2017 Total Solar Eclipse
A solar eclipse is one of nature’s grandest spectacles. By following these simple rules, you can safely enjoy the view and be rewarded with memories to last a lifetime.
Countdown Until The Great American Solar Eclipse
Jackson County, North Carolina, is one of the few areas in North Carolina where visitors and residents can experience next year’s extremely rare celestial phenomenon, a total solar eclipse. All of the county’s towns, including Sylva, Dillsboro, Cullowhee and Cashiers, are in the direct path of The Great American Solar Eclipse. At 2:35 p.m. on August 21, 2017, the towns will have a stellar view of one of nature’s most visual displays followed by a couple minutes of complete darkness.
For cities inside the 70-mile-wide path of the solar eclipse, the sky will turn pitch black, the air will cool, and stars will be visible in the middle of the day. This is the first time in 26 years that America has seen a total solar eclipse, and it is one of the few that will sweep the nation from Atlantic to Pacific coasts. (View 2017 Total Solar Eclipse in the U.S.)
Jackson County is working to develop events, specific viewing locations, public safety, and accommodation promotions specifically for the eclipse event. The times of total darkness for Jackson County cities are as follows:
- Sylva: 1 minute, 45 seconds
- Dillsboro: 1 minute, 50 seconds
- Cullowhee: 1 minute, 55 seconds
- Cashiers: 2 minutes, 23 seconds.
The place with the longest totality is about 2 minutes 40 seconds, but some destinations throughout the country will only see 15 seconds of darkness. Learn more at the National Eclipse website.
Cashiers Eclipse Festival
In Cashiers, The Village Green hosts a day of festivities and solar eclipse viewing “Eclipse Festival” on August 21 to celebrate the Great American Solar Eclipse. Visitors can try several local food trucks such as Glenville’s own Flip & Whip, enjoy beer by The Ugly Dog Public House and Satulah Mountain Brewing, and sweet treats and ice cream from Cream & Flutter. A live music performance by Coconut Groove, a 60’s/70’s cover band, will entertain guests throughout the day.
Downtown Sylva Eclipse Festival
Downtown Sylva is proud to host several activities and events to celebrate the Great American Solar Eclipse throughout the weekend of August 18th-21st. The weekend kicks off at Bridge Park with Concerts on the Creek on Friday, August 18th where the popular band, Porch 40, will be playing from 7-9 p.m. During the evening, visitors can purchase MoonPies and food from an on-site food truck.
Dillsboro's Monteith Park
Enjoy $2 parking with a free shuttle to shops & restaurants, Italian ices, funnel cakes, pizza, BBQ, interpretive nature trails, a kid's recreation area and more! Eclipse glasses and water will be available will be available for a small donation to the Dillsboro Merchants Association for the Luminaries.
Cashiers Designer Showhouse
The 2017 Cashiers Designer Showhouse will stage place Aug. 12-27 (the entire weekend of the Total Solar Eclipse, excepting the day of the eclipse). Interior Designers representing the Southeastern region will not only bring trending design to Cashiers but will again create the magic that is The Cashiers Designer Showhouse.
Groovin' on the Green
The Village Green Commons is the stage for artist performances with lawn seating. The Greater Cashiers Area Merchants Association sponsors the popular concert series, Groovin’ On the Green. Additional concerts and musical programs are also held during the summer.
Mad Batter Food and Film
Mad Batter Food and Film in Sylva will play a space- and solar eclipse themed movie throughout the weekend.
Great Smoky Mountain Railroad
The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad will offer a special ‘Eclipse Train’ departing Bryson City at 11:15 a.m. on Aug. 21 to arrive in Dillsboro to view the Eclipse.
Arts & Crafts Festival in Dillsboro
Over 40 artisans displaying and demonstrating their hand made arts and crafts. Family entertainment and food. Festival is on Saturday, from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Arts & Crafts Festival in Sapphire Valley
Alongside the arts & crafts festival, Sapphire Valley will offer discounted golf, tennis, foot golf and zip line rates at $30 for small groups.
Solar Eclipse Educational Panels at Southwestern Community College‘s Myers Auditorium
Featuring Astronomy Professors and subject matter experts. Panels begin at 6 p.m.
The Moonlight Run in Cullowhee is a 2-mile fun run that starts and ends at the Jackson County Parks and Recreation Center. Race starts at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19
Innovation Brewing will sell a limited release bottle of eclipse-themed beer commemorating the event.
Sneak E Squirrel
Sneak E Squirrel brewery will feature a dark (dark!) stout in the middle of the summer to commemorate the sun disappearing; they are also offering a special “sunny side down” burger with egg and served on a pretzel bun.
Best Western Plus
Enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime Solar Eclipse in the middle of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Stay at the ultimate in riverside accommodations at Best Western Plus River Escape Inn & Suites in Dillsboro, NC.
There will be a deck viewing party with live musical entertainment, roaring fire pits at our River Walk, and food/beer specials on site. Special viewing glasses will be given to every guest and we’ll toast the eclipse with complimentary sparkling champagne.
