Posted: Aug 14, 2017 11:48 AM CDT
Updated: Aug 18, 2017 02:32 AM CDT
9. Berry Islands, Bahamas: True, the Berry Islands are not in the United States, and no, they're not in the path of totality. But if you're after a secluded viewing spot with sand under your toes, then the Berry Islands in the Bahamas is an ideal spot. With a population of just 400 -- and no light pollution -- Great Harbour Cay offers the promise of clear skies. The four-bedroom Carriearl property offers an on-site restaurant, freshwater pool and plenty of rum punch.
8. Cascades and Coast tour, Intrepid Travel: To maximize your time around the summer eclipse, pick one of Intrepid Travel's six itineraries to catch it. One nine-day road trip around Washington and Oregon takes in Mount Rainier, rugged coastlines and scenery, and vibrant Seattle and Portland. August 21 will be spent on Airlie Farms in Oregon's Willamette Valley, where the 226 acres of pastures and hills provide a perfectly peaceful backdrop for eclipse gazing and contemplating one's place in the universe.
7. Gorges State Park, North Carolina: The only North Carolina state park in the path of totality, Gorges State Park will open at 5 a.m. -- two hours early -- to accommodate day-trippers who want to stake out prime viewing spots. Park rangers recommend arriving by 11 a.m. at the latest.
6. A Walk in the Woods, Tennessee: The Great Smoky Mountains are an ideal location from which to appreciate the beauty of this astronomical event. A Walk in the Woods is hosting an all-day boat trip on Fontana Lake with naturalists and an astronomer as your guides.
5. Eclipseville, aka Hopkinsville, Kentucky: Hopkinsville, Kentucky, normally has a population of 30,000. But as the "Point of Greatest Eclipse," the community is preparing to welcome tens of thousands of visitors. Residents are going all the way, even renaming the town "Eclipseville" as they plan more than 20 special events in the runup to August 21. (And they have the best website name: eclipseville.com.)
4. Brasstown Valley Resort, Young Harris, Georgia: A two-hour drive from Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tennessee, this mountain resort offers log cottages and one spa suite to put the romance in the eclipse experience. When you're not gazing to the heavens, Brasstown Valley Resort has terrestrial distractions such as golf, tennis, riding, fishing and hiking -- and the Appalachian Trail is on your doorstep.
3. Jefferson City, Missouri: The Missouri capital of Jefferson City is located near the center of the arc, and the city has big plans to mark August 21. The celebrations include carnival and education events, but the most eye-catching are definitely the city's "Total Eclipse of the Park" party with music, sci-fi movies and the Pink Floyd "Dark Side of the Moon" tribute concert on the lawn in front of the state capitol.
2. Jackson Hole, Wyoming: Amangani means "peaceful home," a resort on a private mountain overlooking Jackson Hole in Wyoming, a natural setting to inspire awe without the bonus of an eclipse.
1. Terra Vina Wins, Oregon: Oregon is the first state where the total eclipse will be visible and Mt. Hood Territory, in the heart of wine country, offers lodging and fun down on the farm at the Terra Vina winery, about 25 miles south of Portland.