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  • Writer's pictureLindsay Jordan

Arkie Travels Eclipse Guide: Unveiling the Path of Totality

Updated: Mar 25

The eagerly anticipated total solar eclipse of April 8, 2024 is poised to cast its impressive shadow across the skies of Arkansas and beyond. As you prepare for this celestial extravaganza, ensure your experience is unforgettable by checking out some of our favorite local spots to eat, stay and shop!



Why is this Eclipse such a big deal? The state of Arkansas has only experienced two total eclipses in its history. Two years after Arkansas became the 25th U.S. state, one took place in 1834 when Arkansas was still Arkansas Territory. In 1918, there was a second one.



Path of Totality

The path of totality - where the sun will be completely obscured by the moon - will pass through several cities in Arkansas, providing residents and visitors with a front-row seat to this celestial spectacle. Some of the cities in the totality path include:


Little Rock

Totality Start Time: 1:51:38 CDT Approximately 2 minutes and 27 seconds of totality 10 open sky locations to watch the eclipse in the Capital City: Kayak on the Arkansas River with Rock Town River Outfitters  Little Rock Zoo War Memorial Park SoMA Murray Park & Rebsamen Golf Course MacArthur Park Big Dam Bridge Riverfront Park and First Security Amphitheater Two Rivers Park Pinnacle Mountain State Park CLICK HERE to watch our video! Little Rock Eclipse Events: April 6th-8th - FREE 3-Day Concert Series at the First Security Amphitheater in the River Market concluding on April 8th with The Machine Performs Pink Floyd, a critically acclaimed tribute band, performing Pink Floyd's iconic album “Dark Side of The Moon” in its entirety. Presented by Little Rock, Arkansas

Pull Up On the Path Tailgate Party at the Little Rock Zoo VIP Experience - $1500 per vehicle for up to 6 people Includes Zoo Admission for 6, GUARANTEED PARKING, Mimosa and Bloody Mary Continental Breakfast, Lunch catered by Adam’s Catfish, animal ambassadors and local entertainment.

Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts: April 7th - Fantasia and 2001: A Space Odyssey with Arkansas Cinema Society April 8th - Eclipse Watch Party


April 6th & 7th - Experience Holst’s The Planets - The Solar Eclipse Concert with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra


Museum of Discovery is offering extended hours April 6th-8th and they’re hosting rotating eclipse-related activities in their PPG STEAM Studio including DIY pinhole viewers, shadow play, a commemorative eclipse rubbing activity and lunar camp builds.


Upper parking deck of Park Plaza Mall

Clinton Presidential Center April 8th - Sun and Moon packages and RESERVED PARKING!!

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center April 8th - Eclipse Day Party with Live Music from Rodney Block and the Cool Kids, Light Hors D'oeuvres, Open Beer and Wine Bar, Food Trucks - $25

SoMa Little Rock April 5th - SoMA (in the dark) After Dark - 5:00-9:00pm April 6th - SoMa in the Dark: Path of Totality Eclipse Festival 11 a.m. – 9 p.m April 7th - Barkus on Main - Mardi Gras Pet Parade 12:00pm April 8th - SoMa in the Dark: Path of Totality Eclipse Watch Party, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m

And there will be “Total Eclipse of the Rock” Watch Parties all over town!! For a full list of Little Rock Eclipse Events, CLICK HERE


Mena

Totality Start Time: 1:47:25 CDT Approximately 4 minutes and 7 seconds of totality


Mena Eclipse Events: April 5th-8th - Solar Eclipse Festival in Mena April 4th-9th - Avalon Eclipse Music Festival and VIP Camping The Blue; Zipline and Farm Eclipse Festival Prime Viewing Location - Hwy 88 and Queen Wilhelmina State Park Check out this Family Guide to Mena from @Coleyraeh


Books & Stuf: Your One Stop Celestial Shop

At Books & Stuf, you have the chance to win a $15 gift certificate with drawings held every two hours, ensuring the excitement never wanes. Immerse yourself in a diverse collection of locally-made celestial items, ranging from handmade crafts to celestial-themed souvenirs, ensuring there's something unique for everyone. Additionally, every book you purchase can be personalized into a one-of-a-kind Eclipse souvenir with a custom stamp. Make your eclipse experience even more memorable with a special touch from Books & Stuf. Make sure not to miss out on these stellar offers and delve into the unique wonders available at Books & Stuf during the upcoming Eclipse!


