Crystal Lake is a suburb of Chicago occupying roughly 18 square miles 50 miles northwest of the metropolitan area in McHenry County. The community is surrounded by a number of smaller neighborhoods, among them Algonquin, Lakewood Village, Oakwood Hills, and Trout Valley.
Visitors and residents alike have their choice of lush, green parks for getting a bit of exercise or just chilling out and topping up their oxygen levels. Veteran Acres Park, Windwood Park, Three Oaks Recreation Area, and the Hollows Conservation Area are just some of the local park areas.
The area is well served by road transport and easily accessible via U.S. Route 14, Illinois routes 31 and 176. The suburb has two stations on the Metra Union Pacific/Northwest Line near the Harvard terminus. Both stops have wheelchair access.
Most of the labor at the American Terra Cotta Tile and Ceramic Company was provided by workers from Crystal Lake, including the company president, William D. Gates. The company started out in the late 19th century making glazed architectural tile, many pieces of which were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Today, ornamental "Teco" pottery from local factory attracts high prices from collectors.
The nationally acclaimed Raue Center for the Performing Arts is a short walk from the Metra station. It has served as the venue for the National Piano Conference since 2012.