What to do and see in Gurnee, United States: The Best Places and Tips

January 5, 2018 Hana Mouser

Gurnee, midway between Chicago and Milwaukee, is probably best known as the home of Six Flags Amusement Park and the Gurnee Mills shopping outlet. Now Midwesterners looking for a little rest and relaxation can sample the town's top attraction, the KeyLime Cove hotel and water park, which also features a spa, shopping and six restaurants.
Restaurants in Gurnee

1. 60 to Escape

6170 Grand Ave, Store 147, Gurnee, IL 60031-4592 +1 844-623-7227
Excellent
93%
Good
5%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 255 reviews

60 to Escape

The rules here are so simple that they're laid out right in the business's name: 60 to Escape. Small groups of friends, family members, or coworkers are locked in a room, where they have only an hour to use problem-solving skills and teamwork to escape. Players can select from a variety of scenarios to challenge themselves with.

Reviewed By Jbohacheff

If you are into riddles and mind puzzles this is the place.The story line is mind challenging and entertaining. This is no video game. My wife and I did well together and completed 80% of the puzzle. We would have beat the clock if we had more people. Best for two or more couples.

2. Genesee Theatre

203 N Genesee St, Waukegan, IL 60085-4221 +1 847-263-6300
Excellent
77%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 218 reviews

Genesee Theatre

The historic Genesee Theatre is a 2,400 seat entertainment venue located in Waukegan, Illinois. Located along the northern shore of Lake Michigan between Chicago and Milwaukee, the Genesee Theatre is a hub of activity for Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. Hosting a variety of music, comedy, and dance, the Genesee marks Waukegan as a destination for high-quality entertainment once reserved for major cities. The Genesee was built in 1927 as a vaudeville stage and movie palace before being restored in 2004 to its modern glory as a live entertainment venue boasting one of the largest stages in the Midwest, an acoustically dynamic auditorium, and a beautifully restored grand lobby for intimate and elegant events.

Reviewed By carpediem1010 - Chicago, Illinois

Over the holidays I took my parents and teenage son to see Michael Carbonero, a True TV magician. Top performance very well rounded show with humor mixed with magic tricks. My parents, upper 70's were hesitant of going to this theater, however it was a wonderful surprise how well refurbished it was on the interior decor. Very clean and comfortable. They have one small bar/concession stand which was good to grab a beer and a Sprite before the show. Parking in lot across street was a little pricey at $20 car.

3. Independence Grove Forest Preserve

16400 W Buckley Rd, Libertyville, IL 60048-5133 +1 847-968-3499
Excellent
86%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 108 reviews

Independence Grove Forest Preserve

Reviewed By camn21252 - Libertyville, Illinois

Lots of people love Independence Grove, which is most apparent on the weekends when the parking lot is full and there are no picnic sites available. Park is sometimes overrun with bicycles, trikes and strollers making it hard to walk and get around. If you like busy parks and crowds, this is for you. If you like quiet and more natural areas, other Lake County Forest Preserves are much more enjoyable.

4. Gold Pyramid House

37921 N Dilleys Rd, Wadsworth, IL 60083-9630
Excellent
62%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
4%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 23 reviews

Gold Pyramid House

Reviewed By Taylor B - Chicago, Illinois

If you have traveled enough over the years, you might come to the conclusion that you've seen it all. Nothing more could surprise you, not a restaurant or a hotel or a historical site or an attraction of any kind. Think again. Have you visited the Gold Pyramid House at 37921 North Dilleys Road in Wadsworth, Illinois? It is straight out of the days of the Egyptian Pharaohs. The Gold Pyramid House was built in 1977 by Jim and Linda Onan as a private residence for their family. Bizarre? This is the definition of the word. At one time, the house was the world's largest gold structure. Today, it is believed to be the largest 24-karat gold plated object in North America. The six-story-tall, 17,000-square-foot architectural oddity is one of the most bizarre houses ever constructed. Onan, a rich Armenian garage builder, made numerous trips to Egypt and incorporated many artifacts and furnishings into his one-of-a-kind home. It includes an enormous 64-foot-tall, 200-ton statue of Ramses II, a three-pyramid three-car garage, a replica of King Tut's tomb, a metal palm tree and a driveway lined with 80 stone sphinxes. Not surprisingly, the walled property is surrounded by a moat that is 20 feet deep. Tours are offered from May to October. Call 847-456-5310 to verify. Curiosity seekers frequently stop at the house's iron gates to take pictures. Looking for something more bizarre? Linda Onan runs her own online Egyptian gift shop while Jim Onan sells Pharaoh's Gold II on the site. It's a beer Onan brews himself that he claims is based on a 4,000-year-old recipe. I wonder if King Tut endorsed it. He certainly would get a kick out of the Gold Pyramid House.

