For the first time in 26 years, a total solar eclipse will pass over the United States on Aug. 21, 2017, and people are ready. Hotel rooms in cities that fall under the “path of totality”—a narrow corridor where the total eclipse will be visible—are already selling out.
But there are still options. Cities outside the path that are a relatively short drive away still have room, which means you can spend the night and then find your way to a good eclipse-viewing spot within the path.
There are also packages for rafting trips or other creative ways to be near the action. Here are some of the possibilities.
Mahoney Creek USFS Airport-0U3, Challis, Idaho
The six-day trip will put you at Tappan Falls on the morning of the eclipse, just along the path to see the total eclipse.
St. Joseph, Missouri
The total eclipse will hit St. Joseph at 1:06 pm CDT and will be one of the longest in the U.S., lasting 2 minutes and 38 seconds.
The city is celebrating with a variety of viewing parties and exhibitions.
Stephen Foutes with the Missouri Division of Tourism says while national chain hotel websites say they’re booked, that’s not the case.
“We recommend that people interested contact the local hotels using the 816 area code,” he said. He also suggests checking out surrounding campgrounds, because about 1,000 will go online in January. The state parks in the area also opened early for reservations and can be booked now.
1535 North East Butte Road, Jackson, Wyoming
This resort falls squarely within the path of totality and has a remote location and panoramic views.
When the eclipse falls here at 11:36 a.m. CDT, you can view it from the resort’s open deck.
Its rooms are already booked, but you can contact them to be put on the waitlist.
3385 Cody Lane, Teton Village, Wyoming
This lodge sits in the path of totality and also is one mile from Grand Teton National Park and next to the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
It has a rooftop terrace, perfect for viewing the eclipse, and will be hosting an astrology chat.
890 Buttermilk Creek, West Yellowstone, Montana
Instead of staying in a hotel, you could try a pop up luxury tent. The camp is 10 miles from Yellowstone National Park and just outside the path of totality.
The company will also plan an itinerary centered around the eclipse.
2300 Swag Road, Waynesville, North Carolina
This remote 14-room hideaway is just outside the eclipse’s path, but a short drive will get you there.
It also borders the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Waynesville.
Each room has a private balcony, but the lodge is also gathering eclipse viewers at the nearby Gooseberry Knob for elevated viewing.
2525 Allison Lane, Newberg, Oregon
This inn just north of Salem, Oregon is a short drive from the path of totality.
It’s also in Oregon’s wine country and has terraces and balconies, plus 35 acres of land for outside viewing.
Dude Ranches in Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park
The park in Wyoming falls squarely within the eclipse’s path, and is planning viewings and other events related to the eclipse.
If you are headed to the area, a good option for lodging are five dude ranches located in or right next to the park: Moose Head Ranch, R Lazy S Ranch, Heart Six Guest Ranch, Lazy L&B Ranch, and CM Ranch.
10269 WY-789, Riverton, Wyoming
This hotel and casino falls directly within the path of totality, and has Wyoming’s weather going for it, too.
“Our high altitude and dry climate make clear morning skies on Eclipse Day nearly certain, it hasn’t rained before noon here on August 21 in over 25 years,” says Casey Adams, a spokeswoman for the hotel.
The hotel is planning eclipse presentations, star-viewing parties and Arapaho star stories, songs, and dances. During the eclipse, the hotel will host an Arapaho ceremony to bring back the sun.
This small city in southern Illinois still has rooms if you call the hotels directly. Just south will be the point with the longest eclipse duration at 2 minutes, 41.6 seconds.
And if you like the place, you can plan to come back. It’s near the crossing lines of the August 21, 2017 and April 8, 2024 total solar eclipses.
74 Locket Lane, Tuckasegee, North Carolina
Four of the county’s towns fall within the path of totality, and are planning celebrations and events for the eclipse. Those include a Moonlight Run at the Jackson County Parks and Recreation Center in Cullowhee the night before and live music, entertainment, food and solar panel discussions before the totality at 2:35 p.m.
Plus multiple designated viewing sites with subject matter experts on hand.
There are still some hotels available, including the Apple Dumplin’ Getaway Cottage and Beaver Bridge Road’s cabin.
149 Wentworth St, Charleston, South Carolina
The hotel in downtown Charleston is offering a four-day eclipse package with multiple activities to go along with eclipse viewing.
Visitors can sail through the Charleston harbor while viewing the eclipse, or have a stargazing session on the cupola of the Wentworth Mansion with a local astronomer while sipping champagne, a five-course dinner, and a helicopter ride during the day or at sunset.
2000 Busted Rock Rd, Meadows of Dan, Virginia
The 12,000-acre Primland Resort is slightly outside the path of totality, but a quick drive will get you there.
Or, if you don’t mind missing the total eclipse, you can see it on location where the resort’s “resident astronomers” will have their telescope set up with a solar filter and will provide “Eclipse Glasses.”
The travel company Explore! Is organizing several trips around the eclipse, including one through Nashville and other parts of the South.
Along with eclipse viewing (glasses will be provided), the tour takes visitors through Memphis, New Orleans, Graceland and a Louisiana swamp.
Camping in Christian County, Kentucky
This area just northwest of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, will be at the epicenter of the eclipse.
There will be about 900 campsites set up for the event.