Lake County offers a plethora of unique spaces and inspiring places for meetings, conferences, expos, reunions and other special occasions. To complement your event, Lake County is jam-packed with thousands of acres of forest preserves, Lake Michigan to the east and Chain O' Lakes to the west.
Events become memorable experiences when enhanced by elegant settings or spectacular lake views, and options are endless for free time outdoor activities from garden walks to boating or charter fishing for small groups.
Lake County is a celebrated destination for its hundreds of lakes and majestic waters. You can take your group on a boat tour of Chain O' Lakes, rich in gangster history and folklore. Set sail from Port of Blarney in Antioch and land ho at Blarney Island, only accessible by boat for lunch, dinner and/or libations. Impress your attendees with a meeting on the legendary stage of the Genesee Theatre, stroll the radiant gardens at the Chicago Botanic Garden during a meeting break or plan a fun team-building event at the Libertyville Sports Complex. Ravinia, the oldest music festival in North America, serves as a beautiful site for group events. Other unique settings include Ryerson Conservation Area, Chicago Marriott Lincolnshire Resort, Cuneo Mansion and the Lake County Fairgrounds & Events Center, or consider one of the county's unparalleled golf courses as the backdrop for a meeting or event.
The Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, originally erected in 1927, is a magnificent, historic theatre which was exquisitely restored to its original regal splendor and reopened in 2004. Patrons are stunned by the beauty of this grand venue. The theatre is available for private functions and features auditorium style seating for 2,400. The facility offers seven lounges for meetings and receptions of up to 200 attendees. The theater's stage provides a unique setting for banquets of up to 150.
The Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake offers many options and is conveniently located within walking distance of two commuter rail lines to downtown Chicago. The Event Center features a 62,000-square-foot expo hall and several function rooms. Also, the grounds and show barns provide boundless outdoor possibilities from corporate picnics to car shows to festivals and more.
For an exceptionally unique occasion, Cuneo Mansion in Vernon Hills is open for weekend tours and private functions of up to 300. The lavish home initially owned by the Founder of the General Electric Company Sam Insull is designed with an Italianate style complemented by scenic gardens and landscaping. The home was later bought by Hawthorn Mellody Farms Dairy, National Tea Company and Cuneo Press owner John Cuneo Sr. in 1937. For the natural scenic option, consider Ryerson Conservation Area's Brushwood Center for family celebrations, corporate meetings or retreat-type gatherings. The Riverwoods woodland features 561 acres of land and is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Lake County offers over 60 hotels including the Marriott Lincolnshire Resort which recently completed a $27 million renovation and boasts a new front entrance and lobby, renovated banquet pavilions, a full-service spa, two new restaurants and an overhaul of all 389 guest rooms. The resort also features 40,000 square feet of meeting space, an 18-hole PGA Championship Golf Course, the award-winning Marriott Theatre, two swimming pools and a beautiful new outdoor patio area.
Illinois Beach Resort, on the shores of Lake Michigan, recently completed renovation of its 92 guest rooms and is a perfect setting for retreats and reunions. Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee, owned by North America's largest family of indoor water-park resorts, opened in June 2018. The former KeyLime Cove Resort property features 414 guest suites, new restaurants, shops, an expansive indoor water-park and 7,800 square feet of flexible meeting space.
Other full-service hotels in Lake County are the Hyatt Regency Deerfield, Marriott Suites Deerfield, Embassy Suites Deerfield, Doubletree by Hilton in Mundelein, and the Holiday Inn and Conference Center in Gurnee. For those flying in, Lake County is just 15 miles from O'Hare Airport and 40 miles from Milwaukee's General Mitchell Airport.
Visit Lake County is the official destination marketing organization for Lake County, Illinois offering complimentary assistance for those planning meetings, expos, reunions or special events. Take advantage of our knowledge, vast resources and free services. Check out VisitLakeCounty.org for more information on the many naturally inviting meeting spaces across the county.
• Maureen Riedy is president of Visit Lake County.