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Nine Tips for The Great American Solar Eclipse

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August 21, 2017, is the first time in 99 years that a total solar eclipse will travel coast to coast across the United States of America. This rare phenomenon is causing Monday, August 21 to be one of the highest days people are taking off from work and school to travel to see the Great American Solar Eclipse.

Being based out of New Orleans, I will travel just under 600 miles so that I will be in the path of totality. Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia are all states that are part of the path of totality. All of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, will experience a partial eclipse.

The Eclipse begins at 10:15 am in Oregon and will last about two hours throughout the United States. The total eclipse will last anywhere between under two minutes to two and a half minutes.

Top 9 things to do to prepare for the Great American Solar Eclipse

1. Book your hotel

If you haven’t booked your hotel already, do so now! Hotels, Air BNBs, campgrounds, cabins and wherever people like to stay are quickly filling up. In fact, some lodging booked up over two years! I am staying with two IHG Properties – The Holiday Inn Express Nashville Downtown and Candlewood Suites Clarksville.

2. Figure out where you are going to watch the Eclipse

The best thing about this Great American Solar Eclipse is that everyone who is in the path of totality will want to experience this. Of course, you could technically just step outside of your house or hotel room for two hours to watch the solar excitement, but being in a festival type surrounding will make it that much more fun. I plan on attending the All-American Solar Eclipse Party by the Old Glory Distilling Co. The tickets include live music, food trucks, special edition cocktails, a 15’X15’ VIP space on the lawn, a limited edition of Solar Shine, a t-shirt, Parking pass, and Eclipse Viewing Glasses.

3. Get your glasses

For when the sun is not entirely blocked by the moon (totality) it is too dangerous to look directly into the sun. Starting on August 1, 2017, Warby Parker will be giving away a pair of eclipse glasses to each person who visits their local store. Make sure you grab a pair and protect your vision! In fact, Warby Parker is also throwing a party at their Nashville Store because it is in the path of totality!

This August is the first time in 99 years that a total solar eclipse will travel across the USA. These top 9 tips will help you see the path of totality!

Can’t make it to Nashville? Make sure you get your FREE glasses from your local Warby Parker

4. Protect your Camera and Telescopes

Since you are protecting your eyes, make sure you buy a lens filter for your camera. The last thing you want to do is ruin your camera (or eyes) because you were trying to snap a photo of the eclipse. In fact, I would brush up on some technical skills (I am!) before going out in a large event and shooting.

5. Buy Your Eclipse Shirt

There is nothing more exciting than wearing a shirt with the city and date declaring the Solar Eclipse. I have a couple of shirts that I have my eye on. Make sure when you purchase a shirt that has either the city and the date on the shirt.


Hands down the best #eclipse tshirt! We got 2 for $50. Any #southerngirl would approve! Thanks @doodlesbyrebekah #eclipse2017 #travelblogger

A post shared by Travel And Lifestyle Blogger (@plaid_shirtyoga_pants) on

6. Buy a National Eclipse Post Card & Stamps

There are postcards and stamps that you can buy online to commemorate this event. A great souvenir to give yourself is to write a letter on the post card and mail it from the local post office! That way you will have some exciting mail when you get home!

7. Be prepared for things to get weird

The one thing I’m not sure I’m fully prepared for is being in total darkness in the middle of the day. I’ve never experience a partial or total solar eclipse, and I’m anxious to see stars in the middle of the day. From everything I’ve read, animals get a little wonky, people get a little crazy, and things just get weird!

8. Read everything you can about the Eclipse

I’ve joined a couple of Facebook Groups and followed National Eclipse on Twitter. The more you know about the Eclipse and your viewing area, the better prepared you will be!

9. Have fun and tell your friends

Tell all your friends about the eclipse! If they cannot take off of work, they can at least block off their calendar and go outside to view this natural phenomenon. The Great American Total Solar Eclipse is science at its finest!

This August is the first time in 99 years that a total solar eclipse will travel across the USA. These top 9 tips will help you see the path of totality!

The path of totality!

Clarksville, Tennessee

August 21 is actually my mother’s 63rd birthday! Every year we always make a trip to celebrate our birthdays, and this year we decided we wanted to see the Great American Solar Eclipse. We actually found out about the Eclipse only 11 months ago while we were in the Grand Tetons.

I am flying out to Nashville, Tennessee and spending the weekend in bouncing around Clarksville and Nashville. I was able to secure one night in Nashville and three nights in Clarksville. I booked our hotel in Clarksville because it was a significantly cheaper. Also, Clarksville’s length of totality was slightly longer than in Nashville – 2 minutes and 18 seconds versus 1 minute and 57 seconds.

