A recent survey says Illinois is one of the most fun states in the U.S.. Truth is that Chicago is the biggest reason, but there's so much more than the Windy City.

No disrespect to one of the greatest cities in ANY country, but Chicago is not the end-all be-all for fun in the state of Illinois. A recent survey chose Illinois as the 5th Most Fun State in America, and it's not just due to the Windy City.

I'm not a Chicago hater

Sometimes, when our car is loaded with all the kids, going to Chicago just sounds like a chaotic headache that my wife and I don't want. Chicago has thousands of great choices for fun things to see, do AND EAT, but let's explore some other places that may not come to mind right away.

There's a lot of state left once you drive south of Chicago. And, it's likely to be a lot more affordable.

How many fun cities south of Chicago can you name?

If that's a challenge for you, this photo gallery will be a great reminder of Illinois' non-Chicago fun.

Time for a road trip to gorgeous parks, unique museums, and novelty roadside attractions...

THAT AREN'T IN CHICAGO

7 Fascinating Things To Do in Illinois That Aren’t in Chicago

A recent survey says Illinois is one of the most fun states in the U.S.. Truth is that Chicago is the biggest reason, but there's so much more than the Windy City.

[H/T TheTravel.com]

LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in Illinois

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Illinois using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

This Nautical Illinois Airbnb Has Its Own Private Beach

Steve Shannon is host of The Steve Shannon Show on 97ZOK. On the air weekday mornings from 6 to 10 a.m. and a special 'Rewind' show, featuring favorite moments from previous shows, on Saturday mornings from 5 to 7 a.m.. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and like his page on Facebook.