Glenwood

Totality Start Time: 1:48:14 CDT Approximately 3 minutes and 59 seconds of totality Glenwood Eclipse Events: April 6th-8th - Taco Eclipse - A heavenly experience with an eclipsing flavor! April 6th-8th - 351 Eclipse Camping Arkansas - live music, cornhole tournament, food trucks



While this hidden gem may already be booked for the Eclipse, they've got dates available all summer and they even allow weddings! If you're looking for a dreamy river escape into peace and quiet, Crawford's Lookout should be top of your list!


CLO sits on 3 acres directly on the Caddo River in Glenwood and offers guests the opportunity to create a lifetime of memories. This luxury stay can accommodate up to 12 guests with 4 bedrooms (7 beds) and 3 bathrooms, and out of this world amenities like riverfront water access, indoor and outdoor fireplaces and even a mural!




Batesville

Totality Start Time: 1:53:13 CDT Approximately 4 minutes and 2 seconds of totality


Batesville Eclipse Events: April 7th - Guest Lecture with Physicist, William S. Higgins April 8th - Scots in the Dark at Lyon College Eclipse Viewing Site - Arkansas Sheriffs' Youth Ranch


CLICK HERE to watch our downtown Batesville video!


BIG’s of Batesville: The Perfect Dining Choice for the Eclipse

If you're looking for a memorable dining experience during the upcoming Eclipse in Batesville, look no further than BIG's of Batesville. This Cajun specialty restaurant offers a delectable array of Louisiana-inspired cuisine that is sure to tantalize your taste buds! From hearty gumbo and flavorful jambalaya to spicy crawfish boils and succulent po'boys, BIG's captures the essence of Cajun cooking with every dish. This vibrant and lively restaurant also has Gluten Free and Vegetarian Options so there’s something for everyone. Whether you're a local or a visitor, indulging in the bold flavors and warm hospitality of BIG's of Batesville is the perfect way to complement the awesome spectacle of the Eclipse.


Crumbs Up Bakery: A Charming Eclipse Stop

Crumbs Up Bakery embodies the essence of a charming hometown bake shop, radiating happiness and joy. A visit to this delightful establishment is sure to elevate your Eclipse experience! Fall in love with the timeless charm of this beloved bakery while relishing the freshly baked items lovingly prepared each day. From indulgent pastries to artisanal breads, the tantalizing aroma of their delightful creations fills the air, fostering an inviting and cozy ambiance. Whether you're in the mood for a flaky croissant or a sumptuous slice of cake, Crumbs Up Bakery offers a delightful selection of treats that perfectly complement the fantastic wonder of the Eclipse.


Real Goods Market-Eatery: You’ll Feel Real Good When You Stop In

Real Goods Market-Eatery in Batesville is always a must-visit destination, but especially during events like the Eclipse. This all-encompassing organic and natural food store offers a wide range of healthy grocery options, supplements, beauty products, and delicious ready-made meals. But what sets Real Goods apart is its commitment to working with Arkansas farmers and makers, ensuring that they provide fresh, quality products while supporting the local community. Whether you're looking for organic produce, locally sourced goods, or a quick and healthy meal on the go, Real Goods Market-Eatery is the perfect place to shop and support the community during your visit to Batesville for the Eclipse.


Heber Springs

Totality Start Time: 1:52:14 CDT Approximately 4 minutes and 2 seconds of totality Heber Springs Eclipse Events: Parking Locations - Heber Springs Community Center, Heber Springs Sports Complex, JFK Overlook - $20 per vehicle - Purchase in advance April 5th-7th - Eclipse Fest at Spring Park Sandy Beach Solar Eclipse Festival


