There are many events throughout the year when Charleston SC REALLY comes alive – Wine + Food Festival, Fashion Week, Spoleto Festival – but this August there is one extra special day marked on everyone’s calendar. On Monday, August 21, 2017 Charleston SC will experience a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon where the city will go completely dark at 2:48PM EST due to a total solar eclipse. And if you’re visiting the Holy City for this incredible event, you chose wisely because Charleston has been named among the “Ten Best Places to View The Eclipse” by both USAToday and ABC.


As the 60-mile wide path of the total solar eclipse moves across the entire state of South Carolina, from the Upstate, across the Midlands and over the coastal lowcountry, it is estimated that more than 1 million visitors are expected to descend upon the state to witness this unique event. With plenty of visitors and a major event to celebrate, Charleston will be home to hundreds of public and private parties and events to mark the occasion. Rumor has it around here that the city is going to simply feel like “one big celestial celebration!” Whether you’re traveling to Charleston SC for this special occasion, or are a local who wants to have an unforgettable eclipse experience, you will find plenty of local events to attend.


Many of the public parks in downtown Charleston, including Battery Park, Waterfront Park, and Marion Square are free viewing spots to enjoy the eclipse out in the open. For those looking for a more exclusive viewing experience, many of the area bars and restaurants including Stars and The Vendue are hosting ticketed events which include drinks, music, and mingling.


Perhaps you are looking to enjoy this cosmic coincidence from the sandy shores of Folly Beach? Affectionately known as the “Edge of America,” Folly Beach marks the final spot where the eclipse will traverse as it exits from its journey across then North American continent. While you can certainly walk out onto the beach and set up your own observation spot, there many events and parties happening along the beachfront, including “Eclipse on the Atlantic” at Pier 101 and “Solar Eclipse Party” at Blu. Without buildings to obstruct your view, the beach is notable as one of the best viewing spots.


Whether you’re attending a viewing party, or witnessing the eclipse from the comfort of one of our vacation rentals, be prepared with some essentials that will help make this once-in-a-lifetime event memorable:

  • Safety First: Eclipse glasses are special glasses designed for protecting your eyes as you look up into the sky. For a list of reputable vendors and additional safety information see NASA’s Eclipse 101 page.
  • Camera Ready: Bring a tripod or plan on setting your camera up to take photos without looking directly through the lens (unless you’re wearing your eclipse glasses!). After all, when is the next time Charleston SC will be COMPLETELY dark at 2:30pm in the afternoon?
  • Moon Munchies: While the total solar eclipse is brief, the entire transition will take a few hours, so you may want to keep some snacks on hand. Think about making moon pies, or themed snacks. Many of the planned events will have appetizers and drink specials as well.


Note: If you’re coming to Charleston for this once-in-a-lifetime event, there will be much more to explore after the eclipse is over. Have a look at our FREE Discover Charleston Guide and see how you can explore so much of the city and sea islands…