A US East Coast Road Trip to See the 2017 Solar Eclipse

An American Road Trip for the Summer to See the Total Eclipse of the Sun

It’s now February, so that means it’s another month closer to our US east coast road trip to see the total eclipse of the sun in August this year!

This trip has been in the pipeline for many, many years – in the last 18 years or so the UK has had a couple of partial sun eclipses, but each time (as is typical of UK weather) it’s been mostly obscured by cloud. So after the last one in 2008, the husband and I decided to look all the total eclipses in the world that would take place in the next 10 years, see where there was one in a place that we could take a holiday, and plan a trip around it.

August 2017 right across the centre of the US from west to east came up, so we decided that would be the one.

So for nearly nine years we’d been saying, Yes, we’re going to the States in 2017 to see a total eclipse! We’re going to do an east coast road trip! – and then all of a sudden last year it became a little more real when we were then saying NEXT year we’re going to see the eclipse… It then becomes a little frightening (but in a good way).


The places we’re visiting

So the map above shows only a very, VERY rough route of all the places we’re going to go just for the image for this post (I haven’t even followed the roads, as straight lines were easier to create on Photoshop!) but it’s going to be two and a half weeks of visiting so many places we’ve always wanted to go. For example we’re going to…

  • Toronto and Niagara Falls
  • Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater at Bear Run
  • Washington DC
  • All the major Civil War sites (my husband’s an American Civil War nut) – Gettysburg, etc.
  • Blue Ridge Mountains
  • Charlotte, Lexington, Charleston, Savannah
  • Disneyworld
  • Cape Canaveral
  • Miami
  • Key West

… and probably many, many more places in between. It’ll be part plane, part road trip and undoubtedly very, very hot and tiring (WHY did the eclipse have to be the middle of August?!) but we’re sooooo excited about it. We never get properly hot weather in the UK so I somewhat relish the weather being almost unbearably hot on holiday. Six years ago we did a west coast road trip (July at the Hoover Dam was the hottest temperature I’ve ever experienced in my life) and absolutely loved it – my military-style planning skills knew no bounds so I’m confident we’ll fit in everywhere we want to see again.


Are you on the route for a meet up?

Obviously if you’re on the way let me know – as I said the route isn’t 100% set in stone but I’d love to meet up with any bloggers who are nearby. I know a few of you live that way so I’ll be contacting you in the near future to see if you may want to meet up (or if anyone wants to organise an informal blogger meet up please let me know and count me in)!

So all that’s left to say is… LET’S GET THIS [LINK UP] PARTY STARTED!!

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  1. 23 February 2017 / 8:45 pm

    Oh, you'll be going right past me! I live on the coast between Savannah and Jacksonville. I did not know we were in position for a good view of the eclipse, actually, so thanks for alerting me with this post!

  2. 9 February 2017 / 10:28 pm

    How exciting Catherine, Peter loved Niagara Falls when he was there with work and loved it. He said take a rain coat when I told him you're visiting. Cannot wait to read all about your adventure x

  3. 7 February 2017 / 11:21 am

    Is there anything better than making dreams come true? I turned 50 last year and having lived in SoCal I just had to wake up over there on my birthday. It was just the best time and I am sure you are going to have one as well Catherine. Enjoy and thanks for the link up. Sabina

  4. 7 February 2017 / 9:09 am

    I remember taking my son down to Cornwall to see the eclipse when he was a wee tot.
    We climbed a (small) hill and sat at the top away from the crowds… it was probably the most awe inspiring moment of my life.
    I can't even explain why…. the stillness, the sudden cold, the fact the horses (in the next field) went crazy, the birds going nuts…. then the silence.
    It took my breath away.
    I understand why some people feel the urge to travel around the globe "chasing" the eclipse.
    The road trip part is cool enough BUT the eclipse part of your trip makes me hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
    {If you can, try to get away from others and see it with someone you love, it is a special moment}
    Have a great time Catherine!
    Fake Fabulous | Style and fashion, over 40

  5. 5 February 2017 / 3:14 pm

    Sounds amazing, I am sure you will have a wonderful time! As a New Englander I am sorry you will be missing that part of the country but as a Virginian (I grew up in Va. and them moved to Mass. when I was 13) I am thrilled you will see the Blue Ridge Mountains, they are so beautiful. In Florida I prefer the Gulf Coast for beachs but the Keys and Miami are fabulous, I would say if there is any way you can squeeze in Key West to go for it, it is well worth the extra miles. I lived on the Atlantic coast in Vero Beach one summer, and while the area is perfectly nice, if you could power through the mid section to spend more time in the Keys that would be my (unasked for!) top Florida tip! 😉 Also if you have the option to see St. Augustine in Florida it is a must! So jealous, I have done this drive from Mass. but not nearly so leisurely, am sure it will be fabulous! xo

    • 10 February 2017 / 12:33 pm

      Oh gosh I would LOVE to go there, Steff – "New England in the fall" is one of those bucket list destinations…!! I'd meant to write Key West instead of Key Largo, so yes we are going all the way down (fingers crossed). I don't know anything about St. Augustine so I'll be looking it up, thank you so much for the tips! x

  6. 5 February 2017 / 2:20 pm

    A.MAZE.BALLS! I will be with you every step of the way, well on social media at least 😉
    Really amazing trip Catherine, I'm well jelly xx

  7. 4 February 2017 / 11:11 pm

    How exciting Catherine! Sounds like a brilliant adventure. We are going to Toronto at the end of July, we lived there about 20 years ago just for 9 months with the Husbands job. I loved it there so am rather giddy we are heading back for a holiday xx

