guided walk through a canyon to find a lush hidden grotto, watch for migratory and resident species from a bird blind, and see a solar observatory at the award-winning Environmental Learning Center.
  • Texas Hill Country: Spend time at the inspiring Selah, Bamberger Ranch Preserve, where a major habitat restoration project transformed barren ranch land into a haven of native flora and fauna. Then join naturalists to go birding, hiking, and to view dozens of fossils on a guided visit to Pedernales Falls State Park.
  • Astronomy: Gaze at constellations, planets, and distant galaxies during a private star party with astronomers on the rooftop of University of Texas’s astronomy building or at the Reimer Observatory.  Meet with a park interpreter on a nighttime visit to Pedernales Falls State Park to hear the legends associated with the stars.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival in Austin, TX

Arrive in Austin and settle into your hotel downtown. Late this afternoon, take to the Colorado River on a chartered dinner cruise through downtown Austin, enjoying live music at sunset. Pass beneath the iconic Congress Avenuebat bridge,” home to the world’s largest colony of urban bats. Watch as an estimated 1.5-million female bats emerge at sunset—a thrilling nature show in the heart of the city. (R,D)

Please note: Guests will stay at the Hyatt Regency Austin or similar.

Day 2 – Wildflowers, Canyons, and Galaxies

Begin the morning with a private tour of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, situated in the “bluebonnet belt.” Stroll among hundreds of native species in gardens and natural areas brilliant with spring blooms, and learn about the center’s important work in wildflower conservation. Continue to the Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center, a nature reserve where you’ll enjoy exclusive access to rare habitats. Take a guided hike that begins in the savanna and brings you through a lush canyon to a waterfall with a hidden grotto. At the on-site Environmental Learning Center, a model of sustainable architecture, see an innovative solar observatory and learn about the analemma, or solar calendar. Visit a bird blind for a chance to see the endangered golden-cheeked warbler, among other species. This evening, gather for a private astronomy program with views of constellations, planets, the Milky Way, and satellites at either the Reimer Observatory, an international dark sky park, or on the rooftop of University of Texas at Austin’s Physics, Math and Astronomy building with invited faculty from the university. (L,D)

Day 3 – Hill Country Habitats

This morning, explore Selah, Bamberger Ranch Preserve, a 5,500-acre ranch that is one of the largest habitat restoration projects in Texas. Join Executive Director April Sansom for an up-close look at the native plants and wildlife of Texas Hill Country and learn how the “worst ranch land in Texas” was restored to a thriving, sustainable ecosystem. Watch a demonstration of the ranch’s rain machine, and observe a herd of scimitar-horned oryx, a desert species that is extinct in the wild. The Conservation and Research Center of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo is working with Bamberger Ranch to reintroduce the species to its native habitats in North Africa. This afternoon, join interpretive staff at Pedernales Falls State Park for a private lecture in the park’s amphitheater and a guided visit. Go bird-watching with local naturalists, and hike to Pedernales Falls to discover 300 million-year-old fossils embedded in the limestone flats surrounding the falls. This evening, gaze at the sky with the park’s interpreter, hearing the legends behind the stars and constellations. (L,D)

Day 4 – Eclipse Day

Head to Fredericksburg, in the heart of Texas Hill Country and right in the path of totality for today’s solar eclipse. Kick off your day-long celebration at Becker Vineyards, one of the premier wineries in Texas. Enjoy an exclusive tasting and tour of the 300-acre estate, which has hosted former first lady Lady Bird Johnson, among others. Toast the eclipse at a private reception in the barrel chai, or wine storeroom, and sit down to lunch in the estate’s Lavender Haus as the moon begins to pass in front of the sun. Gather in the garden to experience four and a half minutes of eerie darkness during the total eclipse. Afterwards, Smithsonian Journeys Experts will discuss the eclipse and answer your questions. Return to Austin this evening for a final celebratory dinner. (L,D,R)

Please note: Visibility of the eclipse depends on weather conditions and cannot be guaranteed.

Day 5 – Depart for Home

Depart the hotel at any time for individual flights home.

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

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