CHICAGO - A trip to Carbondale, Ill., for next week's solar eclipse is hardly a one-day affair.
Driving, the city is over five hours south of Chicago--on a day without heavy traffic. But the Illinois Emergency Management Agency expects 100,000 people to flock to Carbondale for this special event.
So it's worth planning to stay overnight in the day or two leading up to the celestial phenomenon to make sure you're in the path of totality on Monday, August 21.
"I think the deal to have right now is camping," says Illinois Tourism Director Cory Jobe.
Jobe highlights Duquoin State Fairground, which offers camping for $25 a night and is roughly 18 miles from Carbondale. Jobe also recommends Walker's Bluff, which hosts the Moonstock Festival that weekend and offers camping and about 8 miles from Carbondale. Finally, the World Shooting and Recreational Complex has camping approximately 54 miles from Carbondale.
Many hotel rooms have been reserved for years as guests from across the globe prepared to travel great distances for this historical event. Some hotels may have vacancy--but those rooms have a premium price on them.
You can get more information on travel and events in Carbondale at www.CarbondaleEclipse.com.