Solar Eclipse

2017 Total Solar Eclipse: Best Places To Watch And Why You Should Not Miss It

America is about to witness the first total solar eclipse in the country in 99 years. Here’s a roundup of the best places to witness this special moment in the United States.

Dubbed as the “Great American Total Solar Eclipse,” this eclipse of the sun is happening on August 21, 2017. Its totality can be witnessed from the west coast to the east coast of the U.S., and it is the first ever total eclipse to go over the U.S. land only and in no other country, Jay Pasachoff, Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy at Williams College, told Newsweek.

The next one is not happening until 2024, so if you don’t want to miss it, here’s where you should be on August 21.

Lincoln Beach in Oregon

People along the coast of Oregon would be the first to witness the totality of the solar eclipse next month. According to AccuWeather, the eclipse would occur from 9:04 a.m. to 11:36 a.m. PDT and the totality will start at 10:17 a.m. PDT, lasting for one minute and 58 seconds. Lincoln Beach has small parks and recreation areas that tourists can visit after the eclipse, including Fogarty Creek State Recreation Area that is perfect for strolling on the sand, per The Telegraph. Other best spots in the Oregon include Salem and Malheur National Forest.

Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho

You can witness the eclipse at the Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho from 10:02 a.m. to 1:02 p.m. MDT, but the totality will be at 11:32 a.m. MDT and will last for only 30 seconds. Go to the northern point of the park or to the nearby town of Arco, Idaho. Another good destination is Idaho Falls that sits on the Snake River. NASA is reportedly going to host an official event at the Museum of Idaho.

Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho
Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho. [Image by Bureau of Land Management | Flickr| Cropped and Resized | CC BY 2.0]

Carbondale, Illinois

This is where the 2017 total solar eclipse will be longer than in any other place, lasting for two minutes and 41 seconds starting at 1:21 p.m. CDT. The eclipse can be witnessed here from 11:52 a.m. to 2:47 p.m. CDT. Being the optimal location for this event in August, many hotels in the area already fully booked. Per Forbes, there will be a public viewing care of the Southern Illinois University (SIU) and the city of Carbondale.

Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming

The Grand Tetons National Park is anticipated to have its busiest day ever on August 21, being one of the most popular and most scenic places to watch the eclipse in the U.S., according to AccuWeather. The total eclipse will last for two minutes and 18 seconds from 11:36 a.m. MDT. Be sure to be there from 10:17 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. MDT. You can also visit Casper, the state’s second-biggest city, as well as the Yellowstone National Park.

Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska

Carhenge, a recreation of Stonehenge, is one of the best spots to watch and take good photos of the eclipse in the U.S. The totality will occur for two minutes and 28 seconds from 11:49 a.m. MDT, while the entire eclipse duration is from 10:27 a.m. to 1:16 p.m. MDT. The state’s capital, Lincoln, is also one of the places to be, particularly at the Homestead National Monument. NASA will be hosting events there and the totality of the solar eclipse will happen for two minutes and 34 seconds at 1:02 p.m. CDT. You can watch the entire eclipse from 11:33 a.m. to 2:33 p.m. CDT.

Carhenge in Nebraska
Carhenge Sculpture near Alliance, Nebraska. [Image by Jacob Kamholz | Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and Resized | CC BY-SA 4.0]

Other places to watch the 2017 total solar eclipse include Ground Zero (or Solar Zero) in Hopkinsville and Paducah in Kentucky, St. Louis in Missouri, Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, Nashville in Tennessee, and Columbia and Charleston in South Carolina.

[Featured Image by Hideo Fukushima/National Astronomical Observatory of Japan via Getty Images]