The much-needed summer weather, coupled with the reopening of countless businesses and events, has many people desperate to reconnect with the world around them. For the perfect mix of nature and community, Chicagoans need look no further than neighboring DuPage County, home to a number of can’t-miss destinations.
Start by getting outdoors with DuPage County’s Natural Wanders, a curated collection of 11 unique outdoor experiences for anyone from cyclists to hikers to bird-watchers. Find information, maps, and other details on the Natural Wanders webpage, and explore experiences like “Hawks on High,” “Lilac-Palooza,” and “Hoofbeats Through History” across 500 miles of trails in DuPage.
For a little more adventure, visit The Forge: Lemont Quarries, an all-weather, all-abilities park with ropes courses, ziplines, climbing walls, hiking and biking trails, and more.
If arts and culture are what you’ve been missing, go enjoy the works of Frida Kahlo, who is featured in “Frida Kahlo: Timeless,” hosted by the Cleve Carney Museum of Art and the McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage through September 6. Celebrate the most comprehensive presentation of Kahlo’s work displayed in more than 40 years by visiting the exhibition and also using the Frida Kahlo: Timeless Passport, which unlocks themed events and special discounts across DuPage County on your mobile device.
Get your art and nature fix at The Morton Arboretum, Lisle’s 1,700-acre “outdoor museum.” The current exhibition, “Human+Nature,” free with general admission, showcases breathtaking 15- to 26-foot sculptures by South African artist Daniel Popper—truly a sensational photo opportunity.
Trade in the heat and hustle of the city for small-town charm by visiting any of DuPage’s picturesque downtown areas: There’s the Riverwalk in Naperville, the walkable college city of Wheaton, the culture of the Elmhurst City Centre, the postcard-perfect village of Glen Ellyn, and so much more.
And don’t worry—leaving Chicago doesn’t mean sacrificing on food options or local events. In Lisle, the North American Pizza & Culinary Academy, the second official pizza school in the U.S., offers demonstrations and workshops alongside its pizza-serving. Plant-based food lovers will feel at home in DuPage, especially at restaurants like Manna Kitchen, the first plant-based restaurant in Chicago’s west suburbs. There’s also no shortage of wine and beer; visit Two Hound Red in Glen Ellyn, Tasting deVine Cellars in Naperville, Alter Brewing Company in Downers Grove, or Elmhurst Brewing Co. while on your DuPage road trip.
DuPage County has so much to offer. Keep an eye on discoverdupage.com, and whether you’re commuting from the city for the day or staying in DuPage for a while, it will undoubtedly be full of experiences to remember.