5 Last-Minute Spots You Can Still Catch The Solar Eclipse

Photo: Phillip Jones/Stocktrek Images/Getty Images.
On August 21, a total solar eclipse will be visible in the United States for the first time in 99 years and it is going to be a sight to behold. If you want to catch a glimpse of the event, it's pretty late in the game to start planning. Many astrology lovers have already committed to a three-day weekend and traveling to a spot that falls within the narrow path of totality, where you will see the full effect of the eclipse as the moon completely covers the sun.
According to Space.com, the eclipse's path will begin in Oregon, and end in South Carolina, passing through Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina. The most ideal spots for viewing the eclipse are along that path, in the areas where the period of totality lasts the longest. NASA has mapped out those locations on an interactive Google map here.
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The Great American Eclipse recommends 10 spots along the path for camping out to watch the main event: Madras, Oregon; Snake River Valley, Idaho; Casper, Wyoming; the Sandhills of western Nebraska; St. Joseph, Missouri; Carbondale, Illinois; Hopkinsville, Kentucky; Nashville, Tennessee; the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; and Columbia, South Carolina.
Unfortunately, many of the hotels in the smaller towns have been fully booked for months, and many special events have long sold out. But, not all hope is lost — if you happen to be in the vicinity of the five destinations below, which still have availability for lodging or events. Just remember to grab a pair of certified glasses to protect your eyes if you do plan on watching the spectacle.
Greenville, SC
The total eclipse is expected to reach its peak in Greenville at 2:30p.m. The Roper Mountain Science Center has the 8th largest telescope in the nation, and will be hosting a major eclipse viewing extravaganza in its planetarium. Furman University is also opening its campus for a special viewing presentation accompanied by musical performances and free swag. There will also be an educational discussion led by physics professor David Moffatt.
Lincoln, NE
Nebraska’s capital city is in the path for prime viewing of the total solar eclipse. If you happen to be in the area, head to The Graduate Lincoln, an elegant 16-story hotel located in the Haymarket District in downtown Lincoln. The city's green landscapes and parklands will make a phenomenal complement to the celestial event.
Bowling Green, KY
Sports fans in the area will get a unique opportunity to ring in the natural wonder — while watching a baseball game. There will be a match between The Hot Rods and West Michigan Whitecaps at the Bowling Green Ballpark at 10:35 a.m., and is expected to still be going on at the time of the eclipse. Complimentary safety glasses will be distributed to the first 2,000 fans.
Concord, NC
If you're planning on catching the eclipse with the fam, hanging out at an indoor waterpark resort will be a pretty fun way to do it. The Great Wolf Lodge location in Concord, NC is aligned with the path of totality. Get your learn on with a series of fun and educational activities hosted by the hotel, including outdoor glow pool parties, space bingo, and small experiments about the eclipse.
Bend, Oregon
Bend will be one of the first destinations on the U.S. mainland to enjoy the total solar eclipse at shortly after 10:15 a.m. Unsurprisingly, most of the hotels are already fully booked months in advance. Luckily, there are still some availability at SpringHill Suites, and they will be offering its guests a private, customised tour with Wanderlust Tours. The three-day itinerary includes volcano tours, lessons on eclipse photography, and an early morning hike to the ridge of a mountain outside of Bend for the actual eclipse. Talk about celebrating a once-in-a-lifetime natural occurrence with a bang.
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