Ready to hit the beach? Crystal Lake’s Main Beach is a fun place to go for a swim and relax. But did you know you can do so much more while you’re here? Read all about fun with the family at Main Beach.

Related: Looking for more fun (and safe) things to do during the summer? Check it out here. 

Our experience at Main Beach in Crystal Lake:

This beach truly offers a lot for families. In fact, you can easily spend half a day here.

Soak up the rays on the beach


Pack your swimsuits, bring your water toys, and stay to play at the beach. Rest assured there are lifeguards there and they were quite attentive. 


We arrived on a Monday around 11 and found plenty of space to setup our stuff safely.I thought the sandy area in front of the swimming area was a bit narrow, but there was plenty of space on either side of the swimming area.

Space in front of playground


Sandy area next to boat rentals


Note: They take a break at 2 p.m. and everyone has to get out of the water for 15 minutes.

Grab some grub

When you get hungry, stop by the convenient concession stand where they serve typical beach food — hot dogs, nachos, and drinks. You can also bring your own food and even enjoy it at any of the many picnic tables provided.

But for a true Crystal Lake experience, you have to get the Julie Bars from local custard shop Julie Anne’s. (If you don’t, then you MUST stop by here before leaving town.) 

Enjoy the playground

When the kids need time away from the water, they have a nice playground waiting for them.  There’s swings, multiple slides, “spider” nets, plenty of things to climb, and more. Plus, the playground caters to a variety of age groups.

The best part? It faces the lake giving you incredible views.

Tip: The playground is free, just let them know at the gate.

Get ON the water

When I saw they offered pedal boats for rent, I was intrigued. But then I saw they had dragon paddle boats – how cool! I was beyond excited. It’s such a blast. You rent it for an hour and it fits 5 people. And at only $12 an hour it’s easy on the wallet. But let me tell you, paddling a boat is definitely a work out. (And perfect for burning the calories from that Julie Barr!)

They have other rentals as well – kayaks, SUPs (stand up paddleboard), canoes, and rowboats.


Tips to Enjoy Main Beach:

  • Main Beach will be open to Crystal Lake Park District residents only until 2 pm.
  • After 2 pm, admission opens to both residents and non-residents
  • Boat rentals are available prior to 2pm to non-residents. Reserve online and present your receipt at the gate.

Bottom Line:

We had a fun day out enjoying the summer at Main Beach- beach time, playground, getting on the water, and enjoying locally made ice cream! 

Nitty Gritty:

Address: 300 Lakeshore Drive, Crystal Lake, IL
Admission: Residents $1, Residents ages 3 and under free,  residents FREE after 5 p.m.; $12 non-resident adults (after 2 p.m.); $8 kids ages 4-15; non-residents half off after 5 p.m.
Bathrooms: Yes, the locker room with showers and bathrooms are open. 
Parking: Free parking. The parking lot is located across the street from the Main Beach main entrance.