Angie’s Hideaway: Your Family’s New Favorite 

Located in the heart of Heber Springs, Angie's Hideaway stands out as a must-visit lunch and dinner spot, boasting a diverse and eclectic menu that caters to all tastes and age ranges. At Angie's Hideaway, the essence of Southern Hospitality comes to life through the warm and friendly staff, creating an inviting atmosphere that beckons visitors to savor a delightful dining experience. Whether you're in town for the Eclipse or simply exploring the area, this restaurant's commitment to providing top-notch service makes it an ideal place to dine. From classic American cuisine to delectable seafood and flavorful Cajun pasta, Angie's Hideaway promises a culinary journey that caters to diverse palates. The menu is designed to delight and excite, offering something for everyone to enjoy. As a family-style restaurant, it's the perfect choice for visitors seeking an authentic taste of Southern flavors and a welcoming dining ambiance during their time in Heber Springs. Whether you're a local looking for your new go-to spot or an Eclipse visitor eager to explore the culinary delights of the area, Angie's Hideaway is sure to leave a lasting impression with its genuine Southern charm and mouth watering dishes.


The Lofts 3rd + Main: Your Perfect Stay for the Eclipse 


Located on the second level of a historic building directly across from the town square, The Lofts 3rd + Main offers the perfect accommodation for the upcoming Eclipse in Heber Springs. Its prime location ensures that guests are only minutes away from shopping, dining, hiking, fishing, and waterplay. Each room at The Lofts has been meticulously designed with modern comforts and amenities to provide a one-of-a-kind experience. From high-end furniture to premium quality bedding, no expense has been spared in curating each room. The building itself holds a significant place in Heber Springs' rich history, as it houses the longest running business in the town, the first-floor barber shop, and stands as the town's first brick building, a distinguished landmark. Furthermore, check-in at The Lofts is stress-free and secure, with locks that require a unique code known only to the guests, eliminating the need for spare keys. With availability for the Eclipse, The Lofts 3rd + Main offers a seamless and unforgettable stay amidst the historic charm of Heber Springs.




Hot Springs

Totality Start Time: 1:49:29 CDT Approximately 3 minutes and 36 seconds of totality


Hot Springs Eclipse Events: April 5th-8th - Atlas Obscura's Ecliptic Festival April 4th - Bridge St. Live! Eclipse Edition April 5th - Total Solar Eclipse Sound Bath

April 5th-9th - Blacked Out at the Waters Eclipse Encounter Weekend at Mid America Science Museum

There are SO MANY amazing events going on in Hot Springs! Check out the full line-up here and see a list of where to get the commemorative posters


All Things Arkansas: Eclipse Treasures

Visitors in Hot Springs for the Eclipse will find All Things Arkansas to be a must-visit shopping destination. This charming store offers so many options of locally made products, including artisan crafts, unique souvenirs, and specialty food items that showcase the best of Arkansas. From handcrafted jewelry to delicious preserves and sauces, there's something for everyone to take home as a delightful memento of their Eclipse experience in Hot Springs. Additionally, the warm hospitality and personalized service provided by the store's staff create a welcoming and enjoyable shopping atmosphere for visitors. Whether seeking a one-of-a-kind Eclipse keepsake or a taste of Arkansas's culinary delights, All Things Arkansas is the ideal place to shop and discover the true essence of the region!




The Ohio Club: Historic Allure and Delectable Offerings

As Eclipse visitors descend upon Hot Springs, a visit to The Ohio Club is a must for an unparalleled dining experience steeped in rich history. Established in 1905 as a bar and casino, this iconic establishment has retained its old-school charm, drawing the likes of Al Capone, Bugsy Siegel, and other prominent figures during the Prohibition era. The bar boasts a remarkable history of hosting renowned entertainers, including Al Jolson and Mae West, with live music still being a staple feature from Thursday through Sunday. Amidst the historic ambiance, visitors can indulge in the tantalizing menu offerings, such as the renowned Old Fashioned Burger paired with a selection from the impressive array of alcoholic beverages. With its storied past and delectable menu, dining at The Ohio Club promises a truly unforgettable experience for Eclipse visitors in Hot Springs.


