Lake County Road Trips - Route 12

"On the road again Just can't wait to get on the road again. The life I love is making music with my friends..."

Chain O’Lakes State ParkYour family adventure or couples getaway starts at the southwest end of Lake County, off Lake Cook Road and Route 12. Time to take a ride!

Day 1:

Pick up essential summer wear at Deer Park Town Center with a delicious lunch complemented by stellar scenery at Sunset Pavilion at Breezewald Park in Lake Zurich.

Following your shopping spree scenic lunch, go bananas over the Sock Monkey Museum. This exhibit houses a collection of over 2,000 sock monkeys and provides a variety of activities including a scanger hunt, a gift shop and the opportunity to make your own sock monkey.  As you drive towards Wauconda, on Bonner Road, the Long Grove Confectionery Nut & Candy Factory Store indulges your sweet tooth on your ensuing adventure.

A leg-stretching stop at Volo Bog State Natural Area leads the way to a National Natural Landmark and Illinois’ only quaking bog. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources protected lands' evening events such as bat watching or a self-guided moon and star gazing experience. It’s amazing how bright the stars are once you're away from all the city lights. Camp out at the Chain O’Lakes State Park or Fish Lake Beach in Volo

Day 2:

After a filling breakfast at Whistle Stop Café in Fox Lake, you will want to visit the Volo Museum. It’s a real multi-generational pleaser. Your lunch stop can include a quick jaunt off the path back up to Miller’s Dog-N-Suds in Ingleside for a "back to the future"-esque experience. Visitors also can dine lakeside for an international mid-day munch El Puerto Mexican Restaurant. The Fox Lake spot offers outdoor dining overlooking the scenic Nippersink Lake under eclectic-colored umbrella tables and eating authentic cuisine while boasting the best margaritas in the land of lakes. Another lunch option is heading southbound Volo Auto Museumtowards Lindy’s Landing in Wauconda, just east on Route 176 for outdoor dining and delectable dishes. You can kick back indoors, on the deck or the sandy beach for a real 'lax time (no shoes required) along the pristine Bangs Lake. Before or after you can jump in the water for a swim on Phil's Beach in Lindy's Landings backyard. Explore and select gems from the Main Street shops, weekly farmers market and if you linger, The Side Lot opens in the later afternoon.

Pros (or those who are actually joes), can hit the links at Hickory Knolls Golf Course in Lake Villa. Don't four-jack this nine-hole, waterless course with that "million-dollar swing of yours." Remember it's all in the hips.

If you'd rather head towards your overnight accomodation instead, Beelow's Steakhouse is the place to be for your dinner highlighted by chops, seafood, sandwiches, salads and more. Back on the road, visitors can purchase local bottled products at Lake County Libation Trail partners Copper Fiddle Distillery,  in Lake Zurich, Lake County’s second craft distillery. Visitors can also stay for a tour and tasting to learn of the Fiddle’s beginnings. Or if hard liquor isn't your forte, Phase Three Brewing and Roaring Table Brewery are down the street. 

Whatever you do while humming that Willie Nelson classic song about avenues and music, you'll have your keepsake box of memory-making driving along Route 12 in Lake County. 





Routes 21 & 45 Routes 21 & 45 Route 83 Route 41 Route 12

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