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Chicago, Illinois

Chicago's Famous Magnificent Mile

By Hitomi Farrell


The third-largest city in the U.S., 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.

The Magnificent Mile is 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 a full square mile 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 including Neiman Marcus and Cartier, to everyday brands such as Gap and Disney, you’ll find everything you’re looking for here. 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.

Dining on the Magnificent Mile

Ethnically diverse, Chicago is well 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. Here, 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 Chicago based – this is a great way to sample something that you can only experience in this area.

Magnificent Mile Hotels

No matter what your 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 here. I was told that, 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!

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