5. The Tempel Lipizzans

17000 W Wadsworth Rd, Old Mill Creek, IL 60083-9761 +1 847-244-5330
Excellent
58%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
8%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 49 reviews

The Tempel Lipizzans

Lipizzaner Stallions have been enchanting audiences for 450 years. Witness art and history come to life at one of our Matinee or Evening Performances or during a Behind-The-Scenes Tour (available by appointment only). From the playful bounding of new foals to the strong, precise jumps of our stallions, the whole family will be captivated by the strength, beauty, and intelligence of these horses. Each performance, to music, is a study in classical horsemanship which has been practiced in Europe since the 16th century; the Lipizzaners have been performing at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria since the 1500’s. There are very few places in the United States where such an art can be observed. We offer a taste of Vienna, Austria right in your back yard. Performances begin mid June and run through mid September.

Reviewed By Curt C - Antioch, Illinois

I thought I knew what to expect but actually being there and witnessing the artistry of the horses and riders is awesome.

6. National Musuem of the American Sailor

610 Farragut Ave, Building 42, North Chicago, IL 60088-2915 +1 847-688-3154
Excellent
49%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
0%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 34 reviews

National Musuem of the American Sailor

As an official Department of the Navy Museum under the Naval History and Heritage Command, the National Museum of the American Sailor’s mission is to collect, preserve, and interpret the history of the United States Navy’s Enlisted Sailor for the benefit of the US. Navy and the people of the United States. NMAS will fulfill this mission by: •Serving as a vital part of the heritage training process for all Navy recruits and connecting them to the Navy’s long tradition of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. The institution also plays an important role in the Navy community by hosting naval traditions and activities that promote Naval Heritage to the greater community. •Collecting and exhibiting United States Naval history that is accurate, complete and unbiased. •Preserving the physical legacy and historical experiences of the Navy’s Enlisted Sailor for the benefit of the United States Navy and the general public. •Anticipating the United States Navy’s future historical needs by creating strategies and policies for the selection and acquisition of historical material. •Developing innovative and inspirational educational programs and exhibits that broaden and deepen public knowledge and appreciation of the significance of the United States Sailor.

Reviewed By Jasmine G - West Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Visited while I was waiting after my husband's pass-in-review (graduation) from bootcamp. It was nice to learn more about the history of the base and see displays and pictures of what they do during training. Museum is small, but has a lot packed in for Sailor's loved ones to see. The day we went there happen to be the Naval Band playing some swing music.

7. Gurnee Mills

6170 Grand Ave, Gurnee, IL 60031-4592 +1 847-263-7500
Excellent
36%
Good
42%
Satisfactory
18%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 340 reviews

Gurnee Mills

Gurnee Mills is the largest outlet and value shopping destination in Illinois. Gurnee Mills provides the ultimate indoor, climate controlled shopping experience with more than 200 stores including Neiman Marcus Last Call, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, H&M, Bed Bath & Beyond, Buybuy Baby and Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. Shoppers can dine at great restaurants including Rainforest Cafe and Ruby Tuesday. Catch a movie at Gurnee Marcus Cinema 20, enjoy indoor ice skating, miniature golf and laser tag at Rink Side Sports and Entertainment. Gurnee Mills is located at the intersection of Interstate 94 and Grand Avenue (IL 132) in Gurnee, IL, equidistant between Chicago and Milwaukee, and a 40-minute drive to either city.

