On August 21, millions of Americans will gather to watch the moon pass over the sun in the first solar eclipse to take place over the US in 38 years.
Although the entire country, including Alaska and Hawaii, will experience a partial solar eclipse, only a few spots across America will experience a total eclipse.
The locations that will experience a total eclipse form a line called the line of totality.
Although crowds are inevitable at destinations falling on this line, some spots will be less busy than others.
So pack your eclipse glasses and keep scrolling to see the spots that will provide the most stunning and unique eclipse experiences.
- © Shutterstock/ Kris Wiktor
Malheur National Forest, Oregon
With over one million acres of forest, Malheur National Forest might be the most remote place to watch the moon pass before the sun. The path of totality will pass directly over the national forest, and stretch through the scenic Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon for one minute and 54 seconds. Bring your camping gear and make a trip out of it – the park has plenty of campsites.
2. © Shutterstock/ Elijah Lovkoff
The Atlantic Ocean
Avoid fighting through the crowds by watching the solar eclipse from the ocean.
You can either rent your own boat, or book the Total Eclipse Cruise offered by The Royal Caribbean. The seven-day cruise leaves from Port Canaveral, Florida, and features a Total Eclipse Viewing Party with live music, as well as stops in St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and the Bahamas.
3. © Shutterstock/ Oscar C. Williams
Although the state of Wyoming has a lot of prime locations from which to view the solar eclipse, it won’t get much better than in the small town of Casper. Located in the direct line of totality, viewers will get to view the eclipse for a whopping two minutes and 26 seconds, which is a bit longer than in neighboring (and better-known) cities like Jackson Hole and Grand Tetons.
To celebrate, the small town has a full schedule of special activities and programs all week long to get you in the spirit. The town is also hosting a convention for scientists, which means there will be plenty of brainiacs around to explain the science behind what you’re watching.
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The small town of Alliance, Nebraska, is also located directly in the middle of the eclipse’s path. For a unique experience, watch the two minutes and 30 seconds of darkness from the nearby Carhenge, a faux Stonehenge made from vintage American cars painted grey (the piece of art was dedicated at the June 1987 summer solstice). The funky scenery will make for some unique photo ops.
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Bridger Teton National Forest, Wyoming
Escape the crowds by traveling to Bridger Teton National Forest in Western Wyoming. Experienced hikers can climb the dramatic face of Togwotee Pass for a breathtaking chance to watch the world go dark for two minutes and 15 seconds.
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Lake Santeetlah, North Carolina
This stunning lake surrounded by the Smoky Mountains is arguably one of the most beautiful places to watch the solar eclipse. Not to mention that the remote spot will be a lot less crowded than nearby Nashville, Tennessee, or Charleston, South Carolina. Viewers will be directly in the line of totality for two minutes and 34 seconds.
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The Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina
Head to the Great Smokey Mountains for viewing events at three picturesque locations in the park: Clingmans Dome, Cades Cove, and Oconaluftee.
8. © Kelly Little Green Men Days Festival
For a spooky eclipse experience, head to Kelly, Kentucky, which supposedly hosted an alien siege in 1955 – exactly 62 years ago to the day of this year’s solar eclipse. Enjoy live music and food, as well as a giant flying saucer replica at the Little Green Men Days Festival.
Even better, the eclipse will last for two minutes and 38 seconds from this location.
9. © Shutterstock/ Sharon Day
This small town in Wyoming has less chance for cloud cover at midday on any August 21 than almost anywhere else in Wyoming along the eclipse path. With clear skies ahead, viewers are expected to experience two minutes and 18 seconds of totality.
10. © Shutterstock/ Tobin Akehurst
Wind River Mountain Range, Wyoming
Close to the city of Dubois, the Wind River Mountain Range, which is part of the Rocky Mountains, is another spot from which to watch the eclipse that’s a little more off the beaten path. Pick a quiet spot on the 100-mile long range and let the stunning scenery take your breath away as the sun disappears for two minutes and 30 seconds.