Home Plate Cafe & Bakery: A Culinary Oasis in Hot Springs Village

Home Plate Cafe & Bakery in Hot Springs Village is a must-visit culinary gem, offering an extensive and diverse menu that caters to all tastes. Guests can indulge in mouthwatering delights such as the iconic Fried Green Tomatoes, savory Chicken Fried Chicken, and delectable Pork Chops. Not only renowned for its savory dishes, but the European-style Bakery at Home Plate also boasts an assortment of freshly baked goods including artisan breads, pastries, pies, and tarts. From the tantalizing aroma of freshly baked cinnamon rolls to the rich flavors of pecan pie, every dessert and baked good is crafted with precision and care, making it the perfect stop for visitors to treat themselves to an exquisite dining experience during their time in town for the Eclipse. Watch our video on their new Bakery here!




McClard’s Bar-B-Q: A Taste of History

Visitors of the Eclipse should not miss the opportunity to savor the iconic flavors of McClard's Bar-B-Q in Hot Springs. Established in 1928, this historic restaurant holds a rich legacy, having started as a small gas station and evolving into a renowned barbecue establishment. The restaurant's humble beginnings and its evolution into a beloved culinary destination make it a must-visit for those seeking a taste of authentic Southern barbecue tradition. Renowned for its mouthwatering ribs, tender pulled pork, and flavorful tamales, McClard's offers a menu that showcases the best of traditional Arkansas barbecue. The restaurant's commitment to preserving its time-honored recipes and techniques ensures that every bite is a delectable journey through the region's culinary heritage. A visit to McClard's Bar-B-Q promises not just a meal, but an riveting experience steeped in history and flavor.


Wrapped Gift Boutique: Unique Eclipse-Inspired Gifts

Planning to experience the Eclipse in Hot Springs? Look no further than Wrapped Gift Boutique for unique and personalized gifts that perfectly capture the essence of this extraordinary spectacle! This charming boutique offers custom gift baskets and handcrafted items ideal for commemorating your visit, including specially-themed gift baskets and handcrafted eclipse-inspired mementos. Their unwavering attention to detail and personalized service ensures that each item is thoughtfully crafted and deeply meaningful. Whether you're seeking a uniquely themed gift basket or a one-of-a-kind handcrafted item, the personalized service at Wrapped Gift Boutique guarantees a truly heartfelt and unique shopping experience, making it a delightful part of your visit to Hot Springs during this extraordinary Eclipse event.



Crystal Ridge Distillery: A Taste of History and Innovation in Hot Springs

In downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas, you'll find Crystal Ridge Distillery, a place where the area's rich history seamlessly meets modern innovation. Hot Springs has always been a hotspot for celebrities like Al Capone and Babe Ruth, who sought out the excitement the city had to offer. Building on this colorful history, the owners of Crystal Ridge have breathed new life into the age-old tradition of moonshine distilling, bringing it from the woods into the heart of the city. The distillery is housed in a charming 1920s building, radiating an old-world charm that creates the perfect setting for an exceptional tasting experience. Here, visitors can indulge in a variety of moonshine flavors, including their brand new Peach flavor, as well as Butterscotch, Apple Pie, and Maple Bacon, each meticulously crafted using a blend of traditional techniques and modern distilling practices. When you're in town for the Eclipse, a visit to Crystal Ridge Distillery promises a captivating journey through Hot Springs' history and an opportunity to savor premium spirits with a smooth, rich flavor. Watch our Crystal Ridge Distillery video!


Russellville

Totality Start Time: 1:50:06 CDT Approximately 4 minutes and 12 seconds of totality


Russellville Eclipse Events: Russellville will be the center of the eclipse celebration with both NASA and The Weather Channel selecting this Arkansas city as their base. See a full list of all the Russellville events here

April 6th - NASA Presentation April 6th-8th - Moon Over Main April 6th-8th - Eclipse Market April 7th - NASA Eclipse Update April 6th - Blues, Balloons and BBQ April 8th - Elope at the Eclipse Mass Wedding


Wanna know what to do around town? Check out our Russellville videos!! Ride in a Hot Air Balloon during Eclipse Weekend



Midtown Coffee: Experience the Eclipse at Midtown Coffee

If you're seeking an extraordinary coffee experience while witnessing the eclipse in Russellville, look no further than Midtown Coffee. Renowned for its commitment to "People first, then coffee," this establishment offers a diverse range of exceptional java beverages that cater to every palate. Whether you're a fan of classic espresso drinks, specialty teas, or delectable pastries, they have something to delight every visitor! Step into the welcoming embrace of Midtown Coffee and bask in its cozy atmosphere while savoring your chosen brew before the eclipse.


