Arts & Culture

Marvelous Day for a Moondance

Where to catch the solar eclipse on August 21

Photo: Tim Bower

On August 21, the sun, moon, and earth will line up for a solar eclipse. The path of totality—where the moon will completely cover the sun—will fall across a swath of the South. Here’s exactly where and when to throw down a blanket and take it all in.


1:22–1:30 p.m.

The Bluegrass State will experience its longest eclipse duration in Hopkinsville, but most of the western part of the state offers prime viewing. Head to Paducah for two minutes and nineteen seconds of total darkness along the new landing area that overlooks the joining of the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers.


1:25 p.m. CT–2:36 p.m. ET

Nashville is the largest U.S. city completely within the path of totality, and both metro Nashville Parks and Tennessee State Parks will host public viewings, including a Boat Float at Standing Stone State Park for canoers and kayakers.

North Carolina

2:34–2:39 p.m.

Only a sliver of North Carolina will experience the total eclipse, but it  includes the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Clingman’s Dome is the highest point, but any peak in the western portion of the state should offer panoramic views of the rare
celestial event.


2:34–2:40 p.m.

Only the very northeast corner of Georgia will see the eclipse, so plan accordingly. Rabun County’s hotels and lodges will offer specials. The beloved Dillard House Restaurant will serve a big barbecue lunch before darkness descends.

South Carolina

2:37–2:49 p.m.

The moon’s shadow leaves the continental United States in the Palmetto State. Most of Interstate 26 will get a great view of the eclipse, but plan to catch it in Charleston, where the Gibbes Museum of Art will host Total Eclipse of the Art in its beautiful backyard garden, with two-for-one admission and free protective shades.