Get Thee to Totality: Chicago - Atlas Obscura Lists

Get Thee to Totality: Chicago

See a spacefaring Muffler Man and an ancient solar calendar en route to Atlas Obscura's Ecliptic Festival in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

On April 8, 2024, the moon’s shadow will completely cover the sun for around three and a half minutes. The last total solar eclipse to travel across the United States was in 2017, and it won’t happen again for another 20 years. To celebrate, Atlas Obscura is throwing an out-of-this-world eclipse festival featuring four days of music, science, art, and wonder. The path of totality is quite narrow, and our festival site near Hot Springs National Park offers a chance to see the eclipse in its full glory.

To join us, you’ll need to do two things: get yourself a ticket, and get yourself to Arkansas. There are few things we love more than a good road trip, so we’ve put together a series of guides for getting to Hot Springs while exploring some fascinating places.

Making your way to Atlas Obscura’s Ecliptic Festival from Chicago? The 700-mile drive will take about 11 hours. Spread out across a couple of days, you’ve got plenty of time to check out interesting stuff along the way. There’s a former church that’s been converted into a shrine to hats, a dragon that breathes fire on command, and a thousand-year-old solar calendar.