Family holidays can be the stuff of legends.
Or they can go full Griswold: endless lines, wailing children and a hole in your wallet larger than the state’s budget gap.
Keeping you in the camp of the former? Cypress Marine and Resort, a charming collection of restored lakeside cottages just 40 miles northwest of the city — Antioch, Illinois, to be exact, on the Fox Chain O’Lakes.
Family-owned since the ‘80s, Cypress is what it is today thanks to the handiwork of Amanda Urban, the one-woman show who has spent the better part of a decade transforming the grounds into a modest modern retreat.
To be clear: it’s not a five-star resort by any means. But for an easy summer escape with the tots or out-of-the-box family reunion cure-all, it sure beats home.
Either way, Cypress Marine — which spans 20 acres on the shores of Petite Lake — is worthy of your attention.
All in, there are six cottages available for rent, all original from the ‘40s but lovingly restored. Got the whole fam in tow? You’ll want to look at the Hillside Cottage and Lake Cottage, which can sleep up to six guests. Secretly wanna just forget the kids at home? Then bookmark the Tiny Cottage.
And did we mention a private beach? Kayaks and other watercraft available, of course.
If nothing else, it’ll keep the kids busy.
And that’s a vacation all unto itself.