Best Places to View the Great Eclipse of 2017

best U.S. places to view the Great Eclipse 2017
Photo by Pixabay

A total eclipse of the sun will occur on August 21, 2017, for the first time in 99 years. During the eclipse, the sun disappears behind the moon, daylight turns to twilight, temperatures drop, and light streams through the sky and silhouettes the moon.  If you want to witness this once in a lifetime phenomenon, the following five places in the U.S. along the path of the total solar eclipse, also known as the “path of totality,” are the very best viewing spots.


1. Sandhills of Western Nebraska

best U.S. places to view the Great Eclipse 2017
Photo by Luis Calçada

Eclipse Duration: 2 minutes 30 seconds

Seventy percent of late August days have good weather conditions for viewing a solar eclipse, making the sandhills of western Nebraska a great choice for your August 21st adventure. Stay in Burwell or rent a place by Niobrara River and enjoy dark summer nights and a beautiful view of the Milky Way while you’re there. Post-eclipse, stay a while to check out one of the most epic U.S. travel adventures by sandboarding on the tallest sand dunes in North America.


2. Madras, Oregon

best U.S. places to view the Great Eclipse 2017
Photo by Jonathan Lidbeck

Eclipse Duration: 2 minutes 4 seconds

Madras features one of the most exciting total eclipse festivals, Oregon Solarfest, a NASA-sponsored event that runs from August 17-22. The event will feature hot-air balloon rides, live music, and gear rentals for desert camping. Stay in Portland where you’ll be just a two-hour drive from Madras.


3. Columbia, South Carolina

best U.S. places to view the Great Eclipse 2017
Photo by Ken Hawkins

Eclipse Duration: 2 minutes 30 seconds

Columbia is the city with the longest duration of totality along the east coast, as well as the most accessible city with places to stay in the path of the total solar eclipse. A benefit of choosing Columbia as your spot for this special occurrence will be experiencing Total Eclipse Weekend in Columbia with events like a Low-country Boil and a “Star Wars Musiclipse” concert by the South Carolina Philharmonic.


4. Casper, Wyoming

best U.S. places to view the Great Eclipse 2017
Photo by Richard Bravo

Eclipse Duration: 2 minutes 26 seconds

Right before eclipse day, the Astronomical League is holding the annual Astrocon Conference in Casper, where you can learn about many astronomical topics, including how to best experience a total eclipse of the sun. Casper is predicted to have good weather on the day of the eclipse, so you can fully “feel the shadow” during this eerie and spectacular occurrence.


5. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

best U.S. places to view the Great Eclipse 2017
Photo by Nathan Bergey

Eclipse Duration: 1 minute 17 seconds

Clingman’s Dome, the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, offers expansive views and an excellent location to view the eclipse. With positive weather prospects, the Great Smoky Mountains could provide the experience of seeing the Moon’s shadow zip 1,500 miles per hour across the landscape, for an extra surreal experience of the eclipse.

Read more about the eclipse on ATR

Best Places for 2017 Eclipse Watching

Sharon is a well-traveled latin culture enthusiast and Content Writer for AllTheRooms. Native to the Boston area, she is slowly earning her title as honorary paisa in the land of eternal spring. In city life she’s a salsa dancing socialite, while on weekends you’ll find her adventuring throughout Colombia.