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Chicago's Western Suburbs - DuPage County Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 100
Total Sleeping Rooms 17,000
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 500
Largest Exhibit Space 23,482 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $92
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $61
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $383
*Maximum for a single hotel

Chicago's Western Suburbs - DuPage County Meeting Planning Overview

Welcome to the Meeting and Event Planning Guide to DuPage County, a guide for meeting professionals. Situated 20 miles west of Chicago and served by eight major expressways, DuPage County offers a fantastic blend of urban excitement and suburban charm, thanks to its world-class accommodations and dining, entertainment, shopping, and recreation, as well as its variety of meeting spaces and unique venues.

DuPage County comprises 38 communities, such as Oak Brook, Naperville, Lombard, Elmhurst, Lisle, Itasca, Downers Grove, and Westmont. DuPage is one of the nation's wealthiest counties and is the state's second-most-popular county, behind Chicago's Cook County, which borders DuPage County to the north and east. DuPage County is second only to Cook County in tourism revenue, and, together, the two counties account for more than half of Illinois' population.

DuPage County's three area airports make meeting travel a snap. Situated at the northeastern tip of DuPage County, O'Hare International Airport is among the world's busiest airports, serving more than 70 million annual passengers and from 59 international and 150 domestic destinations, and is a hub for American Airlines and United Airlines. Located 11 miles from DuPage County, Midway International Airport offers value-oriented travel to more than 60 destinations and is a major hub for Southwest airlines, among others. The county's very own DuPage Regional Corporate Airport in West Chicago offers corporate and regional aviation services, as well as serves as a reliever airport for O'Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport.

Once in DuPage County, delegates can hop aboard Metra, the northeast Illinois commuter rail system that operates three lines throughout the county, with stations in Naperville, Lombard, Elmhurst, Villa Park, Glen Ellyn, Westmont, Downers Grove, Wheaton, and several other DuPage County communities.

DuPage County offers over two million square feet of combined meeting space, including several International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) approved properties. One such IACC-approved property, Northern Illinois University (NIU) Naperville Conference Center, offers 40,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space. Convenient to major interstates and 27 miles from both O'Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport, the center offers 23 meeting rooms, full-service catering, free facility-wide Wi-Fi, and an onsite cafe, among other amenities. In addition to NIU Naperville Conference Center, delegates can gather in any of DuPage County's major expo centers, high-tech conference venues, and sports complexes, including the 130,000-square-foot Odeum Sports & Expo Center.

Dozens of DuPage County restaurants and attractions do double duty as DuPage County event venues, ranging from an award-winning winery to a Broadway-style theater with banquet space.

Many of the county's historical attractions, green spaces, and performing arts centers offer group tours and private event space. One of the country's largest zoos, Brookfield Zoo, houses more than 2,800 animals representing 425 species, as well as 48,000 square feet of event space. Groups can partake in "Cocktails with the Animals" amid Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, gorillas, giraffes, and more in such exhibits as Habitat Africa, Tropic World, The Swamp, Seven Seas, and The Living Coast.

Groups can gather at the 1,700-acre The Morton Arboretum, home to hiking and biking trails, natural wooded areas, and themed gardens. Private event spaces at the arboretum range from the formal Hedge Garden to Visitor Center spaces that overlook the Children's Garden and Maze Garden.

Other venues include Drury Lane Theatre & Conference Center, which houses a 971-seat theater and 50,000 square feet of flexible space, as well as offering two adjacent hotels and dining service. For group outings with a twist, opt for Lynfred Winery tours, tastings, and pairing events.

For an outdoor gathering or golf outing, groups can head to the 500-acre Cantigny Park, home to formal gardens, picnic grounds, a public golf course, and the Robert R. McCormick Museum and Cantigny First Division Museum.

About Chicago's Western Suburbs - DuPage County / Additional Info

Boasting a convenient, central location within a short drive or commuter train ride to Chicago, DuPage County offers the very best in museums, cultural, and historic sites, performing arts facilities, and green spaces.

Eight major expressways and Chicago-area public transportation make it simple for delegates to get to their destinations and enjoy the county's entertainment, dining, and shopping in between events.

Formed in 1839, DuPage County is made up of 38 municipalities. The largest municipalities include Naperville, Downers Grove, and the county seat, Wheaton.

The City of Elmhurst is known for its museums, while the pedestrian-friendly Village of Itasca is home to a scenic Riverwalk and Nature Center. The Village of Lombard features the popular Lilacia Park, while the Village of Oak Brook is well known for its upscale residences and Oakbrook Center, a luxurious shopping, dining, and entertainment complex.

The county's prosperity can be seen in its resident headquarter companies, such as McDonald's and Ace Hardware, as well as its many colleges and universities, including Elmhurst College, NIU Naperville Campus, DePaul University-Naperville, and College of DuPage, among many others.

DuPage County welcomes nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts with its more than 25,000 acres of woodlands, 600 acres of lakes, 47 miles of rivers and streams, 145 miles of trails, and more than 50 golf courses, including several full-service golf resorts with meeting facilities. Visitors and residents alike can stay active at The Morton Arboretum and Cantigny Park, as well as the county's 60 forest preserves.

When it's time for a mental workout, groups and families frequent LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Schaumburg, where they can build their own LEGO creations, learn how LEGO bricks are formed, and view the Chicago skyline created from 1.5 million LEGO bricks. Families also enjoy visiting DuPage Children's Museum, where students can jump into self-directed, interactive exhibits, and programs that focus on the integration of arts, science, and math.

McAninch Arts Center (The MAC) at College of DuPage, which features three indoor performance spaces, an art gallery, and an outdoor amphitheater, is just one of several performing arts centers in DuPage.

When it's time to enjoy a meal, DuPage County doesn't disappoint. The county offers many of the same restaurant brands found in Chicago, so diners can dine on big city fare in a relaxed suburban setting. The Oakbrook Terrace location of the Chicago-based Ditka's, owned by "Da Coach" Mike Ditka, serves bold, American steak house fare. Located in Lombard, Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse is a fantastic blend of classic Chicago steakhouse and traditional Italian eatery. Situated across the street from the celebrated Oakbrook Center, Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse - Oak Brook is part of the only restaurant group in the country to be awarded its own USDA Prime certification. Last but not least, Eddie Merlot's Warrenville invites guests to unwind with 75 wines by the glass, as well as USDA Prime reserve cuts.

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