7 of the Best Places to Road Trip to for the 2017 Solar Eclipse

  • 01 of 08

    Introduction

    Total solar eclipse
    ••• A total solar eclipse is beautiful if you have the chance to see one. Ethan Daniels/WaterFrame/Getty Images

    For the first time since 1979, a total solar eclipse will pass over most of the United States on Monday, August 21st. From amateur astronomers to those who wish upon shooting stars, this event is being celebrated in exciting ways across the US. Travelers from all over the world are booking hotel rooms, looking for Airbnbs, and even considering sleeping on the side of the road for the opportunity to gaze up in awe during the totality of the eclipse .

    If you’re an RVer, you have a unique opportunity not only to see the total solar eclipse but do it along some of the best spots to see the totality of the eclipse where other travelers are still struggling for accommodations.

    When looking for an RV park or campground, you may find yourself out of luck as travelers of all types flock to see the 2017 solar eclipse. In the path of totality, you may not even get close to watch in your RV. If this is the case, consider staying further out and commuting to a better vantage point closer to the path...MORE of totality. Plan your route carefully, book where you want to stay as soon as possible, and consider boondocking or dry camping if you can’t find a place to stay closer to where you’d like to view the 2017 solar eclipse.

    Ensure you take precautions before you hit the road to protect your eyes from watching the solar eclipse. Invest in eclipse glasses available online. While there may be vendors and shops locally selling these glasses, don’t count on them being available the day of the eclipse or even weeks before. Without these glasses, you won’t be safe looking directly at the eclipse.

    Here are seven of the best places to RV to in order to catch a glimpse at the 2017 solar eclipse.

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  • 02 of 08

    Oregon

    Mt. Hood in Oregon
    ••• Mt. Hood and Route 35 in Oregon is a beautiful drive towards the 2017 solar eclipse. Anna Gorin/Moment/Getty Images

    The solar eclipse will first reach the continental United States in Oregon. As it crosses the threshold, Central Oregon will see the sky start to go dark, the temperature drops, and the eclipse begins. The Oregon State Fairgrounds and the Jefferson County Fairgrounds will be holding unique events, along with hosting RVers and campers alike. The town of Madras is hosting the Oregon Solarfest at the Oregon State Fairgrounds with festivities for eclipse viewers and visitors. Madras and Prairie City fall within the totality zone, so you’ll get the best views there; if you don’t want to deal with the crowds, consider RVing to McMinnville, Woodburn, Fossil, Sweet Home, Redmond, or Seneca.

    Weather Outlook: Oregon weather in August tends to fall between 78 degrees and 84 degrees. Lows are often in the 50s. Expect mild days when visiting.

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  • 03 of 08

    Idaho

    Aerial view of Boise, Idaho
    ••• Boise, Idaho is a slice of paradise on your way to seeing the 2017 solar eclipse. Eric Raptosh Photography/Blend Images/Getty Images

    Idaho offers one of the next best destinations for RVers to check out the solar eclipse, especially if they haven’t booked an RV park or campground for the event. Brigham Young University and Beaver Dick Park are two of the first come, first serve locations for RVers looking for a spot to park on that day. Arrive early, or you risk pulling over on the side of the road to glance up at the sky. Weiser, Rexburg, Driggs, and Victor will bring you closest to totality on your travels. Emmett, Challis, Dubois, Shelley, and St. Anthony offer spots that made be less crowded due to being outside the totality zone for the solar eclipse.

    Weather Outlook: Idaho weather in August tends to fall between 86 degrees and 93 degrees. Lows are often in the 60s. Prepare for the heat on your travels.

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  • 04 of 08

    Wyoming

    The Tetons in Wyoming
    ••• Who wouldn't want to see the 2017 solar eclipse overlooking the Tetons?. Ronnie Wiggin/Moment/Getty Images

    Wyoming offers more opportunities than any other state for travelers to view totality. Casper will be throwing special events in and around the city in part thanks to the annual Astronomy League Conference being held there in August. Lodge Pole Campground and Fort Caspar Campground are two great RV parks if you want to stay awhile before or after the eclipse. Grand Teton National Park isn’t in the totality zone, but it will still offer beautiful views of the partial eclipse instead. Pavilion and Casper are dead center for totality; Lander, Wheatland, and Thermopolis will keep you away from the throngs of people. Wyoming is a hot spot destination for travelers across the world, so if you haven’t made plans yet, don’t delay.

