The path for the total solar eclipse runs straight through the South
Something very cool is happening on August 21, 2017. For the first time in 99 years, a total solar eclipse will be visible in much of the United States and the projected path takes it right through the South. The entire continent will see a partial eclipse lasting two-three hours but fourteen states will experience the total eclipse. Of those fourteen states, six states listed in the “path of totality” are right here in the South.
Since this will occur on a Monday, why not make it a family getaway? Hotels, resorts and parks across the South had this thought too and they’re planning huge lunar parties for their guests! We’ve rounded up a selection of some of the best celestial bashes across the South to give you a galaxy of options for a family road trip, or a grownup getaway perfect for a moon dance! Pack your bags, load up the car and head to one of these Southern destinations for the ultimate science lesson—in real life!
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri is in the path of totality and parties will be poppin’ all over town. But we were intrigued by a total lunar themed getaway and if you are too, check out the Moonrise Hotel. They have a special Total Solar Eclipse Package that includes with your room, breakfast in bed for two, complimentary valet parking, $25 food and beverage credit to Eclipse Restaurant and chocolate covered strawberries. You don’t have to stay at the Moonrise to enjoy their festivities. Head down on Sunday where the entire Delmar Loop will celebrate the Loop Eclipse Festival.
As Southern Living has previously reported, the folks in Hopkinsville, Kentucky are boasting that NASA as deemed their fair town, as the point of greatest eclipse. This whole town is gearing up for one epic party. They’ve even temporarily re-named their town, “Eclipseville” and created a website full of information. They’ve dedicated the entire weekend before the eclipse to their “Monumental Solar Eclipse Festival.” Throughout the weekend you and your family can enjoy live music, play kids games, wander through arts and crafts booths and attend workshops. If that doesn’t float your boat, head over to the Inaugural Eclipse Con. That’s right, the folks in Hopkinsville are hosting their own Comic Con event complete with appearances by celebrities in the sci-fi, cartoon, comic and superhero genres. Eclipse Con will serve as a Fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Hopkinsville-Christian County. On the day of the eclipse, locations all over town are open to the public for viewing, since according to them, it will be the best seat in the country!
In Nashville, you will have several options across several price points. First check out what the Holiday Inn Nashville-Vanderbilt is doing in partnership with Scholastic. Their Solar Eclipse Viewing Party will be fun for the whole family and includes a special presentation of Magic School Bus Presents: Our Solar System. We’re sure beloved literary character, Ms. Frizzle, will have your children extra enthusiastic about the galactic wonder they will get to witness. We also hear that another favorite character will be on hand for extra fun—Clifford the Big Red Dog will attend the party as well.
Also in the Tennessee state capital and for a more adult-centered experience, the Westin Nashville’s Solar Eclipse 2017 Room Package is a great couples retreat for the couple who their dose of moon fun with a little extra pampering on the side. The special is for a minimum of a two-night stay and includes breakfast for two the morning of the eclipse, a welcome gift from their spa, complimentary yoga for two on eclipse morning and tickets to their exclusive Eclipse Viewing Party at their rooftop bar, L27—and they boast this is the highest rooftop bar in the music city. Hotel guests will have first access to this party and be treated to live entertainment, complimentary solar glasses, and beverages—including a themed specialty cocktail will be available for purchase.
Blue Ridge, Georgia
For a romantic way to experience the eclipse, why not take in the natural phenomenon aboard a train? The town of Blue Ridge, Georgia will be in the southern edge of the shadow in the path of totality. The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway will whisk you off on a ride departing at 11am and return at 4:15pm. The train will have a three-hour layover perfect for a picnic lunch with a side of solar theater. Bring a blanket or chairs to snuggle up with your loved one and prepare for a total eclipse…of the heart. Tickets for the train will cost $58 per adult and your viewing glasses will be provided.
Asheville, North Carolina
If you venture to the Asheville, North Carolina area, head to Tiffany Hill, a part of the Southern Living Hotel Collection. Nestled at the edge of the Pisgah National Forest in beautiful Western North Carolina, Tiffany Hill is a warm, inviting, bed and breakfast sure to treat you like family. Tiffany Hill is just a ten-minute drive to the Asheville Regional Airport and the Sierra Nevada Brewery and just 25 minutes ride will take you straight to the Biltmore House. There are plenty of things to see and do in the area during your stay. On Eclipse day, Tiffany Hill’s Eclipse Viewing Party includes lawn seating, complimentary solar viewing glasses and a themed menu including an Eclipse Cocktail, Sunshine Lemonade, Crescent Chicken Salad and Cucumber Sandwiches and Crescent Cookies for dessert.
Outer Banks, North Carolina
Another partner in the Southern Living Hotel Collection, The Sanderling Resort is located in Duck, North Carolina, part of the Outer Banks. The Sanderling’s Total Eclipse Viewing Party will be held on the resort’s back lawn. Party-goers will be treated with solar glasses and all of the fixings to make their own “moon-pie roast” over one of the resort’s many fire pits. For the over 21 crowd, a specialty Eclipse cocktail will also be on hand.
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina, voted Southern Living’s 2017 South’s Best City, is always a fun destination and never short of a party. They are fully embracing this galactic excuse for a midday Monday soiree. There are parties planned all over the Holy City, take your pick. Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina is hosting Dark Side of the Sun. For just $10 per adult and $5 per child, enjoy live music, children’s activities and a moon bounce. Or free of charge, head over to the Citadel Mall which is an official NASA viewing location. The first 500 people will receive free viewing glasses and food trucks will be on site. If you’re looking for something entirely different, what about a kayak ride during the total eclipse? Check it out here.
WATCH: Homemade Moon Pies
Wherever you are, you can celebrate with some lunar loot. Who doesn’t love some themed swag? Check out the Eclipse 2017 line that Anderson Design Group has released that includes posters, t-shirts and post-cards. You can order online or in Nashville at their store.
Enjoy this extraordinary event and remember to wear the protective glasses!