North Michigan Avenue, the Magnificent Mile, is one of the world's best shopping destinations, rivaling US streets like 5th Ave. in New York and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
Shopping centers such as Water Tower Place and 900 N. Michigan offer hundreds of stores, along with plenty of other stores on the street, including:
Hugo Boss, Armani, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Guess?, GAP, Banana Republic, Ralph Lauren, Salvatore Ferragamo, Nordstrom's, Neiman Marcus, Marshall Field's, Saks, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, Bulgari, Tiffany, Cartier, Niketown, Victoria's Secret, Chanel, Brooks Brothers, and many many more.
It is easy to spend an entire day (or two) here.
What to pay: Bring some $$$ and credit cards - it isn't cheap here.
The Magnificent Mile of Chicago Competes with the famed fifth avenue of manhattan and rodeo drive of Beverly Hills as one huge luxe shopping area and many go here just to take pictures and not to shop due to the sky high prices! Again this huge shopping area contains 3,100,000 sq ft (288,000 m2) of retail space, 460 stores, 275 restaurants, 51 hotels, and a host of sightseeing and entertainment attractions to more than 22 million visitors annually and a mixture of upscale department stores, restaurants, luxury retailers, residential and commercial buildings, financial services companies and hotels, and caters primarily to tourists and the affluent and again I might put this into the tourist traps tips hehehe.
What to buy: all the Luxe items that you want!!!!!
the Stores Include: Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Barneys New York, and Macy's. In addition, some of the finest luxury boutiques such as Cartier, Escada, Bulgari, Van Cleef & Arpels, Chanel, Max Mara, Vera Wang, Jimmy Choo, Georg Jensen, Harry Winston, Yves Saint Laurent, Tory Burch, St. John, Loro Piana, Jil Sander, Givenchy, Aritzia, Stuart Weitzman, Prada, Paul Stuart, Betsey Johnson, Montblanc, Anne Fontaine, Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Bottega Veneta, Hermès, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Cole Haan, Charles David, Giorgio Armani, Kenneth Cole, Salvatore Ferragamo, Ermenegildo Zegna, Burberry, Hugo Boss, La Perla, Agent Provocateur, Dennis Basso, Piazza Sempione, Fratelli Rosseti, Hickey Freeman, Jil Sander, Henry Beguelin, Juicy Couture, Michael Kors, Bernadaud, Christofle, Arthur, Sermoneta, Manrico Cashmere, Marlowe, Graff Diamonds, David Yurman, Fogal, Wolford, Frette, Pratesi, Culti, Tiffany & Co., and Guess. Need I say More?
What to pay: Maxx out your Platinum Credit Card!!!!!!
the main luxe shopping area in the Michigan Avenue or the Magnificent Mile (the magnifient mile is chicago's version of manhattan's fifth avenue) plus has lots of luxe retailers inside plus the luxe Ritz-Carlton Hotel and very expensive condminiums in this 74 floor skysrcaper. The eight level mallsection of the Water Toer Place has over 100 shops, including department store Macy's, a live theatre, and several restaurants, arranged around a stunning chrome-and-glass atrium with glass elevators. It was the one of the first vertical malls in the world, although along North Michigan Avenue it has been joined by The Shops at North Bridge, 900 North Michigan, and Chicago Place, all of which incorporate many features introduced by Water Tower Place.
What to buy: a lot of mid price and luxe items to your desire! the shops in the 8 story mall section of the Water Tower Place includes the following: The stores include Crane & Co Paper Makers , three of Abercrombie & Fitch's stores (Hollister Co., abercrombie Kids, and Abercrombie & Fitch). American Eagle Outfitters. Chocolatier Godiva has a location in the mall. Other retailers include bebe, bebe sport, Banana Republic, Florsheim, Lacoste, Victoria's Secret, Movado, I Medici Firenze, Sephora, Chico's, Ann Taylor, White House Black Market, J. Jill, Oakley, Crabtree & Evelyn, The Limited, Finish Line, Lids, Aldo, Coach, Forever 21, Wet Seal and the official Chicago Cubs Clubhouse Shop.
What to pay: maxx out your credit card!!!!!
One of America's retail institutions, floors 1-6, plus 70 other shops that cover everything to anything. There are also places to eat within the mall.
What to buy: All your clothing needs.
What to pay: And the price tags to go with it
This popular stretch of Michigan avenue is lined with shops from middle-end to high end.
It's Chicago's equivalent to New York's Fifth Avenue. Many of the major retailers have a presence on Magnificent Mile. Even if you're not in the mood to purchase anything in particular, strolling along the avenue still provides enjoyable people watching and window shopping.
When I was in Chicago, there were mini art displays lining the streets. A group of art students/ designers' dresses and designs were featured on abstract mannequins, which provided even more interesting scenery.
If you live in New York or Los Angeles, the shops on Michigan Avenue might not wow you terribly, but some retailers have their flagship stores there (such as Cole Haan), which will carry items not found in any other stores.