    • 10 February 2017 / 12:30 pm

      Kareema that sounds wonderful! I lived in Canada when I was 3-5 (the whole family went for my dad's work) so I have been there – and done an east coast road trip – before, but I remember very little. Enjoy your holiday, we can compare notes afterwards!! x

  8. 4 February 2017 / 9:43 pm

    Wow, that is an ambitious trip. How many weeks are you taking off? I live in CA and driving the the western coastline is a piece of cake. Can easily be done barring any commuter traffic from San Diego to Seattle in less than 20 hours. I being use to driving out west, thought it would be similar on the east coast — Boy was I wrong. I thought the same amount of space on a map would equal about the same distance map to map – Nope…. in my ten days of the trip we only made 1/4 of what we thought we would accomplish. But road trips are about the experience and what happens along the way… it was a blast.

    • 10 February 2017 / 10:45 am

      We're taking about 2.5 weeks, Dawn – it's *just* enough time to get in everything we want to see! We did the west coast a few years ago and were amazed at how easy driving for 4-5 hours between places was… SO much easier and less stressy than driving in the UK!! Your highways are a joy to drive on – drivers are so much more chilled than here.

      I absolutely agree about them being an amazing experience, Dawn!!

  9. 4 February 2017 / 7:28 pm

    Be sure and book ahead for the In-Depth Tour at Fallingwater. It is absolutely worth it. (And to see the house during peak season you'll need to book a tour in advance anyway). It's in the middle of nowhere, too, but again so worth visiting.

    • 9 February 2017 / 11:28 pm

      Oh gosh we will, Kelly – I have dreamed (as has the husband!) of visiting Fallingwater since I was a kid… I've always been into architecture and that house has always held a fascination for me. I think we might actually burst with excitement when we're there…!!!!!

  10. 4 February 2017 / 6:17 pm

    Ditto with Linda about Ottawa. But never mind there's always next time:) Be sure to have some great Niagara wines when you're in the Niagara region. The Niagara Pinot Noir is my favourite. Hubby and I have been to Charleston and Savannah both, although on separate trips. We loved Savannah for its small size and easily accessible historic downtown. And Charleston has fabulous food! I was even converted to "shrimp and grits" while there. Blue Ridge Mountains are also lovely. And if you're going to the Keys you don't want to miss Key West. It's amazing. Historic and funky. Okay… that's enough from me. I've had a lot of suggestions for our trip to South America this month…people saying, "You can't miss this or that." I should know better than to go on…and on…and on:) I'm sure wherever you decide to stop you'll have a fabulous time. Road trips are the best.

    • 9 February 2017 / 11:27 pm

      I actually meant to out Key West, Susan – we're planning to drive right down all the way (if we can fit in in)!! But thank you for all the tips, I appreciate them!! Knowing that we "mustn't miss" this or that means they're definitely worth fitting into the plan…! x

  11. 4 February 2017 / 3:19 pm

    Wow, what an exciting trip! Wish I was on your route, but maybe next time you'll come to California!

    Thanks so much for hosting!
    Dawn Lucy

    • 9 February 2017 / 11:26 pm

      A|ww we did Cali a few years ago, Dawn Lucy! If only we could come again…! xx

    • 9 February 2017 / 11:25 pm

      Will do, Deborah – I think what I'll do is publish a full itinerary when we have the route fully planned out, so keep an eye out on the blog…!

  12. 4 February 2017 / 1:46 pm

    What an exciting trip. I love road trips!

  13. 4 February 2017 / 10:12 am

    Wonderful trip plan. I want to travel the world visiting blogger friends and their places. I have been to Carleston and Savannah a few times (we have friends there)
    You are going to love it all.

    • 9 February 2017 / 11:23 pm

      Oh gosh wow Sacaramento – I can't wait to visit those two places!!

  14. 4 February 2017 / 7:28 am

    ohhhh, you should have added Ottawa ( Capital of Canada) then we could have shown you the sights. But depending on the timing I am not adverse to a road trip

  15. 3 February 2017 / 11:42 pm

    What a fabulous trip! I've lived in the US for over 25 years but have never really visited the East Coast; I should really change that… Can't wait to see photos of your trip and read all about it. Maybe I'll then get my act together and plan a trip myself… But of course there won't be a total eclipse then…

    Thanks for the link up & have a wonderful weekend!

    • 4 February 2017 / 10:05 am

      As the eclipse is going right across the US from the NW to the SE you may be able to catch it elsewhere, Andrea!!

  16. 3 February 2017 / 9:13 pm

    I live right where your little airplane is spitting bubbles (on the northwest corner of Lake Ontario). I am about 3 1/2 hours from Niagara Falls, but would totally meet you there if you'd like! (I am driving 5 hours to NYC next weekend to meet Sheela Goh)! Keep me posted! How exciting!


  17. 3 February 2017 / 8:40 pm

    I'm remembering that great blogger event you hosted last year.I can picture You will get to America and everyone will be waiting lol. Have a great weekend xx

  18. 3 February 2017 / 8:06 pm

    Hey Catherine,

    I am in the Tampa Bay area (only about an hour from Orlando) and I would love to meet up if we can work it out.


    • 3 February 2017 / 8:20 pm

      Shellie it's a date!! I'll get in touch with you again once we have firmer plans and know what date we'll be in the area… Maybe we can meet with Patti at the same time?! x

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