Top 15 Trendy Instagram Locations in Lake County

When it comes to Instagram, you can never have too many #hashtags. Well, you can, but we’re not going to penalize you for it, that’s for sure.

There is an overabundance of scenic, historical and just plain #instagood snapshots of Lake County on the platform. While you’re sheltering in place, sometimes you miss some of the little elements that make life beautiful. Here’s a slew of grams for you to marvel at as we ride this flattening of the curvature out.


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The lucky one…

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Many of these places are best enjoyed during the summer in Lake County. By crunching a few numbers via CrowdRiff and utilizing the bureau’s #LetsGoLakeCounty, we compiled a list of the top 15 trendy Instagram locations in Lake County.

There’s #nofilter in this post. #Followme and show #instalove for these top 15 hot spots.

15. Buffalo Creek Brewery in Long Grove

The two-year-old brewing company features a beautiful bar and tasting room area, a large outside deck and gazebo, event space and production areas for fermenting, bottling and cold storage. The Long Grove beer aficionados are also a stop on the Lake County Libation Trail.

Buffalo Creek Brewing, 360 Historical Ln., Long Grove

14. Ryerson Conservation Area in Riverwoods


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Nature is always a hot spot. As for this Lake County Forest Preserve entity, this pristine haven with all of the woodland fixin’s is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 552-acre preserve houses several Illinois threatened and endangered species, is home to a portion of the Des Plaines River and offers a ton of outdoor activities.

Ryerson Conservation Area and the Brushwood Center, 21950 N. Riverwoods Rd., Riverwoods.

13. Tighthead Brewery in Mundelein

This Mundelein brewery is dedicated to crafting quality beer for all seasons. The brewery features a taproom that is open to the public and offers tours and other social events. Since they opened their doors in 2011, Tighthead has poured their heart and soul into every glass.

Tighthead Brewing Company, 161 N. Archer Ave., Mundelein.

12. Wildberry Cafe in Libertyville

So what do you pick to eat in that awkward time span between breakfast and lunch as your stomach stirs restlessly awaiting your decision? Do you go the route where your plate is doused in maple syrup and other sweet glorious treats? Do you pack on the protein complemented with salty delights? Our advice is all of the above. The Libertyville cafe was ranked in the Thrillist Top 21 Pancakes in American in 2015, and have taken home countless Daily Herald Readers’ Choice Awards for “Best Brunch.” As you can see, Wildberry is kind of a big deal.

Wildberry Cafe, 1783 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville.

11. Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway

No matter where you are in Lake County, you’re probably not far from the Des Plaines River Trail. The pathway stretches the entirety of Lake County and dabbles at the border of Wisconsin as well as Cook County. The trail and greenway stretch over 31 miles and runs through 12 Lake County forest preserves like Independence Grove, Old School Forest Preserve, Ryerson Conservation Area and more. FYI, it also passes by six canoe launches

From Wadsworth to River Grove.

10. Lake County Fairgrounds & Event Center in Grayslake

The main event is always the annual Lake County Fair (which is in the process of celebrating its 91st born day). However, the Grayslake facility is open year-round for dog shows, pageants, Jurassic World, Farm Heritage & Harvest Festival, the Lake County Craft Beer Fest, the Northern Illinois Golf Expo, the Northern Illinois Boat & RV Show, Food Truck Frenzy, Zurko Antiques & Flea Markets and a slew of other events.

Lake County Fairgrounds & Event Center, 1060 E. Peterson Rd., Grayslake.

9. Chain O’ Lakes State Park and surrounding areas

An archery range, bike trails, boating, camping, cross-country skiing, equestrian trails, fishing, swimming hiking trails, hunting, metal detecting…need we say more? The Chain O’ Lakes is Illinois’ largest concentration of natural lakes and marvelous outdoor recreation, housing a slew of…well lakes. Not to mention it’s one of the state’s favorite state parks.

Chain O’ Lakes State Park, 8916 Wilmot Rd., Spring Grove.

8. Volo Auto Museum

Volo Auto Museum is like no other place. The place houses over 300 classic, antique and muscle cars complemented by automobiles made famous on the big screen and the boob tube. For example, you can see authentic versions of the DeLorean owned by Doc Brown, the cop car (enormous speaker included) of Jake and Elwood’s cop car, KIT form KnightRider, Batman’s Batmobile and a collection of others.

Volo Auto Museum, 27582 W. Volo Village Rd., Volo.

7. Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville

Which way is up?

