Oregontusharkoley/Shutterstock According to scientists at NASA, the total solar eclipse 2017 will begin in Oregon around 9:05 am PDT, and "totality," when the moon completely covers the sun, will start at 10:16 am. The total solar eclipse will then chart its course across the United States for approximately 93 minutes. Oregon Solar Fest in Madras is an official NASA viewing site in Oregon, although there will be excellent sight lines throughout the Willamette Valley and Central and Eastern Oregon. Bend is one of the first large towns that will be in the eclipse's path, and the brand-new SpringHill Suites there is hosting an Art of Local event for both guests and the community on August 19, where local photographers will provide tips and tricks for how guests can best capture the rare event.
IdahoPeerasith Patrick Triratpadoongphol/Shutterstock
Next up for the total eclipse viewing is Idaho, where Idaho Falls will be the largest area to experience totality. The Museum of Idaho here is the official NASA viewing site. Both the Teton Mountains and Sun Valley will be in the viewing path, making towns such as Victor, Ketchum, and Driggs three of the top 10 busiest for room rentals, along with Idaho Falls, according to Airbnb.
When you're planning your viewing, note that the American Optometric Association (AOA) says that "If you're within the 70-mile wide path of the total eclipse, you can safely witness the two or more minutes of totality with the naked eye." But, "don't look directly at the Sun without eye protection, even briefly, except during totality."
WyomingEdwin Verin/Shutterstock Wyoming is one of the few states where the "path of totality" will span the entire state, covering 365 miles, including six state parks and historic sites, plus all of Grand Tetons and Fort Laramie National Parks and large areas of Yellowstone. Other National Park sites, such as Devil's Tower and Bighorn Canyon, will be in the 90 to 95 percent viewing area. Jackson Hole is an ideal place to overnight, and at press time, the centrally located Springhill Suites by Marriott, 15 minutes from the southern part of Grand Teton National Park, still had availability.
Content continues below ad
NebraskaBonita R. Cheshier/Shutterstock With 470 miles of total solar eclipse totality, there will be many spots in the Cornhusker State that offer great viewing during the state's predicted 2.5 minutes in the dark, one of the longest full eclipse durations. For organized activities, visit the town of Stapleton, which is offering an Eclipse on the Range event complete with protective eye wear (if you won't be in Stapleton and need protective eye wear, Space.com recommends visiting your local library, many of which are distributing eclipse glasses for free).
MissouriMichael J. Munster/Shutterstock The Show Me state really wants to show residents and visitors the eclipse, which travels through a large part of the state, including over 40 parks. Although Kansas City is right on the border of the path of totality, so viewing will be slightly less than perfect, St. Joseph is right in the center of the 70-mile wide path, as are the towns of Marshall, Boonville, and Jefferson City, to name a few. Visit Missouri has an eclipse information page that rounds up all the events in the state, including St. Clair's cleverly named "Get Your Eclipse on Route 66."
Illinoisanthony heflin/Shutterstock Just the very southern tip of Illinois will experience totality, but it will be for the longest duration of any spot in the country. One of the best spots for viewing is the tiny town of Makanda, whose 600 residents are at the center of the eclipse path.
Content continues below ad
Kentuckyrukawajung/Shutterstock If you've been thinking "extraterrestrial" when you read about the total solar eclipse 2017, many folks in Hopkinsville agree with you. This town, which holds a Little Green Men festival every year to commemorate a UFO sighting in the 1950s, is supposedly the inspiration for Steve Spielberg's film E.T. And, according to Kentucky Tourism, it's also near the point of "Greatest Eclipse," where not only can you be a part of 2 minutes and 40 seconds of totality but also the exact instant when the axis of the Moon's shadow passes closest to the center of Earth. Family-friendly Bowling Green and Mammoth Caves National Park, is another good option, among many spots in the state, for viewing.
TennesseeESB Professional/Shutterstock As the largest city entirely within the path of this total solar eclipse, Nashville, is one of the most popular viewing spots in the country. Music City even created a Solar Eclipse Vacation Package that includes a picnic blanket and viewing glasses so you can comfortably watch the solar show. One top hotel option is the newly opened Kimpton Aerston in midtown where the rooftop pool will provide a top floor view. For a non-city eclipse experience, consider heading to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, whose entire western half will be in the path of totality.
GeorgiaSean Pavone/Shutterstock The main path of the eclipse will just touch the northeast corner of the state; but it's a scenic corner. Totality will begin in Clayton, Georgia, at 2:35. One great spot to watch from will be at the Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa, nestled within the valleys of the North Georgia Mountains; reservations were still available at press time.
Content continues below ad