What to buy: Pay visits to the flagship stores and see if there's anything unique that you can't find in your hometown.
What to pay: Sales tax in Chicago is high, around 11%, so if you're searching for a deal, this might not be the perfect place. Of course, there are good seasonal sales just like any other set of shops.
Please, please, please don't call North Michigan Avenue, the section of Michigan Avenue between the Chicago River and Oak Street, the "Miracle Mile", it's the "Magnificent Mile" or "Mag Mile". This is the most popular place in Chicago to shop, even on cold blustery days you will find folks braving the elements with their hands full of bags.
Along this stretch you will find large department stores such as Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, and Macy's (formerly Marshall Field's).
Bargain shoppers will want to check out H & M's at 840 N. Michigan, Marshall's at 600 N. Michigan or Filene's Basement at 830 N. Michigan.
People looking to charge their credit cards to the max may want to check out some of the expensive boutiques such as Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Armani, and Ferragamo. The section of Oak Street between Michigan Avenue and State Street also has high end retailers such as Hermes, Prada and Jimmy Choo.
For the younger folks, there is a Nike Town, Apple store and a Disney store.
There are several malls along the way, the oldest and most well known is Water Tower Place at 835 N. Michigan. There are also malls at 900 N. Michigan, 700 N. Michigan (Chicago Place) and 520 N. Michigan (Shops at North Bridge).
If you are looking for a break from shopping, you can stop by Garrett's Popcorn or Ghiradelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop (830 N. Michigan next to Border's bookstore) for a snack but both can be crowded during tourist season, if you are headed to the Loop you might want to get your popcorn fix at one of the other locations.
Dining options in the area are numerous, the ones on my dining tips with NMA in the title are the closest to the Mag Mile. You can also get some more ideas from the attached website.
Located at the famous North Michigan Avenue or more affectionately called the Magnificent Mile the 900 shops is a upscale mall where you can spend serious money on designer clothing.
The largest tenant of the mall is Bloomingdale's which if you haven't been to one of their outlets you should since it is a really nice department store with both super expensive designer clothing - and also reduced priced designer clothing that have become 'last season's items'.
Apart from Bloomingdale's the mall boasts several other upscale shops such as Club Monaco and United Colors of Benetton (clothing). They also have a Williams-Sonoma store for any good looking kitchen appliances that you might want to have.
The Magnificent Mile is situated in the northern part of Michigan Avenue between the Chicago River and Lake Shore Drive, is Chicago's version of the Champs-Elysées: a grand wide boulevard with exclusive shops, museums, restaurants and ritzy hotels.
All the big names in shopping are present here, from Disney and Niketown to Bloomingdales and Saks Fifth Avenue. The wide sidewalks, often adorned with well-maintained flowerbeds are always crowded. The areas around the Magnificent Mile are some of Chicago's wealthiest.
Architectural landmarks like the John Hancock Center and the Tribune Tower can be found in abundance along the avenue. Building booms in the 1920s, 70s and 90s turned the once low-rise residential street into an economically thriving area bordered by tall skyscrapers.
In 1920 the Drake Hotel at the northern end and the now famous Wrigley building at the southern end of N. Michigan Ave. were completed. They were soon followed by other remarkable buildings, including the Allerton Hotel (1924), the Tribune Tower (1925), the Medinah Athletic Club (1929) and 919 N. Michigan Avenue (1929).
The Magnificent Mile is a unique street that you shouldn't miss on your visit to Chicago.
What to buy: anything that you can imagine
What to pay: as much as you can afford it !!!
Water Tower Place is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city of Chicago and has become one of the city's foremost tourist attractions. Approximately twenty million people visit Water Tower Place each year. One out of every two shoppers is from outside Chicago, and Water Tower Place's retail sales alone account for over twenty-six percent of the sales on North Michigan Avenue.
Water Tower Place, which opened in 1975, is a 74-story mixed-use complex containing an eight-level shopping center, a luxury hotel, restaurants, corporate and professional office space, condominium residences and a parking facility.
What to buy: The shopping center features a grand entrance off North Michigan Avenue, highlighted by voluminous tropical plants and a cascading waterfall (that runs next to the escalator). Visitors are greeted by a dramatic eight-story glass elevator upon entering the shopping center atrium. Be warned that 2 out of 3 of the elevators are express and stop only on a few floors.
Anchored by Macy's and Lord & Taylor department stores, Water Tower Place offers more than 100 specialty shops, many of which are exclusive to Chicago. Favorites of mine include Lush, a very large Victoria Secret, a small Sephora, and C.O. Bigelow.
On the mezzanine floor, is Foodlife. It is basically an area where you get a dining card and go to different stations offering food from around the world (you hand then the card at each station). You can therefore mix a taco with some sushi. You just hand the cashier your card at the end and pay. I really like to get chinese filled buns at Wow Bao on the first floor. You can order these great delicacies filled with szechuan beef and kung pao chicken- my favorites- for about $3 a bun.
