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Ten of the Most Unique Places to Watch 2017’s Total Solar Eclipse

From Oregon to South Carolina, there are literally thousands of total solar eclipse events scheduled across the country on August 21, 2017.

The eclipse’s coast-to-coast cut across the U.S. makes viewing totality accessible for millions of Americans. Not just the ones lucky enough to live in the eclipse’s path, but also for those who are only a short jaunt away.

But where will the most spectacular places be to watch the big show?

Truthfully, anywhere that’s not cloudy is going to rock.

However, certain places are offering totally unique viewing opportunities for experiencing totality. Such as these 10 places:

1. The Sky – Southwest Airlines Eclipse Flights

Taking one of Southwest Airlines Eclipse Flights is about as close to the sun as you can get. They are:

  1. Southwest 1375 from Seattle-Tacoma to St. Louis
  2. Southwest 1368 from Portland to St. Louis
  3. Southwest 1577 from Denver to St. Louis
  4. Southwest 301 from Denver to Nashville
  5. Southwest 1969 from Denver to Atlanta

Cosmic Cocktails, commemorative flare, and the all important eclipse glasses will be provided.

2. The Sea – Royal Caribbean’s Solar Eclipse Cruise

Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas sets sail on August 20, 2017 from Port Canaveral, Florida. It’s going to “perfectly position” itself in the Atlantic to be in the line of totality as the eclipse hits the Atlantic. Bon Voyage!

3. Painted Hills – Mitchell, Oregon

This area gets it name for good reason. The picturesque landscape of this park –with its red, tan, orange and black- striped hills–  is feast enough for the eyes. But the sky will be vying for attention on August 21, 2017 too. At least for 2 minutes and 4 seconds. It’s right in the line of totality.

Note: Explore prehistoric history at the John Day Fossil Beds here too!

4. Sunset Peak – Idaho

At an elevation of 10,693 feet, you’re going to have to be in shape to reach this solar eclipse viewing destination.

However, what cool bragging rights it’d be to say you climbed a mountain and watched the eclipse from a peak named Sunset. You’ll be treated to 2 minutes 15 seconds of corona time –the sun kind, not the beer kind. Although, you could enjoy some of that too. Just gotta BYO. Cheers!

5. Carhenge – Alliance, Nebraska

That’s right. It’s a tribute to Stonehenge made out of cars.

It’s also almost smack dab under the line of totality, which means it’ll have one of the longer viewing durations. 2 minutes 30 seconds. Beep beep!

6. Goreville or Elvira, Illinois

These spooky named places are very near Carbondale, which is drawing a lot of interest because it’s in the area of Greatest Duration, or the “location along the center line of the path of totality where totality lasts the longest.”

Carbondale will experience 2 minutes 37 seconds, but Goreville will see two seconds longer and so will Elvira.

P.S. Don’t let their names fool you. They’re harmless. But it would be fun to cosplay and watch from one of these locations. (If you’re into looking for an excuse to dress up, especially in a Halloween costume, which I always am!)

7. Hopkinsville, Kentucky

Home of the Sleeping Prophet, Edgar Caycee, and the Kelly Little Green Men Days Festival, Hopkinsville is a normally a sleepy little town. But it will be hopping on eclipse day because it’s in the area known as Greatest Eclipse, which is where the axis of the Moon’s shadow cone passes closest to Earth’s center.

8. Music City – Nashville, Tennessee

Home of Country Music and Honky Tonks, Nashville is the largest city in the path of the eclipse. This Southern city is huge on hospitality and loves to throw a party.

Duration varies depending on exactly where you view it in the city, but the biggest party will be downtown on Broadway, which will see about 1 minute 54 seconds. Cowboy boots optional. (Don’t worry. If you don’t have any, there are boot shops galore to help you out!)

9. Oconee State Park – Blue Ridge Mountains of South Carolina

This Palmetto State state park is a camper’s delight. Fishing boating, hiking, biking, swimming…and on August 21, 2017, eclipse viewing. It’s right in the line of totality and will experience it for 2 minutes 37 seconds.

10. Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie – South Carolina

Float on a boat and watch the eclipse from one of these lakes. Or maybe from an inner tube? The shore. That will work too.

But the water would be best. The eclipse dissects both lakes. Lake Marion for 2 minutes 35 seconds, and Lake Moultrie for one second less.

Which would be your pick for eclipse viewing?


Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her in one of three places: on a tennis court somewhere, on a yoga mat somewhere, or watching a horror movie somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

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