On August 21st, a total solar eclipse will be visible to mainland America. Find out why it is drawing giddy excitement from the public, as well as astronomy gurus.

On Aug. 21, a swath of the USA will plunge into darkness. The highly anticipated solar eclipse will cross 12 states from Oregon to South Carolina, and travelers are clamoring to get into its path.

We asked USA TODAY Network reporters to tell travelers what to expect in their regions, and how to find accommodations (hurry, they’re going fast!)

But don’t worry if you can’t get a room. There are also plenty of viewing parties going on all over the country. Moving from west to east:


The first state to see the total solar eclipse Aug. 21 at 10:15 a.m. local time is also going to see big crowds traveling into the 67-mile wide path of totality. Between 1 and 2 million people are expected to swarm the state, along with thousands of Oregonians.

Most hotel rooms and public campsites are sold out, some reserved more than a year ago. But, as of Friday evening, there were still a few options available for people who caught eclipse fever late in the game.

Among them are public universities. Here are a few options.

  • Western Oregon University, Monmouth: The Wolves are renting out their football field/track area for tent camping and recreational vehicles. There were 25 tent camping spaces and 12 RV spaces still available. Prices are the same for both, $150 for Saturday and Sunday, and an additional $40 per night for Thursday, Friday and Monday. Campers have access to portable restrooms, gym showers and hand-washing stations. Linens — a mattress pad, pillow, blanket, sheets and towels — are available for $10 per night.
  • Eastern Oregon University, La Grande: For $500, tourists can stay in the residential dorms from Saturday through Tuesday. The college only made room available to rent starting July 21. Each room includes a kitchenette, full refrigerator and microwave and can accommodate up to five people.
  • Oregon State University, Corvallis: For solo or couple eclipse watchers, OSU still has on-campus housing available. They are traditional dorm rooms with a common bathroom and showers on each floor. The rooms come with a commemorative tailgate blanket, indoor pool and full kitchen…