    Weather Outlook: Wyoming weather in August often falls between 71 degrees and 92 degrees during the day. Lows drop to the 40-50s overnight. Be prepared for extreme heat or cold depending on where you stay.

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  • 05 of 08

    Nebraska

    Scotts Bluff National Monument in Nebraska
    ••• Scotts Bluff National Monument will frame the 2017 total solar eclipse beautifully. Joseph Sohm-Visions of America/DigitalVision/Getty Images

    Nebraska’s totality path will see some of the longest views in the United States during the solar eclipse. The Sandhills region is opening RV parks, campgrounds, and even private land to host RVers and campers from across the world for the event. Hidden Valley Campground and Lake Maloney State Recreation Area are two of the best RV parks in the state and happen to be in the path of totality, too. Alliance, Stapleton, Ravenna, Grand Island, and Falls City are fall in the direct path. If you want to stay further away from totality, Crawford, Oshkosh, Lexington, Minden, Taylor, and Lincoln will still provide spectacular views.

    Weather Outlook: Nebraska weather in August often falls between 82 degrees and 86 degrees. Lows drop to the 60s overnight. Be prepared for the heat until the eclipse comes to totality.

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  • 06 of 08

    Illinois

    ••• Southern Illinois University

    Illinois may not have the largest swath of land to see the solar eclipse, but it has one of the best-planned events at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. The University will be hosting a two-day spectacular set of events, including viewing in the football stadium for those in attendance. Carbondale will also have the greatest duration for viewers to see the totality of the eclipse. Belleville and Cairo are two of the least crowded cities to see the eclipse whereas Waterlook, Pinckneyville, Marian, and Harrisburg will offer more spectacular views if Carbondale is packed. Carbondale will be insane the days leading up to the eclipse, so get there early to ensure you don’t miss it.

    Weather Outlook: Illinois sees highs in the 79 to 85-degree range during August travels. Lows are in the 60s. Illinois does tend to see heat waves, so be prepared to ride one out.

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  • 07 of 08

    Kentucky

    Red River Gorge Sunset
    ••• TheDman/Getty Images

    According to a variety of astronomers, Hopkinsville, Kentucky is the best place in the United States to view the totality of the 2017 solar eclipse. Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area is one of the best spots in the area for RVers, but nearby RV parks in Bowling Green and Paducah will work, too. Eddyville is another small town on the path of totality. While the path of the eclipse doesn't pass over too much of Kentucky, the views from Russellville and Madisonville will be spectacular for travelers coming from across the globe. Kentucky, due to the sweltering summer, may be one of the states that see less solar eclipse travelers than others so keep that in mind if you plan to hit the road.

    Weather Outlook: Kentucky often sees August highs between 61 to 91 degrees. Low will fall to the 60s at night. Be prepared for anything!

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  • 08 of 08

    South Carolina

    Hilton Head, SC
    ••• Hilton Head, SC puts your sand in the toes as the 2017 eclipse comes to an end. Rachid Dahnoun/Aurora/Getty Images

    South Carolina will have the privilege of seeing the solar eclipse out of the United States. Columbia will also be dead center for totality, with events planned in the city streets for residents and visitors alike. Lake Murray’s Siesta Cove, Lake Hartwell, and many of the KOAs in the state along the path are taking in RVers and hosting celebratory events. Lexington and McClellanville are alternatives to Columbia if you’re looking to be at the center for totality. Greer, Kingstree, Edgefield, Summerville, and Charleston will be outside the path of totality but will give visitors a look into the hospitality of the south as they view the eclipse.​

    Weather Outlook: South Carolina sees hot, humid weather in August in the high 70s to high 80s during the day. Temperatures at night will drop to the mid-70s and hold steady. It's going to be hot during your travels.