The combination of the eclipse and the start of the new school year for SIU likely will mean traditional hotels/motels will be booked, so early reservations may be a good idea. There is a very large amount of camping available in the area in the hundreds of thousands of acres that make up the Shawnee National Forest and surrounding public grounds.
Carbondale, Ill., is actually the closest city to the point of greatest duration for the 2017 total solar eclipse, the one spot in the world you can see this eclipse for the maximum amount of time. It’s a highly desired location to be at on Aug. 21, 2017, which also happens to be the first day of classes at SIU Carbondale.
Carbondale area accommodations
SIU’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center, located eight miles south of Carbondale off Giant City Road, has lodge rooms, cabins and camping available for rental.
Marion, Illinois, located 17 miles east of Carbondale, is a large community with many restaurants and lodging options.
Marion area accommodations
Du Quoin Area
Camping is available at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds, located 20 miles north of Carbondale.
Summer is a perfect time to enjoy the wonders of Southernmost Illinois. Visit Southern Illinois’ many historic sites, state and national parks, or the wine trail.