With temperatures cooling of just a bit in the St. Louis-area, there’s no better time for a day-trip to the scenic countrysides of Missouri or Illinois.

Adventure-seekers are in luck this month, because on Monday, August 21, 2017, MO and IL are listed as prime viewing states for the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse!

Totality is expected to last anywhere from a few seconds to 2:39 minutes depending upon the viewer’s specific location. Those looking for optimal viewing conditions are encourages to make a day out of it, to travel as close as possible to the line of totality.

Here we’re sharing our best tips for the Ultimate Packing List to use as you travel near the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse! 

Viewing Glasses. Probably the most important item to have in your bag – Solar Eclipse Viewing Glasses. Each person in your party should have their own pair, for safe viewing of the solar eclipse. You cannot use regular sunglasses, eclipse glasses contain filters certified to reduce the visible sunlight to levels that won’t damage your eyes.

Water. The Total Solar Eclipse is generally happening through early to late afternoon in the Midwest. Stay hydrated while outdoors and be sure to dress for the weather. Looking to get a little creative with your refreshments? Try this festive cocktail recipe.

Picnic Lunch. Unless you’re attending a Solar Eclipse Viewing event or party, you may want to pack roadtrip snacks and a picnic lunch.

Looking for a unique viewing event? Charleville Winery in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri is hosting a Short Black Sun Boar & Brew Eclipse Party, which includes lunch, viewing glasses, and more! Event details here.

Blanket/Chairs. As you’re watching the eclipse, you’ll be craning your neck to look up. Why not bring along a blanket or chairs for added comfort as your gaze up towards the sky?

Camera. Have some fun capturing the progress of the Total Solar Eclipse with your camera.

Other must-have essentials? Sunscreen, Road Map (you may lose cell phone reception in the remote countryside!),

Can’t skip work to watch this year’s spectacle in person? As an alternative, watch this livestream event instead!