This August is the first time in 99 years that a total solar eclipse will travel across the USA. These top 9 tips will help you see the path of totality!

I also booked a small private spot on the lawn at the Old Glory Distillery (Click here to read about the party!). I’m very excited that the viewing spot is only 1 mile away from my hotel.

I haven’t finished planning out the rest of the weekend since it is mom’s birthday I am letting her decide some of the activities. I’ve never been to Nashville and haven’t been to Tennessee in at least 15 years.

The next Solar Eclipse that crosses the United States is in 2024, but that eclipse travels from South to North. The next eclipse that may be close to New Orleans won’t be until 2078 – when I am 91!

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Are you taking off anytime to see the Great American Solar Eclipse? If so, where are you planning to watch?

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Read Plaid Shirt Yoga Pant's excursion from the Disney Wonder in Juneau. I saw a humpback whale and Mendenhall glacier while in beautiful Alaska!


  1. Charlsye

    August 2, 2017 at 8:44 am

    I homeschool my kids and this year we are studying the solar system. These are some good tips for us when we go check it out! Thanks!

    1. mlindsly

      August 2, 2017 at 11:55 am

      That is an excellent idea! It’s almost a once in a lifetime opportunity. I would love to hear more about the lesson plan

  2. Stacey Billingsley

    August 2, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Great tips! I hadn’t thought about my camera! I live in Southwest Missouri, so we are traveling just a little north to get in the path of totality. We have hotel reservations for Lake Ozark, MO, then we will wake up and drive the little bit we have left. We are pretty excited for this!

    1. mlindsly

      August 2, 2017 at 7:42 pm

      Make sure you leave super early from your hotel! I do not know much about the area but they are anticipating Tennessee to have crazy traffic!

  3. Long Nguyen

    August 5, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    Your mum has such amazing borthday to come, that every one will remember at a solar eclipse day. She should be very happy. And yes, the advice for protecting camera is so helpful. I might experiece an eclipse in Asia and this advice will help me to make some great preparation. Thanks Mallory

    1. mlindsly

      August 6, 2017 at 8:52 am

      Lucky for us we always go in a trip for our birthdays so it wasn’t much of a stretch!

  4. Vlad

    August 5, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    The only total solar eclipse I’ve seen was in 1999, it was an amazing sight! Great tips, I would love to be in America to see it 🙂

    1. mlindsly

      August 15, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      I cannot wait! I keep checking the weather hoping it stays good!

  5. Gayathri Lakshminarayanan

    August 5, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Wow, I can understand your excitement. In fact we are facing a lunar eclipse on 7 Aug in the Asian and Middle East region. Partial only and I know it is not as exciting as solar, but still we are getting our plans done.

    Gayathri @ Musings Over Nothing

    1. mlindsly

      August 6, 2017 at 8:52 am

      That is awesome! I can’t wait to hear what you saw! I know there are people who travel to see all the eclipses

  6. Ms. Health-Esteem

    August 5, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Great tips! Thank you for sharing. I’m so excited for it. Hoping we get a good view here in Canada too!

    1. mlindsly

      August 6, 2017 at 8:51 am

      It depends on which part of Canada you are located but I think Canada will have at least 25% totality

  7. Bailie

    August 6, 2017 at 7:56 am

    We just moved to Idaho this year and are excited to watch it! Just picked up our solar eclipse glasses yesterday!

    1. mlindsly

      August 6, 2017 at 8:50 am

      That is so great! Do you have to travel far to be in totality or did you luck out?

  8. shopannies (@shopannies)

    August 6, 2017 at 11:30 am

    we are in an awesome place to see the solar eeclipse right where we live You are right I hear the hotels are booking up fast and some have no more reservations. Camp grounds are filling spaces fast as well and I have heard of schools and other organizations renting out gyms and other areas as well
    what a show it will truly be
    come see us at

  9. Beth | Adventuring The Great Wide Somewhere

    August 7, 2017 at 6:42 am

    How cool! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a full eclipse before, and I love the idea of going all out and attending some kind of event or party to celebrate. Way more exciting than just popping out into the yard for a couple minutes.

  10. mags

    August 8, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    I’m so mad! Nothing this exciting happened while I was living in Nashville! Unfortunately, I’m going to have to enjoy a partial eclipse in Florida.

  11. Trish

    August 10, 2017 at 10:19 am

    I’m not sure how much I’ll get to see, especially since I’ll be at work. But I might just buy a t-shirt anyways! I had no idea anyone would be selling them

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