Located 50 miles northwest of Chicago, Crystal Lake is a suburban community with a motto that fits it to a T: “A Good Place to Live.” Its small-town feel still comes with all the dining, shopping, and recreation homeowners are looking for in a place to call home. The charming historic downtown is bustling with independent shops and restaurants and along the Route 14 corridor is a great mix of big retailers and independent speciality shops. The gem of Crystal Lake is the Three Oaks Recreation area, complete with a beach, hiking trails, and boat rental. The Park District oversees more than 1,600 acres of parks and open spaces throughout the town, including the lake the town is named for — Crystal Lake.
Crystal Lake is located approximately 50 miles northwest of Chicago, a short drive from O'Hare International Airport, near several major highways and interstates.
Population (2017) Total 40,421 Density 2,300 people/square mile White: 81.7% Black: 1.4% Hispanic or Latino: 12.5% Asian: 2.9% Other: 2.0%
Median per capita income: $36,739
The City of Crystal Lake traces its origin to two separate communities which were established in the 1800s. Those communities were generally known as Nunda and Crystal Lake.
In 1835, Ziba S. Beardsley had come to the shores of the lake and commented that the “waters were as clear as crystal”, thereby giving the lake its name. In February 1836, Beman and Polly Crandall and six of their ten children, came from New York State traveling to Crystal Lake in a covered wagon. Their original cabin was built in the vicinity of today's intersection of Virginia Street and Van Buren Street. Four of the Crandall children were born there.
The town was first known as Crystal Ville. It was changed to Crystal Lake sometime before 1840. The area known today as downtown Crystal Lake was first called Dearborn and later, Nunda, from an area in New York where many settlers originated. The village of Dearborn was founded in the 1850s after an extension of railroads through the area. The first train station was built in 1856, although it was pre-fabricated and shipped from Chicago on a flatcar. At that time, the main business district for the village of Crystal Lake was located on Virginia Street, about one mile southwest of the railroad station. The railroad served to connect both the people and industries of Crystal Lake and Dearborn to Chicago and the rest of the country.
The median sales price for homes in Crystal Lake, IL for Feb. 10 to April 10 was $170,450 based on 124 home sales. Compared to the same period one year ago, the median home sales price decreased 7.9 percent, or $14,540, and the number of home sales increased 18.1percent.
The average listing price for homes for sale in Crystal Lake IL was $299,673 for the week ending May 19, which represents a decrease of 2%, or $6,138, compared to the prior week.
Nick's Pizza & Pub (856 Pyott Rd.) This popular Crystal Lake pizza pub sports a rustic, lodge-style decor and the obligatory deer trophies, swinging doors, and cigar store Indian statues. Expect kids frolicking in the video arcade while Mom and Dad grab a drink at the bar.
Matt's Tavern (92 Railroad St.) Matt's bartender describes the venue as a "blue-collar bar," plain and simple. During the day, building contractors from the area's countless developments drop by to unwind or seal a deal.
Labemi's Tavern on Main (109 Main St.) Labemi's Tavern on Main feels like an old baseball glove — it's seen its share of customers, and the interior shows it. You'll still find nighttime crowds filling the bar, especially in the summer.
Crystal Lake, as a city, is large enough to entertain its own cultural institutions. However, it also shares many cultural opportunities with the city of Chicago, and the other large communities which surround it, as they are easily accessible from Crystal Lake, and vice versa.
A large presence in the city is the Crystal Lake Park District, which runs all of the city's numerous parks and the yearly events which take place within them. Two major parks run by the park district are Veterans Acres, along Walkup Road, and Main Beach, along the namesake Crystal Lake. Crystal Lake is open whenever weather is accommodating. However, boating is often restricted due to disputes with both the homeowners on the lake, as well as the city of Lakewood, in which approximately 30% of the lake lies. Near Crystal Lake lies the famed Dole mansion, where visitors can take tours for a small donation.
Among the city's sites of interest is the historic downtown district. The downtown district, which recently has undergone a revitalization, is home to many small specialty shops and businesses, and is a popular local shopping district. Also located in the downtown district is the Raue Center for the Performing Arts, which seats 750 and performs plays and hosts concerts throughout the year. Raue Center has recently transformed itself into a regional destination spot by providing a Jazz Festival launched by Ramsey Lewis and hosting several recent Tony Winners. The city is also home to the Crystal Lake Striker's, Crystal Lake Community Band, McHenry County Music Center and Voices in Harmony (formerly, The Crystal Lake Community Choir).
Crystal Lake has many great restaurants perfect for families or a date night:
Cucina Bella Due (111 N. Main St.) Located right across the street from the Metra station on Main Street is this cozy, 66-seat independently owned eatery.
Andy's Family Restaurant (468 W. Virginia St.) Serving up Greek and American home cooking, Andy's offers include barbecue ribs, homemade soups, ham off the bone, and homemade mashed potatoes.
Country Donuts (181 Virginia Rd.) In addition to donuts, Country Donuts serves coffee, frozen drinks, tea, juice, muffins, and bagels.
1776 (397 W. Virginia St.) Specializing in wild game, local, organic fed whole hogs and angus beef by the 1/2 and gluten friendly options.
Dukes Alehouse (110 North Main St.) An upscale-casual gastropub offering comfort foods.
Georgios Pizza (75 E. Woodstock St.) Chicago Style Pizzeria specializing in authentic deep dish pizza
Portillos (855 Cog Circle) Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef, burgers, salads, and chocolate cake.
The Crystal Lake Park District runs all of the city's numerous parks and the yearly events which take place within them. Two major parks run by the park district are Veterans Acres, along Walkup Road, and Main Beach, along the namesake Crystal Lake.
Crystal Lake is open whenever weather is accommodating. However, boating is often restricted due to disputes with both the homeowners on the lake, as well as the city of Lakewood, in which approximately 30% of the lake lies. Near Crystal Lake lies the famed Dole mansion, where visitors can take tours for a small donation.