6 Amazing Locations To View The Total Solar Eclipse Within 10 Hours Of Columbus

In the last 100 years, the United States has experienced a handful of total solar eclipses. But never anything like what we’re going to experience on August 21.

via NASA.gov

Although Central Ohio will not experience the eclipse at 100%, we will experience it at between 84-89%. The eclipse will begin at 1:04 p.m. and end at 3:52 p.m. It will reach its maximum at 2:30 p.m.

Columbus won’t be pitch black, but if the skies are clear, it will be noticeably darker. The Total Solar Eclipse will be viewable from 12 states including Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Small towns everywhere won’t just be plunged into darkness. There is a wave of chaos coming with this solar event as well. There will be tens of thousands of visitors to cities that don’t quite have the infrastructure to handle it.

In smaller towns like St. Joseph, Missouri, they are attempting to prepare the city as best they can. The Goverment of St. Joseph released this video this week, preparing residents, employees, and business owners for the influx of traffic and potential delays.

In St. Joe, lodging is hard to come by. According to Expedia.com, only three hotels in or near St. Joseph have accommodations remaining. However, the city does encourage potential visitors to check locally with hotels, as some rooms may still be available.

The rush for accommodations has also caused a surge in pricing. Hotel prices in Nashville varied from the low $100 range to well over $500 per night. Dozens of hotels in the Music City are sold out all together, including The Inn At Opryland, The Omni, and the Hilton Downtown Nashville.

Columbus is by no means a bad location to view a partial eclipse, but if you want to experience it in totality, you’ll need to hit the road. Here are the best places in the Midwest to view the Total Solar Eclipse.

St. Joseph, MO

Distance from Columbus: 10 hour drive, 680 miles
Time of Eclipse: 1:06 p.m. CDT
Duration of Eclipse: 2 minutes and 39 seconds
General Information: The city of St. Joseph, MO is ready and excited for visitors to head to their town for the eclipse. The city has 5 primary viewing locations designated on their website, including Rosecrans Memorial Airport, East Hills Shopping Center, Trails West! Festival at Civic Center Park, Remington Nature Center, and the Heritage Park Softball Complex. Accommodations are still available through local hotels and campgrounds, but city officials encourage tourists to book directly through hotels, as some booking websites are incorrectly registering as full. For more information about viewing the eclipse from St. Joseph, please click here.

Carbondale, IL

Distance from Columbus: 6.5 hour drive, 438 miles
Time of Eclipse: 1:20 p.m. CDT
Duration of Eclipse: 2 minutes and 41.6 seconds
General Information: Carbondale, IL is going to have the best view of the Eclipse, for the longest amount of time. Carbondale has set up an amazingly helpful website, completely dedicated to all things eclipse. There will be festivals, marketplaces, family zones, and all sorts of other festivities the weekend leading up to the eclipse. For accommodation, viewing areas, and more information, please click here.

Hopkinsville, KY

Distance from Columbus: 5 hours and 45 minutes drive, 376 miles
Time of Eclipse: 1:24 p.m. CDT
Duration of Eclipse: 2 minutes and 41.2 seconds
General Information: One of the most unique eclipse events taking place will happen in Hopkinsville, KY. The city will host “Eclipse-Con”, a comic convention, from August 19-20. Vendors at the event will come in a variety of genres, including cartoons, comics, anime, cosplay, sci-fi, and superheroes. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Boys And Girls Club of Hopkinsville-Christian County. For more information about Eclipse-Con and all other eclipse events taking place in Hopkinsville, please click here.

Nashville, TN

Distance from Columbus: 6 hour drive, 382 miles
Time of Eclipse: 1:27 p.m. CDT
Duration of Eclipse: 1 minute and 57 seconds
General Information: Nashville is by far the largest city on this list, which means it has the most activities planned. There are literally dozens and dozens of locations that you can view the eclipse from in Music City and even more that are hosting dedicated events. It doesn’t matter if you want to watch the eclipse from an amusement park, a winery, a rooftop patio or a quiet park, you will find what you’re looking for in Nashville. For information about accommodation, viewing locations, and more, please click here.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Distance from Columbus: 6 hour drive, 394 miles
Time of Eclipse: 2:35 p.m. CDT
Duration of Eclipse: 1 minute and 17 seconds
General Information: If the great outdoors is more your speed, look no further than Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The western half of the park will be in the path of totality. The park is organizing three dedicated viewing areas: Clingmans Dome, Cades Cove, and Oconaluftee. Although access to Clingmans Dome is media only, Cades Cove and Oconaluftee will be open to the public. Viewers are also encouraged to view on their own throughout various locations in the park. Due to the high number of visitors expected, the park rangers may close entrances and roads due to congestion. For more information, please click here.

If you’re staying in town to view the eclipse, there are a lot of cool places to view from.

Columbus Metro Parks will all be open to the public for viewing and special events will take place at Columbus Metropolitan Libraries around the city. COSI is also hosting an eclipse event from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. Columbusites of all ages are invited to learn about solar eclipses from COSI staff and view the phenomenon safely!

Do you want to see exactly what the eclipse will look like from your zip code? Check out this interactive tool from Vox to see precise numbers.

So don’t forget to take a break around 2:30 on August 21. You won’t want to miss this!


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