Are you guys ready for the solar eclipse hitting the area on Monday, August 21, 2017? I’m totally geeking out. Read my post on Chicago Parent to educate yourself on the facts, how to safely view the eclipse, and local Chicagoland spots to view the partial eclipse.
But if you are headed to view the eclipse in its totality, here are a few suggestions from fellow Midwest travel bloggers on things to do and see while you’re in the area. Here is a great link to find a city in the path of totality. Here’s another fascinating look at the path.
Southern Illinois is definitely a hot spot for viewing since they plan on having the longest eclipse duration clocking in at two minutes and 42 seconds.The Illinois Office of Tourism is going all out to celebrate this momentous occasion. We’re talking wineries, craft breweries, farm-to-table restaurants, and more! They’ve even put together this handy Solar Eclipse Trip ideas.
Here are a few fun events happening including a performance from Ozzy Ozzbourne!
- Moonstock Music Festival Watch Ozzy Osbourne perform “Bark at the Moon” when he headlines this four-day music festival at Walker’s Bluff Vineyard in Carterville, Ill.
- Solar Eclipse Paddle 2017 Paddle a canoe in total darkness through the ancient cypress swamp on the Cache River
- Bald Knob Cross Eclipse Day View the total solar eclipse from Bald Knob Cross, the only 360-degree, unobstructed viewing location for this rare event.
- Eclipse Day at Saluki Stadium Grab your eclipse glasses and join NASA Eclipse 2017, the Adler Planetarium of Chicago and the Louisiana Space Consortium for a major eclipse viewing event at Southern Illinois University.
Places to visit:
- If you’re a superhero fan, you must make your way to Metropolis, Superman’s official hometown. If you’re short on time, don’t worry, visiting the Man of Steel, will only take a couple hours at most. Read all about it here.
- Effingham , a small town with tons to offer including a free Corvette museum. If you’re a foodie you’ll love stopping by and getting a John Boos cutting board – the same board used by the pros. Read all about it here. You can’t miss dining at Firefly Grill – delicious farm-to-table food with a fun koi pond in the back. Trust me on this.
- Travel With Sara brings you a photo tour of the Illinois Ozarks. How gorgeous is this!
- Now’s the perfect time to explore the Shawnee National Forest. Campfires & Concierges tells us all about her adventure.
- These treehouse cabins have been on my bucket list for ages. Read all about them from Traveling Adventures from a Farm Girl. Learn more about Southern Illinois’ agricultural history also on her site.
- Another great post exploring the Shawnee National Forest from Dang Travelers. I totally need to come back here when the kids are older for a hiking trip!
- Did you know you can see Popeye the Sailor Man in the area? Find out where from Mojo Traveler. If you love wine like I do, then you’ll want to hit the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, too. Yes, please!
- Paducah, Kentucky – Located just over the Illinois border, this town had such a charming downtown with its riverfront murals. Well worth a side trip if you ask me. Read all about it here.
- Here is a great list of viewing events in Nebraska from Family Fun in Omaha.
- More fun events in Nebraska from Oh My Omaha.
- Just across the river in Southern Illinois, Cape Girardeau is getting ready for this epic event. Find out what’s happening here.
Where to Stay:
While most lodging has been booked months in advance, you may still find campsites available. This super cool site, HipCamp shows you a map of campsites in the path of totality. These are mostly private and may be still available. Best of all — they are super affordable!