On Aug. 21, lucky stargazers in the country will have a chance to take part in an extremely rare celestial phenomenon: the so-called “Great American Eclipse.” The last time a total solar eclipse was to be seen coast-to-coast is what happened in 1918, making this a true once-in-a-lifetime event.
From Oregon to South Carolina, the summer solar eclipse, partially visible from anywhere in North America, according to NASA. However, those hoping to experience the complete darkness should be approximately 70 km of the “totality”–, and travel to special areas is the expected rise in August.
Many space enthusiasts have already made plans for summer trips in and around the event to enjoy the majestic wonder.
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Want to party after watching the total solar eclipse? Head to Nashville for the city the City of the Music Eclipse the festivities.
“I have clients in their 80s tours for the eclipse. Their reasoning is, at their age, it will be the last time that they will have a chance to see,” Jon Sutter, vice president of business development for travel agency, Landings Travel, told Fox News. He has plans to catch the eclipse of Charleston, S. C.
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States in the path of totality—including Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Kentucky and South Carolina are gearing up for very heavy traffic and a record number of spectators.
“We could see up to 500,000 additional visitors in some parts of our state, and we want their experience to be a truly memorable one,” said Megan Ronk, director of Idaho Commerce, with an indication of the state of the special website created for the event. Ronk said that Idaho is the coordination with the federal agencies and emergency personnel to prepare for “the expected influx of visitors”, including the possibilities for huge files.
Oregon is also expecting a very heavy turnout. “Oregon is the first in line to witness the Total solar Eclipse,” Linea Gagliano of Travel Oregon told Fox News. “Oregon has the best chance for clear skies at that time of the year and the time of day, so thousands, if not millions of visitors choose to witness this celestial event here.”
In the hope to be in the heart of the action? Plan ahead. Most hotel rooms are sold out for months or even years.
“Different cities have special events planned, but the many hotels in the way of the event are fully booked or only have a few rooms available,” Sutter said.
But there are still opportunities for adventurers who are willing to camp or stay in a nearby city outside of the hot zones. Here are five amazing places in the whole country to see, the once-in-a-lifetime event.
From Aug. 17 through Aug. 22, the small town of Madras, Oregon (population 6,533) celebrates Oregon Solarfest. A two-hour drive from Portland, this small inland town is expected to eclipse at 10:19 am (PDT) for 2 minutes, and 4 seconds, and based on the high-desert location, the weather, and unobstructed views, is predicted to be one of the best places in the country to the eclipse.
While the hotels are sold out for months, with hopes for a brilliant show can still buy tickets for tents or Campers on Solartown Camping—it is on the center line of the total solar eclipse, and is equipped with a NASA-Official Site. If you’re willing to brave a 90-minute drive, try Lake Creek Lodge hotel, which is still availability.
After the eclipse, then go to the Fairgrounds for the Oregon Solarfest, a three-day line-up with more than 20 bands, food and drink, and a Kids Dome with 10 inflatables and games.
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Wyoming has one of the lowest amounts of light pollution in the nation and Jackson is an excellent place to see the sights with one of the best prospects for a stellar view. At 10:17AM (MT), the total solar eclipse the path starts directly above the city, with a partial solar eclipse for the first hour and 18 minutes, and totality at 11:35AM (MT) for 2 minutes.
Since Jackson is a magnet for eclipse hopeful—with an extra 40,000 people expected to descend on the coveted hotel options are limited. Those who are willing to stay, just across the nearby border in Idaho, however, a few hotels to choose from, including the Teton Valley Lodge in Victor, and the Le Ritz Hotel and Suites, Candlewood Suites, and Best Western Cotton Tree in Idaho Falls.
The nearby areas that are ripe for a perfect view of Signal Mountain in Grand Teton National Park, the Rendez-vous Mountain at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and parking pull-outs along Highway 26, Highway 191 and Highway 89, according to the Jackson Hole Traveler. Another ideal—although limited—view of the option is the Snow King chair lift, offering a small number of Large King Passes (purchased in advance) with a beautiful lift, plus unlimited Cowboy roller Coaster rides, Alpine Slide rides, bungee trampoline access, mini-golf, and the Treetop Adventure Course for after the sun comes up again.
