Hotel at a Glance: Illinois Beach Resort & Conference Center
This resort sits within Illinois Beach State Park, which offers more than 4,000 acres of wilderness extending to the wind-swept shores of Lake Michigan. Families can build sand castles on the beach, or hike the surrounding trails.
- Restaurant with a view: Dine on filet mignon, prime rib, and fresh seafood (including a Friday night fish fry) at the onsite Lakeside Restaurant. You get a $40 dining credit at the restaurant with this deal. Weekly specials include 2 for $25 filet mignon dinner special on Wednesdays, and 2 for $25 prime rib dinner special on Saturdays.
- Nearby things to do: Play a round of golf at Shepherd's Crook, go shopping at Gurnee Mills, sail in the lake, or take a day trip to Six Flags Great America—about 20 minutes away by car.
- Sandpiper Lounge: Sip drinks at a sunlit bar, where floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the beach.
- The Fitness center is stocked with cardio equipment and free weights, and an indoor Olympic swimming pool, hot tub, tanning bed, dry sauna, game room, and aerobics room are also available.
Zion, Illinois: Family-Friendly Beaches Near Great America
Zion sits on the western shores of Lake Michigan, which means there's no shortage of stuff to explore outdoors. Parts of the city include the 4,000-acre Illinois Beach State Park, where you can wade into Lake Michigan, swim in fishing ponds, and bike down trails lined with pine and black oak trees.
Less than a half-hour southwest, family-friendly entertainment abounds in the suburb of Gurnee. The main draw here is Six Flags Great America, which draws families for its record-breaking wooden coasters. After a day of adventure, you can visit Gurnee Mills Mall to shop at brand name outlet stores and dine at your choice of restaurants.