On August 21, for the first time in almost one hundred years, a total solar eclipse will be visible from both coasts of the contiguous United States.

While most of the country will only see a partial eclipse, a large portion of the country will be well within driving range of a site to view a total solar eclipse. The total eclipse zone slashes through the country like a seatbelt, hitting 14 states in total, all of which will experience a little over two minutes of total darkness in the middle of the day on August 21.

Almost 12 million Americans live within this 14-state stretch of the county and around two-thirds of the U.S. population lives within driving distance of an area that will experience the total eclipse.

Find below a list of some of the best places to view the total eclipse this Monday.


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Columbia, South Carolina

People in Columbia will experience two and a half minutes of a total eclipse, the longest time on the East Coast, starting at 2:43 p.m. EST on Monday. Local festivities have been planned for the entire weekend and there are many local viewing parties to pick from. Most notably, the Columbia Motor Speedway will host a viewing party from within the venue.

Nashville, Tennessee

For one minute and 57 seconds, people in Nashville will experience a total eclipse at 1:27 p.m. CT. As the only metropolitan area in the zone of totality, many local rooftop restaurants and bars will be hosting viewing parties. Every park in the city will have festivities going on at the time of the eclipse as well.

Greenville, South Carolina

Residents and visitors of Greenville will experience two minutes and ten seconds of the eclipse at 2:38 p.m. EST. Furman University will open up their stadium and off a guided presentation by one of the University’s top physics professors. Additionally, the Red Sox minor league Single-A affiliate, the Greenville Drive, have moved their game to 1 p.m.

Madras, Oregon

While you may be more familiar with some of the other towns on this list, Madras, a small town in central Oregon, has been regarded by some to be the best place to view the eclipse. The city has created “Solartown,” a campsite set up along the center line of the eclipse, where viewers can wait for the event. Additionally, music shows will be playing all weekend at the campsite. The eclipse will begin at 10:19 a.m. PT and will last for two minutes and four seconds.

For a full map and list of places to view the solar eclipse, head here.

For those outside of the zone of totality, NASA has warned people not to look directly into the partial eclipse. Parts of the sun will still be visible to these people and could cause eye damage if the proper precautions are not taken. Solar viewers or eclipse glasses are the only things that will keep viewers safe – regular sunglasses will not do the trick.

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