Waukegan Harbor

Boat­ing Lake Coun­ty Blog

Illi­nois Makes Big Reg­is­tra­tion Changes

The fun of boating in Lake County hasn’t changed, but since last year, Illinois registration rules have. If you haven’t heard the news yet, read on: CHANGE #1 - You no longer need an Illinois Water Usage Stamp for non-motorized craft such as canoes, kayaks, rowboats and paddleboats. Apparently, the stickers tended to both fade in the sun and slip off the hull. You will still need to register watercraft with a motor – including…

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Recipe of the month: Margarita

Ah, a beautiful day of boating on a Lake County summer day. What could be more perfect? Adding a margarita into the scenario. Crisp, citrusy with a touch of sweetness, a sunny margarita is the perfect summer drink. There are pre-made mixes out there. But why bother? A made-from-scratch margarita is superior in every way. And just as simple to make. You can also prepare a batch of margaritas ahead of time. To avoid diluting,…

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Blar­ney Island: Island Time” Begins Memo­r­i­al Day Weekend

The Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of the Lake County boating season. And on the gorgeous Chain O’Lakes, it also means that “The Key West of the Midwest,” Blarney Island, is open for a spectacular summer of fun. This holiday weekend is packed with live music day and night, so check Blarney’s calendar. And remember that next Thursday evening, May 30, is the weekly Thunder on the Chain drag boat races. Some boats…

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BOAT­ING ETI­QUETTE 101: Boat Ramps

When you’re ready for a day of boating in beautiful Lake County, you want to get on the water as soon as possible. So do all the other boaters at the boat ramp. That’s why everyone should be prepared to work efficiently when launching or retrieving a boat. It should only take around five minutes – if you stick to the task at hand. Deal with boat covers, coolers and upkeep in the parking lot.…

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Boat­ing on the Chain O’Lakes? There’s a stick­er for that…

If your boat’s already registered in Illinois or out-of-state, you may no longer need a water usage stamp for most non-motorized craft. BUT…if you’re planning to boat on Lake County’s beautiful Chain O’Lakes or the Fox River, you are going to need a separate Fox Waterways Agency sticker. That goes for any craft – motorized or non-motorized – except for paddleboards. So plan ahead. You can purchase a 1-day, 10-day or annual sticker at the…

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Don’t miss the North­ern Illi­nois Boat Show, Feb­ru­ary 28-March 3

Whether it’s your first boat or an upgrade, you’ll find what you’re looking for here. Check out over 200 new and used boats from 50 of the top boat manufacturers – all on display by top local dealers. It’s a great place to get a deal, with "show-only" specials on bow riders, ski boats, wakeboard boats, wake surf boats, cruisers, cuddy cabins, deck boats, jet boats, pontoon boats, and much more. Admission is $8 for…

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Tips for Buy­ing Your First Boat in Lake County

There are a slew of boat shows going on as we lead into the spring. Have you gone out searching for your dream boat? For Lake County residents and visitors, the Northern Illinois Boat Show is rapidly approaching. The show will be held at the Lake County Fair Grounds in Grayslake from February 28 – March 3. You can’t just go in empty handed with a plan of attack. Buying a boat in Lake…

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Blar­ney Island: The Key West of the Midwest

Blarney Island in Lake County’s famous Chain O’Lakes has been voted “the greatest boating bar in the world.” And it’s totally unique–because the only way to reach this hopping “Key West of the Midwest’ is by boat. Watch as operating owner Rob Hardman shares some of what makes Barney Island such as special place.…

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Lake­side Dining

LAKESIDE DINING: ROOMS WITH A VIEW One of the beauties of visiting Lake County is being able to relax at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the food and admiring the unbeatable views. Some even let you dock your boat and come inside. Here are four top-notch restaurants, all featuring spectacular patios that put you right on the glorious waters of beautiful Lake County. El Puerto Mexican Restaurant You can’t get any closer to the water…

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Boat Rentals

Ahh, the sun sparkling on the water. The sweet breeze off the shore. Feel the spray as you slice through the waves. Grab an icy beverage from the cooler. It’s another glorious day boating with family or friends in Lake County, Illinois. Oh, you don’t have a boat? Don’t feel left out. It’s easy to rent one. There are boats for every kind of adventure on lakes big and small. For human-powered excursions, try…

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