The Morton Arboretum
Spring is here and there is no lovelier season to make the 40-min trip west of Chicago to this ‘great outdoor museum and living tree laboratory’, where the woods are finally coming to life again and the bows are heavy with blossom. The Morton Arboretum is ‘the champion of trees, working towards a greener, healthier, more beautiful world.’ It also breeds future trees, and leads tree and shrub research, attracting more than a million visitors in 2015.
Active types can hike or bike the Arboretum, tackling one of the recommended trails (hire wheels or bring your own). Prefer to let your credit card take the strain? Check out the Arboretum Store, where you can snap up nature-inspired books, eco-friendly jewellery, art, homewares and gifts (you can also shop the collection online). Gingko Café and Restaurant will reward you after a sprightly stroll.
The gardens also host regular events, from Trivia for Trees quizzes to Easter Brunch and a Cinco de Mayo Dinner. Don’t miss signature holiday, Arbor Day (29 April), a special day set aside by the state of Illinois to plant, pamper and honour trees. Events to mark the occasion include a 10km run, a Magnolias and Mint Juleps talk with cocktails, plant sales, storytelling for kids and tree planting. Best of all, if you dress like a tree, you get in free! Work that Silver Birch look!4100 Illinois Highway 53 / Lisle / +1 630 968 0074 / 7am-sunset daily / mortonarb.org