Thousands expected to flock to Ohio for April solar eclipse

TourismOhio launches Eclipse planning page
Published: Nov. 9, 2023 at 1:39 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - With the April solar eclipse just six months away, TourismOhio is launching an eclipse planning page to encourage residents and visitors to start planning for the memorable and educational event.

“Next year we anticipate that thousands of visitors will come to Ohio to join our residents in having a front-row seat to the solar eclipse,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “The solar eclipse is sure to be an educational and memorable experience, and Ohio will be ready to host visitors with a wide variety of activities, dining, and entertainment options.”

According to DeWine’s office, several cities will be in the path of totality including Dayton, Lima, Toledo, Findlay, Cleveland and Akron. In some communities, the eclipse will last for nearly four minutes.

“The eclipse won’t last long, but there is plenty more to experience when you extend your stay here in Ohio,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development, which oversees TourismOhio. “From stargazing at one of our many state parks to exploring space at one of our many museums, you’ll discover all kinds of adventure here in the Heart of it All.”

DeWine’s office says TourismOhio is making planning easier with a new all-in-one landing page. The site includes a comprehensive map with the best places to watch the eclipse and an interactive list of viewing parties, festivals and other events happening across the state.

“The eclipse is just the start of many must-do activities this coming April,” said Sarah Wickham, TourismOhio Director. “Ohio promises something for everyone in the family. Our updated website is the essential road map to navigating all there is to do before and after the eclipse—and we know it can’t be done in one trip! We hope the memories made this spring inspire return visits for years to come.”

Total solar eclipses are rare. Only 21 have crossed the lower 48 states in the existence of the United States, according to NASA. The last total solar eclipse in Ohio was in 1806 and the next won’t happen until September 14, 2099.

According to DeWine’s office, Imagination Station in Toledo is one of the many Ohio destinations planning special events in the weeks leading up to the eclipse and after the big moment.

“To witness this awe-inspiring scientific phenomenon, a moment when the world pauses, is a wonder you don’t want to miss,” said Lori Hauser, Chief Executive Officer of Imagination Station. “April 8, 2024, is our Super Bowl. Imagination Station celebrates science every day, and right now we’re educating the Toledo region about the eclipse’s magnitude through a variety of programs including workshops, ambassador training and our mobile STARLAB.”

For an experience closer to nature, many of Ohio’s 75 state parks will be open for visitors during the eclipse. Reservations for April are now open on the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website.

“The solar eclipse is going to be a spectacular sight, and what better place to see it than one of Ohio’s state parks,” said Mary Mertz, director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. “We are excited to welcome visitors to stay at our campgrounds, cabins, or lodges to make this a true outdoor experience that people of all ages can enjoy.”

DeWine’s office says hotel rooms are still available in the areas along the path of totality, but they are quickly being booked. Travelers are encourage to book now while there are still vacancies.

“We have great lodging options in Ohio, possibly better than other states in the line of total impact, with affordable and available rooms,” said Joe Savarise, president and CEO of the Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association. “The key, however, is to book early. We’re encouraging visitors to secure their rooms sooner rather than later to ensure they can have the full experience no matter where they choose to watch the eclipse.”

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