Reviewed By LaurelNixon - Illinois

I noticed another review that said it was so far away ... that is relative. I'd probably say that about any other mall because they'd be farther from where I live. Nevertheless, it is perfect for a daytime destination with your kids. There are areas for kids to play and climb (and give parents a chance to sit and rest!) The crown jewel, so-to-speak is Bass Pro Shop. Their large aquarium is a must see for kids (people even ask if there's an "entrance" fee, which there isn't - it's free!) Be sure that you keep hands OUT of the water as it is a fragile environment for the fish. There's a spot to pose for a photo op for the kids. Walking around the mall itself, you will need to fend off the aggressive kiosk salespeople - but you'll find that around any other indoor mall. The mall's food court is par for mall food courts, although the smell that wafts around the mall from it and the popcorn vendors is a bit rancid - they should work on that! Tips for visiting: remember where you park and wear comfortable walking shoes!

8. ZumBier

3232 W Monroe St, Waukegan, IL 60085-3029 +1 847-420-7313
Excellent
84%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 12 reviews

ZumBier

Reviewed By CJDiaz - Chicago, Illinois, USA

Being originally from Waukegan and still living in the area, this is one of it's highlights! The place is inconveniently located by has a charm of it's own. The staff is great, not only are they attentive but they have a great knowledge of the...MoreNow the 'crack corn' popcorn is the big deal. Our own pubmix spice makes it irresistible.

9. Lake County Forest Preserves

1899 W Winchester Rd, Libertyville, IL 60048-5367 +1 847-367-6640
Excellent
94%
Good
5%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 52 reviews

Lake County Forest Preserves

Reviewed By Janice P - Libertyville, IL

The park system in Lake County is second to none. Between Independence Grove and Old School in Libertyville - you have two amazing places to walk, ride a bike, relax, ice skate —
All seasons - 12 months of the year, there is something you can do at the preserves.

Well maintained. Excellent facilities.

No matter where you are in Lake County, there is a Forest Preserve within 5 to 10 miles of your home.

10. Six Flags Great America

1 Great America Pkwy, Gurnee, IL 60031 +1 847-249-1776
Excellent
45%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
6%
Terrible
8%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 2 reviews

Six Flags Great America

This amusement park, located halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee, has over 100 rides and attractions.

Reviewed By Flat_Earther - Chicago, Illinois

I'm a life long seasons pass holder. The park is nowhere near the glorious place it was 25 years ago. I can't remember the last time I saw a character walking around. What used to be beautifully manicured gardens are now poorly neglected weed patches with a few holdover shrubs from years past.

If you are a thrill seeker, though, and don't care about aesthetics, this is a treasure trove. No matter how much I ride it, that first drop on Goliath will always make me scream. The Joker is an insane new addition for daredevils. Raging Bull is beautifully engineered, it's a very smooth ride, and most of the drops will leave you hovering just above your seat. Batman, superman, and X Flight each have their own charms. If you are visiting for the first time, make sure you try to hit each of the rides I have just listed.

There are really good people who work here. The ride operators all seem carefully selected and upbeat. The people at the gate are also usually quite friendly.

As a meal plan purchaser, I couldn't be more disappointed. I continue to purchase the plan out of convenience, but the execution of their food preparation needs work. 90% of the folks taking your order don't greet you. You walk up and they just stare at you until you give your order. Even if you say hello to them. The food places tend to have one manager who is running around frantically trying to hold everything together, and 3 or 4 very uninterested team members doing the bare minimum. Food lines, even on off peak times, are horrendous. Food choices are very limited, and healthy options tend to sell out early in the day.

My best picks for food quality are: Pizza (With fries or a salad (salad is never available, but is offered on the menu)) is on point. Fresh and hot with very good cheese and crust. Salads are usually ok. About half the time I get a salad, the chicken on it is fossilized. You can get fresh fruit at the Go Fresh locations that is usually pretty good. If you don't have a meal plan, I don't recommend eating in the park. Bring a cooler and go to the parking lot to eat. Unless you are independently wealthy and have a penchant for mediocre food.

Six Flags needs to fix their food service employee training. I understand it is probably a horrible job, but a job is what you make of it. Teach your employees tricks to make the time they spend there more enjoyable!

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