12 places to watch the solar eclipse within 110 miles of Charlotte

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In case you missed it, a total solar eclipse will take place next Monday, August 21.

It’ll start in the Pacific Ocean before passing over the entire country and disappearing in the Atlantic.

Only 1 in 1,000 people have ever seen one – this is a big deal. Last time this happened, Jimmy Carter was in office.

And Charlotte may not be in the “Path of Totality,” but we’re close at right around 97-98%. Not enough? We’re also close to places that are set to experience a total blackout for close to two minutes.

[Related: How to take in the solar eclipse in Charlotte]

Take the afternoon off and head to a viewing party, because YOLO – and you’re likely to only see this once, too. Here’s where to go, and please don’t forget the glasses.

Note: If you’re planning to travel, plan very, very carefully. Traffic is expected to be a nightmare, and places like Columbia, South Carolina, are calling it the ‘Biggest Driver Distraction of the Century’ and bracing their emergency services for the influx of travelers.

BJU Eclipse Experience

You’ll have access to university telescopes equipped with solar filters for pictures, experiments that monitor things like temperature and brightness levels and the significance of eclipses, both scientifically and religiously. There will also be hands-on STEM activities, lectures and robotic demonstrations.

Location: BJU Division of Natural Science (1700 Wade Hampton Boulevard, Greenville, SC, 102 miles from Uptown)
Time: Noon – 4 p.m.
Visibility: Total
Glasses provided? Yes, for every registered visitor

Eclipse Party

Entry is free, and there will be plenty of Dark Sky vodka specials.

Location: The Pump House (575 Herrons Ferry Road, 21 miles from Uptown)
Time: 2 – 4 p.m.
Visibility: Partial
Glass provided? Yes

The Great American Eclipse

There will be free entertainment, inflatables, Star Dome tours, food trucks and more. Free.

Location: Greer City Park (301 East Poinsett Street, Greeg, SC, 88 miles from Uptown)
Time: Noon – 3 p.m.
Visibility: Total
Glasses provided? To the first 1,000 present

The Great American Eclipse Viewing Party

Join Wingate University Ballantyne’s Great American Eclipse Viewing Party to experience a jaw-dropping near total eclipse at 2:41 p.m. Enjoy music, food vendors, eclipse glasses, great giveaways and fun activities for all ages with special guest Steve Maney from KISS 95.1 FM.

Location: Audubon Amphitheater (across from Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne, 13139 Ballantyne Corporate Place, 17 miles from Uptown)
Time: 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Visibility: Partial
Glasses provided? Yes

QC Skyline Eclipse View Party 

Expect NASA-certified glasses, live music, food and drink as well as an art installation.

Location: City Lights Rooftop (555 South McDowell Street in Uptown)
Time: 1 – 4 p.m.
Visibility: Partial
Glasses provided? Yes

Solar Eclipse Party

The eclipse will be streaming live, courtesy of NASA, in the OmniSphere theater while other activities take place outside.

Location: Greensboro Science Center (4301 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro, NC, 97 miles from Uptown)
Time: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Visibility: Total
Glasses provided? No

Solar Eclipse Tailgate Party

The tailgate-style viewing will include Discovery Place educators on hand for questions, activities, planetarium shows and more.

Location: Discovery Place Nature (1658 Sterling Road, 3 miles from Uptown)
Time: Noon – 4 p.m.
Visibility: Partial
Glasses provided? They’ll be on sale in the museum store

Solar Eclipse Viewing Party at Sycamore

There’ll be a special blonde stout, wine, kombucha, King of Pops and food trucks on hand.

Location: Sycamore Brewing (2161 Hawkins Street, 2 miles from Uptown)
Time: Noon – 4 p.m.
Visibility: Partial
Glasses provided? With the purchase of a drink or popsicle, yes

Solar Eclipse Viewing Party at Piedmont Social House

Standing room only.

Location: Piedmont Social House (2135 Ayrsley Town Boulevard, 10 miles from Uptown)
Time: Noon – 4 p.m.
Visibility: Partial
Glasses provided? No, but available for purchase upon arrival


Total Eclipse of the Heart

This 80’s-themed party will include drink specials and a costume contest.

Location: Lookout Brewing Company (103 S. Ridgeway Avenue, Black Mountain, 110 miles from Uptown)
Time: 2 – 9 p.m.
Visibility: Partial
Glasses provided? No

Witness Totality

The eclipse may not happen until Monday afternoon, but Terra Nova is getting the party started Sunday night with a special Sunday service, bonfire and more, followed by astrology readings, animal medicine card readings and more on Monday.

Location: Terra Nova Center (3475 Reasonover Road, Cedar Mountain, 110 miles from Uptown)
Time: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Visibility: Total
Glasses provided? Yes

Yeah That Blackout

The Speedway will become home to live music, food trucks, inflatables, face painting and more.

Location: Greenville-Pickens Speedway (3800 Calhoun Memorial Highway, Greenville, SC, 110 miles from Uptown)
Time: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Visibility: Total
Glasses provided? To the first 1,500 attendees

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Kylie Moore
Writer doubling as a travel, wine, and Oxford Comma enthusiast.