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Five Places To Witness The Great American Eclipse

Something special is happening on Aug. 21. On that day, a select few areas across the continental United States will be able to see a rare total solar eclipse.

Five Places To Witness The Great American Eclipse
Image from the August 1999 solar eclipse

The celestial event, dubbed the Great American Eclipse, will be at its best along a thin geographical band, first hitting the West Coast in Northern Oregon — just south of Portland — wandering eastward to Charleston, South Carolina. While eclipses are not entirely rare, total solar eclipses are. In a total eclipse, the moon's orbit blocks the sun so completely, only a bright halo can be seen for a few minutes (with special viewing equipment only. Don't try using your naked eyes).

While there are many great locations along the eclipse path in August to view the premature darkness, Bisnow picked out a few that offer something special along with the once-in-a-lifetime view.

Five Places To Witness The Great American Eclipse
The view from the Kah-Nee-Ta Resort & Spa in Warm Springs, Ore.

1. Warm Springs, Oregon

Part of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, this area has plenty of outdoor viewing areas to witness the eclipse. And while the climate during the summer is relatively mild, perhaps for many the better place to view the celestial event would be the Kee-Nah-Ta Resort & Spa, where visitors can also grab a bite or gamble in the casino.

Casper Wyoming
The Old Town putt-putt golf course at the Parkway Hotel & Convention Centre in Casper, Wyo.

2. Casper, Wyoming

There are plenty of places in Wyoming to see the eclipse — from Grand Teton National Park to the Wind River Reservation — but perhaps the most noteworthy is at the Parkway Plaza Hotel & Convention Centre in Casper, which will be hosting the annual convention for the Astronomical League (ASTROCON 2017) in the days leading up to the eclipse. Various astronomers will be gathered to network and share info. It could be fun to view the eclipse during a round of putt-putt at the hotel's Olde Town feature.

Grand Island Nebraska
Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer in Grand Island, Neb.

3. Grand Island, Nebraska

Grand Island holds a distinction over some other areas of Nebraska — the city is within four seconds of the longest eclipse duration in the U.S., according to the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer. It is an event that last happened in Grand Island in 1194 and will not occur again there until 2744. The Stuhr Museum will be hosting a viewing event and activities the day of the eclipse.

Five Places To Witness The Great American Eclipse
Downtown Nashville, Tenn.

4. Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville is one of the few places on the map with a plethora of venues to watch the eclipse, from city and state parks — like Cedar Hill Park, Peeler Park, Fall Creek Falls and Standing Stone — to viewing events at area attractions, such as a rooftop viewing with music at the Acme Feed & Seed in Lower Broadway or Dave & Buster's eclipse lunch buffet and unlimited video play. The Nashville Sounds, the AAA baseball team, is playing against the Iowa Cubs on the day of the eclipse.

Five Places To Witness The Great American Eclipse
Broad Street in Downtown Charleston, S.C.

5. Charleston, South Carolina 

One of the last stops of the Great American Eclipse, the historic city of Charleston also has plenty of venues to watch the eclipse. But it may also be one of the most popular destinations — an expected 2 million visitors have nearly booked up all available hotels in Charleston, according to a recent Fortune article.