A trip to Chicago can be a very memorable experience. Even with it's location in the agricultural oriented American Mid-West, Chicago developed into a major metropoliton city, 2nd only to New York City for most of the 20th century. Chicago has since been passed in population by Los Angeles so it is now the third largest city in the USA. Illinois is a big state but 1/3 of the state residents live in Chicago or it's suburbs. If your in a cornfield in the middle of Illinois & then an hour later your on Lakeshore Drive then you will definitely understand the contrasts that can exist in one region.
Chicago is a lovely city for the tourist. First, I would recommend that you go to see the Field Museum. It is a world famous museum & you could spend the whole day there. My favorite section of the museum is the Egyptology display, there is a replica of what it would be like to go inside a Egyptian Pyramid. An interesting display on the first floor includes some oversized furniture that will make you feel like you are in "Alice in Wonderland". Another must see at the Field Museum is the stuffed Lion. It is the man-eating lion from the film "Heart of Darkness". Be sure to walk around the outside of the museum as well, there is a giant stone head that is called an Olmec Head & archaeologists belive it to be an image of a ballplayer or royalty. However, there is some controversy about this as other archaeologists belive the Olmec heads have African features and could represent pre-Columbian contact between Africa & the Americas.
Next to the Field Museum is the Aquarium. It is very lovely & a great place to bring kids. They have hundreds if not thousands of fish tanks of all shapes & sizes with every type of fish you could imagine or possibly did not even know. My favorite part of the Aquarium is the giant fish tank in the middle of the main hall. It is a salt-water tank setup like a coral reef. There are many colorful fish in the tank as well as shark. There is a lot of activity in this tank so it is fun to watch. For the kids they put on a great show with some very talented seals. When I was there they did have a special exhibition about seahorses that I found very interesting...so many people took them as pets but could not care properly for them & as a result some types of seahorses are now very rare.
Lake Shore Drive (colloquially referred to as LSD or simply Lake Shore or The Drive) is a mostly freeway-standard expressway running parallel with and alongside the shoreline of Lake Michigan through Chicago, Illinois, USA. Except for the portion north of Foster Avenue (5200 North), Lake Shore Drive is designated as part of U.S. Highway 41. The downtown part originally opened as Leif Ericson Drive in 1937 (and was also called Field Boulevard); it was renamed Lake Shore Drive in 1946.
Lake Shore Drive contains both an inner and an outer drive. The original inner drive (or local) is used for slower local traffic and is connected to the street grid. The local drive runs from downtown in Streeterville to North Avenue (1600n), (becoming Cannon Drive). Then the inner drive reappears just south of Diversey Parkway (approx. 2700n), continuing north to Irving Park Road (4000n). The portion from Belmont (3200n) to just south of Irving Park (3900n) was previously named Sheridan Road (which can still be seen carved in stone in at least one vintage high-rise). The outer drive (or express) with limited-access runs from the south side of the city, north to the terminus at Hollywood Avenue (5700n) in the Edgewater neighborhood. Lake Shore Drive runs both north/south and east/west, like several other major streets in Chicago. East Lake Shore Drive in the Gold Coast neighborhood is one of the most prestigious addresses in the city partly due to its roughly 1-block long length. Other streets in Chicago that run both north/south and east/west include Wacker Drive, Sheridan Road, and Hyde Park Blvd. The Lakefront Bike Trail, an 18 mile bike trails runs to the east of Lake Shore Drive for most of its length. It is used as an exit road from Chicago Bears games, because it runs right next to Soldier Field.
Chicago has an interesting quirk related to a city law that bans all "trucks" from being driven on Lake Shore Drive. Where it differs from state and Federal definitions of a "truck" depends on the design and purpose of the vehicle. If the truck is designed to carry cargo (i.e. has a covered or uncovered bed), the vehicle is not permitted on Lake Shore Drive. This includes all pickup trucks, cargo vans, box trucks, and semi-trucks—with or without a trailer. If the truck is designed to carry people, then it is allowed on Lake Shore Drive. This includes vans and buses, even though those vehicles may carry truck plates. To add, trailers are not permitted, even if they are attached to a car. SUVs are generally permitted. Unsurprisingly, all Chicago municipal vehicles and Chicago Park District vehicles, including pickup trucks, are allowed to use Lake Shore Drive.
Several films based in Chicago feature scenes on Lake Shore Drive, including love jones, Cheaper by the Dozen, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Blues Brothers, Risky Business, My Best Friend's Wedding, and National Lampoon's Vacation. In When Harry Met Sally, the title characters are seen taking Lake Shore Drive in the opposite compass direction to that which their origin point and destination would require. Lake Shore Drive is also seen in AT&T's/"The New Cingular's" "Weight" ad with the ad's protagonist driving south along Lake Shore Drive towards the John Hancock Building. Also, the opening credits of the late 1980s and early 1990s sticom Married With Children features a flyover of Lake Shore Drive. The 1971 song "Lake Shore Drive" by Aliotta-Haynes-Jeremiah is a reference to the road and an allusion to its initials, LSD. Styx mentions the road in their 1979 song "Borrowed Time" as well as "Back to Chicago" from 1990. The road is also mentioned in the 2005 Kanye West song "Drive Slow", and also in his verse in the Boost Mobile promotional single "Whole City Behind Us". The song "Lake Shore Drive" by Art Porter is also about the famous road. Because of the connection to drugs, it was believed that the US Post Office would not deliver mail to a Lake Shore Drive address if it were abbreviated LSD. The Post Office announced in the early 1990s that this practice would be halted, and LSD was accepted.