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This scenic 1,135-acre preserve offers a wide range of outdoor recreation and education opportunities centered around a 115-acre lake reclaimed from a gravel quarry. Visitors can enjoy swimming, fishing and boating, a Marina with boat and bike rentals, a native garden and nearly seven miles of trails. The spacious Visitors Center features exhibits and a café. It can be rented for weddings and other private functions.

Independence Grove Forest Preserve, 16400 W. Buckley Rd., Libertyville.

6. Blarney Island in Antioch 

Blarney Island is the premier summer party located a mile offshore on the Chain O’Lakes. The unique Antioch bar hosts events, fests, live entertainment, Thunder on the Chain and many others. Take the Blarney shuttle boat out from Port of Blarney, and in just a few minutes you will be living on island time. Blarney Island is open from May-September. Blarney Island isn’t just a weekend destination. Thursday’s Thunder on the Chain is a must-see event!

Blarney Island, 27843 W. Grass Lake Rd., Antioch.

5. Lake Michigan

No surprise here. Anything surrounded by the five Great Lakes (and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, Lake Michigan is the best of the Great Lakes), is sure to be a grammable moment. Some of the top Instagram locations around Lake Michigan include Waukegan’s Lighthouse and Waukegan Municipal Beach, Illinois Beach State Park in Zion, Naval Station Great Lakes in North Chicago and Rosewood Beach in Highland Park.

  • Waukegan Municipal Beach, 201 Sea Horse Dr., Waukegan. INFO»
  • Illinois Beach State Park, 1 Lakefront, Zion INFO»
  • Naval Station Great Lakes, 3355 Illinois St., Great Lakes. INFO»
  • Rosewood Beach & Interpretive Center, 883 Sheridan Rd., Highland Park. INFO»
  • North Point Marinia, 710 North Point Dr., Winthrop Harbor INFO»

4. Ravinia Festival in Highland Park


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Ravinia Chicago Symphony Orchestra Gustavo Dudamel Beethoven program .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. #ravinia #chicagosymphonyorchestra #concert

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Ravinia is a staple of Lake County. Since 1905, the Highland Park fest has featured the top musicians in a variety of genres, making it the oldest outdoor festival in U.S. history. Like every year, Ravinia showcases a slew of star-studded acts like Aretha Franklin, Whoopi Goldberg, John Legend, Tony Bennett, Alanis Morissette, The Beach Boys, Earth, Wind & Fire, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and so many more.

Ravinia Festival, 200 Ravinia Park Rd., Highland Park.

3. Bristol Renaissance Faire Just North of Lake County

Even if you don’t own a phone booth time machine (“Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” nostalgia), you can take a trip back to the past to experience the 16th-century English Elizabethan era just over the Wisconsin border. The renowned Bristol Renaissance Faire in Kenosha features sword fighters, maidens, minstrels and jesters. There are many photo opportunities like having the chance to meet and greet with legendary celebrities such as Queen Elizabeth and Robin Hood. The Faire also offers games, rides, arts & crafts, eats, live music and one-of-a-kind encounters with a spectacular cast of characters.

Bristol Renaissance Faire, 12550 120th Ave., Kenosha.

2. Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor in Gurnee

Who wouldn’t want to catch the quintessential experience for adults and youngsters of all ages at the Gurnee fun zone? Six Flags Great America features 16 roller coasters, amazing live shows, fireworks, delicious dining options, 11-themed areas with other fantastic rides and tons more of excitement. Hurricane Harbor is highlighted by 25-water slides, a 500,000-gallon wave pool, Skull Island: the world’s largest interactive water playground and so much more. Maxx Force, the Gurnee coaster haven’s newest ride, was just unveiled in the summer of 2019. Get a glimpse of this record-breaking coaster here.

Six Flags Great America & Hurricane Harbor, 1 Great America Pkwy., Gurnee.

1. Chicago Botanic Garden just south of Lake County

The most beautiful destination in Illinois is non-other than the Chicago Botanic Garden. Just south of Lake County (literally you just have to cross Lake Cook Road from where Ravinia located is and you’re there), this 385-acre sanctuary features 27 gardens and four natural areas situated on nine islands and surrounded by tranquil lakes. There’s so much more natural splendor, but you have to see it with your own eyes to believe it.

Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe.

For more snaps of the picturesque land of lakes and to see more of the top 15 trendy Instagram locations in Lake County, continue here.  To learn more about when and where to visit these destinations, click here.

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