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Taking in the scenery of urban Chicago

Illinois

Chicago's Famous Magnificent Mile

By: Hitomi Farrell

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  • States:
    Illinois

The third-largest city in the USA, Chicago is an exciting destination that thrills visitors with its fun-filled entertainment.

And if it’s entertainment, shopping and dining you’re looking for, I highly recommend making your home base along Chicago’s famous Magnificent Mile, a 13-block stretch of North Michigan Avenue that runs from the banks of the Chicago River in the south to Oak Street to the north. It extends 2.5 square kilometers from North Michigan Avenue. Along this famous corridor, you’ll find more than 460 stores, 275 restaurants and 60 hotels.

​​​​​​​Shopping Centers on the Magnificent Mile

When it comes to amazing shopping, the Magnificent Mile is where you’ll find it. From high-end names like Neiman Marcus and Cartier to everyday brands such as Gap and Disney, the number and quality of the shops and restaurants that line Michigan Avenue is extraordinary.

I’m a shopaholic, so I couldn’t hide my excitement. I started my Magnificent Mile experience at Water Tower Place, a shopping mall that has many department and retail stores. This mall is new and very attractive – even the food court was more stylish than any other I’d been in.

In addition to Water Tower Place, you’ll find two other shopping centers on the Magnificent Mile: The Shops at North Bridge and 900 North Michigan Shops. The Shops at North Bridge is four levels of luxury retailers such as Nordstrom, Hugo Boss and Louis Vuitton. The centerpiece of 900 North Michigan Shops is the jaw-dropping, six-story Bloomingdale’s. You’ll also find dozens of amazing stores, including Coach, J. Crew, Lululemon, UGG and many more.

Enjoying a shopping excursion inside Water Tower Place

Enjoying a shopping excursion inside Water Tower Place
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Dining on the Magnificent Mile

Ethnically diverse, Chicago is known for its amazing dining options. Here on the Magnificent Mile, you’ll get a taste of all the city has to offer. On my visit, I saw Indian, Asian, French, Latin, Italian and American fare, not to mention some great bars and pubs.

I went the classic, budget-conscious route and opted for a burger at Epic Burger. The entire menu of burgers, chicken, turkey, fries and more is made without hormones, antibiotics, artificial colors and flavors, preservatives and other additives often found in convenience food. The seven-store chain is based in Chicago – a great way to sample something you can only experience in this area.

Bustling Magnificent Mile, full of shops, restaurants and hotels

Bustling Magnificent Mile, full of shops, restaurants and hotels
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Magnificent Mile Hotels

No matter what budget or which hotel you choose on Michigan Avenue, you’ll be right in the heart of it all.

Five-star options such as The Drake Hotel, Park Hyatt Chicago and The Ritz-Carlton Chicago all have an address on the Magnificent Mile. You’ll also find globally recognized brands such as The Hard Rock, InterContinental and Swissotel.

Throughout the year, there are wonderful events to experience. During the holiday season, the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is not to be missed.

No matter when you visit, if you’re looking for lots of big-city action, shopping, dining and entertainment, the fantastic stretch of Michigan Avenue known as Chicago’s Magnificent Mile is where it’s happening.

Aerial view of Chicago skyscrapers towering over Lake Michigan

Aerial view of Chicago skyscrapers towering over Lake Michigan
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