The Magnificent Mile is the most famous place to go shopping in Chicago. The mile-long strip on Michigan Avenue runs between Oak Street and Michigan Avenue Bridge in Downtown. High-rise buildings on either side of the street hold offices, restaurants, hotels and hundreds of shops. Mingle with crowds of tourists and locals at any time of the day and year, who come to browse, catch-up over a meal and people-watch. It doesn’t matter if you come prepared to spend some serious cash, or just to window-shop and take home a souvenir. You’ll find it all here: clothes, jewelry, books, furniture and food for every budget.
The strip got its nickname in the 1940s, thanks to the exclusive commercial and residential dwellings that cemented it as a retail hub after the Great Depression. You can still see two of the historic buildings that survived the Great Fire of 1871: the Pumping Station and Water Tower. The Water Tower is now an upscale mall. Water Tower Place has a huge atrium, dozens of shops and a sizeable food court.
The Chicago Tribune Tower and Wrigley Building were both built here in the 1920s and stand out from the modern skyscrapers. Look up to see the ornate carvings at the top of the towers that give them their distinct style.
Stroll the strip by foot to get a feel for what’s there. Big name luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Chanel have boutiques alongside affordable department stores such as H&M. There are five national department stores, and they have fabulous window displays, especially during the winter holiday season. There’s something for everyone along this vibrant strip, including candy stores and toy shops for the kids.
Foodies have plenty of options, as there are dozens of fine dining restaurants along the strip that cater to lunchtime business crowds and shoppers. There are numerous fast-food and café options, too. For a treat, check out the Cape Cod Room at the famous Drake Hotel, where locals and tourists have been coming since 1933 for fresh seafood. The Drake is just one of more than 50 hotels on the Magnificent Mile strip.
Museums, Architecture and Skyscrapers
John Hancock Center is a well-known landmark worth seeing in Chicago. Stroll along the lakeside or experience the acclaimed art scene in this vibrant area.
Chicago Water Tower is a well-known landmark worth seeing in Chicago. Stroll along the lakeside or experience the acclaimed art scene in this vibrant area.
Tribune Tower is a well-known landmark worth seeing in Chicago. Stroll along the riverfront or visit the notable monuments in this vibrant area.
Enjoy endless shopping, see exhibits of sporting memorabilia and attend shows at a live theater at this huge shopping mall.
You can enjoy some retail therapy when you visit Michigan Avenue, a favorite shopping spot in Chicago. Stroll along the riverfront in this vibrant area, or check out its top-notch restaurants.
Tour the iconic grounds and catch a game March through September at Chicago’s beloved baseball stadium.
Feel the breeze from the open-air top of a double-decker bus or an old-fashioned trolley as you cruise the Windy City on this hop-on hop-off tour. With multiple routes and 12 stops at must-see Chicago landmarks, this is the perfect way to scope out the sights along the shores of Lake Michigan.
Equal parts boat and buildings, this river cruise gives you a from-the-water perspective of Chicago skyline and up-close views of its most iconic structures. Board an open-roofed vessel and float with the current as an architecture expert shares the fascinating history behind the Windy City's most renowned buildings.
At 360 CHICAGO, the guest experience begins at the ground floor with a museum-style exhibition celebrating Chicago’s history and nine of its culturally rich neighborhoods.
Explore Chicago's seedy underworld on this guided bus tour of its most famous gangsters and mobsters. Investigate the former haunts of legends like Al Capone, The Untouchables, and John Dillinger as you explore the sites of major crimes, violent deaths, and shocking trials on this guided excursion.
Chicago CityPASS® tickets include premium admission to Chicago’s top attractions at significant savings off the price of the same tickets purchased separately. Extra perk: CityPASS travelers skip most main-entrance ticket lines.
Itinerary This is a typical itinerary for this product Pass By: Chicago River, Chicago, IL The Chicago River, The Chicago Riverwalk, Willis Tower (Formerly Sears Tower) Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, Civic Opera House, Wolf Point, Goose Island.
Eat well for less in Chicago
Our pick of the best galleries and art museums in Chicago
Pack a bag and discover day trip locations a short drive past the city limits.
Visitors to Streeterville rave about its fascinating museums, panoramic lake views, and popular shops. You might also want to make some time to see Navy Pier or Chicago Children's Museum while you're exploring the neighborhood.
Known for its fascinating museums, panoramic lake views, and popular shops, there's plenty to explore in Near North Side. Top attractions like John Hancock Center and Water Tower Place are major draws. Catch the metro at Chicago Station (Red Line) or Chicago Station (Brown Line) to see more of the city.
The heart of the Midwest’s glittering metropolis has many offerings, from shopping and dining to parks, museums and exciting contemporary public art.
Enjoy upscale shopping, varied dining experiences and waterfront walks at this affluent suburb set on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Known for its fantastic nightlife, stunning river views, and popular shops, there's plenty to explore in River North. Top attractions like Merchandise Mart and Chicago Riverwalk are major draws. Catch the metro at Chicago Station (Brown Line) or Merchandise Mart Station to see more of the city.
Bordered roughly by the surrounding elevated train circuit, this Chicago neighborhood has restaurants, galleries, parks and a giant silver bean.