25 Ways You Know You’re From Lake County

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We enjoy a good listicle as much as the next person, and we thought it was high time you had one with Lake County flavor.

Your Little Lake County writers may hail from all over the state, midwest, and United States, but today we are all proud to call Lake County our home. So we’ve become pretty adept at sniffing out one of our own. Peruse our list and see if you pass the sniff test and qualify as a true Lake County resident.

25 Ways You Know You’re From Lake County, Illinois

  1. You own a boat but it spends more time in your driveway than in the water.
  2. You are never more than 20 minutes away from a cornfield.
  3. You have almost as many Packers Fans on your block as there are Bears Fans.
  4. You can correctly pronounce the word “paczki” and you know who Casimir Pulaski is… sort of…
best paczki in lake county
Pączki from Lovin’ Oven Cakery – Lt. Thomas | littlelakecounty.com | 2014
  1. You understand that Route 83 isn’t always Route 83 because sometimes it’s Route 60 or sometimes it’s Route 45 but it never is actually Route 137.
  2. People from Chicago think you live in Wisconsin.
  3. You know how to spell “Mundelein” (“i” before “e” except when it’s Mundelein!)
  4. You understand that North Chicago is not actually in Chicago nor is it really anywhere near Chicago. The North part is right though.
  5. You may be geographically closer to Milwaukee but still say you’re from a “suburb of Chicago.” (I’m looking at you Antioch…)
downtown antioch
H. Garvey | littlelakecounty.com | 2015
  1. You have a relative that works for Abbott, CDW, Baxter, or Walgreen’s (or you work for Abbott, CDW, Baxter, or Walgreen’s.)
  2. At least once a week you are late for work, school, practice, or an appointment because of a freight train.
  3. You say “Great America” instead of “Six Flags.”
  4. You have a season pass to Great America.
  5. When you are out of town and visit that area’s Forest Preserves and think they are lame. Lake County Forest Preserves FTW.
  6. 40 degrees = short pants!
  7. Sometimes, you visit Long Grove just because, even when there isn’t a festival.
L. Thomas | littlelakecounty.com | 2015
  1. You have an annual subscription to the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire.
  2. You know at least four different ways to avoid driving on Route 120 and Route 176.
  3. You try to fly out of General Mitchell because it’s easier than it is to fly out of O’Hare ($13 for the daily parking!  Flights that depart on time! Woot!)
  4. You can always find a seat on the Metra into the city.
  5. You miss the albino crocodile in Gurnee Mills but know that you can still get your reptile fix at the Wildlife Discovery Center.
  6. You complain about taxes. A lot. But you would never, ever, ever dream of living in Cook County (ahhh!), McHenry County (zzzz…), or heaven forbid Kenosha County (do they even have running water there?)
  7. You understand that no one is growing crops over at Lambs Farm, but they are nurturing human dignity.  They also do in fact have lambs along with a sizable herd of goats and other lovable creatures
Feeding the Cow at Lambs Farm
  1. You help shovel your neighbor’s driveway during a blizzard but you don’t stick a chair or an ironing board on it afterward.
  2. If you’re a parent, you follow Little Lake County to be in the know on where-to-go to have fun with your kids.

What would you add to the list?

Disclosure: We do in fact love McHenry, Cook and Kenosha Counties too, just not as much as Lake County.

By Loralie

When Loralie isn’t out exploring with her two pint-sized adventurers you’ll often find her in front of her computer plotting to take over the world (or at least Lake County.) She appreciates good friends, good food, expensive shoes and parents who make two lanes in the drop-off/pick-up line at school. Her spirit animal is The Hobbit. She invites you to join her on her quest for unique distractions, diversions and deliciousness in this county we call home.

25 Ways You Know You\'re From Lake County
About Loralie 133 Articles
When Loralie isn’t out exploring with her two pint-sized adventurers you’ll often find her in front of her computer plotting to take over the world (or at least Lake County.) She appreciates good friends, good food, expensive shoes and parents who make two lanes in the drop-off/pick-up line at school. Her spirit animal is The Hobbit. She invites you to join her on her quest for unique distractions, diversions and deliciousness in this county we call home. She is the Features Editor and Marketing Director at Little Lake County.


  1. When traveling, you tell people that you live halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee.

    You know that Jack Benny and Ray Bradbury came from Waukegan.

  2. When referring to distances from one place to another, you speak in minutes not miles because on certain roads in Lake County it can take 20 min to go 5 miles.

  3. You know that planes, trains, and automobiles’ scene at the Moose Lodge was filmed where Milwaukee ends at 120.

    Growing up you trespassed at least once on Temple Farms property

    You probably have a garage built buy the guy who built the pyramid.

    When you do travel to or from Wisconsin, you know exactly where and when to look to see the pyramid from I-94 through the trees.

    You know that the Waukegan Airshow is one of the best, but there’s no good roads in and out of the airport. So you end up watching half of it from your car. (Go earlier)

    Someday they will build 53

    You know about a highway along the lake that goes from no where to no where. (And you just said it aloud correctly!)

  4. SCRATCH #9!!!!!!!
    If your from Lake County you HATE IT when people refer to any towns here as a ‘suburb of Chicago’! We ARE NOT and have NEVER BEEN a suburb of Chitcago! Although as some one else mentioned, we do tell people we are halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee.

    BTW what would we have any more knowledge of Casimir Pulaski then say some one from Chicago where they not only have a very long and well known street named after him but also the largest population of Poles outside Warsaw? Hmmm, betcha they also know what paczki is down there too.