A minimum two-night stay is required. Rates are $275 double occupancy, standard rooms. Riverside upgrades available.
Hattler Properties and Mountain Lake Rentals
Cashiers and Glenville are premier locations to witness the Great American Eclipse as we are directly in the path of the longest duration of Totality (total darkness). Join us for this spectacular experience!
Mountain Lake Rentals, a division of Hattler Properties, LLC has several homes to accommodate you for your viewing experience. Packages include:
- Eclipse Viewing Glasses for your party
- Lodging packages from 4-7 days, including homes on beautiful Lake Glenville, at
- 3500’, the highest elevation lake east of the Mississippi, with pristine waters and cool temperatures.
- Boat rentals are available or you can bring your own and enjoy your private dock.
- An eclipse map and booklet with all you need to know about safely viewing the eclipse, as well as the history and science of this rare celestial event.
High Hampton Inn & Country Club
High Hampton Inn welcomes eclipse chasers to elevate their gazes with a stay in the Western North Carolina mountains.
“Total Eclipse on the Rock” Mountain Package
In honor of the first full solar eclipse visible to the United States in decades, High Hampton Inn is offering cozy accommodations, top tier dining, complimentary boat rentals and tennis, discounted rates for mountainside golf and spa treatments, special solar eclipse viewing glasses and more. Guests can enjoy the Total Eclipse on the Rock House Party on High Hampton Inn’s picturesque lawn overlooking Rock Mountain and the Resort’s privately-owned 35-acre Hampton Lake. Festivities include High Hampton Inn’s special Llama Olympics and live music by the Chuck Courtenay Band, solar drink specials and a build your own “Moon Pie” dessert station.
A two-night minimum stay is required. Rates start at $290 for single occupancy and $360 for double occupancy and include all meals. Please contact reservations at High Hampton Inn for more details and to secure your reservation: 800-334-2551. www.highhamptoninn.com
Lonesome Cove Cabin
The Lonesome Cove Cabin in Cashiers, NC is offering special rates for the upcoming Solar Eclipse weekend.
Three-night stay for $745 from August 18-21, 2017 – call 864-921-7577
Quality Inn of Sylva, NC welcomes you to join us for the viewing of a lifetime of the Great American Eclipse in Jackson County, NC. Our accommodation is minutes away from all special events happening in downtown Sylva and beyond.
A minimum two-night stay is required. Rates are $200 for double occupancy, which also includes a full hot breakfast. Share the experience with your animal for an additional fee. Quality Inn of Sylva is the only pet-friendly hotel in the Sylva area. Call to make your reservations at (828)-586-3315 and ask for details about our flexible meeting space for hosting a viewing party of your own.
The Comfort Inn in Sylva, NC looks forward to welcoming guests to experience the Total Solar Eclipse in Sylva, NC. In celebration of this once-in-a-lifetime event, Comfort Inn is offering hotel guests a special package.
This package includes a special Solar Eclipse gift pack with Solar Eclipse viewing glasses, Solar filter sheets for photo taking, a snack, bottled water and beverage coupon. The hotel will host a Champagne reception and live poolside music following the Eclipse event. Bonus Choice Privilege Points and late check out are available for this package.
Rates for the Solar Eclipse Package start at $209.00 per night and require a minimum two night stay. Reservations can be made by calling (828) 477-4950, or by visiting https://www.choicehotels.com/north-carolina/sylva/comfort-inn-hotels/nc732?source=gyxt
Holiday Inn Express
Accompany us at Holiday Inn Express in Sylva, NC to observe the Total Solar Eclipse in Jackson County. This unique occasion will mark the books for a once in a lifetime experience.
Our special rates include these activities
- Full Hot Breakfast
- Indoor Heated Pool
- Catering and Beverage Services
- Eclipse-Viewing Glasses for all Guests
- Outdoor Seating Options
While we are only minutes away from fun activities with downtown Sylva and Dillsboro, we have our own viewing party that can be enjoyed from the comfort of the hotel. We’re close to the action, far from the crowds!
Call our front desk at 828-631-1111 to share this momentous occasion. When you choose Holiday Inn Express Sylva – Western Carolina Area you are choosing to #StaySmart. Room rates start at $260, double occupancy. Suite upgrades available.
Innisfree Bed and Breakfast by-the-lake
Enjoy the Total Solar Eclipse from the Innisfree Pavilion, at almost 4,000 feet elevation and that much closer to the sun!
Celebrate with fine Champagne before, during, and after the eclipse. A selection of craft beers and wine will be also available. During the total darkness, honor the moon covering the sun with genuine Moon Pies, and the lovely stars sparkling bright with Twinkies. Special eyeglasses will be supplied for all guests.
Nightly rates run from $189 to $360, and a four-night minimum is required (Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon).
Landmark Vacation Rentals
Coming to the NC mountains to view the Great American Eclipse? Make the event an unforgettable one by staying in a Landmark Vacation Rental home!
