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What it’s Like Living in Crystal Lake IL 🏊 | Moving to Crystal Lake Guide

Last Updated on: 8th July 2023, 10:26 pm

Crystal Lake is a lovely growing and picturesque city situated in northeastern Illinois. The artsy and outdoorsy city of Crystal Lake is known for accommodating the gleaming Crystal Lake in Illinois, exceptional local eateries, pristine beaches, and its historic downtown district equipped with many small shops and businesses. In addition to the city’s quiet and safe ambiance, Crystal Lake Illinois is further home to beautiful nature and landscapes, great schools, fun city events, and an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities such as biking, hiking, sledding, golfing, and fishing within The Crystal Lake Park District.

Named for its sparkling crystal-like body of water, the city consisted of two separate communities in the 1800s known as “Nunda” and “Crystal Lake”. It wasn’t until 1914 that these two communities combined into one single “Crystal Lake”. Fast forward to today, Crystal Lake provides a wide variety of opportunities for people of all ages and interests as it is a quaint yet vibrant hidden treasure of Illinois.

Where is Crystal Lake IL located?

Where is Crystal Lake, Illinois? Located in McHenry County, the city of Crystal Lake is a suburb of Chicago and is situated in the Chicago metropolitan area. Crystal Lake is nestled in northeastern Illinois and is among several notable bodies of water such as Crystal Lake, Three Oaks Recreation Area, and the nearby Fox River. The distance from Crystal Lake to downtown Chicago is roughly 50 miles southeast.

A few of Crystal Lakes’s nearby communities include Lake in the Hills to the south and Oakwood Hills to the East. Thanks to the close access to major highways and interstates, Crystal Lake Illinois has great public transportation. The city’s buses are operated by the Pace Bus system, whereas the trains are operated by Metra’s Northwest Line and The Metra Rail Union Pacific Northwest Line for getting to and from Chicago. There are several taxi services available as well.

Crystal Lake Population & Demographics

As the largest city in McHenry County, Crystal Lake Illinois has a population of 40,269 which has seen a 1% decrease in the past decade. This population is distributed over 18.92 miles with a population density of 2,128.6 per square mile. The median age in Crystal Lake is 39.9 whereas 8.8% of residents are foreign-born. 94.4% of the Crystal Lake population has earned a high school diploma or higher, and 40.5% have attained a bachelor’s degree or higher. The Crystal Lake median household income is $96,274 which is $23,711 above the state median.

Crystal Lake IL has been visited by a few vice presidents as well as President Joe Biden. Crystal Lake has also been called home by several notable people such as American football quarterback Chris Streveler, and American Youtuber Sean Evans.

The racial demographics in Crystal Lake are mildly diverse with whites making up 80.9% of the population. Hispanics make up 12.5%, Asians at 3.1%, and Blacks at .9%. The gender makeup in Crystal Lake is 50.1% male and 49.9% female.

Is Crystal Lake IL safe? According to the FBI, the Crystal Lake crime rate is 191 per 100k population. This is 90.4% lower than the state and 91.9% lower than the country. Both violent and property crime are at over 70% lower than the state which means Crystal Lake Illinois is a very safe place to live and raise a family.

The city is served by the Crystal Lake Police Department with its 67 sworn officers.

Cost of Living in Crystal Lake, IL

Is Crystal Lake affordable? The cost of living index in Crystal Lake is 120, or around 20% higher than the national average. According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four living in Crystal Lake Illinois should have an annual income of around $100,233 to live comfortably. The income tax rate in Crystal Lake is 4.95% while the sales tax sits at 7.9%.

If you’re hoping to settle down and live in Crystal Lake, there are many beautiful Crystal Lake IL homes for sale. Based on data from Redfin, Crystal Lake has a median home price of $251,000. If you’d rather sign a lease, the average monthly apartment rent in Crystal Lake is $1,546 for a 918-square-foot apartment according to Rentcafe.

Crystal Lake typical living expenses

Below is a list of Payscale’s typical expenses in Crystal Lake, Illinois.

  • Average Crystal Lake utilities per month: $171.69
  • Doctor’s visit: $141.65
  • Gallon of gas: $4.23
  • Gallon of milk: $2.56
  • One dozen eggs: $2.37

Crystal Lake Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Crystal Lake IL

It’s no surprise that Wallethub ranked Crystal Lake as the 10th best city among 1,268 U.S. cities of similar size. Crystal Lake is home to several charming neighborhoods that boast safe environments, friendly residents, beautiful homes, and even serene lake views. The southeast areas of Crystal Lake tend to be more affordable while the southwest side is the most desirable. Let’s take a look at three of the best neighborhoods in Crystal Lake.

Downtown Crystal Lake | Quaint & affordable neighborhood in Crystal Lake with local shops & restaurants

This laid-back and vintage Crystal Lake neighborhood is the city’s hotspot. Downtown Crystal Lake boasts a remarkable shopping district, a thriving arts center, outdoor locales, and many small businesses and local restaurants. The median home price in Downtown Crystal Lake is $329,950.

