Five great US spots to see the 2017 Solar Eclipse

Next August in the US you'll be able to see a wonderful natural phenomenon, as a solar eclipse casts its shadow across the country - from Oregon to South Carolina - all in the space of just 90 minutes.

Our boffins have calculated precisely the eclipse's predicted path - which means we get to recommend to you some of the best places in which to see this stunning sun show, in full totality. Although the eclipse does pass through a number of major cities, we've also selected some of the quieter spots for you. And once you've taken in the amazing spectacle, we've also recommended another activity to spend your afternoon in the local area.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

It just misses out on Yellowstone, but there's still an amazing place nearby that the first shadows are cast during the eclipse. South of Yellowstone's border, the Grand Teton National Park is an excellent spot from which to observe the solar phenomenon. Head onto the 191 to the fringes of the park to ensure you're in the centre of its path.

There's much more exploration and adventure to be had in this neck of the woods. Why not head up to Yellowstone after the eclipse and check out its natural wonders including the Caldera; the epicentre of the country's volcanic underbelly.

Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Idaho

The small town of Stanley - population 60 - is directly under the centre of the path of the eclipse. Stanley is surrounded by beautiful woodlands, lakes and mountains - the perfect chance to spend some leisure time getting back to nature, before taking in the amazing eclipse just after breakfast.

Idaho State Highway 21 will take you into Boise, the state capital and home of the Peregrine Fund, a reserve for the preservation of birds of prey. Watch exhibitions and attend presentations on how their work benefits the natural world.

Grand Island, Nebraska

Just off Interstate 80 in the Cornhusker State, you'll find the home of the annual State Fair. Having recently been given a complete makeover and expansion, the campgrounds where the event is held should be a great place from which to enjoy the show.

A couple of hours along the highway, Omaha offers some great day trip activities, including museums, galleries and the world-famous Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, which boasts an indoor swamp and the 'desert dome' among other ecological experiments and attractions.

Carbondale, Illinois

Experts predict that the course of the eclipse means that one spot in this town - just over Cedar Lake - will get the most time in the shade of all during the eclipse - about two minutes, 45 seconds. Not only that, but here among the wonderful woodland, another eclipse due in April 2024 will criss-cross this exact spot.

St Louis is a two-hour drive away in neighbouring Missouri; this city has long standing ties to blues music. That historic connection is celebrated in the National Blues Museum where you'll find exhibits and stories of the world's best-known blues musicians and their place in today's modern culture.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina

One of the States' most popular National Parks, and one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, an entire section west of U.S. Highway 441 will receive a couple of minutes of totality. You should get as close as possible to the 115 if you want to spend even longer under the spell of darkness.

You can take your pick from a few destinations which surround the park if you're looking for some fun in the city. Charlotte and Chattanooga lie east and west respectively, while the city of Atlanta, Georgia is a couple of hours south.