A “Great American Road Trip” 99 Years in the Making
AAA offers advice for travelers wanting to catch a glimpse of the “Eclipse Across America” on August 21
PHILADELPHIA, PA (July 28, 2017) – On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun. Anyone within the path of totality can see one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights - a total solar eclipse. This path, where the moon will completely cover the sun and the corona or halo can be seen, will stretch from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Observers outside this path will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun's disk.
Dubbed the “Eclipse Across America,” this once-in-a-lifetime event (the last total solar eclipse to cross the U.S. from coast-to-coast happened in 1918) will prove to be a tourist and vacationer’s dream, as it occurs during the final few weeks of summer. More than 250 million Americans live within 600 miles of the solar eclipse path, which will undoubtedly lead to many late-season trips to do some skyward gazing. And, because the eclipse will take place on a Monday, the trek to see it could start as early as the Friday before.
“The ‘Eclipse Across America’ is a once-in-a-lifetime event, where everyone in North America, including Alaska and Hawaii, will experience the eclipse in some form,” said Debby Calvert from AAA Travel. “If you’re planning to travel to the path of totality, we recommend you have a plan – select a destination, map out a route, book lodging and allow plenty of travel time. These efforts will help ensure you are ready and in place ahead of this late-summer event.”
The path of totality will pass over 14 states, starting on the coast of Oregon, at 10:15 a.m. Pacific daylight time, and leaving American soil via McClellanville, S.C., at 2:49 p.m., Eastern daylight time. It will cross cities in Oregon, Idaho, a sliver of Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, a sliver of Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Darkness will last anywhere from a few seconds to two minutes 41 seconds, depending on the location.
Thinking about heading to a viewing location? AAA reports that some of the travel agency’s top TripTik drive destinations this summer are also good places to view the eclipse: Nashville, TN, Great Smoky Mountain National Park (top visited National Park); Columbia, SC and Charleston, SC.
In addition, the best cities/places for viewing the “path of totality,” as noted by science experts, will likely be:
“We have found that many hotels are already booked as a result of the eclipse’s draw,” noted Calvert. “Other options for last-minute travelers is camping and/or visiting a National Park. The path of totality (where the sun will be completely eclipsed) crosses 20 National Parks across the U.S.”
If you are planning an eclipse road trip, AAA Mid-Atlantic offers the following tips:
Try to get to your viewing location one to two days ahead of the eclipse (Aug. 21).
Pack your patience and plan for congestion on the road, especially as you get closer to locations within the path of totality.
Book hotels, lodging, etc. as soon as possible.
Keep up to date on weather conditions – if you find your original location may be cloudy/rainy, you may consider moving to another location.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Pennsylvania. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.