You Can Still Get a Hotel for the Eclipse
You've probably heard the news stories, about hotels being booked up in Casper, WY, reservations being cancelled in Oregon, and price gouging of 5-10x normal rates. Despite all this, amazingly, you can in fact still find reasonable hotel rates near if not directly under the path of totality.
The path of totality is only 70 miles wide, and you want to get as close to the center of that as possible for the longest eclipse duration. The eclipse cuts across 12 states from coast to coast, but it actually passes directly over relatively few major cities. As a result, many smaller cities and towns that are directly under the path are completely booked up for hotels and campgrounds. But, there are a number of major cities that are within a short drive of totality, and hotel rooms are still available for reasonable rates in many of them.
Best bets with rooms under $100
North of the eclipse path, but well within an hour's drive (on a normal day). Portland is a great city with a lot to see and do, but be mindful of coastal weather and clouds.
Lots of rooms available at last check. Lincoln is just on the northern edge of totality, so you will want to get closer to the centerline for the eclipse itself.
Kansas City, KS
On the southern edge of totality, so you will need to drive a bit to find a good viewing spot. Nearly 200 hotels with rooms at last check.
Saint Louis, MO
The eclipse skits the south edge of the city, making it relatively easy to stay in Saint Louis, and get under totality the morning of the eclipse.
Many hotels still list availability, and Nashville is inside the path of totality!
Columbia is under totality, and will have a number of events happening. Amazingly, rooms are still available for reasonable rates, but be mindful of coastal weather that could bring clouds to dampen the party.
Options under $200 a night
A few rooms left, Boise is south of totality.
Cities that are booked solid
Salem is under totality, and my search turned up no rooms available.
Also a major city near totality, many tour groups and other events are happening near Bend, making hotels expensive or non-existent.
This is where the Astronomical League convention will be directly under the path of totality.
The best option is always family or friends under or near the path of totality. An eclipse is a great excuse for a reunion. You can also look for possible national forest camping or Air B&B rentals.
However you go, and wherever you stay, get to totality!