Hotel at a Glance: KeyLime Cove Waterpark Resort
The Hurricane Vortex whirlpool ride at KeyLime Cove Waterpark Resort looks like a giant pinwheel painted with gold and orange stripes. 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 at KeyLime Cove’s sprawling 65,000-square-foot indoor waterpark, which is located in Gurnee, Illinois, about an hour north of downtown Chicago.
- Whiz and whir down four intense water slides—two of which are nearly 400 feet long—in addition to hurdling down the aforementioned Vortex.
- More aquatic fun awaits at the wave pool and the interactive Toukie’s Big Deluge aquatic playground for kids.
- Keep your wallet dry thanks to the resort’s cashless approach to transactions. Upon check-in, you’ll receive a high-tech wristband that also functions as your room key, waterpark ticket, and credit card for anything and everything at the resort.
- Adults can unwind in the Paradise Mist Spa as kids go wild in the waterpark or at the onsite arcade.
- Never go hungry thanks to the resort’s six eateries, which include The Crazy Toucan and D.W. Anderson’s, an old-fashioned soda fountain with 1950s decor.
- Where you’ll stay: The resort’s guest rooms feature flat-screen televisions and complimentary WiFi.
Gurnee, Illinois: Shopping near Chicago’s North Shore
For a break from the park, head to Gurnee Mills, one of the state’s largest malls. Gurnee lies just west of Chicago’s North Shore, a group of affluent suburbs along Lake Michigan. There are several sites to explore in these nearby cities. The picturesque town of Evanston, home to Northwestern University, was named one of the “Coolest Suburbs Worth a Visit” by Travel + Leisure. And in Glencoe you’ll find more than 9,000 types of plants at the Chicago Botanic Garden.