Illinois Route 53 runs north-south in the western and southwestern suburbs of Chicago, extending south into rural areas to end in Gardner. The northern end is in Long Grove at Illinois 83, and somewhat south of there, Illinois 53 takes the form of a freeway for about 10 miles. Illinois 53 then joins Interstate 290 for a bit, once Interstate 290 gets its northern start at Interstate 90. Soon, Illinois 53 will divert from Interstate 290, continuing south as a surface road. Interstate 355's corridor follows closely along Illinois 53's journey through suburban DuPage County. In Will County, Illinois 53 follows the west side of the Des Plaines River until Joliet, whereas Interstate 355 runs on the east side of the river. In Joliet, Illinois 53 crosses the river, and leaves town to the south, forming a 4-lane highway with a wide grassy median that passes through more rural areas. Illinois 53 shrinks down to a 2-lane road entering Wilmington, where the highway bends westerly and southwesterly. Illinois 53's southwestern end protrudes slightly into Grundy County, with the final terminus sitting in Gardner at Interstate 55.
Illinois 53's northern end is a split from Illinois 83 near Long Grove:
As it enters the Palatine area, Illinois 53 joins US Route 12 southeast...
Illinois 53 leaves from Illinois 68 to join the "53 extension" freeway south toward Schaumburg:
Illinois 53 follows the freeway under US Route 12 (which it could have just taken straight to the interchange...I don't know why it deflects east on Illinois 68 just to cross US 12 again...); a partial interchange provides access only to/from the south on Illinois 53:
In downtown Joliet, Illinois 53 crosses US Route 30, where both routes follow their own pair of one-way streets, and US Route 6 comes from the eastern leg of US Route 30 to join Illinois 53 south:
On the south side of downtown Joliet, Illinois 53 sends US Route 6 west along a street that also carries US Route 52, and US Route 52 joins Illinois 53 south from here (it's the meeting point of three different duplexes!):