Chicago, IL


The 2019 Perennial Plant Assocation’s National Symposium is packed-full of education, tours, and events!  You’ll see the best Chicago has to offer - from public gardens to private gardens - along with world-class education!

Chicago is a great city to explore on your own or with friends and family too!

Click here for a map of the restaurants and entertainment options near the conference hotel.

Visit the City of Chicago website for more information!


  • Over 52 million people visit Chicago annually.
  • Chicago’s nicknames include: The Windy City, City of Big Shoulders, The Second City, and The City That Works.
  • Chicago’s downtown area is known as “The Loop.” The nickname refers to the area encircled by the elevated (‘L’) train tracks.
  • The game of 16-inch softball, played without gloves, was invented in Chicago.
  • Walt Disney was born in Chicago in 1901. He studied drawing at Chicago’s McKinley High School and the Institute of Fine Arts.
  • The Twinkie was invented during the Depression by Chicagoan Jimmy Dewar, at the time, manager of Chicago’s Continental Baking Company. The dessert was dubbed “Twinkie” after Dewar spotted an ad for Twinkle Toe Shoes. They were originally filled with banana cream, but vanilla cream was swapped in as bananas became scarce during WWII.
  • Frank Sinatra introduced the song, “My Kind of Town (Chicago Is)” in the 1964 Warner Brothers musical “Robin and the Seven Hoods.” The song was voted best motion picture song of 1964 by the All American Press Association.
  • The first all-color TV station debuted in Chicago (Channel 5).
  • Chicago has the largest collection of Impressionist paintings outside of Paris.

Welcome to the city that feels like home!

Home isn’t just a place; it’s a feeling. No matter who you are or what you love, you’ll fit right in exploring famed restaurants, world-class museums, a jaw-dropping waterfront, groundbreaking music, award-winning theaters, over 300 parks and green spaces, iconic architecture designed by legendary architects, all within 77 vibrant, ethnically diverse neighborhoods that are the heart and soul of Chicago.

Chicago embodies true Midwestern hospitality. It’s also a bold city, continually creating ever-more exciting and inspiring experiences. And it’s a city with world-class culture – we’re home to comedy star-maker The Second City; electrified blues (it started here!); championship sports teams; one of the most inclusive LGBTQ+ communities in the country; the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-impressionist art outside the Louvre, housed within the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the top five museums on the planet (TripAdvisor); the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the world; the largest science and industry museum in the Western Hemisphere – and that’s just the beginning.

Our city is home to Tony Award-winning theaters, and Paste Magazine praises Chicago theater as “one of the most thriving theatre scenes on the planet.” Condé Nast Traveler calls Chicago the “best restaurant city in America.” Bon Appétit magazine agrees, saying Chicago is “America’s most exciting city to eat in right now,” and dubbing it the “Restaurant City of the Year 2017.” Plus, with 22 Michelin-starred restaurants in 2019 and dozens of Bib Gourmand recipients, you’re sure to find a spot for every budget and taste.

Big city culture isn’t the only thing you’ll find here. You’ll also enjoy outdoor escapes and urban adventure, with the stunning city skyline as your backdrop. Go kayaking along the award-winning Riverwalk, then zip to the top of a skyscraper for rooftop cocktails. Or venture to the Chicago Architecture Center (housed in a Mies van de Rohe designed building), and board the top architecture cruise in Chicago. Cycle the 18-mile Lakefront Trail, dotted with harbors, beaches, restaurants and bars. Then hop over to the celebrated Museum of Contemporary Art, with its envelope-pushing exhibits and lakefront views. Or spend the day at Navy Pier, one of the city’s top attractions, and board a cruise ship to set sail on Lake Michigan.

You only have to venture to the Millennium Park Campus to see city and nature side by side, and find the true spirit of Chicago – summer-long free music festivals and outdoor film screenings beneath the soaring steel canopy of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion; Instagram-worthy public art installations like Crown Fountain and Cloud Gate (aka The Bean); stretches of swaying prairie grasses and native plantings at Lurie Garden; climbing walls, ice skating ribbons, and fantastical playground landscapes at Maggie Daley Park; performing arts on the stage of the Harris Theater; free exhibitions, tours, and live music at the Chicago Cultural Center; and the world-class Art Institute of Chicago beckoning with major art exhibitions throughout the year.

In Chicago, it’s all about vacationing your way – and feeling right at home while you do.

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