'Tis the season where we all start counting down to our summer vacations. I don't know if your family is in the same position as mine is, but the tropical vacation we have been dreaming about is just not in the budget this year. We may not be hitting a cruise ship or the Caribbean anytime soon, but that's okay because I just discovered a taste of the tropics that is currently awaiting us in Crystal Lake, IL.

It's called Three Oaks Recreation Area, and I know that name sounds anything but exotic, but onlyinyourstate.com says it's  "a secret tropical beach that locals can't resist".

What Makes Three Oaks Recreation Area So Special?

Illinois may have a plethora of lakes and bodies of water to swim in, but let's face it, most of them do not exactly have "pretty" water. What makes Three Oaks Recreation Area so special is how beautiful and CLEAR the water actually is...

Three Oaks Recreation Area via Facebook
Three Oaks Recreation Area via Facebook

Besides the lack of palm trees, don't you feel like you're looking a shot from someplace in Florida or the Caribbean?!?

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So, how does water this beautiful actually exist in Illinois? Here's what Three Oaks Recreation Area's website says;

The City of Crystal Lake reclaimed the long-abandoned Vulcan Lakes quarry and turned it into an amazing recreation experience. Enjoy pristine waters, natural habitat, and incredible fishing. Rent rowboats, canoes, kayaks, sailboats, and paddle boats. Plan a picnic, and overlook breathtaking views of the water and lake island.

Besides sky-blue waters, Three Oaks Recreation Area also has a spray park for kids, an outdoor patio where you can enjoy a meal, and plenty of relaxation for all.

Three Oaks Recreation Area via Facebook
Three Oaks Recreation Area via Facebook

Summer fun at Three Oaks Recreation Area will open on Memorial Day weekend and then be open daily from 6:30 a.m. to sunset for anyone wanting to fish or rent one of their watercraft, and the beach is open from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.  On weekends the beach area will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Labor Day.

Beach admission for non-residents (us) is $10 for adults, $6 for senior citizens and youth, kids 3 and under are free. Get more info about Three Oaks Recreation Area here.

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