All of our vacation rentals are in the path of totality and offer the kinds of comfort and convenience you would expect in your own home. Renters during this special celestial event will receive:
- Free Eclipse Viewing Safety Glasses for ALL members of your party
- Free Selfie Stick (one per party) so you can capture the fun at Cashiers’ Village Green Eclipse Festival on your smart phone’s camera
Most homes have a standard minimum stay of three nights; however, we do have a few that allow two night minimum stays..
Mountain Brook Lodge and Cottages
Mountain Brook Lodge and Cottages is offering a special Event Weekend Package for those heading in town for this spectacular celestial event – the Total Solar Eclipse.
Special Eclipse Package Rates: (August 18 – 22, 2017) *
- One Bedroom Historic Cottage (4,5,7,8, & 9): $449.00
- One Bedroom Historic Cottage (14): $599.00
- Two Bedroom Historic Cottage (1,2,3, & 6): $559.00
- Historic Cottage Plus Cottage (11, 12, & 15): $689.00
A minimum of four-night stay or more is required for this package.
Additional nights, if reserved with your package, will only cost $100 per night/per cottage and are subject to availability.
*All rates include taxes and special Solar Eclipse viewing glasses. Group & WCU discounts do not apply to our already discounted package rates. 50% of the rate is required to reserve; the deposit on a cancellation for any reason after August 1st will not be refundable.
Call 828-586-4329 for additional information, or visit http://www.mountainbrook.com/events—specials.html to make reservations and view all cottage options. Please note that our cottages are Fido friendly.
Solar Eclipse Tips & Facts
Don’t Look Directly at the Sun
Looking directly at the Sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse (“totality”), when the Moon entirely blocks the Sun’s bright face, which will happen only within the narrow path of totality
The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” (example shown at left) or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the Sun. To date four manufacturers have certified that their eclipse glasses and hand-held solar viewers meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products: Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17.
The Path of Totality
If you are within the path of totality, remove your solar filter only when the Moon completely covers the Sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright Sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to glance at the remaining partial phases.
Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device. Similarly, do not look at the Sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury. Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device.
Map courtesy of GreatAmericanEclipse.com
An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed Sun is pinhole projection. For example, cross the outstretched, slightly open fingers of one hand over the outstretched, slightly open fingers of the other. With your back to the Sun, look at your hands’ shadow on the ground. The little spaces between your fingers will project a grid of small images on the ground, showing the Sun as a crescent during the partial phases of the eclipse.
Photo Credit: Mark Margolis
Visitor Bucket List
- Attend the Eclipse Festival Saturday night at Bridge Park in Sylva; and the Eclipse Festival at the Village Green in Cashiers on Monday.
- Visit one or all of our breweries in Jackson County; Innovation Brewing, The Sneak E Squirrel, and Heinzelmännchen Brewery. Balsam Falls Brewing will open this summer adding a fourth brewery to the Jackson County Ale Trail.
- Cool off and enjoy some sun and water at Lake Glenville.
- Take a selfie family photo during your trip and/or of your view of the eclipse. Mention @NCEclipse on Twitter or #PlayOnNC / @DiscoverJacksonNC on Instagram and we will share the best ones!
- Visit the highest point in the Blue Ridge Parkway- Richland Balsam (elevation: 6,053 feet).
- Float down the Tuckasegee River or bring your rod and fly fish the WNC Fly Fishing Trail. (www.flyfishingtrail.com)
- Race in the 2-mile Moonlight Madness run on Sunday night at the Jackson County Parks and Recreation Center in Cullowhee.
- Attend a panel discussion with astronomers and scientists at Southwestern Community College on Sunday at 6:00 PM.
10 facts about the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse
- The total solar eclipse 2017 has been coined “The Great American Solar Eclipse” because it is the only solar eclipse to appear across the entire continent of North America in recent history.
- A solar eclipse happens when the Moon, in the “new moon phase” passes between Earth and the Sun.
- The last solar eclipse viewable here was July 20, 1506. The next total solar eclipse to pass through our area won’t be until October 17, 2153.
- During an eclipse, air temperatures can drop from 5 to 20 degrees.
- Looking directly at the sun can cause damage to your eyes including total blindness, so all viewers must wear protective eclipse glasses.
- After a total solar eclipse, it takes about an hour before total daylight is restored.
For more information, visit http://www.NCEclipse.com. For event updates and public safety updates during the eclipse follow @NCEclipse on Twitter.
Photo Credit: NASA
Visitor Tips for the Solar Eclipse Weekend
- Allow an extra day for travel coming to Jackson County. Trying to arrive the day of the eclipse may result in you being stuck in traffic during the eclipse! Thousands of cars are predicted to be traveling on Monday, so come up a day early and enjoy the mountains, our trails, waterfalls, breweries, restaurants and shops.
- Keep an eye on @NCEclipse on Twitter for event and public safety updates.
- Book your lodging early. Properties are expected to fill up well in advance of the event. View lodging options at www.DiscoverJacksonNC.com/lodging.