As you may know I’ve spent the last six weeks in South America. That’s about the only excuse I can give for not already having plans for the total solar eclipse coming up on August 21. Fortunately, I’ve found a last minute eclipse solution. I’ve also found some options that you might be able to use if you procrastinated like me!
Last Minute Eclipse Options on Points
Before I list specific hotels I want to share some general tips:
- Use a reference site to see maps of the total eclipse path. A great resource is The American Astronomical Society’s eclipse page.
- Take the eclipse path map and compare it to Award Mapper and Hotel Hustle to get your creative juices flowing.
- Don’t limit yourself to the total eclipse path. Once you’re within an hour or so getting to a good site should be pretty easy.
- Consider overnighting the 21st instead of the 20th. Most folks are doing the 20th and you’ll have more hotel options available.
- While flights may be possible (especially on Southwest), at this late date driving options will be much easier.
- I’m going to list specific properties where I see rooms on points at this moment- of course inventory will change by the minute. Keep checking back for cancellations.
- For cash rates you can afford- and for good availability- check Choice Hotels and Wyndham. Both have good promotions where you can rack up points quickly. You’re not going to get anything but a place to lay your head, but that may be all you need.
- Don’t forget proper eye protection! Here’s an approved list.
The most obvious place to go is Charleston, but for that reason it’s also very difficult to find points rooms in the city. If you want to stay on the coast try Myrtle Beach- it’s within an hour of the total eclipse zone.
I booked the Sheraton Myrtle Beach for only 7,000 points a night. Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort at Grand Dunes is also available at 40,000 points. Considering SPG transfers at 3/1 the Sheraton is 1/2 as much, but this is another option.
In Myrtle I see lots of Choice and Wyndham options- the cash rates look better than the points ones. Club Carlson also has the Country Inn and Suites Myrtle Beach at 28,000 points, but it’s not oceanfront so I would pass unless you need to burn CC points.
Hilton has a number of Myrtle Beach properties available as low as 30K points. I’d take the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort at 50K because of the location and amenities. If the Murrell’s Inlet property comes available, change to that one as it’s almost directly in the eclipse path.
I’m gonna go ahead and call the main eclipse zone sold out: unless you want to pay $1,078 for a night at the Holiday Inn Santee. For an alternative that won’t break the bank, try Florence, SC. I see a few Choice hotels available there.
You could even stay further north. While I won’t recommend South of the Border I CAN heartily recommend the category 2 Country Inn and suites in Lumberton, NC. Remember the eclipse doesn’t get going until after Noon and you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy breakfast, then head to the zone.
What are your eclipse plans? I’d love to hear how what you’re up to in the comments.
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