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Illinois wants visitors to reach for the stars

Signature Article by Steve Hartridge.
Destinations across the U.S. are gearing up to maximise exposure for the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, an event that will not occur again over the contiguous U.S. until August 2044.
For example, excitement is building in southern Illinois where the Illinois Office of Tourism has launched a new 2024 Illinois Solar Eclipse Guide, which includes the best places to view the eclipse, road trip ideas, and an ongoing list of events/festivals to plan a 'total' eclipse viewing experience.
Billing itself as the ‘Crossroads of the Eclipse,’ Carbondale, a small university town nestled in the heart of southern Illinois around a five-hour drive south of Chicago, is set to become the ultimate destination for eclipse chasers on April 8.
At 13.59 Central Standard Time (CST), those in Carbondale will be treated to four minutes and nine seconds of totality, making it one of the longest durations for the eclipse across the USA - and the Southern Illinois University campus is planning a public viewing at the campus football stadium.
Elsewhere in the region, the Makanda Boardwalk in Makanda dates back to the 1890s and offers galleries featuring quality handicrafts created by local artisans and a country store will be a popular place to view the eclipse.
Situated in the Shawnee National Forest, an unspoiled wilderness, Garden of the Gods is a perfect spot for viewing astrological events.
Similarly, the 11 award-winning wineries that comprise the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail are located along a 35-mile scenic drive in the Shawnee National Forest. The route offers many unique viewing opportunities where visitors can experience locally made and sourced wine, locally sourced meals and other fun activities.
The allure of small-town charisma awaits in Olney, with its charming blend of family-friendly attractions, while the cosy town of Golconda lies along the picturesque shores of the Ohio River. Among its attractions are the Golconda Historical Tour and the Main Street shopping district.
And stargazers will be in for a true celestial treat at Middle Fork River Forest Preserve in Champaign County, where they can experience the night sky in Illinois' only dark sky park.
For those stopping in Chicago before heading south in the state, Adler Planetarium, America’s First Planetarium, is much more than a museum: it's a laboratory, a classroom, and a community that explores the universe together. The Adler offers interactive exhibitions, live planetarium shows, and a Chasing Eclipse exhibit.
With a state-of-the-art digital projection system, the first Carl Zeiss M1015 opto-mechanical star projector installed in the western hemisphere, and special programs, visitors to the William M. Staerkel Planetarium in Champaign can learn about the stars, planets and more in the second largest planetarium in Illinois.
And just south of Chicago in Bourbonnais is the Strickler Planetarium, where visitors can witness the history of the universe from its fiery birth to the formation of our own solar system in a full dome show.
EnjoyIllinois.co.uk

 

Posted by: Illinois Office of Tourism
Posted on: 29/01/2024

Illinois wants visitors to reach for the stars - by Illinois Office of Tourism

News from Illinois Office of Tourism ...

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Illinois wants visitors to reach for the stars

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