Diamond Lake Beach in Mundelein
With its prime location, unique meeting venues and Midwestern charm, Lake County, Illinois, is the ideal place to host your next meeting, conference or event. The region has more than 8,500 guest rooms and a multitude of meeting spaces, perfect for accommodating everything from productive corporate retreats to inspiring recognition trips. In between meetings, attendees can enjoy Lake County’s world-class shopping, dining and entertainment, as well as the region’s natural beauty. Here are five reasons to host your next event in Lake County.
Illinois Beach State Park in Zion
Centrally located between Chicago and Milwaukee, Lake County is easy to access from anywhere in the world thanks to its close proximity to two major international airports: O’Hare International Airport and General Mitchell International Airport. The region is also a quick Metra train ride to downtown Chicago, and access to several major highways and state roads makes it easy to reach Lake County by car or bus. Once your attendees arrive, they’ll find Lake County is easy to navigate. The county has several taxi companies, as well as Uber and Lyft, and attendees will appreciate that many of the region’s towns and villages are pedestrian and bike friendly.
Marriott Lincolnshire Resort in Lincolnshire
With more than 65 hotels offering 8,500 guest rooms, Lake County is ready to welcome any midsize groups. The area is home to a wide variety of chain and independent lodging brands as well as three major resorts. The Marriott Lincolnshire, Lake County’s largest resort, has 389 guest rooms, 22 meeting rooms and more than 50,000 square feet of meeting space. The resort has everything you need to treat and inspire attendees, including an 18-hole PGA golf course, tennis center and two pools. The Marriott Lincolnshire is also home to the highly acclaimed Marriott Theatre, which hosts everything from award-winning musicals to off-Broadway classics to trendsetting world premieres. The hotel is about to complete a $22 million renovation that will transform almost every inch of the resort. In addition to updating all guest rooms, the renovation will also include the addition of two new restaurants, a café and spa. Planners will love the new Lakeside Pavilion, a 5,000-sq.-ft. climate controlled outdoor tent with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the golf course and woods. Lake County’s Illinois Beach Resort and Conference Center, Best Western Premier Collection®, is another popular location. It’s the state’s only premier resort hotel located on the beaches of Lake Michigan. With 92 newly renovated guest rooms and more than 14,000 square feet of flexible group meeting space, Illinois Beach Resort and Conference Center offers a beautiful and spacious backdrop for your next meeting or event. The beloved KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort, a longtime favorite if you want to host an enticing and engaging conference, is about to get even better. It’s currently closed for renovations but will reopen in 2018 with a new name and look: The Great Wolf Lodge Illinois. It will feature 20,000 square feet of new indoor water park facilities, as well as a new outdoor pool. In addition to all of the area’s hotels and resorts, Lake County is also home to one of a kind outdoor spaces like Lake County Fairgrounds. With more than 65,000 square feet of meeting space, the fairgrounds are a popular spot for trade shows, festivals and large-scale exhibitions.
Lake County knows food; the region is home to a diverse selection of restaurants, serving unique dining experiences you can’t taste anywhere else. Take The Shanty, a restaurant in Wadsworth that was recently featured on Guy Fieri’s popular show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” Your attendees will be dazzled by The Shanty’s signature dishes, including the bacon-wrapped filet mignon topped with hot conch salsa and wild Atlantic salmon glazed with tequila and orange juice. The Shanty’s fresh fish fries and Sunday brunch are also popular meals with locals and visitors. In nearby Gurnee, The Chocolate Sanctuary is another crowd pleaser. The restaurant’s namesake ingredient is artfully incorporated into dishes like cocoa-nib crab cakes and short ribs braised in pinot noir and dark cocoa. The Chocolate Sanctuary’s event space can accommodate up to 150 guests for an unforgettable night out. For traditional American fare, treat your attendees to pasture-raised steaks and burgers at Beelow’s Steakhouse in Lake County. All of Beelow’s meat comes from the owners’ family farms in the nearby village of Mundelein. Lake County is also home to several breweries, wineries and distilleries, including the popular Mickey Finn’s Brewery, the region’s first brewpub. No matter where you go, you and your attendees will be treated to Lake County-style hospitality that makes everyone feel like a special guest.
Six Flags Great America & Hurricane Harbor in Gurnee
Lake County offers all of the perks of a big city, minus the high costs. In addition to hundreds of restaurants, shops and galleries, Lake County is also home to multiple attractions, where you can host unforgettable incentive trips, teambuilding outings and corporate parties. Treat your attendees to a thrilling day of rollercoasters and waterslides at Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor Water Park. Or strap them into a modified bumper car for an adrenaline-fueled game of lacrosse on wheels at Whirlyball, a restaurant and bar that also has a laser tag court and bowling alley. Want to host an opening night party with style? Consider a casino night, murder mystery dinner or karaoke party—complete with a live backup band—at the industrial chic Viper Alley event space.
Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville
With more than 170 lakes and rivers, 23 miles of shoreline along Lake Michigan and 154 miles of trails, as well as numerous gardens and outdoor attractions, Lake County’s picturesque setting adds to the charm of this Midwestern county. Lake Michigan offers planners the possibility of hosting everything, from exciting charter fishing excursions to relaxing dinner cruises, while the nearby Chicago Botanic Garden provides a beautiful backdrop for networking dinners and cocktail parties. Lake County is also home to more than three dozen golf courses, corn mazes, working farms and historic villages. Throughout the year you’ll find events that celebrate the region’s history and beauty, including rodeos, harvest festivals and pumpkin patches.