Automotive in Lake Zurich

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Winner of the Daily Herald's Readers' Choice 2011 award for best car wash, Raceway Car Wash and Detailing plies and pampers weary autos with award-earning soft-cloth car washes and meticulous detail packages. During each 10- to 15-minute deluxe exterior wash, soft cloths liberate paint and chrome from roadway grime, oily deposits, and old Datsun tattoos before deft hands whisk away lingering moisture with thirsty towels. An undercarriage wash combs the car's undersides for asphalt-born buildup, a wheel-shine rim cleaner grooms the tires, and applications of clear-coat sealer wax gild the shell in a glossy element-repelling shine. Technicians then tidy up the whitewalls and rims, giving wheels a fresh sparkle and sense of highway swagger.

7 N Rand Rd
Lake Zurich,
IL
US

There are treasures beyond belief under the waves. All across the Midwest, lakes large and small contain pieces of history, from a moss-coated dump truck at the bottom of Haigh Quarry to the schooner Thomas Hume, which has been a home to the fish of Lake Michigan since 1891. With favorite wet spots from Missouri to Minnesota, the teachers at Chicagoland Scuba are privy to it all. Whether offering first-time divers certification classes, leading diving trips, or learning how fish like to be hugged, exploring the underwater life is second nature to these pros—something they hope rubs off on their students, too.

756 S Rand Rd
Lake Zurich,
IL
US

At each of Fast Eddie’s three locations, technicians reward roughed-up autos with a spa-style cleansing that helped earn them the Northwest Herald's 2012 Best Car Wash/Detailing award. Performed entirely by hand, four types of car washes service the entire car, ranging from basic exterior jobs to all-encompassing packages that evict grime hidden in interior corners. Owners wait for newly primped rides in a dog-friendly waiting area that doubles as an iceless, bring-your-own-equipment hockey rink.

330 W Northwest Hwy
Barrington,
IL
US

Piping-hot lattes and samples of gourmet treats greet shoppers as they stroll into the well-stocked emporium of brand-name gifts and domestic goods. Wedding gifts ($50–$100) from labels such as Michael Aram, Nambé, and Simon Pearce celebrate nuptials, and hostess gifts from Mariposa ($25–$60) express appreciation for invitations to sunny baby showers or shadowy Illuminati initiations. Gourmet-fare items from Rothchild Farm and Stonewall Kitchen fill larders with stylish, wholesome eats ($7–$25), and picnic and outdoor serving ware ($15–$75) set the open-air stage for elegant outdoor dining. Amicable shopping assistants lead guests to the perfect presents before gussying purchases up with complimentary gift-wrapping, shielding them from prying eyes or voyeuristic Christmas trees.

117 E Northwest Hwy
Barrington,
IL
US