Lake County Road Trips - Routes 21 and 45

"My curiosity running wild. Cruisin' and playin' the radio, with no particular place to go..."

Day 1:

Time to take a ride! Rise with the sun from your luxurious guest room at Lincolnshire Marriott Resort, and take to the miles of trails offered throughout Lake County, including the nearly 32-mile Des Plaines River Trail & Greenway. Head north to nearby Ryerson Conservation Area for more hiking and biking trails, fishing, birdwatching, picnic shelters and lush scenery. Take a break along the way at Lake County Libation Trail partner Half Day Brewing Company for a cold craft brew, dine and snack on the outdoor patio relishing in their delectable burgers, artisanal pizza and live entertainment on the weekends.

If you're with your youngsters, drop the kids off at Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor Chicago in Gurnee. Visitors could also stay at Great Wolf Lodge Illinois for a splashtastic and thrilling combo (which could have its own experience). The Gurnee amusement park is home to 16 roller coasters, impressive live shows, fireworks, dining options, and 11-themed areas with other fantastic rides, while Hurricane Harbor is highlighted by 25 water slides, a 500,000-gallon wave pool and Skull Island (the world's largest interactive water ground playground.

The summertime is always a scorcher in the land of lakes, and Gurnee is the place where the wolf in you howls its way to the forefront. At Great Wolf Lodge Illinois, mosquitoes aren't invited, and rain only comes from the 84° indoor waterpark. Your little slip-and-sliders can partake in summer fun in the Northwoods-themed park and accommodation. Your woodsy adventure starts and ends with the 80,000-square-foot facility with water slides, a river to be lazy on, a wave pool, a kiddie area and so much more. Great Wolf Lodge is also highlighted by mini-golf, an arcade, a bowling alley, fun and games with Wolf characters and so much more. While your youngsters are having a blast at the theme parks and resorts, parental adventurers can hit the links, whether it's tiny style or PGA version at the resort's championship course Par-King Skill Golf or Crane's Landingrespectively.

Day 2:

Spread your wings with your nature fix and stroll through scenic 110-acre Independence Grove Lake with its encircling trails for biking and hiking. Throughout the summer, the Lake County Forest Preserve is highlighted by its concerts in the plaza and Craft Beer Garden featuring several Lake County Libation Trail partners. MainStreet Libertyville is your next destination after your date with nature. Mom-and-pop shops, unique restaurants, weekly family events and festivals and myriad historical nuggets round out your experience in the land of lakes metropolitan area. Grab international bites in this Lake County town. Dine on fusion fare at Singh's Kitchen, authentic Chinese eats at Dangela's Dumplings, food and craft brews from Mickey Finn's Brewery, Mediterranean cuisine at Main Street Social, authentic Mexican fare from Casa Bonita Restaurant & Tequila Bar and more.

Taking Route 21 or Milwaukee Avenue southbound, head to Vernon Hills for world-class shopping options at Hawthorn Mall and Mellody Farms. Hawthorn Mall is a super-regional shopping center conveniently located via Lake County's major thoroughfares and the I-94 Tollway. The premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination is highlighted by anchor stores like Macy's, JC Penney and more. Mellody Farm offers a convenient, open-air, urban-inspired, regionally located shopping and dining destination. The center is located two miles west of I-94, at the corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Townline Road. Rooted in heritage and built for today’s customer, the shopping center provides fan-favorite stores like Nordstrom Rack, REI and so much more. Grab a bite to eat between shopping at Jameson's Charhouse, Feather Glass Wine Bar and Eatery, SLYCE Coal Fired Pizza and other delicious cuisines.

You can end your night with a twilight round of links at White Deer Run or something outside the box like playing a game of lacrosse, basketball, hockey and bumper cars all at once at WhirlyBall. 

Day 3:

Hang a "Roscoe" (right) on Route 45 to head up through the Villages of Mundelein and Grayslake. "Illinois Made" Tighthead Brewing Co., Patterson Glass and Tony Cannoli are can't-miss destinations. Lake County Libation Trail partner The Mundelein brewhouse is dedicated to crafting exceptional suds for all seasons. Sample first-class drinkables like the Scarlet > Fire Irish-Style Red Ale, the Boxcar Porter and the Irie IPA, just to name a few. The one-decade-old neighborhood institution poured its heart and soul into each glass. Besides Tighthead, there are two other Libation Trail locations in Mundelein including Bosacki's Brewery and Tonality Brewing Co, latter clinching a silver medal overal in the 2024 World Beer Cup for their Dubbel Crit beer. 

Holy moly, that man Tony knows minds his ps and qs about cannolis! The Mundelein confectioner creates traditional and unconventional cannolis for customers to indulge their sweet tooth. Tony Cannoli Specialty Shop is also an Illinois Made member. Looking for some memory makers?

Visit the third Mundelein Illinois Made partner in Patterson Glass. The maker Peter Patterson conducts classes for visitors at its open houses, teaching amateurs how to create decorative flair like vases, ornaments, light bulbs, fabergé eggs and more.  

Head to dinner in downtown Grayslake, a vibrant neighborhood that has delectable dinner options, before you return to the Lincolnshire resort. The martini and wine bar creates clever libation concoctions but doesn’t skimp on the suds. The Vine offers an array of items and specializes in tapas. The bar/restaurant also features live music acts regularly ranging over a variety genres. The downtown Grayslake mainstay oozes cool vibes. Or indulge in Lake County Libation Trail partner Light the Lamp. The hockey-themed bar serves up innovative brews, modern American cuisine and myriad tasty items. This route provides a wonderful experience to be had along this route that could stretch to three if not four days. 


 

Day 2

Lodging

Lincolnshire Marriott Resort

Dining

Mickey Finn's Brewery in Libertyville
Main Street Social in Libertyville
Casa Bonita Mexican Restaurant & Tequila Bar in Libertyville
Dangelas Dumplings in LIbertyville
Singh's Kitchen in Libertyville
Feather Glass Wine Bar and Eatery in Vernon Hills
Jameson's Charhouse in Vernon Hills 
SLYC Coal Fired Pizza in Vernon Hills

Attractions

Independence Grove Forest Preserve in LIbertyville
Craft Beer Garden at Independence Grove
Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway
WhirlyBall in Vernon Hills
White Deer Run in Vernon Hills
Follow the Libation Trail Map to points all around the county

Shopping

Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills
Mellody Farms in Vernon Hills

Patterson Glass in Mundelein

Day 3

Lodging

Lincolnshire Marriott Resort

Dining

Tony Cannoli in Mundelein
Light the Lamp Brewery in Grayslake
The Vine Wine & Martini Bar in Grayslake

Attractions

Tighthead Brewing Company in Mundelein
Patterson Glass in Mundelein
Bosack's Brewery in Mundelein
Tonality Brewing Co. in Mundelein
Follow the Libation Trail Map to points all around the county

 

BACK TO ROAD TRIPS

 

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

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