On August 21, a total solar eclipse will black out the sun in the middle of the afternoon as the moon locks into perfect positioning between the Earth and the sun for the first time in 26 years. What makes this eclipse particularly unusual is that it will pass through the heart of America, with the 70-mile-wide “path of totality” (in which the sun is completely obscured by the moon) stretching across the middle of the country from Oregon to South Carolina.
The moon’s shadow will bisect Nebraska diagonally, plunging portions of the state in total darkness for a grand total of 17 minutes, 51 seconds. Not surprisingly, the towns and cities in the middle of the blackout zone are working feverishly to put together viewer- and visitor-friendly festivities. Just remember that it’s getting late in the game, so if you want a hotel room or other accommodations, you need to book them now, and if you want to take a look at the eclipse, you’ll need to wear special glasses (and if you’re not in the path of totality, you can still get a good look nearby). Here are the top spots in Nebraska to watch the first total solar eclipse since 1979. (All times are local, so make sure you know what zone you’re in beforehand.)