Want to roadtrip to view the eclipse? Try these destinations that aren't too far from Cincinnati

Posted at 8:12 AM, Aug 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-14 08:23:50-04

CINCINNATI -- If you've done some research on the path of totality -- or "belt" -- where this month's solar eclipse will be most visible, you might already know that the Tri-State only touches a few spots along the path.

However, two of those spots are great bets for viewing the eclipse: One has dubbed itself "Eclipseville" and is selling merchandise, the other is expected to have the longest period of visibility in the U.S.

Tourism websites for these towns recommend getting there early and booking hotel rooms as soon as possible. If you plan on driving home after the eclipse is finished, you may be stuck in some heavy traffic.

Read more about these spots and check out the map below:

Hopkinsville, Kentucky: It will take you almost four hours exactly to make it to Hopkinsville, which is now calling itself "Eclipseville." The small town is doing all it can to capitalize on this huge tourist opportunity, by hosting conventions, selling merchandise, and welcoming national and international media.

CNN and ABC News will livestream eclipse-day events from Hopkinsville on Aug. 21. Read more about events in Hopkinsville here or on the "Solar Eclipse Hopkinsville 2017" Facebook page.

Carbondale, Illinois: This is a five-hour drive from Cincinnati, but you'll be able to see the eclipse for the longest amount of time in Carbondale (2.5 minutes).

Carbondale calls itself "the eclipse crossroads" as it's where two paths of totality intersect. The April 2024 eclipse will also be very visible from Carbondale, according to Southern Illinois University, which is located in Carbondale.

Read more about the town's events and tourism here.

Check out NASA's interactive map of totality here.

The path of totality also goes just north of Nashville, but city lights could harm -- not a problem in small towns like Hopkinsville and Carbondale.

If you want to view the eclipse from a national park, the Shawnee National Forest in Illinois, the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina and the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest in Northern Georgia are your closest options.