Special to 1812Blockhouse

With just six months until Ohio’s highly-anticipated total solar eclipse, TourismOhio is encouraging residents and visitors to start planning now by offering out-of-this-world inspiration to make memories that will last a lifetime. 

“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.” 

Several cities, including Dayton, Lima, Toledo, Findlay, Cleveland, Akron, and of course, Mansfield, are in the path of totality. In some communities, the eclipse will last for nearly four minutes. 

graphic showing the path of totality for the total solar eclipse in ohio on april 8 2024

“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.” 

TourismOhio is making planning even easier with a new all-in-one landing page featured at Ohio.org/Eclipse. 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 website also includes other family-friendly ideas to make the most of the busy weekend, including the top stargazing spots and science museums.   

“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.”

Visitors should share their Ohio total solar eclipse memories and adventures on social media with #OhioTheHeartofitAll and #Eclipse2024.  

Perfect for the long weekend, travelers can also go ‘to the moon and back’ along the Ohio Lunar Road Trip. Visitors can walk in the footsteps of Ohio’s famous astronauts and space pioneers at many museums across the state, including the Neil Armstrong Space Exploration Gallery in Cincinnati, the National Aviation Heritage Area in Dayton, and the International Women’s Air and Space Museum in Cleveland.  

Fittingly, Neil Armstrong’s hometown of Wapakoneta will experience 3 minutes and 56 seconds of totality, among the longest in the state. The Armstrong Air and Space Museum shares the stories of Ohioans who have attempted to defy gravity and explore space, including the man it’s named for—the first person to set foot on the moon. 

“The Armstrong Museum is a fantastic place to learn more about our state’s impressive contributions to the space program,” says Logan Rex, curator and communications director of the Armstrong Museum and TourismOhio board member. “For the eclipse, the museum has special tours and events planned the whole weekend and for the eclipse Monday. The line of totality will pass almost directly over the museum grounds, providing a nearly perfect view of the eclipse.”

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. The next won’t happen until September 14, 2099 – making this rare event one travelers will not want to pass up. 

Toledo’s Imagination Station 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.” 

Hotel rooms are still available along the path of totality but are quickly being booked. Travelers are encouraged to book now while there are still vacancies. Much of the state is within a short drive of the eclipse path, offering many options for overnight stays. 

“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.” 

Operating within Ohio’s Department of Development, TourismOhio works to showcase all Ohio has to offer as a place of adventure, a place of promise, and the place for you.    

The Ohio Department of Development empowers communities to succeed by investing in Ohio’s people, places, and businesses. Learn more about our work at development.ohio.gov. 

Source: Ohio.org

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