Visit Carbondale

Welcome to Carbondale, Illinois! This awesome city down in southern Illinois. We’re famous for Southern Illinois University (SIU), our beautiful university that brings a vibrant and diverse community to our doorstep. Carbondale sits pretty in the beautiful Shawnee Hills region, giving us breathtaking landscapes and outdoor adventures. With around 26,000 residents, we’ve got a tight-knit community that’s all about living life to the fullest. Whether you’re into hiking, camping, or just soaking up the fall colors, our location has got you covered.

We’re not just about nature though—our downtown area is packed with historic charm, local shops, and plenty of places to grab a bite or catch some live music. Plus, we’ve got loads of cultural events happening year-round, from parades to concerts. So, come on down and experience the magic of Carbondale for yourself. You won’t be disappointed!

And while you’re here… You should visit our Southern Illinois University campus.

In-person campus visits are now open! On-campus visits are now available Monday through Friday and select Saturdays. Register online through the SIU Undergraduate Admission’s Campus Visit Registration Portal and to see what SIU can do for you!

Carbondale Area Lodging

When it comes to lodging options around Carbondale, Illinois, you’ll find a variety of choices to suit your preferences and budget. Here are some options:


Carbondale has several hotels ranging from budget-friendly options to upscale accommodations. These hotels offer comfortable rooms, amenities like Wi-Fi, fitness centers, and sometimes on-site dining. Some popular hotel chains in the area include Holiday Inn, Comfort Inn, Best Western, and Hampton Inn. Many hotels have special rates the weekend before and day of the Eclipse, please call the hotel if reservations aren’t available online. A lot of special rates aren’t available to be reserved online.

Bed & Breakfasts

If you prefer a cozier and more intimate atmosphere, you can consider staying at a bed and breakfast in or around Carbondale. These charming establishments often offer unique rooms, personalized service, and a home-like ambiance. They are great for travelers seeking a more personalized experience.

Vacation Rentals

Another option to consider is vacation rentals, which can be found in and around Carbondale. Websites like Airbnb and VRBO list a variety of rental properties, including apartments, houses, and cottages. Vacation rentals provide more space and privacy and can be an excellent choice for families or groups.


If you enjoy camping and the great outdoors, there are campgrounds available near Carbondale. Shawnee National Forest and Giant City State Park offer camping facilities with scenic surroundings. These campgrounds typically provide spaces for tents and RVs, along with amenities like picnic areas, showers, and hiking trails. Many campgrounds have specific dates and timeframes for which they open reservations and many do not open reservations for April until January 1, 2024. Giant City State Park opens up their reservations for dates 180 days prior to arrival (early October).

We also have the Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center available for camping as well. Nestled amidst the breathtaking beauty of the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois, our center offers a unique and immersive outdoor educational experience like no other.

Extended Stay Options

For visitors planning a longer stay in Carbondale, extended stay hotels or corporate housing options can be a good choice. These accommodations are designed for more extended periods and offer amenities such as kitchenettes, laundry facilities, and separate living areas.

Whatever your preference, Carbondale offers a range of lodging choices to make your stay comfortable and memorable. Book your stay now and experience the warmth and hospitality of Carbondale!

SIU’s Touch of Nature 2024 Eclipse Packages

One extended weekend price includes lodging, all activities and all meals on Saturday/Sunday/Monday, educational sessions, and prime eclipse viewing space. All activities will take place in our main camp, Camp 2.

Our staff, along with other amateur and professional astronomers, will be on hand to help everyone in attendance enjoy this event. We are happy to open this event up to people of all ages so bring the family, bring your school group, gather up your local astronomy club/group or just come on your own and enjoy the show.