    Come to think of it, half that list doesn’t apply the other half could apply to many areas outside of Lake County.
    This rates a D-. Try harder.

  5. You still refer to 6 Flags or Great America as Marriotts.
    You know where Route 137 and the Wisconsin state line meet.
    You have been to filming locations, or can name the locations of 3 or more major Hollywood movies filmed in various parts of Lake County. (And a television show or two!)

  6. When traveling on 94, you know how to get from the Wisconsin border to anywhere in Lake County, (even all the way to Chicago) without paying tolls.

    You also know where all the good bike paths are.

    You know why it’s called Half Day Road.

  7. There is also a Ice Block train back before 1888
    People who live in Lake County IL know about the 7 Lehmann mansions one located at deeplake road and grand ave. One that use to be until it burned down and where RJ’s eatery now sits in Lindenhurst.
    That McDonalds woods is not owned or donated by the fast food chain McDonalds.
    The history of stearns school road and the old schoolhouse that use to be at stearns school rd and hunt club rd
    That the pyramid once was forced to have a dome over it do to low flying plains crashing while trying to get a better look. Dome took a flight when a tornado like wind hit it and launched it 3 mils away. and that the pyramid is plated in real gold.
    The original market store from the 1800 located at the intersection of US 45 and Grass Lake rd. open for business for over 100+ years and is the oldest still active business in northern lake county not to mention the house across from it being one of the most haunted places in the USA along with the Antioch movie theater.
    there is a nuclear power plant that now doesn’t make any power in Zion do to a near melt down in 1997 and resulting damage being more then the facility would make before the plant’s operating license expired in 2013.

  8. Wonderful blog post, Loralie! I’m going to have to go check out the rest of your site now! (And you can check out mine!)

    I would add:

    “You know your chances of installing an in-ground pool are slim to none due to possibly unearthing yet another natural Lake County lake as you begin digging the hole.”

    Oh, and “paczki”? Huh? Eject me from the county, but I have no idea what that even is!

  9. Great post brought back good memories I live in Nebraska now but my family still lives there. however some migrated to ……kenosha

  10. All except 22…….Out of this state asap. Way to high taxes and the politics are horrible. So tired of supporting Chicago.

    • Went back through comments & there were a few disparaging ones about Chicago including now yours I have to say I lived there in “suburbs of the City” 20 yrs essentially I grew up there.Although born elsewhere my family moved there when I was 3 & I stayed til I was 23. My mom remarried when I was 12 My dad was in Navy stationed at Great Lakes Naval Station.We grew up in Republican household Most of my siblings are voting Republicans today & were NOT affected by the corrupt Democrats in government in Chicago or the taxes cuz we lived in the suburbs (yes,people thats whats theyre called)I think you said “out of this state asap” Good for you shouldnt stay where youre not happy &”way to (sp) high taxe. The politics are horrible” Do you have a local sales tax? Are you on any local boards ie; school board,city counci Are you a registered voter bcuz change happens where you are You also said youre tired of supporting Chicago Are you a sports fan Bears Cubs Blackhawks etc… You have to take the good with the bad The take away is you live in the country so to speak Hope you find Happiness where ever you go I still think Corruption and all Chicago Cook and Lake co. Are fabulous places to be.God Bless Denise

  11. You know you’re from Lake County if you had an antenna rotor so you could watch both the Chicago and Milwaukee TV stations.

    (Lindenhurst, 1957-1989)

    BTW, I now live in North Carolina. My property tax is $600 a year (1500 sf house on one acre)… 😀

  12. You know you’re from Lake County when you know that the property that the Bridlewood subdivision is built on is land that was formerly owned by a victim of the RMS Titanic.

    You know that the guy who built the pyramid covered it because he is preventing his gold from deteriorating due to the harsh effects the elements were having on it. The original “dome” that he erected was severely damaged in a storm, so he had it wrapped instead.

    You remember swimming in The Pit and being nibbled on by all the little fish in there.

    You also know that the Holiday Inn at 94 & 132 used to have its own water treatment facility behind the hotel.

    You remember the Abbott Labs rented out the entire old Lake Co Fairgrounds for its 100th anniversary. You remember that Johnny Cash performed for that too.

    You know that the 3 lakes in the McDonald’s Woods Forest Preserve were excavated by the previous owner (who it’s named after). He planted all the pines on the property too.

    You remember when Independence Grove Forest Preserve used to have a zillion gravel trucks hauling gravel out of there all day long.

    You know exactly where the nike missiles used to be. You probably know where the last empty silo is too.

  13. You “scooped the loop” on Genesee St.
    You parents bought you clothes at Robert Hall’s in Waukegan, and then if you were lucky after, got a case of pop from Glen Rock!
    Took dates to Zion Beach after dark and were asked to leave (politely) by police.
    Remember when Lakehurst was built.
    Shoveled driveways for money ($1 was great!)
    Went to St.Therese for ER visits, appendectomies, tonsillectomys, etc.

  14. I can remember when I lived in Lake County, it only took me minutes to drive from the border of Illinois and Wisconsin, from the lakefront to the border of McHenry County. I can remember getting cron and other vegs from a little roadside place at the corner of Route 120 and Route 45. I once went to the outdoor theater in Grayslake near the corner of ROute 120 and Route 83 and we went hunting for rabbits where Great America is and all those corn fields. I am glad I don’t live there now.

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