The first total solar eclipse to cross the entire contiguous United States in nearly a century is happening on Aug. 21. People are very excited about all the science that's going to go down.
So excited, in fact, that hotels and Airbnbs in many cities in the eclipse's path have been booked up for months.
The eclipse's path starts in Oregon, goes through Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Missouri, briefly touches Kentucky and Illinois, then hits Tennessee before finishing up in South Carolina. (If you're not directly in the eclipse's path on Aug. 21, you'll still see a partial solar eclipse.)
So many people are planning to flock to areas where you can view the total eclipse that the population of Wyoming is predicted to double due to the number of visitors.
In early August, Airbnb's website said that only 2% of the normal amount of rentals were available in Charleston, South Carolina; that 1% were vacant in Nashville; and that 4% were open in Eugene, Oregon. These cities are all in the path of the total eclipse.
Vacation rental site HomeAway compiled the average prices of vacation rentals in the eclipse's path. They're high.
They're particularly high in Nebraska and Illinois, where HomeAway found that the average cost of a rental for the night of Aug. 21 was over $2,000.
In response to the demand, people have put some ~unique~ places up for rent during eclipse weekend. Here are 14 of the weirdest and most luxurious ones:
1. "TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE GROUND ZERO CAMPSITE": Tent (bring your own); $112 per night; Turner, Oregon.
"Unimproved campsites only. This is a working farm, private, stunningly beautiful, quiet, gated, and brimming with Oregon historic pioneer history, Native history, and award winning upland Savannah Oak ecosystem." According to a Craigslist post about the same place, you'll have to carry out your own garbage. Glamorous, I know.
It's a working farm complete with paintings, chickens, and "award-winning ecosystems." No word on whether you get to eat any of the chickens' eggs.
According to the Craigslist post, "Tristan's Retreat," as the host calls it, is a 6,500-square-foot house on seven acres of land. It's got a bunch of shit going on: "Large kitchen, luxury bunk room sleeps 11, swimming pool, sauna, hot tub, tennis court, basketball court, trampoline, tree fort, fire pit, dining table sits 14, lots of outside living space, much much more."
It also has wild deer??
(To be clear, I drew on these pictures from the Craigslist ad. The deer and the tree fort are real, though.)
3. Western Mennonite School: Tent (bring your own), RV, or room; $100 to $200 per night; Salem, Oregon.
From the school's website: "Western Mennonite School’s 45 acre campus offers a pristine viewing experience. Rooms in the school dorm, RV sites, and Tent sites are available for reservation! While the totality of the eclipse may only last 2 minutes as it crosses the sky, we offer a great facilities to create a lasting memory with your family and friends!"
Among the amenities that come with your dorm room or RV site are "basketball courts, volleyball courts, soccer fields, and baseball fields."
4. Backyard w/Bathroom Privileges for ECLIPSE: Tent (bring your own); $150 per night; Salem, Oregon.
Wow! Bathroom privileges!
5. Dharma's den hop, skip, and jump to Eugene: Room (in a house, I'm guessing); $150 per night; Eugene, Oregon.
"A mystical dream of wonder, we are a family with two small dogs." This is the only picture the family included in the listing.
6. Overnight campsite rental: Tent (bring your own); $100 per night; Columbia, South Carolina.
It's a horse pasture. You'll need to bring your own water and toilet.
You're looking at a $5,000-per-night patch of grass. These luxe accommodations have a five-night minimum stay, according to the Craigslist post, which is no longer available. 🤑
From the Airbnb listing: "This is not your daddy’s Coleman tent. Inside is outfitted with every amenity you could want."
"Heat, air conditioning, mini fridge with potable water, coffee maker, wi-fi, complimentary media tablet during stay, and a memory foam mattress bed all set atop a huge deck. Complete with additional sitting area with full size futon and two chairs. Outfitted with authentic antique wool Turkish and North African rugs.
"Each piece has been painstakingly sourced...We can sleep up to four (two on the bed, outfitted with authentic vintage Kantha quilts from India)...We have made sure to include a vintage record and book collection that will help transport you to another time. Complimentary satin sleep masks will be laid out on your pillows, just in case you want to sleep in past the morning light."
Here are the "authentic antique wool Turkish and North African rugs":
And complimentary typewriter, of course:
Will you get kicked out of this listing? You decide: 🤔
The description on Airbnb: "This is a unofficial space to park your camper or RV or trailer for a few nights. Water available from nearby hose and electricity provided from my garage. There is space for turnarounds and horse trailers, but it is not level. Convenient to downtown and foothill trails! This is not my room nor my house, but it does include access to water and electricity. *Construction next door is sporadic, I will do my best to advise, but I usually only know because it starts in the morning.*"
From the Airbnb listing: "Who needs a tent when you can have the experience of a lifetime on a classic, iconic & unrestored VW Westfalia Camper van?!"
You can also book a Mississippi River cruise aboard the host's boat.
"Guests are only allowed to stay overnight on the vanny van, not drive it."
And there's a brother van! So you might have neighbors.
11. Big Backyard and rooms available for eclipse!!: House; $750 per night; Albany, Oregon.
This house is completely empty. No beds, no utensils, no furniture, nothing. The hosts say in the Airbnb listing to bring your own air mattress. They don't specify if there's running water or electricity.
But I guess the backyard is big and you can pitch a tent?
From the Airbnb listing: "2016 28 foot travel trailer on property. power and water. Eclipse in the path of totality." For contrast, a "Deluxe Executive Suite" at the Four Seasons in Whistler, Canada, costs $526 per night during the same weekend. You can also buy a used RV for $4,500.
13. Historic mansion Charleston/SOB: Spooky mansion; $6,000 for four nights; Charleston, South Carolina.
There's a four-night minimum...maybe because that's how long it takes for the house to ensnare your soul? Or because, according to the Airbnb listing, it's a designated historical landmark, so it can only host one group per month.
It's unclear if this is a Halloween decoration.
Here's where you sleep/die:
And here's a picture of the house in a bygone era looking not creepy:
From the Airbnb listing: "Wonderful room, large walk-in closet, built-in AC, and free dog!"
I guess the walk-in closet is where the bed is?
And this picture makes me think the dog is free because of a terrible fire?
If you haven't booked a place to stay during the eclipse, you still have plenty of options (maybe)!
Pro tip: Wherever you are watching the eclipse, do not look directly at the sun, except for the brief period of time when the moon fully occludes it. You'll hurt yourself.
The total eclipse's path begins in Oregon and ends in South Carolina. An earlier version of this story misstated that fact.
Wherever you are watching the eclipse, it's important not to look directly at the sun. It is OK to do so, however, during the brief period when the moon fully occludes it.