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4 fun things to do in DuPage County, Illinois

DuPage County offers a mix of small-town charm and big-city amenities (as well as great options for recreation) just a short drive from Chicago.

The Morton Arboretum (Credit: Discover DuPage)

Located just 20 miles (32 kilometers) from downtown Chicago, DuPage County in northeastern Illinois is home to great outdoor recreation, charming communities, and excellent options for dining, shopping, and family fun. Here’s a look at a few attractions you shouldn’t miss on your next visit.

The Morton Arboretum

This 1,700-acre (6.8 square kilometers) arboretum in Lisle is home to more than 222,000 live plants and boasts 16 miles of recreational trails. Founded by Joy Morton—of Morton Salt Company fame—in the 1920s, the Morton Arboretum continues its original mission of scientific research on tree health and improvement while offering and outstanding place to play and learn. The Arboretum boasts 9 miles (14 kilometers) of driveable roads and 16 miles (26 kilometers) of recreational trails to explore, as well as a Children’s Garden, a Maze Garden, and other attractions. Guests can also take in the spectacle of the ongoing “Of the Earth” art exhibit—five large-scale sculptures made from reclaimed tree branches and other natural materials gathered at the arboretum by Polish-American artist Olga Ziemska.


Another natural attraction with ties to Chicago history—the 500-acre (2 square kilometers) site in Wheaton is the former estate of Chicago Tribune publisher Colonel Robert R. McCormick—Cantigny opened in 1958 and is well-known for its gardens, a 27-hole golf course, and museums. Birdwatchers will enjoy spotting different species in the vast natural surroundings, as the park is a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. The park’s First Division Museum follows the history of the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division from World War I to the Vietnam War (the park takes its name from Cantigny, France, the site of the first U.S. victory in World War I).


Hit the links in DuPage County—the area is home to more than 50 golf courses and is the home of the nation’s first 18-hole golf course. DuPage’s courses have hosted iconic events like the BMW Championship, the PGA Championship, the Ryder Cup, and the Western Open, and in 2026, the world-famous Medinah Country Club in Medinah will add another accolade by hosting the Presidents Cup.

Explore the communities of DuPage County

DuPage County is home to 38 welcoming communities that boast a wide array of amenities, from great places to stay to delicious dining options to outstanding recreation and everything in between. Outdoors enthusiasts can explore 500 miles (800 kilometers) of trails at forest preserves, parks, and attractions throughout DuPage County, including the iconic Morton Arboretum. Looking for a  shopping hotspot? Check out DuPage County’s charming downtowns and shopping centers. Find world-class cuisine at local restaurants and enjoy craft beer, wine, and other inviting eats.