Crate and Barrel is known for delivering clean-lined, functional furniture and housewears (plates, cook wear, etc.).
Gordon and Carole Segal opened the first-ever Crate & Barrel on Wells Street in Chicago in 1962. Having just returned from their honeymoon in Europe where they saw and bought all kinds of unique, functional, and here’s the catch – affordable – designs for their home, they looked around and realized no one in Chicago was selling great design without charging the equivalent of a mortgage. So they opened a store in a warehouse and used the shipping barrels and crates as displays. Since then, the store has become a national leader in housewares and furniture retailing.
This is the flagship store. Opened in 1990, the 45,000-square-foot building features four huge floors of retail goods, showcasing everything the company offers.
What to buy: For those who've never shopped C&B, think of Target's housewares and homes departments - trendy yet classic, upscale but determinedly affordable. Lots of white dishes, platters and other tabletop wares, and just as many sublimely colorful, Provencal- or Tuscan-inspired presentation pieces. Cheery holiday-oriented mugs, plates and tins abound, alongside good-quality knives and other kitchen implements. Crate & Barrel's store-brand marinades, salsas and sauces are worth trying, too. This store also carry a range of furniture, which combine classic, antique styles with stylish modernity.
What to pay: Glassware and dishes will run you from $4.50 up to $20. Furniture is on the pricey side- $800 for a desk.
This tip is for the "Magnificent Mile" along Chicago's Michigan Avenue. A veritable "mile" of world class shopping. Many of the famous fashion design houses have stores here. Bloomingdales, Prada, Coach, Neiman marcus share space along the Avenue with bargin and discount stores such as H & M and one of my favorites "Fleine's Basement."
The best part about shopping Michigan Avenue at Christmas time is the lights at night. Most festive and even though it is cold outside, people are walking and window shopping. It is a great place tro come and spend money or just window shop and not spend money. Either way it is beautiful and you will get your exercise for sure.
What to buy: There is so much to see and do there. We stayed at the far North end of Michigan Avenue Magnificent mile near the Hancock Tower. Some great bargins were to be had at Filene's Basement which was really upstairs, Crate and Barrell had some beautiful red plate chargers which I should have bought because the price was so fantastically low and I thought I could get them at home, but was I ever wrong! The Hershey store was a lot of fun to go through they carried chocolate bubblegum!!
What to pay: Kris bought a beautiful gold chain she had been wanting and she paid about 40% off retail price
Yes, there are stores in the Hancock building. Next to the ever popular Cheesecake Factory, there are shops on the 1st and 2nd Floors. These include North Face (where to get great outdoor wear), Paul Stuart (men's suits), Aveda (skincare products), Chicago Architect Foundation Store, and L'Appertif which carries gourmet treats.
What to buy: There is also a Chase bank branch on the 1st floor.
900 North Michigan is the home of Bloomingdales (only the clothing not housewares which can now be found at the Medina Temple store) plus 70 other shops. The shops in 900 North tend to be more upscale then those found in Water Tower Place. Notable stores in the mall include Mark Shale which has expensive clothes for men and women (3 & 4), J. Crew with casual preppy clothes for both sexes (2) , Max Mara the Italian designer store (1), L'Occitane with French soaps and lotions (1), and William Sonoma with upscale cooking wares (2). There are a couple of places to eat in the mall including OakTree on 6 which has wonderful diner food (love the grilled cheese sandwiches and the milk shakes), Tucci Benucci for consistently good Italian and Baisi Thai on 6th. They also opened a Pot Belly sandwich shop recently where you can pick up a quick and inexpensive sub.
What to buy: Bloomingdales has a wonderful selection of trendy clothes at reasonable prices. Floor/departments to check out include Y.E.S. on 5, and I.N.C. on 3. Bloomies has wonderful deals on cashmere (on the 3rd floor - under the name Sutton, on the 5th - under the name Aqua). Men's clothing is on 2 with some trendy stuff on the 5th floor.
Located along North Michigan Avenue North of the Chicago River THE MAGNIFICENT MILE features big-name retailers like Bloomingdale's, Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue, while smaller shops and boutiques fill in the space between. Although there are more than 400 retailers lining the street, there is plenty of room for the pedestrians to walk along the wide sidewalks. As it was the Christmas season, the street was delightful with all the decorations, wonderful store front windows and the hustle and bustle of folks doing their Christmas shopping.
The Magnificent Mile has way too many stores to name,but there is a big variety from men's clothes,women's clothes,children's clothes,toys,jewlery,home decor,purses and bags,antiques,art,places to eat,bath and beauty items, electronics(from cell phones to computers). Along with a few other types of shops.
What to buy: Make sure you buy a tote bag or some type of bag with wide straps,if you don't bring one with you from home. Why, because those thin handles on the shopping bags( like from Macy's)
can kill your hands by the time you finish shopping.I should know,I was just short of getting blister's on my hands.
I will have pictures up soon.
What to pay: Lots and lots of money