The Hurricane’s Vortex whirlpool ride at KeyLime Cove Waterpark Resort looks like a giant pinwheel painted with gold and orange stripes. But once the ride begins, those stripes blur into red as a torrent of water whips you around before safely dropping you in the Lazy River. The ride is one of eight major aquatic attractions featured in KeyLime Cove’s sprawling 65,000-square-foot indoor water-park, located about an hour north of downtown Chicago in Gurnee, Illinois.
Kids of all ages will find something to do in the water-park. The tropical indoor environment—kept at a balmy 84 degrees—is home to a wealth of wild rides, including the two 500-foot Splash Down & Slip Slidin’ Away water slides, a wave pool, and the interactive Toukie’s Big Deluge aquatic playground for kids. KeyLime Cove is a conveniently cashless resort. Upon check-in, you’ll receive a high-tech wristband that also functions as your room key, water-park ticket, and credit card for anything and everything around the resort.
While the kids play games in the RipTide Reef Arcade, adults can unwind in the Paradise Mist Spa. Families can meet up for dinner at any of the resort’s six eateries, including The Crazy Toucan and D.W. Anderson's, an old-fashioned soda fountain with 1950s decor. The resort’s guest rooms feature flat-screen televisions and complimentary WiFi.
Gurnee, Illinois: Near Chicago’s North Shore
About halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee, the village of Gurnee is popular for its shopping mall, Gurnee Mills, one of Illinois’s largest malls. It’s home to hundreds of stores and restaurants.
Gurnee lies just west of Chicago’s North Shore, a group of affluent suburbs along Lake Michigan. There are several sites to explore among these nearby cities—the picturesque college town of Evanston was named one of the Coolest Suburbs Worth a Visit by Travel + Leisure and is home to Northwestern University. In nearby Glencoe is the Chicago Botanic Garden, a year-round garden with more than 9,000 types of plants.
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Queen Guest Room
Two queen beds
Standard occupancy: 2
Maximum occupancy: 6
Adding occupants above standard: no additional charge
Check-in: 4 p.m.
Check out: 11 a.m.
Resort fee includes: parking, activities at Leapin’ Lizards, WiFi, in-room safe, in-room coffee, free local and 800 calls, newspaper, access to nearby Gold’s Gym, and shuttle service to nearby attractions
Parking: included in resort fee
Rollaways: not available
Smoking policy: no smoking inside the property
Pet policy: pets are not allowed inside the property.
Accessibility: handicap-accessible rooms are not available.
Room upgrades: not available
By plane: 8 miles from Waukegan Regional Airport (UGN); 33 miles from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
By cab: about $20 from UGN
By car: 44 miles north of Chicago, IL; 50 miles south of Milwaukee, WI