6 Ways to Celebrate the Eclipse
This rare eclipse comes along once in a blue moon.
Cross your fingers for good weather. North America will experience its first visible total eclipse of the sun in 99 years on August 21—if the skies are clear. If you’re in the path of totality (a wide path that reaches from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina), you should have a fantastic view, clouds notwithstanding.
We’ve put together a list of resorts, star parties and other events to help you catch the eclipse, or at least celebrate it. If you watch it, follow NASA's directions so you won't permanently damage your eyes.
1: Head to the private rooftop of the HarbourView Inn, in Charleston, for an exclusive, guests-only viewing party. While you're enjoying eclipse-themed snacks and drinks, use the complimentary viewing glasses to watch the action, or make photos with the free solar filter sheets. A physics and astronomy professor from the College of Charleston will be on hand to explain what's happening.
2: You’ll also get “Go Dark Charleston” viewing glasses, as they’re called, at the Andrew Pinckney Inn. This boutique hotel, also located in Charleston, offers an eclipse package with a 3-night minimum stay, a viewing spot on the hotel’s rooftop terrace, and a reception that's being called the "Corona Salute" (the wordplay refers to the solar corona, for all you astronomy fans). The next morning, go back to the terrace for a deluxe continental breakfast as you overlook the city’s famed Charleston Market.
3: Mix a little country music with your eclipse party in Nashville. Music City, as it's known, is the biggest U.S. city in the path of the eclipse. Guests at the Gaylord Opryland Resort will get viewing glasses and tips on observing the phenomenon. You can purchase eclipse-themed drinks and nibbles on the lawn while you wait for the celestial show. While you’re at the resort, take in Summerfest, a festival of family events and activities open now through Sept. 10, and be sure to tune into Nashville's special eclipse playlist (including faves like Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart). Find more viewing locations here.
4: Prefer to get away from the crowds? Nebraska’s Sandhills region might be just the ticket. In fact, Nebraska has been called the 4th-best viewing site in the country for seeing this eclipse. In Tyron and McPherson Counties, small communities in Western cattle country that have little light pollution to interfere with sky-gazing, some families are renting out their vacant homes, spare rooms and parking spaces for self-contained campers. The counties also have planned activities for the family during the day on August 21, including wagon and trail rides, prairie tours, working dog demonstrations, an antique tractor show, demos at a tipi village, arts and crafts and more.
5: To celebrate the 70-mile viewing path from St. Joseph to Cape Girardeau in Missouri, the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis is offering an Eclipse Escape. The hotel itself isn’t in the path of totality, but the package includes a gourmet picnic-to-go, so you can dine while you watch the sky from one of several nearby parks, including Castlewood State Park or Lone Elk Park. Add a picnic meal for a child or children for an additional fee. The package also includes a one-night deluxe stay in a room with a view of the Gateway Arch and two pairs of solar viewing glasses.
6: The rustic cabins at Togwotee Mountain Lodge are another great option for eclipse-watching. They’re near Jackson Hole, WY, which is directly in its path. You’ll also have a spectacular view from the southern part of Grand Teton National Park. See more Jackson hole viewing locations, parties and events here.