The establishment's inviting ambiance ensures a delightful experience for all patrons, creating the perfect setting for enjoying this spectacular event. At Midtown Coffee, expect nothing less than unparalleled customer service, ensuring that your visit is nothing short of memorable. Whether you're a local resident or a traveler passing through for the eclipse, the staff goes above and beyond to make you feel right at home, guaranteeing a warm and hospitable experience throughout your visit. 


Eclipse Specials: Special Eclipse-themed drinks and treats available at all 5 locations in Russellville, Dardanelle and Atkins area. Get your caffeine pick-me-up eclipse weekend and on the big day at Midtown Coffee!!


Garden Sass: Eclipse Exclusive Jewelry, Art Demos, and More!

If you're in Russellville for the Moon Over Main Festival during the eclipse, stopping by Garden Sass is a must. This unique working studio specializes in artisan jewelry and floral preservation, offering a range of Arkansas-made products, items from independent artists and small businesses, and a diverse selection of funky gifts and souvenirs. Additionally, Garden Sass hosts small art workshops in their upstairs space once a month, providing a creative and interactive experience for visitors. During the festival, Garden Sass will have exclusive eclipse jewelry designs and preserved floral jewelry, making it the perfect place to find a one-of-a-kind memento of this celestial event. Moreover, the studio will feature a block printing demonstration by local artist Zeno Schaefer on Saturday, April 7, adding an extra layer of artistic enrichment to your eclipse experience. Don't miss the opportunity to check out their exclusive solar eclipse t-shirt, available as a preorder item on their website, offering a fashionable way to commemorate the eclipse. With so much to offer, Garden Sass is an essential stop during your visit to Russellville for the Eclipse!




Conway

Totality Start Time: 1:51:07 CDT Approximately 3 minutes and 53 seconds of totality


Conway Eclipse Events:

April 6th - Community Rocket Launch at Hendrix University

In the Shadow of the Moon at Windgate Museum of Art

April 8th - Hendrix Solar Odyssey at Young-Wise Memorial Stadium



Doc’s Coffee + Creamery: Discover Delightful Coffee and Friends

If you plan on being in Conway for the Eclipse, make sure not to miss the opportunity to visit Doc's Coffee + Creamery. This charming establishment boasts a truly unique and welcoming atmosphere, offering patrons the chance to savor the most exceptional coffee and treats served by some of the most friendly individuals we've encountered. Doc's Coffee + Creamery provides a diverse selection of coffee drinks, ice cream, and delicious treats in a cozy and stylish setting, making it the perfect place to unwind, socialize, and enjoy a delightful cup of coffee or indulge in their mouth watering desserts. They're dong a special Eclipse menu on April 8th, so make sure you stop by for some energizing Rocket Fuel, a Space Cowboy or Martian Matcha, because those drinks are out of this world!! Just head to Conway and make the trip to Doc's Coffee + Creamery for some of the best coffee, ice cream, and tasty treats, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable visit during your time in town for the Eclipse. CLICK HERE to watch our video on Doc's and Pickles Gap





Risky Biscuits: A Culinary Gem in Conway

In the heart of Conway, you’ll find Risky Biscuits Brunch Co. which beckons foodies with its variety of delectable dishes that are sure to tantalize the taste buds. From mouthwatering biscuit sandwiches to irresistible desserts, this charming eatery promises an unforgettable dining experience. Sink your teeth into a mouthwatering biscuit sandwich featuring crispy fried chicken, melted cheddar, and a drizzle of honey, all nestled in a freshly baked biscuit when you have the Dirty Bird. Indulge in a delightful twist on the classic eggs Benedict, featuring poached eggs, savory bacon, and creamy hollandaise sauce atop a fluffy biscuit with the Southern Sunshine Benny. Or if it’s sweets you’re after, savor a heavenly dessert made with buttery biscuit pieces, rich custard, and a hint of cinnamon, served warm with a dollop of whipped cream. At Risky Biscuits Brunch Co., visitors are treated to a perfect complement to the stellar spectacle of the Eclipse. Whether it's their indulgent desserts, signature biscuit creations, or mouthwatering brunch offerings, Risky Biscuits promises an extraordinary dining experience that will leave patrons with lasting memories.


