The Gardens of the Midwest, Then and Now

September 14 – 21, 2005

Join us to visit great gardens and historic sites of St. Louis, Nauvoo and Chicago. St Louis is literally “The Gateway to the West.” Explore with us the daring Lewis and Clark expedition that left there 200 years ago for an adventure comparable to landing on the moon today. Tens of thousands of pioneers followed their lead to shape the West, as we know it today. Enjoy the fabulous Missouri Botanic Garden and other gardens of the area.

Traverse the streets, homes and shops of Old Nauvoo, one of the most authentic and extensive living history museums in the U.S.  Chicago, on the shores of Lake Michigan, is one of the great cities of America. Their gardens, museums and city sites are superb.  Enjoy fine dining and great traveling companions.

DAY 1 Wednesday

  • Fly to St Louis and relish Forest Park’s gem – The Jewel Box, one of the loveliest conservatories in the Western world. Enter to shimmering, 30-foot waterfall and walk amid huge, tropical plants on aerial walkways. Enjoy brilliant flowering plants, lake and fountain, in the surrounding gardens.

DAY 2 Thursday

  •  Ulysses S. Grant worked Grant’s Farm before it was the Busch family’s ancestral home. Today it is a wildlife refuge featuring the magnificent Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale team and 1,000 animals of more than 100 different species from six continents. The Missouri Botanical Garden, one of the nation’s oldest Botanical gardens was modeled after Britain’s Kew Gardens. Ride a tram and wander through magnificent displays, the demonstration gardens, English woodland garden, and feel the serenity of the Japanese garden. You will marvel at the imposing, architectural award winning, geodesic Climatron to stroll among pools, waterfalls, and rare and exotic plants. Plan your own landscape from 23 backyard idea gardens filled with scores of ideas.

DAY 3 Friday

  • The gleaming steel of the Gateway Arch at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial marks the gateway to the West for the monumental and historic Lewis and Clark Expedition that celebrates its bicentennial this year. Relive the gripping story on the giant screen with National Geographic’s Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West. You can ride to the top of the Gateway Arch and look out over the city of Saint Louis. Browse the Museum of the Western Expansion for artifacts of Lewis and Clark and the thousands of pioneers who started their journeys during America’s great Westward Movement.
  • See the beautiful Mississippi traveling to Hannibal, Missouri. There you will find many attractions including the Hickory Stick Quilt Shop and the Mark Twain Boyhood Home, which was the setting for Tom Sawyer’s adventures. Tom and the other fellows painted the fence only a few feet from the house. Becky Thatcher lived nearby and Huckleberry Finn lived down the alleyway.

DAY 4 Saturday

  • Visit one of America’s best historical cities. Step into the 1840’s in Nauvoo, “the city beautiful,” nestled on a bend of the Mississippi River. Walk the gardens and streets of this remarkable living history village. See weaving, blacksmithing, brick making, printing, barrel making and more. Browse the art of the pioneer quilts on display in the Cultural Hall. Savor the gardens of the new Nauvoo Temple, or attend a session.
  • Explore a wide array of sites in this once thriving city that rivaled Chicago in size. Nauvoo has been called the Williamsburg of the west. Explore rebuilt settlers’ homes, examine the Browning family gun collection or visit the bakery with its working bustle oven. Search the records office for your ancestors who may have lived in Nauvoo. Stop at the Community of Christ Church historic sites or visit the vineyard and winery or downtown shops of modern Nauvoo for shopping and tour the glass works. Relax at Rendezvous, an evening historical comedy in the Cultural Hall.
  • Day 5 Sunday

    • Visit Carthage Jail where Joseph Smith, and his brother, Hyrum were martyred. Tour the historic home and jail, then relax as we travel to Chicago.

    Day 6 Monday

    • Admire, via tram, the Chicago Botanic Garden a vast 385-acre living museum. Ramble through your favorites: English walled garden, three-island Japanese Garden, waterfall garden, or trail of annuals and admire the tropical and desert plants in 10 greenhouses.
    • Enjoy the special exhibit featuring 15 garden-scale model trains that chug across bridges, through tunnels and past scenes of America’s favorite landmarks, from Wrigley Field to Yellowstone to a quaint Main Street – in an amazing garden setting.
    • You will love the displays at Chicago’s famous 4-acre Lincoln Park Conservatory, Lincoln Park’s charming old-fashioned Grandmother’s Garden and lively display gardens.
    • You will find a combination of delightful shops and sightseeing options at Navy Pier on the edge of Lake Michigan. Walk along the lake or enjoy the ambience of the diverse area.

    Day 7 Tuesday

    • Visit the fabulous new Millennium Park in downtown Chicago’s Grant Park, Art Institute and Field Museum.
    • At the Art Institute, browse impressionist, post-impressionist, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and American art. Examine arms and armor and miniature rooms handmade to the smallest detail or get ideas from the quilts of America in the textile display.
    • The Field Museum houses amazing displays of natural history – the largest T-rex in the world, Egyptian displays, Native American Cultures, Life Over Time, and Traveling the Pacific.

    Day 8 Wednesday

    • Cantigny is the country home of Robert R. McCormick, who as editor, made the Chicago Tribune great. Look over the artifacts in the Georgian mansion and First Division Museum and amble through acres of formal gardens.
    • Relax as you ride in the Morton Arboretum’s woodlands and wetlands. Pause to walk through the colorful gardens of wildflowers, ground covers, hedge garden, fragrance garden and other amazing displays.