Save the date for Monday, April 8, 2024. That is the day when Southern Indiana will experience a solar eclipse. Most areas will encounter a total eclipse, while a partial eclipse will appear in other locations.
What is the difference? A total eclipse is the exact moment the Moon aligns perfectly between the Sun and the Earth, resulting in complete darkness. The length of total darkness varies, depending on location. Meanwhile, a partial eclipse is when the Moon aligns nearly perfectly with the Sun and the Earth, creating dramatic darkness, although not total darkness. The next total eclipse will be twenty years from now in 2044. So be sure to fully experience this one!
Southern Indiana is preparing to welcome you for eclipse viewing! However, no matter where you plan to view the eclipse, you should book your accommodations now. Rooms, campsites, cabins, and vacation rentals are filling up quickly.
As you make your plans, be aware that there are two time zones in Southern Indiana. In the western portion along the Ohio River, there are a few counties in the Central Time Zone (Chicago time). Otherwise, Indiana is mostly in the Eastern Time Zone (New York time). As we highlight each county below, time zones will be noted.
Events are being planned throughout Southern Indiana during the weekend leading up to the eclipse. In order of longest duration of totality to shortest, here are places to celebrate and view this rare event in Down Home Southern Indiana. Counties experiencing a partial eclipse are listed last but are short distances to areas experiencing totality. They offer appealing amenities and a variety of overnight options.
Knox County, 4:05 minutes of totality (EST)
Located on the Illinois border in southwestern Indiana, Knox County is home to Vincennes. This area will experience the longest totality in Indiana. Along with a 5K, live music, and comedy events the weekend prior, a Diamond Ring Wedding Palooza is planned right before the eclipse on Monday. This will be a group wedding at the Clark Crossing Green Space with a group reception following at the Fortnightly building. An officiant will be provided. Why is this called a Diamond Ring Palooza? During a total eclipse, a diamond ring shape appears at the beginning and end of the total darkness period. What a dramatic photo opp!
Daviess County, 3:58 minutes of totality (EST)
This county is located just east of Knox County in southwestern Indiana. Book your accommodations now. Viewing events are planned for downtown Washington, near The Commons. Also, local parks will host special viewing events.
Gibson County, 3:55 minutes of totality (CST)
Hotels and campsites are booking now. Gibson County is located on the Illinois border, south of Knox County and just north of Evansville in the southwestern corner of the state. Toyota Motor Company has a large truck and SUV plant in Princeton, which is also the county seat. There are several wide-open areas for viewing, and festivities will be announced soon.
Lawrence County, 3:42 minutes of totality (EST)
Home to the towns of Bedford and Mitchell, this county is located in south central Indiana, just south of Bloomington and Indiana University. In Bedford, the Lawrence County Fairgrounds will host a weekend of festivities including live music nightly, with a cash bar, carnival rides, craft show, and food vendors. Designated viewing spots will be available for the total eclipse. Primitive camping is available at the fairgrounds; otherwise, here are hotels, vacation rentals, and other camping options.
Dubois County, 3:11 of totality (EST)
Located a little over an hour northeast from Evansville, Jasper is the county seat. While viewing and event plans are still under development book your hotel and campsites now.
Orange County, 3:07 of totality (EST)
French Lick and West Baden are resort towns, established at the turn of the 20th century. Their historic resorts offer luxury and impressive amenities surrounded by gardens, wooded areas, and dramatic hillsides. Several communities in this county have planned a weekend full of exciting events. Expect parties, live music, food, beer and libations, themed dinners, and more. FREE viewing glasses and bottled water will be available at the West Baden Visitor Center.
Vanderburgh County (Evansville), 3:03 minutes of totality (CST)
Hotels and campgrounds are booking now. The University of Southern Indiana has planned an educational extravaganza entitled, USI Solar Palooza. In addition, downtown Evansville will host a lively viewing party. Local parks and other attractions will offer eclipse viewing and associated events. Check the website for updates.
Warrick County, 2:29 of totality (CST)
Viewing locations and events have not been announced yet, but book your hotel or campsite now. Warrick County is located just east of Evansville, along the Ohio River, and is considered part of the Evansville metro area. The historic town of Newburgh is a charming and quiet place to experience the total eclipse.
Spencer County, 1:47 of totality (CST)
Home to Santa Claus, Indiana, you can be sure to have a festive experience viewing the eclipse here! Expect concerts, 5Ks, educational events and parties! Several large areas will be designated viewing areas including the Holiday World parking lot, Jim Yellig Park and the Saint Meinrad Archabbey, just to name a few. A perfect spot for families, there are several fun places to stay, many of them whimsical and holiday themed. Book your accommodations now.
Perry County, northern portion will experience totality/southern section partial eclipse (CST)
Winzerwald Winery will host an eclipse viewing party viewing the partial eclipse. Otherwise, this county is rich in forest land, rolling hills, and scenic riverbanks along the Ohio River. Tell City is the County seat and has an interesting Swiss-German history. If you are seeking a quiet hub for total eclipse viewing nearby, peaceful natural scenery, and outdoor adventures, book your stay here.
Harrison County, partial eclipse (EST)
While this county will experience a partial eclipse, total eclipse viewing is a short drive away. Located in Harrison County is Indiana’s first state capitol, Corydon. In addition to fascinating history, this area offers caves and caverns, spectacular Ohio River views, and outdoor experiences. Book your overnight visit here and take advantage of all the things to do.
Clark and Floyd Counties, partial (EST)
Home to river cities New Albany and Clarksville, these counties offer history, exciting restaurants, and nightlife along the river. Spectacular bridges link this area to Louisville, Kentucky, just one mile across the Ohio River. This location offers easy access to totality viewing areas, while being a vibrant destination so close to Louisville. There are several hotels, B&Bs, camping, and vacation rental options, which makes this an ideal eclipse viewing vacation hub.
It is critically important to protect your eyes from the sun when viewing the eclipse. During the event, the sun’s rays are so concentrated, they can reach the back of your eyes, causing damage to the retina.
- Use special eclipse viewing glasses that are in good condition. Many viewing locations are providing these at low or no cost. They can also serve as a souvenir.
- Use a certified viewing card.
- Use other viewing alternatives, recommended by scientists.
- Avoid using binoculars.
- Avoid using telescopes.
- Avoid using any type of regular glasses or sunglasses.
Plan to arrive on Friday or Saturday, April 5 or 6. Expect most hotels and campgrounds to require two- or three-night minimums. This will allow you to get acclimated to any time zone differences, determine your viewing site, obtain viewing glasses, and to attend local celebrations and events. Anticipate friendly Hoosier hospitality – it is real! Visit local tourism websites to get the most from your visit. Most of all – have a great time and take wonderful memories with you when you go.
Down Home Southern Indiana welcomes you to view this rare and historic astrological event! Our rolling hills, scenic landscapes, and charming towns offer ideal solar eclipse viewing spots along with a delightful getaway. Book your accommodations now, and we will see you soon!