Other great stops and events in the path of totality: Texarkana Solarbration Jonesboro Family Guide from @Coleyraeh



Dogwood Hills Guest Farm - Harriet - Experience a Delightful Eclipse Stay

Situated in the serene countryside of Harriet, Dogwood Hills Guest Farm offers a truly engaging farm experience for all ages where you can partake in the morning farm chores of feeding animals and milking, adding a touch of hands-on charm to your stay. The farm's rustic Loft and chef's table provide delightful dining experiences where you can savor the delicious farm-fresh food. During the Eclipse, from April 4th to April 9th, Dogwood Hills will feature a special Eclipse menu, offering a breakfast of farm-style eggs, local proteins, parfaits, fruit, and baked goods. For dinner, indulge in a rotating selection of delectable entrees such as pork loin, lasagna, pot roast, gnocchi, meatballs, accompanied by freshly prepared salad and a delightful dessert. With gluten-free pastries, pre-ordered cakes, and baked goods available, Dogwood Hills Guest Farm is the perfect place to stay, experience, and relish in mouthwatering farm-fresh cuisine during the Eclipse. CLICK HERE to watch our Dogwood Hills Video!




Use our interactive Map to find more places to eat, shop and experience state-wide! Check the Eclipse box for the totality lines to appear!

Want to photograph or film the Eclipse? Arkansas photographer, Brennen Duffield, has put together an INCREDIBLE guide that answers all your how-to questions of what equipment you need, what settings to use, photo apps, how to edit your images in Photoshop and cell phone vs. DSLR camera! We'll be using every camera we have to capture this once in a lifetime event!! Use code "ARKIETRAVELS" to get the full guide for $20! bit.ly/eclipsephotoguide


Planning Ahead for Prime Viewing


Book Accommodations Early

Ensure a hassle-free experience by booking lodging, dining, spa reservations, and event tickets well in advance, as eclipse tourism can lead to limited availability.


Arrive Early

Avoid potential traffic, limited parking, and crowds by arriving at your chosen destination at least a day before the eclipse and showing up to your viewing site a few hours in advance.


Post-Eclipse Travel

To evade traffic congestion, consider staying in town on the night following the eclipse or leaving in the evening rather than immediately after the event concludes.


Viewing Tips

To make the most of this celestial phenomenon, consider the following tips for safe viewing:

  • Protect Your Eyes: Always use ISO certified solar viewing glasses to safeguard your eyes while observing the eclipse.

  • Choose a Clear Viewing Spot: Find a location with an unobstructed view of the sky to fully experience the eclipse.

  • Be Mindful of Wildlife: Keep an eye out for changes in animal behavior as the eclipse approaches, as some creatures may exhibit unusual reactions to the darkened environment.

There you have it!

The upcoming solar eclipse presents a rare opportunity to witness the grandeur of the cosmos from various vantage points across Arkansas. Whether you're a seasoned eclipse enthusiast or a curious onlooker, this special event is not to be missed and with Arkie Travels’ Eclipse Guide, you’ll be able to find all the best local spots to support while visiting. So, mark your calendars, prepare your viewing gear, and get ready to be captivated by the mesmerizing allure of the solar eclipse in the Natural State!


Written by Lindsay Jordan and Sarah Heer


Lindsay Jordan has a deep-rooted passion for all things Arkansas, evident in her unwavering dedication to promoting the state. A loyal supporter of Arkie Travels from its very beginning, Lindsay was an integral part of the core team for two years and is now the Manager of Member Development with the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce. Being an Arkansas native, she takes great pride in her role, where she enthusiastically shares the marvels and splendor of the Natural State, all the while championing the local businesses in every community.


Sarah Heer is the founder and Chief Creator of Arkie Travels. She travels full-time with her husband, Paul, showing off why Arkansas is the best kept secret in the South.


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