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12 mesmerizing places to view the super-rare solar eclipse

Solar Eclipse Pin It
Photo: NASA/M. Druckmüller

Mother Nature has a pretty spectacular summer celebration planned: On August 21 it will be the first total solar eclipse that’s visible in the US since 1979. (How’s that for a reward for dealing with a long, dreary winter.)

Even though solar eclipses happen every 18 months—and the last one happened stateside 38 years ago—it’s pretty understandable if you don’t exactly know what a total solar eclipse is. Essentially, it’s when the sun, moon, and Earth all align perfectly, with the moon in the middle, blocking out the sun’s light completely.

If you’re lucky enough to live within driving distance of the solar eclipse path—which cuts diagonally across the country from South Carolina to Oregon—then it’s time to plan what may be your coolest summer road trip yet. Serious FOMO warning: If you miss it, you’ll have to wait nearly 10 years for the chance to see one again in the US.

Pack your bags (and—obligatory PSA—don’t forget your solar eclipse glasses for safety) and prepare to experience something incredible.

Talk about the ultimate #99DaysofSummer adventure.

Here are 12 places where you can see the solar eclipse this August.

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Graphics: Abby Maker for Well+Good

1. Salem, Oregon

Best time to see the eclipse: 10:17 a.m. PDT


2. Stanley, Idaho

Best time to see the eclipse: 11:28 a.m. MDT


3. Pavillion, Wyoming

Best time to see the eclipse: 11:38 a.m. MDT


4. Alliance, Nebraska

Best time to see the eclipse: 11:49 a.m. MDT


5. Troy, Kansas

Best time to see the eclipse: 1:05 p.m. CDT


6. St. Joseph, Missouri

Best time to see the eclipse: 1:06 p.m. CDT


7. Makanda, Illinois

Best time to see the eclipse: 1:20 p.m. CDT


8. Paducah, Kentucky

Best time to see the eclipse: 1:22 p.m. CDT


9. Nashville, Tennessee

Best time to see the eclipse: 1:27 p.m. CDT


10. Toccoa, Georgia

Best time to see the eclipse: 2:36 p.m. EDT


11. Bryson City, North Carolina

Best time to see the eclipse: 2:35 p.m. EDT


12. Greenville, South Carolina

Best time to see the eclipse: 2:38 p.m. EDT

 While you’re making your summer travel plans, these are the best weekend retreats. And if you’re a yogi, these are the dreamy destinations that need to be on your bucket list.