Billing itself as America’s “point of greatest eclipse,” Hopkinsville is a variety of events planned for the big day. The eclipse lasts for about 2 minutes and 41 seconds and starts the whole at 1:24 PM (CDT).
While most of the hotels are sold out, there are a few places where the availability of the press at the time, including in the neighbourhood of the Holiday Inn Express Fort Campbell, the Knights Inn Cadiz, and the CCI Express Inn in Central City. For the big event, the 49-acre Collar Park is an ideal lookout point, complete with parking and private food vendors, and still has availability, while the vast Orchardale Farm is a perfect location in the path of the totality of available tickets.
After the sky to return to normal, hit the Kentucky Bourbon Mashoree at MB Roland Distillery for a celebration of Kentucky distilleries and their products with live music, food, local and bourbon. Or attend the Monumental solar Eclipse Festival takes place on the Jefferson Davis Monument, with food vendors, arts and crafts booths, kids games, workshops, live music, and a kids’ poster contest, among other events.
This is the nation’s largest city completely within the eclipse path with the solar blackout is expected to begin in the City of the Music at 1:27 PM (CDT). Expected to last for 1 minute, and 57 seconds. While the city is never at a loss for tourists, it is expected even more for the eclipse.
“We are more than ready with commemorative shirts and boxes,” Butch Spyridon, CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp., told Fox News. “The whole city will be watching the site, in particular the parks and rooftop bars and restaurants.”
Fortunately, Nashville has a lot of the rooms to the left. For those who want a historic home, there is germantown inn, a new six-bedroom luxury hotel in the historic Germantown neighborhood steps away from some of the best restaurants and shops. The boutique hotel that opened last winter, is located in a two-story, Federal-style house dates from 1865 and features a terrace for the guests to take in the free views. Or stay at Union Station Hotel Nashville offers overnight stay for two for two nights (Aug. 20 Aug. 21), plus special eclipse viewing glasses, access to the exclusive viewing party, champagne to celebrate the event with this champagne glass, overnight valet parking and in-room Moon Pies and Astronaut Ice cream.
The music City show, the parties are knees-up in the winery and music venue City Winery, with a solar Eclipse Viewing y on its second-story patio’s including eclipse-watching glasses, view on the skyline of homemade wines on tap, and the food of Chef Garrett Pittler. Meanwhile, Nashville’s annual Italian Lights Festival is scheduled to run during this year’s eclipse takes place on the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park and with four days of food, wine, music, art and Italian traditions.
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Columbia, South Carolina
Calling itself the “total eclipse of the sun capital of the East Coast,” Columbia will be the experience of the eclipse for 2 minutes and 30 seconds, beginning at 2:43 PM (EDT). Unlike many other eclipse-viewing hot spots, however, Columbia still plenty of homes available, including the Hilton Columbia Center, Aloft Columbia Downtown, Hyatt Place Columbia Downtown, and the Holiday Inn and Suites Columbia.
Spend the morning at the South Carolina State Museum, with an observatory, with a 1926 Alvan Clark refracting telescope, antique telescope gallery and a state-of-the-art planetarium. The museum has several events planned for the day, including guided tours of the Robert B. Ariail Collection of Astronomy/Telescope Gallery, planetarium shows, and a solar Eclipse Totality y on Monday, Aug. 21, from 12 to 4 pm, Or check out the Soda City Eclipse Viewing Festival in the Historic
Speedway festival grounds, with local live music, food trucks, drinks, shade tents, picnic tables and a viewing party.
After the sun goes down, the city has a variety of events planned, including Eclipsefest, with Foo Fighters, The Police, and Pink Floyd tribute bands, The Grape Eclipse of wine, food, jazz and party, and a Total Eclipse Gospel y.
GreatAmericanEclipse.com has a list of ten places where you can expect stunning views, including Madras, Oregon, Nashville, Tennessee, and Columbia, South Carolina.
According to the site, the weather is the key. “A location along the path of totality from Oregon to South Carolina can enjoy good weather on eclipse day, but the western half of the United States, in particular of the Willamette Valley in Oregon to the Nebraska Sandhills, will enjoy the best opportunities.”