This extract first appeared in issue 310 of BBC Science Focus magazine – for the latest science news, innovations and discoveries delivered straight to your door subscribe here.
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
The park features some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the US, and equally majestic Yellowstone, known for its wildlife as well as the Old Faithful geyser, is right next door.
Charleston, South Carolina
Tourists and history buffs flock to this picturesque city on the Atlantic coast, even when there’s no eclipse. The first shots of the American Civil War rang out over Charleston’s harbour on 12 April 1861.
What’s in central Nebraska? A useful 400km (250-mile) stretch of Interstate 80, which runs along the path of totality. If may also make an emergency relocation possible if bad weather is forecast on 21 August.
If you want the longest possible eclipse, a spot just south of this small university city boasts the maximum duration of totality. Totality is expected to be just over two minutes and 40 seconds here.
This part of Oregon boasts some of the driest conditions anywhere along the path of totality. Statistically, there’s about a 65 per cent chance of having a clear sky on Monday 21 August.