What makes a city a great location for watching the 2017 solar eclipse on August 21? A city must obviously be in the direct path of the event. And offer a view of the dance that will take place in the sky. It’s also a good idea to choose a city that offers more. Fun attractions and landmarks create the perfect day. It’s important to remember that the actual eclipse will only be visible during a very small portion of the day. This means that choosing a city that has much to offer is a great idea. And a day stay hotel from HotelsByDay makes your trip extra worthwhile. Here are the top four cities to visit during the 2017 solar eclipse if you want to see the event in the sky and enjoy a great experience down on the ground.

Portland, Oregon

Portland is a great place to view the eclipse from if you want to be among the first people in the country to experience it. The Portland metro area will experience near totality when the eclipse happens. The people of Portland are celebrating the event with a number of viewing parties throughout the city. The Beaverton City Library event, the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site event, the Lake Oswego Parks & Recreation viewing party and the OMSI viewing party all offer fun ways to experience the eclipse with others. The nice thing about choosing Portland is that you’ll have all of the great attractions and restaurants of the city waiting for you once the epic solar event of 2017 is over. And a Portland day stay hotel helps make it happen.

Kansas City, Missouri

The Kansas City area is one of the hottest spots in the country if you’re looking for great views of the eclipse in a fun, friendly atmosphere. Kansas City is actually one of the largest metro areas in the path of the eclipse. You’ll want to find a great spot at Independence Square, Union Station, the City Market or one of the other big public hubs around the city. A Kansas City day use hotel is waiting for you. It’s the best way to enjoy watching this spectacular event unfold in the sky with other enthusiastic viewers.

Funny young beautiful woman lying in bed under blanket

Charleston, South Carolina

The cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages and window boxes of Charleston won’t be the only things that leave visitors mesmerized when the eclipse rolls over the skies of this gorgeous, picture-perfect port city. Charleston is one of the cities in the path of the celestial event that will see a total solar eclipse and experience complete darkness. In fact, anyone lucky enough to be here during the event will experience one of the longest views in the country. There is a citywide Go Dark Charleston event planned. It includes painting classes, kayaking tours and parties hosted by local restaurants, bars and businesses. The Charleston RiverDogs will be having a special game event on eclipse day. In addition, the Citadel Mall is hosting an event called the Eclipse Extravaganza. This event honors the fact that it is an official NASA viewing location.

Atlanta, Georgia

The metro Atlanta area is a prime viewing spot for the big 2017 solar eclipse. Atlanta viewers can expect between 95 percent to 99 percent coverage during the eclipse. Many branches of the Atlanta Fulton Public Library System are hosting fun events during the eclipse. Plus they’re supplying special viewing safety glasses. Some other spots where you can watch the event include the Chattahoochee Nature Center, the Dunwoody Nature Center, and Ponce City Market Skyline Park. And of course, the Georgia Tech Observatory at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Rest & Recharge

Nothing can make eclipse day more special than spending a little bit of quality “me time.” Rest and relax on a plush hotel bed, and enjoy room service. Then plug back into the real world using WiFi and take a refreshing dip in the pool at a nice hotel. This can really feel like paradise if you’ve traveled a long way overnight to see the eclipse. Whether you’re in an Atlanta day booking hotel or taking a Charleston half day stay, you’ll be glad you did.  You can book a morning, midday or afternoon stay for the day of the eclipse at a fabulous hotel using HotelsByDay right now. Don’t miss it, the next one isn’t until June 2, 2019!

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Scott Dylan graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz with a B.A. in History, a Minor in Economics, and a firm belief that financial knowledge is a human right. When Scott's not writing about financial matters, he's traveling to new places, cooking strange foods and getting to know good people.