Naturally McHenry County

Incorporated in 2005 as a 501(c)(6) non profit corporation in the State of Illinois with the mission to create economic growth for and to develop and promote McHenry County by effectively marketing the region as a preferred convention and visitors destination as well as enhancing the visitor’s experience.


After the year that was 2020, it’s time to get out and experience it all! That is why we have put together the ultimate Summer Bucket List so you can get the most out of your summer adventures. This list is packed with outdoor adventures, fun for the family, delicious detours and so much more! So what are you waiting for? Let’s dive into summer!

Kayak the Nippersink –Bring your own Kayak or rent from Scull & Oars to experience the beauty of Glacial Park. This winding creek is the largest tributary to the Fox River and is filled with wildlife, wetland plants, and prairie wildflowers. Most of the creek is shallow and calm so this is a great adventure for beginners. It also creates a relaxing float for just about anyone! There are three launches along the creek but if you are looking to rent a kayak you will want to start at Keystone Landing. Learn more about kayaking in McHenry County and real-time water levels HERE!

Attend a Festival –Festival season is making a comeback, so it’s time to get out and fried everything on a stick, live music, cold beer, and your favorite rides. Don’t miss the Woodstock Food Truck Festival followed by Woodstock PrideFest or one of McHenry County’s longest-running festivals Fiesta Days in July. You can learn more about these festivals and all of the other amazing events happening in McHenry County in our EVENTS CALENDAR.

Wonder Lake Water Ski Show – After a summer off, the Wonder Lake Water Ski Show Team is ready to wow you once again. This 140-plus-member team, consisting of members ranging in ages 5-65, is a five-time National Show Ski Champion and has placed in the top five in the nation every year since 1996. Grab a lawn chair or your favorite blanket and head out to Wonder Center Beach in Wonder Lake to see this one-hour show full of jumping, barefoot skiing, pyramids, and all the other fantastic stunts you’d expect at the big name shows.
Visit 10 Conservation Sites – One of McHenry County’s greatest assets is the great outdoors. The McHenry County Conservation District is a collection of woodlands, prairies, wetlands, ponds, creeks and rivers providing endless opportunities to get out and enjoy Mother Nature. Located all over the county, these public parks are free and have miles and miles of hiking and biking trails. Learn more and find the perfect site for your adventures HERE!

Grab a beer at a Craft Brewery – Good times are on tap this summer, and if you’re a craft brew connoisseur, you’ve come to the right place! McHenry County has a thriving craft brewing culture and you can experience the best of it. The variety of local beer makes having a drink in McHenry County an experience you don’t want to miss. Looking for an epic outdoor space in the heart of Downtown Crystal Lake? Check out Crystal Lake Brewing. Maybe you’re more of a fan of sour beers crafted from local ingredients. Then Scorched Earth Brewing is more your style. Looking for a craft beer and some outstanding local grub? Then head to Cary Ale House & Brewing. Still undecided? Explore our craft brewery trail and visit them all.

Pick your own EVERYTHING at Stade’s Farm – You can’t beat the taste of farm-fresh fruits and vegetables. The only way to make it better is by getting in the fields and experiencing it for yourself. Stade’s Farm & Market offers pick your own green beans, peppers, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes pumpkins, sunflowers, and an apple orchard. These fruits and vegetables are ready at different times throughout the year, so make sure to check out our Seasonal Produce Guide to plan your visit for when they will have what you’re looking for.

Make some waves at The Quarry Cable Park –The surf’s always up at The Quarry Cable Park! This cable wake park features Unit Parktech jumps and features. Cable wakeboarding is similar to wakeboarding behind a boat, but instead, you move along a cable system suspended in the air by a series of towers around the lake. If you’ve never wakeboarded before, lessons are available at the beginner, intermediate, and pro levels. Afterward, hit the beach and enjoy amenities like a fire pit, live music, sand volleyball, and baggo. If you work up an appetite, delicious burgers, sandwiches and salads are available at the Quarry Grille along with a full bar featuring local beverages.

A Day out with Thomas at the Illinois Railway Museum – Day Out with Thomas is BACK! Everyone’s favorite train Thomas the Tank Engine is back for his annual visit to the Illinois Railway Museum. Tickets include a ride with Tomas the Tank Engine, live entertainment, access to all museum exhibits, meet and greet with Sir Topham Hatt, and fun for the whole family. Can’t make it for this event? The Illinois Railway Museum hosts a variety of events throughout the summer and is open daily for your enjoyment.

Get a selfie in a Sunflower Field – The latest trend on Instagram is tulip and sunflower selfie. If you’re looking for this picture-perfect activity, you’re in luck because sunflower fields can be found throughout McHenry County in late July. Von Bergen’s Country Market offers a sunflower maze, Tom’s Farm Market, and Stade’s Farm & Market both offer cut your own sunflowers with lots of great spots to get that perfect picture. Share your adventures on social media using #NaturallyMcHenryCounty to be featured on our social media channels!

For More Information

Kristine Austin, Sales & Marketing Manager — Naturally McHenry County, at or call 815-893-6280

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