In case you haven’t heard, there’s a total solar eclipse happening on Monday, August 21 and it’ll be visible in all its stellar glory across the ole U-S-of-A. Fun fact: the best places to spot the eclipse are along the Path of Totality, which stretches all the way from Oregon to South Carolina.
The last time a total solar eclipse was visible across so much of the country was all the way back in the summer of 1918, so scoping this celestial event out is legitimately a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We’ve rounded up some of the best viewing spots for those of you planning to head to your nearest viewing location.
Reporter: Alyssa Brown | Location: Jackson, Wyoming
West Coast folks will be gathering all around Salem to catch a glimpse of the celestial spectacle. Located just an hour outside Portland, visitors could easily book a room at the design-centric Hotel Monaco
and pop down to Salem for the evening.
Snake River Valley
Idaho’s Snake River Valley should be a gorgeous spot for viewing the eclipse, as the winding river and mild weather combine to near perfection. Check out resorts in Snake River Valley or near Sun Valley for cool ranch stays.
Grand Teton National Park
The mountains are going to be the most dramatic viewing points of the total solar eclipse, with Grand Teton National Park centered right in the eclipse path. What a great excuse to grab some friends, a good bottle of wine and head out to the mountains to go camping for a few days.
Amateur astronomers are expected to hone in on the area of Casper for their total solar eclipse viewing, as the convention of the Astronomical League will be taking place simultaneously. Look forward to a full 2 minutes and 28 seconds of darkness at this spot.
About as central as you can get in the States, Lincoln is another town along the Path of Totality. Keep your eyes peeled for countryside inns and local bed and breakfasts.
Photo by Max Pixel
The northeast corner of Kansas City is within the total solar eclipse path, though residents may have more luck just about 40 miles outside the city, near St. Joseph - worth the drive for an astronomical event of a lifetime!
The southernmost bit of Illinois will see the longest duration of total solar eclipse, coming in at a whopping two and a half minutes. Just think of how much precious bubbly you can sip in that amount of time!
Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Tennessee’s Smoky Mountain National Park will be the best region for spotting the total solar eclipse (Nashville included). Head out to the countryside or wherever skies look clearest for a glimpse of the moon’s shadow.
Nashville (& Surrounding Area!)
The Music City is one of the largest cities in the Path of Totality, so you can bet Nashville will be filled with eclipse gazers. A trip to renown ranch resort Blackberry Farm
may be in order if you’re looking for a total eclipse of the heart, belly and sun.
Photo by Joseph Flynn
Locally known for its Little Green Men alien festival that just so happens to fall on August 21, Hopkinsville could be quite the weird spot to check out the total solar eclipse. You can bet there will be people in costume and all sorts of conspiracy theorists around for this show. The Pennyroyal Scuba Center
is also offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience where you can view the eclipse underwater.
Georgia dwellers should keep an eye on the weather and plan to be in the uppermost Eastern tip of the state in order to spot the big celestial moment. Clayton will see about two and a half minutes of moon shadow darkness.
There’s a teeny tiny bit of North Carolina that will experience the darkness of the total solar eclipse, and Franklin is just about the best spot to witness it. The state will only see the eclipse for about 16 minutes total, so you’ll certainly want to plan ahead.
Thought to be the most accessible spot to get to within the Path of Totality, Columbia could see an influx of millions of total solar eclipse scouters from all along the East Coast. With a solid two and a half minutes of totality, this spot will see about a whole minute more darkness than its coastal counterpart of Charleston.
The final stop on our ‘Merica tour of totality, Charleston should be a great spot to catch the eclipse. Head on over to The Dewberry for a uniquely Charleston crashpad.