Wedgewood | Upscale & family-friendly Crystal Lake neighborhood surrounded by nature

The upscale neighborhood of Wedgewood encompasses five ponds, a forest, and paved walking paths which makes it ideal for those who love escaping in the tranquility of Mother Nature. The area primarily consists of townhouses and single-family homes that all have close access to the Crystal Lake Country Club.

North Shore | Peaceful Crystal Lake Neighborhood with lakeside views

In addition to the beautiful lakeside views, you’ll find many older homes here that vary greatly in style and size.

Crystal Lake Weather & Climate

With a continental climate, Crystal Lake experiences freezing, snowy winters with lows of 13°F and warm summers with highs of 82°F. This weather is perfect for enjoying outdoor activities next to the lake. Winter boots will be useful throughout the 35 inches of annual snowfall, and a raincoat during the 37 inches of annual rainfall in Crystal Lake. The most comfortable months to visit Crystal Lake IL are in June, August, and September.


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Things to Do in Crystal Lake

Crystal Lake offers numerous recreational facilities and programs, a lovely downtown area, parks, two farmers markets, events venues, Crystal Lake Illinois hotels, and even several joinable music groups like Crystal Lake Strikers Drumline. Crystal Lake Antique Mall is the most ​​ notable local shopping district within the historic downtown district. Malls outside of the downtown area include Crystal Point Mall Shopping Center and The Commons of Crystal Lake.

Three Oaks Recreation Area


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This recreation center features boat rentals, picnic grounds, hiking trails, a spray park, and numerous water activities. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy the great outdoors in Crystal Lake Illinois, this is it!

5517 Northwest Hwy, Crystal Lake, IL 60014, (815) 459-2020

Crystal Lake Main Beach

This beach is an excellent place to go in Crystal Lake to cool off and relax with family. It provides a dock, swimming area, water fountains, and scenic views of the lake.

300 Lakeshore Dr, Crystal Lake, IL 60014, (815) 477-5404

Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park

Looking for a fun place in Crystal Lake? In addition to the open jump, this extensive indoor trampoline center has everything from dodgeball to fitness classes.

220 Exchange Dr, Crystal Lake, IL 60014, (779) 216-5612

Additional attractions in Crystal Lake

The parks and recreational facilities in Crystal Lake are served by The Crystal Lake Park District. This district oversees the city’s two beaches, local parks, the Crystal Lake Park District Nature Center, and the 238-acre Crystal Lake. You can tune in on Crystal Lake news via the Daily Herald. You can also check out Crystal Lake events.

Crystal Lake Restaurants

Check out a few of the best local restaurants in Crystal Lake, Illinois.

da Baffone Cucina Italiana

Brick-walled Italian restaurant featuring delicious Southern Italian dishes.

​​111 N Main St, Crystal Lake, IL 60014, (815) 893-6149

Duke’s Alehouse and Kitchen

Local eco-friendly Gastropub with a wide selection of excellent food options.

110 N Main St, Crystal Lake, IL 60014, (815) 356-9980

The Cottage

Laid-back hangout pub serving tasty American fare, draft beer, and cocktails.

6 E Crystal Lake Ave, Crystal Lake, IL 60014, (815) 459-7520

Jobs in Crystal Lake IL

Crystal Lake thrives on both independently-owned and national chains– especially in the dining, retail, and light industries. Crystal Lake is expected to experience a 27.9% increase in job growth over the next decade, which is 5.6% lower than the U.S. average. The average base salary in Crystal Lake is $67,000, while the average hourly rate is $19.52. A few of the most popular job positions in Crystal Lake include CVS / Pharmacy and Northwestern Medicine, while the most popular positions include – registered nurses and office managers. If you’re interested in Crystal Lake jobs, try looking online for jobs in and around Crystal Lake Illinois. You can also check out Crystal Lake employment opportunities.

Crystal Lake Schools

Crystal Lake is served by Community High School District 155, with 5,688 students and a student-teacher ratio of 17:1, and Crystal Lake Community Consolidated School District 47, with 7,012 students and a student-teacher ratio of 13:1. A few schools in Crystal Lake include Crystal Lake Central High School and Canterbury Elementary School.

The Crystal Lake Public Library is open seven days a week for residents and students.

Crystal Lake Statistics & Information

  • County: McHenry Country
  • Crystal Lake area: 18.92 mi²
  • Crystal Lake zip codes: 60012, 60014, 60039, 60156
  • Crystal Lake area code: 779
  • Crystal Lake elevation: 942’
  • Crystal Lake time zone: Central Time Zone (CT)
  • Closest airport to Crystal Lake: O’Hare International Airport (ORD) — 33 miles southeast of Crystal Lake

Crystal Lake IL Map

Ready to start planning your move to Crystal Lake Illinois? Allow our team of trusted Crystal Lake movers to give you an easy relocation! Reach out to Federal Companies today at 800-747-4100!


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