Dude, the 2017 Solar Eclipse is less than a month away! On August 21, 2017 (the before school starts for UNC students), around 2 PM there will be a solar eclipse across the continental United States. Whether you are planning to stay in town, drive in the morning to a cool spot, or go away for a weekend before the eclipse, it is important to plan before all best spots are taken. After all, this has not happened in 38 years! According to the National Park Service, “The last time an eclipse path crossed the continental United States was in 1979. At the time, Jimmy Carter was president, a gallon of gas cost 86 cents, and Atari video games were a hot item.”
Why is South Carolina better than North Carolina to catch the eclipse? The visibility. I would much rather drive a few hours to see the natural phenomenon that may never occur again in my life time.
- Washington D.C. – 75%
- North Carolina – 90%
- South Carolina – 100%
What time is the solar eclipse? The optimal viewing time on the east coast is 2:44PM.
To help you plan for your 2017 Solar Eclipse, I have compiled the top 5 places to check out if you live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
The list is in no particular order, just depends on what you’re looking for.
- Blue Ridge National Park – Although you may not get the best parking, if you are able to get there early enough, the view may be spectacular with the mountain ranges and solar eclipse above your head. I would highly recommend if you have a sunroof or convertible.
- Congaree National Park – This is a cool National Park that is less than 4 hours away and in the 100% zone. The website shows a lake and mountain range which is my favorite part.
- Morehead Plantirum – Tickets are $6 with different “showings” so grab your ticket for Show 3 because the eclipse will probably pass by NC at 2:40 PM. For more events close to Chapel Hill, check out this link.
- Duke Gardens – All you need to pay for is $2 parking.
- Charleston, SC Beach – Decent beach if you want to be near the ocean for the eclipse and it is in the 100% view range.
Remember to bring your sunglasses because it is not safe to look directly at the solar eclipse.
As for myself, I will be walking up before the crack of dawn to drive to a beach near Charleston, South Carolina to catch the solar eclipse by the relaxing ocean shore.
Where do you plan on watching the 2017 Solar Eclipse?